Energy Storage

The UK capacity auctions, held in December last year, have drawn criticism from energy storage developers as a missed opportunity to support new storage technologies. The government secured 49.26 GW of capacity at a clearing price of £19.40/kW but despite initial promises many energy storage plants were unable to bid.

South African authorities have approved plans by Saudi power plant developer ACWA Power and renewable consortium SolarReserve to develop a 100 MW solar thermal project in the country along with cutting edge molten salt energy storage technology.

Energy storage is out competing backup gas power to provide peaking power in some markets within California. A total of 264 MW was selected by utility Southern California Edison (SCE) in recent tenders as strict air-pollution controls make gas peaking plants more expensive than batteries in some cases.

Nov 11 – After an increase of 2,734 Bcf during the April 1 to October 31 injection season, U.S. working natural gas in storage ended October at 3,571 billion cubic feet (Bcf), according to EIA figures.
"Higher gas production means that even if this winter were as cold as last year, EIA expects that natural gas storage at the end of March 2015 will be above its March 2014 level," analysts said.

Japanese technology developer Toshiba has won a contract to supply service provider Eneres a total of 10,000 energy storage systems, each with a maximum output of 10 kW and a capacity of 9.9 kWh. The systems will be used to bolster output from independent power producers.

Oct 8 – Seeking to combine poweOct 8 – Seeking to combine power storage with rising renewable energy supply, U.S. power producer Duke Energy has added battery storage to a large wind farm in Texas. Duke's 36 MW Notrees battery storage project is America's largest battery storage project at a wind farm.r storage with rising renewable energy supply, U.S. power producer Duke Energy has added battery storage to a large wind farm in west Texas.

Conventional gas- and coal-fired power generators are seen to be the biggest losers from an upcoming energy storage boom, as both consumers and grid operators look to employ battery and other storage technologies to preserve intermittent renewable energy supply, a new HSBC report finds.

Sept 8 – ABB and China's BYD have entered a strategic collaboration to develop new solutions for energy storage, used to backstop the fast ramp up of renewables with energy storage in off-grid and on-grid solutions.

ABB's products and technology for grid storage, electric vehicle charging and integrated marine systems, combined with BYD's knowledge in battery technology, "can broadly address worldwide energy storage requirements," the companies said.

Modelling from the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) suggests that large scale power storage systems utilising gas may be a reality in the next 3 years. ”First prototypes for new products will be 12 months from now with industrial implementation in 24 to 26 months,” Pasi Vainikka, principal scientists at VTT told Gas to Power Journal.

Operator WEMAG plans to start operations of a 5-megawatt battery-based energy storage in Schwerin, northeast Germany, this autumn with a view to earning money with the balancing of grid fluctuations.

New electrolysis stack technology from Canadian developer Hydrogenics offers a megawatt conversion capacity of 85%, paving the way for advanced gas power energy storage. "Creating a highly efficient link between the electrical grid and the natural gas system power to gas unlocks the massive energy storage capacity which we have already built and paid for," Daryl Wilson, chief executive at Hydrogenics told Gas to Power Journal.

UK-based research firm Highview Power Storage and GE Oil & Gas have announced a licencing and technology collaboration agreement to develop large-scale liquid air energy storage (LAES) systems. The technology is “ideally suited” for gas-fired peaker power plants, according to GE who struck the partnership to explore opportunities to improve operations of existing plants through the addition of energy storage.

Feb 19 – The German government has awarded €6.5 billion for E.ON's 5-megawatt energy storage project, named M5BAT (modular multi-megawatt multi-technology medium-voltage battery storage).

Works on the power storage will start in the autumn and E.ON said it expects the facility to start operation in 2015.

The project is a unique battery storage system, E.ON said and will focus on "renewables integration, testing of distributed regulating energy provision to promote grid stability, and power price arbitrage."

Renewable gas – in the form of biogas, syngas or hydrogen – is intended to cover a 5% of Denmark's gas demand by 2020. To achieve this goal, the character of the gas pipelines transmission system needs to change from being a carrier of natural gas to becoming an energy storage system.

A 500 kilowatt-hour peak load shifting unit is to be installed at the Discovery Science Center in Southern California by GE as part of efforts to reduce peak demand on the grid. The GE storage and Princeton Power Systems (PPS) inverter control system is expected to shift 10-20% of daily electrical load to off-peak time periods, freeing up peakload power supply for other users.

Page 10 of 12

News in Brief

ExxonMobil enhances turbine oils

Jan 17 – New high performance turbine oils, developed by ExxonMobil Lubricants, are  entering the market which are formulated to prevent build-up of lacquer, varnish and deposits. The oils are designed to protect against thermal and oxidative degradation, one of the root causes of deposit build-up.

Wärtsilä signs O&M deals in the Bahamas

Jan 16 – Following the commissioning of a Wärtsilä-built 132 MW power plant in Bahamas in December, the Finish manufacturer now signed a two-year operation and maintenance (O&M) accord with the plant owner, the Bahamas Power and Light Company (BPL). Wärtsilä will transition, train, and develop the owner’s Bahamian work force and provide key performance guarantees.

China, S'Korea curtail coal to tackle air pollution

Jan 15 – Beijing city government’s aggressive approach to tackling air pollution is working and South Korea’s spring coal-fired curtailments show some success in cutting seasonal emissions. According to Wood Mackenzie, this should benefit LNG, particularly while spot prices remain low.

Sri Lanka at brink of power shortages

Jan 14 – Sri Lanka could face power cuts by March, after plans for a large-scale coal power plant were been cancelled just prior to start of construction, and a tender for a 300 MW diesel plants ended up in court. On the demand side, pressure is building up as the region is moving into the dry season in February and March. Weather warnings say the island is likely to receive lower than average rainfall in the first quarter of 2020.

Caterpillar’s new genset comply with UK & German grid codes

Jan 13 – Caterpillar Inc. has launched a series of new generator sets that comply with the new G99 United Kingdom, VDE-AR-N 4110 German and Belgium C10/C11 grid codes. The following gensets – G3500H, CG132B, CG170, and CG260 (rated from 280-4,500kVA) – have been verified to be able to accommodate different reactive power modes, active power functions, and connection conditions for normal operation or reconnection after mains decoupling.

Transneft launches battery-based power supply for ILI tools

Jan 10 – Transneft Diascan, the largest Russian inspection service provider for pipelines, has developed and put into operation a power supply system for in-line inspection (ILI) tools based on rechargeable batteries. Flaw detectors performing inspections of trunk oil pipelines, gas pipelines and oil product pipelines can now use the energy from rechargeable batteries, which helps save time and reduces the cost of in-line inspection.

Pavilion starts trading LNG out of Madrid

Jan 9 – Singapore-based Pavilion Energy has completed the acquisition of all gas and LNG assets of the Spanish utility Iberdrola. From its new European headquarters in Madrid, Pavilion said has launched 2020 LNG trading operations with supplies focusing on Spain and the UK market.

Gazprom extends gas transits via Belarus until 2021

Jan 8 – Gazprom and Gazprom Transgaz Belarus have sealed additional agreements to extend the contracts for gas supplies to and gas transportation across Belarus until 2021. According to the newly-signed documents, the contractual supply and transit volumes in 2020 will remain at the level of 2019.

EastMed pipeline to take FID by 2022

Jan 7 – Greece, Cyprus and Israel have signed an agreement to build the 1,900-kilometre EastMed pipeline at an estimated cost of 6 billion Euros. The subsea pipeline, spanning over 1,900-kilometres would initially carry 10 Bcm of gas per annum from Israeli and Cypriot waters to Crete and then on to the Greek mainland and into the European gas network via Italy. A final investment decision (FID) is meant to be reached in 2022, given that the pipeline is scheduled for completion by 2025.

U.S. energy-related emissions drop over 2%

Jan 6 – Fewer emissions from coal consumption, combined with lower energy demand, have helped to significantly reduce the overall energy-related carbon emissions in the United States. According to government statistics, energy-related CO2 emissions fell 2.2 percent last year, and the downward trend is forecast to continue into 2020.

Brent crude prices surge

Jan 3 – North Sea Brent crude prices have risen to their highest level since September 2019, up nearly $3 per barrel because of Middle East tensions coupled with improved Chinese economic forecasts. Brent crude futures for March 2020 delivery were last seen trading at 69.21 per barrel the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE). This bullish price sentiment will feed through to oil-indexed natural gas contracts and LNG deliveries, linked to the Japanese crude cocktail (JCC) basket price.

IEA says coal’s fate tied to Asia

Dec 23 – Rapid rise of wind and solar power in many parts of the world has pushed coal-fired power generation into steep decline in most developed countries. "But this is not the end of coal, since demand continues to expand in Asia," analysts at the International Energy Agency commented: "The region’s share of global coal power generation has climbed from just over 20 percent in 1990 to almost 80 percent in 2019, meaning coal’s fate is increasingly tied to decisions made in Asian capitals."

Drop in coal-burn makes Germany edge closer to climate targets

Dec 20 – In 2019, Germany managed to increase its greenhouse gas emissions for the second year in a row, mainly due to a 20 percent drop of coal use for power generation and a growing contribution from renewables. Energy savings and efficiency increases also helped. According to calculations by energy research group AG Energiebilanzen (AGEB), Germany’s primary energy consumption declined by 2.3 percent this year, overall energy use fell more than 2 percent, and energy-related CO2 emissions fell by as much as 7 percent.

Glencore buys Orsted’s lgas business unit

Dec 19 – UK-listed mining company Glencore has agreed to take over a loss-making natural gas business from Orsted, including long-term import capacity at the Gate regas terminal in Rotterdam and five other LNG purchase agreements. “The transaction entails a payment from Orsted to Glencore and will result in a loss that exceeds our current provision related to the LNG activities,” stated Copenhagen-based Orsted without disclosing the value of the transaction.

Carbon-intensive firms may shed over 40% in value

Dec 18 – Energy- and carbon-emissions intensive companies could lose up to 43% of their value if national governments enact more stringent policies to reduce air pollution and tackle climate change. Companies using green energy, in contrast, could gain up to 33% in value, research by the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) finds.

COP25 – a “lost opportunity”

Dec 17 – UN Secretary António Gutierrez has dismissed the outcome of the COP25 climate talks in Madrid as “disappointing” and “lost opportunity“. Some of the world’s largest emitters, including Australia, Brazil, China and Saudi Arabia had joined the U.S. in pushing for accounting loopholes to weaken commitments to reduce emissions in the transport and power generation sector.

Industry produces over 13% of Germany’s electricity

Dec 16 – Decentralized power generation at industrial sites keeps rising in Germany. According to the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), industry produced 55 Terawatt-hours (TWh) of in 2018, meaning local units of mining and manufacturing generated 12.6 percent of the country's gross electricity output, mostly from gas-fired power units. The use of gas as a fuel for industrial power plants has consequently risen from around 35 percent to almost 50 percent over the last ten years.