Daily News


Desertec, a project to transmit electricity generated by solar plants in the Sahara Desert to Europe, might be revived although in a different form. This time, the idea supported by the European Union is to use solar power to produce green hydrogen in northern Africa and Spain to accelerate Europe’s independence from Russian energy imports.

Uniper has selected Thomasssen Energy and PSM to retrofit one gas turbine at Unit 3 of Rotterdam Capelle (RoCa3) power plant with the HyFlex LEC-II combustion system, capable to run on a blend of natural gas and hydrogen. RoCa3 is a combined-cycle power unit, driven by a Frame 9E gas turbine, which will co-fire up to 30% hydrogen.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has launched a study, known as ‘Hydrogen to Infinity (H2∞)’, to examine the potential of blending hydrogen into a gas transmission pipeline. Researchers will investigate the injection and storage of different hydrogen blends in the pipeline and its combustion in NCPA’s Lodi Energy Center, powered by a Siemens 5000F4 gas turbine.

The German government is preparing to support and partially fund up to      4 GW electrolyser capacity to help ensure the country gets back on track for its ‘climate neutrality by 2025’ target. Hydrogen-producing electrolysers between 20 MW and 100 MW capacity can receive Capex support.

Long Ridge Energy Terminal in Ohio, home to a 485 MW combined-cycle power plant, is where a GE HA-class gas turbine has for the first time been co-fired with hydrogen in a commercially operating generator. Following the completion of blending tests, the CCGT is now partially running on hydrogen produced as a by-product at a nearby industry.

Three Japanese energy majors – ENEOS, JERA and JFE – strive to set up a hydrogen and ammonia receiving and supply base at Keihin waterfront in Kanagawa Prefecture in the greater Tokyo area. Hydrogen and ammonia emit no CO2 during combustion so both fuels will be used at scale to clean up power generation and petrochemical processes.

Plug Power has awarded an order to Atlas Copco to provide compressors and expanders for two 15 tons per day (tpd) green hydrogen liquefaction plants to be built in Texas, US. The new plants will make use of the cryogenic process technology, developed by Joule, to reduce the cost of liquified hydrogen by 25%.

Berlin Moabit will be home to industrial production of Siemens Energy’s electrolysers for green hydrogen, based on a €30 million investment into new automated manufacturing lines. The first modules are scheduled to be put together in 2023 and the aim is to scale them up to 1 GW units.

Mitsubishi Power is working to make its gas turbines run on a 30:70 mix of hydrogen and natural gas as soon as 2025. This technology change is triggered by the EU Taxonomy for Sustainable Activities, requiring power generators to co-fire gas turbines with least 30% hydrogen from 2026, with the ratio rising to 50% by 2030.

GE has started to assess the hydrogen readiness of Uniper’s combined-cycle power plant (1,365 MW) on the Isle of Grain, UK. The gas-fired plant will run on hydrogen blends up to 40% by volume, once all existing GT26 turbines are modified to accommodate the zero-emission fuel.

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has agreed with the Uniper to study the transport of hydrogen to Germany, using Hydrogenious’ Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier (LOHC) technology. Joined by JERA Americas, the parties seek to scale up LOHC tech to ship hydrogen worldwide.

The project pipeline for new electrolyser capacity in Europe has increased to over 6 GW – a staggering 375%, or 4.4 GW, rise of ventures meant to come online by the end of 2024. But only few projects will go ahead, Delta-EE warns, unless developers and project sponsors get more clarity this year on national subsidies schemes and funding support.

Steelmakers in Europe, China, Japan and South Korea strive to decarbonize by producing a larger share of steel with electric arc furnaces, using renewable hydrogen instead of coal. Analysts at the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) expect renewable-sourced hydrogen to reach cost parity with fossil fuel-based hydrogen in 2030.

MAN Energy Solutions has decided to spend up to €500 million to transform its subsidiary H-TEC SYSTEMS to into a mass-producer of PEM electrolysers. The technically proven PEM electrolyser can make hydrogen at industrial scale from renewables – the next step is to scale it up for mass production as the trend goes towards multi-Gigawatt projects.

Germany’s biggest power generator RWE and independent petroleum producer Neptune Energy have agreed to develop H2opZee – a green hydrogen plant in the Dutch North Sea. The project will combine 300 to 500 MW electrolyser capacity, using offshore wind, with the hydrogen to be transported to land through an existing pipeline with up to 12 GW capacity.

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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.