Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions (ESS) has started a survey to develop applications and use of its hydrogen-based H2One energy supply system, targeting isolated regions on islands in Indonesia and the Philippines. H2One utilizes renewable energy and hydrogen-powered fuel cells to deliver CO2-free electricity and hot water supply.

Air Products plans to build a new liquid hydrogen plant with a capacity of 30 tons per day at its industrial gas facility in La Porte, Texas. Scheduled for commissioning in 2021, the plant will liquefy hydrogen from Air Product’s existing 600-mile Gulf Coast pipeline system and deliver the liquid product to customers in various industries including petrochemical, metals, oil & gas and electric utilities.

As the difference in fuel cost between coal and LNG narrows, South Korean electric utilities increasingly opt for cleaner-burning natural gas. In H1-2018, about 41% of the country’s electricity came from coal, 28.8% from LNG and 21.5% from nuclear, according to the Korean government’s Electric Power Statistics Information System (EPSIS).

Enagás and the regional government of Aragon have agreed to collaborate on the projects for the use of renewable gases such as hydrogen, biogas and biomethane. The aim is to save energy and enhance efficient use of renewables, while fostering the coherent and effective development of energy infrastructure.

Royal Dutch Shell has increased its investment in research on hydrogen production through electrolysis as well as pilot projects, singling out the fuel as "one of the world’s energy pathways to reach the emission reduction targets of the Paris Agreement." The share of hydrogen in final energy consumption is forecast to rise from less than 1% before 2040 to 6% by 2070.

Alan Finkel, Australia’s chief scientist, has highlighted the country’s potential to become a world leader in energy storage, including renewable hydrogen. Large-scale deployment of energy storage, however, requires a smarter electricity grid and mechanisms to empower consumers to manage their costs.

Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) has joined forces with Énergir, a Canadian gas utility, along with French utilities GRDF and GRTgaz, focusing on research into clean energy sources. Targeted innovations include renewable natural gas, solar-powered hydrogen generation, fuel cells, power-to-gas and energy storage.

Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions and Iwatani have teamed up to establish the viability of a locally-based hydrogen supply chain in Japan’s Hokkaido prefecture. Specifically for this project, Toshiba ESS constructed a small-scale hydropower project whose electricity is being used to electrolyze water and separate hydrogen, which is then transported by Iwatani to generate electricity, using Toshiba fuel cells.

German utility Uniper, part of E.ON Group, has launched a pilot scheme to produce methane gas from wind power at its Falkenhagen site in Brandenburg this week. The plant, commissioned five years ago, already produces green hydrogen by using wind energy to split water into oxygen and hydrogen. Methane gas, meanwhile, is of a higher quality and has a wider variety of uses.

Technology changes that come with the energy transition are far-reaching, notably for power grid operators tasked with having to keep the balance between supply and demand. ENGIE is aiming for is a “full 3D” system that is 100% decentralized, 100% decarbonized and 100% digitalized.

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News in Brief

Rolls-Royce conducts laser field tests in the US

May 18 – Rolls-Royce has successfully conducted laser field tests to demonstrate ‘deep magazine’ power capability for directed applications in connection with Lockheed Martin’s layered laser defense project. Deep magazine power can be provided by a battery-only system, but the Rolls-Royce ColdFire system includes both battery-powered and near-continuous firing modes provided by M250 gas turbine engines.

Gas vs oil ratio increases in the Bakken

May 17 – The ratio of natural gas to crude oil production has risen in North Dakota’s Bakken region since 2008, and continues to accelerate. According to the US Energy Information Administration's (EIA) Drilling Productivity Report, annual gas gross withdrawals in the Bakken increased by 9% to an annual high of 2.97 Bcf/d in 2021, even though the region’s crude oil production fell by 6%.

Middle East shifts to gas power

May 16 – The Middle East, a region vulnerable to climate change, is undergoing a major shift from petroleum-based power plants towards gas-fired generation and renewable power sources. Capacity additions of over 185.46 GW are the pipeline, according to ResearchandMarkets, as the regions electricity demand for industry and residential cooling is set to grow. In fact, cooling already accounts for 70% of residential power demand.

Carbon utilisation in strong demand

May 13 – The market for carbon utilisation is forecast to grow rapidly from the 2030s onwards to surpass $285 billion by 2042, driven by rising climate commitments and a favourable regulatory framework. In its latest report IDTechEx also highlights the role of technology advances such as thermodynamics which help sequester CO2 permanently.

MTU gensets approved for biofuels

May 12 – Rolls-Royce has gained approval to use synthetic fuels in its MTU Series 4000 and Series 1600 diesel engines for power generation application. Field testing confirmed both engines can use a range of sustainable fuels including biomass-to-liquid, hydrotreated vegetable oil and power-to-liquid fuels such as e-diesel.

E.ON tells Germans how to save gas

May 11 – A large-scale switch to heat pumps, solar power and better demand-side management could help save Germany nearly 100 TWh of natural gas per year, E.ON has said, calling on households to contribute to Europe’s efforts to reduce reliance on Russian gas imports. “If 10% of the homes in Germany are equipped with solar PV installations, 20% of gas boilers are replaced by heat pumps, and the average temperature in all households is reduced by one degree Celsius on average, this would lead to natural gas savings of 103 TWh per year," E.ON Energy CEO Filip Thon said, noting this volume would equate to about 30% of Germany’s current gas imports from Russia.

Exelon Q1 earnings lower following Constellation cave-out

May 10 – Exelon has reported lower first quarter earnings and a higher operating revenue, having completed the separation of Constellation Energy – Excelon’s former power gen business. Focussing now solely on transmission and distribution, Exelon’s net income from continuing operations for the first quarter of 2022 decreased to $0.49 per share from $0.53 a share in pre-year period. In contrast, adjusted operating earnings notched up to $0.64 per share, primarily due to due to higher electric distribution earnings at ComEd from higher rate base and higher allowed electric distribution. Rate increases at Excelon’s group companies PECO, BGE, and PHI were partially offset by higher depreciation expenses at BGE and PHI.

South Africa to add 2.6 GW of new capacity

May 9 – South Africa’s Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, has just announced the REIPPPP BW6 Request for Proposals (RFP).  The bid round will add 2,600 MWs of new capacity to the energy mix. The ministry seeks to procure 11,813 MW of electricity from various power sources including renewable energy, storage, gas and coal.

GE Gas Power authorized as CVE Numbering Authority

May 6 – GE Gas Power’s increased focus on cybersecurity has been recognized by the Common Vulnerability and Exposures Programm as a ‘CVE Numbering Authority (CNA).  As such, GE Gas Power can now assign CVE identification numbers to newly discovered vulnerabilities potentially related to its products and allow GE Gas Power to directly publish new CVE Records and streamline the reporting process.

Heliogen gets nearly $90m in funding

May 5 – Heliogen has moved from design into testing and implementation of its supercritical CO2 power gen system that will be deployed for Woodside in California. The system consists of a 5 MWe sCO2 power block integrated with high temperature solid media thermal energy storage. The demonstration project is being funded with up to $50 million from Woodside, along with $39 million from the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE).

Capstone to install microturbine in the Caribbean

May 4 – E-Finity Distributed Generation, Capstone's distributor for the Mid-Atlantic, Southeastern United States and the Caribbean, has secured an order for two C1000S microturbines for a government water authority in the Caribbean. The 2 MW system will provide emergency standby power to several pumping stations throughout the remote island community and is scheduled to be commissioned towards the end of 2022.

Forecasting solar and energy storage in CAISO

May 3 – Marubeni has chosen Veritone’s AI-based distributed energy resource management solution (iDERMS) to provide price, demand and generation forecasts at their pilot project in the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) SP-15 region. In addition to day-ahead and real-time generation figures, Veritone will also forecast production and demand for the overall CAISO region.

Forecasting solar and energy storage in CAISO

May 2 – Marubeni has chosen Veritone’s AI-based distributed energy resource management solution (iDERMS) to provide price, demand and generation forecasts at their pilot project in the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) SP-15 region. In addition to day-ahead and real-time generation figures, Veritone will also forecast production and demand for the overall CAISO region.

Steam turbines in high demand

April 29 – The market for steam turbines for power generation will grow around 6.5% through to 2027, driven by the build-out of combined-cycle gas power plants – notably in Asia and the United States, ResearchAndMarkets finds. Coal power projects in China, India and Bangladesh also require significant numbers of steam turbines. “Many of the countries in Asia-Pacific cannot provide 24-hour electricity to its citizens, and the cheapest way to achieve the objective is to build thermal [coal power] plants and use steam turbines,” analysts commented.

LNG-fuelled power for Antigua

April 28 – Antigua Power Company Limited (APCL) has contracted Wärtsilä to supply and install a 46 MW dual-fuel power plant on the Caribbean island. The plant will operate primarily on regasified LNG, imported through a small-scale import terminal developed by U.S.-based Eagle LNG in partnership with APCL.

ION launches risk analyser

April 27 – ION Commodities has built a cloud-based solution – FEA Analyzer – to help energy and commodity firms transition to new renewable energy markets while simultaneously optimizing trading strategies and supply chains. The tool combines pre-trade analytics with risk management and asset optimization, all powered by predictive analytics and stochastic models. 

Capstone to service 600kV microturbine

April 26 – Capstone has landed a rental contract for a 600 kilowatt (kW) microturbine-based system with one of the largest energy infrastructure companies in North America. Due for commissioning in mid-May 2022, the plant will supply power to remote mid-stream operations along the customer's gas pipeline in Colorado.