Intermittency issues of wind and solar power supply are feared to jeopardize the stability of the U.S. power grid. To remedy this issue scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed an “air-breathing” battery storage that, at the cheapest, run about $100 per kilowatt hour (kWh) and function only in certain locations.
Low global LNG prices have improved the economics in China to generate electricity from natural gas instead of coal, and the subsequent surge in pipeline gas and LNG imports also increased the number of landed cargoes from the United States. According to the latest figures by the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, the worth of US LNG exports in Jan-July 2017 exceeded $139 million, already 2% more than the 2016 total.
In 2018, energy-related CO2 emissions forecast to rise for each fossil fuel—petroleum, natural gas, and coal—for a total increase of 111 million metric tons. According to EIA’s Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), this rise in energy-related emissions is caused by an overall rise in electricity output, and reverses a 3-year trend of falling emissions in the power sectors.
US manufacturers Koch Industries and Dow Chemical are lobbying against the plan of Energy Secretary Rick Perry to subsidize nuclear and coal as a fuel for power generation. In a letter to Congress, manufacturers dismissed the Department of Energy’s (DoE) plan as “anti-competitive” and said it could distort or “destroy competitive wholesale electricity markets and increase the price of electricity to all consumers.”
German multinational Siemens the US firm Chromalloy Gas Turbine Corp. will be offering 350 new jobs at a manufacturing plant in Hillsborough county, Florida, Gov. Rick Scott announced. The advanced airfoil JV, set up in May this year, will create turbine blades and vane cast components for use in power generation in the United States. Production is due to start by the end of 2018.
Growth in renewable power generation is forecast to be twice as large as that of natural gas and coal combined. According to projections by the International Energy Agency (IEA), the share of renewables in power generation will rise from 24% last year to exceed 30% by 2022.
Rising exports of “abundant US natural gas” is estimated to support up to 452,000 new jobs and give a $73 billion boost to the economy by 2040 – at a “minimal impact on the natural gas prices,” according to a study by the American Petroleum Institute (API). The resource base is now seen as “larger, less expensive and more price responsive,“ API Chief Strategy Officer Marty Durbin commented.
Ineos Group, the operator of Scotland’s Grangemouth oil refinery, has condemned a decision to ban shale extraction in Scotland saying the government “turned its back on a potential manufacturing and jobs renaissance.” Operations director Tom Pickering warned Scottland will miss out on an estimated 3,100 jobs – and “it will be England that reaps the benefits.”
Integrating North America’s abundant shale gas resources into global markets keeps prices subdued: NBP averaged at $10/mmBtu in 2011-14 and by 2016 lost more than half of its value, hovering around $4.63/mmBtu. According to Societe Generale analysis, natural gas is now in a unique position to help regions transition away from coal- and oil-fuelled power generation.
Commentators have openly rebuked US Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s proposal for a bailout of coal and nuclear power plants. In a letter to FERC, Perry had directed the regulator to set up a rule, offering plants that can store 90 day’s worth of fuel onsite some extra compensation. Critics dismissed this plan as “nuts” as it would interfere in America’s unregulated wholesale power market, effectively reducing the price of electricity generated from burning coal.