Daily News

One of the first project-financed interconnectors – the 1.4 GW NeuConnect – will be built between the Isle of Grain and Wilhelmshaven by 2023, or early 2024. Meridiam, Allianz and Kansai Electric Power put nearly £1.4 billion in upfront and will recoup their investment from future revenues.

Prices European Electricity Exchange (EEX) have tripled to over €90/MWh since the end of Covid-related lockdowns, as the economic rebound pushed up prices for coal natural gas and carbon emissions. China’s hunger for hard coal in turn drove up the price to €15/MWh in Europe, while gas prices at the TTF hub surpassed €36/MWh.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) will absorb the business operations and employees of Mitsubishi Power by October 1, 2021. Design, manufacturing, sale, installation and engineering of thermal power generation systems will be transferred to MHI while the management of the two companies will be unified to become more efficient and dynamic.

Johnson Matthey, part of the European GAIA consortium, has helped develop a hydrogen fuel cell with a power density of 1.8 W/cm2 @ 0.6V. That’s a 20% rise compared with current technology. Working alongside BMW, Freudenberg, 3M and three others, Johnson Mattey supplied critical components within the fuel cell stack – membrane electrode assemblies.

MAN Energy Solutions and ANDRITZ Hydro have agreed to develop  hydrogen from hydropower, starting with a pilot project in Europe that will produce 650 tons of hydrogen from 4 MW electrolysis output before year-end. In future export-orientated projects, the electrolysis output will be raised to 100 MW.

Wärtsilä will supply dual-fuel engines to extend and modernise a captive power plant at Nigeria’s largest food and agro allied company, Flour Mills Nigeria. The Lagos-based food processing plant needs reliable electricity supply 24/7 and the new engines are scheduled to start full operations in early 2022.

GE’s H-class gas turbine has reached a milestone of accumulating more than 1,000,000 commercial operating hours. The heavy duty turbine was ordered by 50 customers to date and generated over 26 GW electricity.

Japan’s largest LNG importer JERA has invested in the operator of the 978 MW Linden Gas Power Generation Project which is partially fuelled by gas containing hydrogen. Phillips 66 is supplying the hydrogen and natural gas mix to the Power Unit 6 from its nearby Bayway Oil Refinery in New Jersey.

Investment in solid state batteries is surging with technologies close to mass production and the overall market may well grow to over $8 billion by 2031, IDTechEx forecasts. Replacing liquid electrolytes with solid-state counterparts pushes the energy density beyond 1,000 Watt-hours per litre (Wh/L), while enhancing operational safety and durability.

Industrial gas company Air Products will convert its global fleet of 2,000 trucks to run on hydrogen fuel cells. Cummins will provide the electric powertrains that will be integrated into the trucks starting from 2022 in a bid to decarbonise the transport sector.

Rising CO2 costs accelerate the coal exit in Germany. With the EU’s carbon price trading above €56 per ton, a lignite power station in Chemnitz will be shut early and the conservative chancellor candidate Armin Laschet suggested North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) “could manage [the coal exit] as early as 2030” – years before the mandatory exit date in 2038.

Capital expenditure of oil and gas companies will rise around 3% in 2021 before accelerating to 9% in 2022, Fitch Rating forecasts, though this is “not enough” to recover to pre-crisis levels. The pandemic had reduced 2020 corporate Capex by €36 billion, or about 7% compared to 2019 amid crippling lockdowns.

News in Brief

Thermoelectrics enters fast track

Aug 2 – Thermoelectrics cools, heats, makes electricity and sense. ID TechEx sees a real possibility of thermoelectric generators becoming viable in geothermal energy and other high-power applications. New research scrutinizes 90 companies involved, from patents to research papers, product offerings, and financials.

Mining site used for solar PV

July 30 – German lignite operator Leag takes advantage of the country's coal phase-out by using part of the Jänschwalde opencast mine to build a 400 MW solar power. Construction for the ‘Energy Park Bohrau’ is slated to begin in 2023 with a view to go into operation in 2024.

Howden powers methanol plant

July 29 – Howden will deliver a hydrogen compressor to Johnson Matthey to serve the world’s first methanol plant that harnesses energy from the wind, in Patagonia, Chile. The Haru Oni project will deliver around 900,000 litres per year of e-methanol as early as 2022 and will be scaled up to 550 million litres of e-fuels per year by 2026.

Bloom SOFCs to power micro plant in South Korea

July 28 – California-based Bloom Energy, in cooperation with SK ecoplant, will install solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) in a combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Donghae City, South Korea. The CHP will provide heat and warm water for the nearby Bukpyung sports center. Construction on the project is slated to start this autumn.

Shanghai Electric to digitalise factories

July 27 – Shanghai Electric has entered a partnership with AI Investment Fund at the WAIC 2021 conference to provide digital solutions to industrial parks and medical institutions. Yang Hong, Vice President of Shanghai Electric said the aim is to help industries to minimise emissions and waste while maintaining low unit costs.

Slow LNG uptake in Africa

July 26 – In Africa, the uptake of LNG imports to new markets has been slow. Both Ghana’s 1.7 million tons per annum (mtpa) Tema LNG and Senegal’s 1.0 mtpa Dakar Powership are still awaiting their first LNG deliveries, though their respective FSRUs Vasant and Karmol LNGt Powership Africa have been in place since June.

Growth in turbine air filtration tops 3%

July 22 – The turbine air filtration market is expected to grow 3.27% annually from $1.92 billion in 2020 to reach $2.29 billion in 2026. Demand from the oil & gas industry and electric utilities had plunged during the corona crisis and subsequent economic downturn, but the latest trend towards clean energy is driving robust growth for turbine air filtration which can be widely and easily applied in the power sector.

US oil exports stay high

July 21 – Despite volatile prices, U.S. crude oil exports reached a record high in 2020 and remained strong this year, averaging 3.51 million barrels per day (b/d). Expanded ports at Houston and Corpus Christi allow for oil to be exported from the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Basin.

CVEC to be converted to hydrogen

July 20 – Cricket Valley Energy Center (CVEC) is taking steps to run the  combined-cycle plants on hydrogen. Works to convert the plant will be carried out by GE and are scheduled to start in late 2022. One of three GE 7F.05 gas turbines at CVEC will be introduced to a 5% hydrogen blend with natural gas.

MAN ETES labelled solar impulse efficient

July 16 – MAN Electro-Thermal Energy Storage (ETES) was attributed the “Solar Impulse Efficient Solution” label by independent auditors. In January, the German manufacturer supplied to ETES heat pumps to DIN Forsyning for a heat and power plant in the Danish port city Esbjerg.

Electricity sales to US industry rebounds

July 14 – Economic recovery has caused a 5.1% rise electricity sales to US industry this year, dwarfing 2.8% more retail sales and a 2.1% rise in the commercial sector as many office workers continue working from home. The US Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) acting administrator, Steve Nalley, called the rebound in electricity sales to industry a “strong sign of rising levels of economic output as the Covid-19 pandemic recedes.”

Solar PV to triple in Asia by 2030

July 13 – Asia Pacific solar photovoltaic capacity could triple to 1,500 gigawatts (GW) by 2030. According to Wood Mackenzie estimates, China will add 619 GW of mainly utility-scale capacity while most other nations in Asia prefers distributed solar due to land constraints. Solar PV tends to be backed up by flexible gas gensets and energy storage, forming hybrid power units.

Kinder Morgan closes on Stagecoach assets

July 12 – US energy infrastructure major Kinder Morgan has closed its acquisition of Stagecoach Gas Services. The deal include 4 gas storage facilities with a 41 bcf working gas capacity and a transmission network with multiple interconnects to major interstate pipelines, including Tennessee Gas Pipeline. The Stagecoach assets add to Kinder Morgan’s approximately 83,000 miles of pipelines and 144 terminals.

Dortmund cancels electrotechnik fair

July 9 – The elektrotechnik fair, planned for 29 September to 1 October 2021, will now not be taking place in Dortmund due to requests from the industry. The next trade fair for building, industrial, energy and lighting technology will now open its doors again in spring 2023.

Hitachi to change name of ABB Power Grids

July 7 – Hitachi ABB Power Grids will become Hitachi Energy in October. The Japanese manufacturer bought a controlling stake in ABB’s grid business a year ago and is about to fully take the name of the merged company while expanding its direction towards e-mobility and data centres.

Tapping wind energy for hydrogen

July 6 – Spanish utility Naturgy and the gas grid operator Enagás are evaluating the use of 350 MW offshore and onshore wind capacity to produce green hydrogen. The fuel will be used to decarbonise the steel industry and shipyard in northwest Spain.

EU seeks to expand Green Deal to Africa

July 5 – The European Green Deal should be expanded to also include African states as partners, the German development minister Gerd Müller said. Green hydrogen production in Africa, in his view, should be a “cornerstone for economic cooperation with the Europe.”

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