Turning his back on former President Obama’s clean energy aspirations, the new FERC chairman Neil Chatterjee calls for coal to be “properly compensated” for baseload power and “recognized as an essential part of the fuel mix.” Asserting his commitment to the “resilience and reliability” of the US electric system, he said in a podcast released by FERC this week that ensuring security of supply would merit keeping even uneconomic coal and nuclear power plants operational. “These are essential to national security,” he claimed.
Falling costs for renewables and energy storage will squeeze out gas-fired generation in South Australia as early as 2025, Wood Mackenzie and GTM Research find. By then, wind, solar and battery costs are seen decline by 15%, 25% and 50% respectively – hence they offer a “lower cost alternative” to CCGTs, which cover the bulk of South Australia’s base load power today.
Future use of hybrid energy will lead to a consistent baseload, without the need for top-up via fossil fuels, anticipates Francesco Falco, chief commercial officer at GE Power Conversion.
"When using Silicon Carbide (SiC), – a diamond-like substance – instead of traditional silicon chips in a solar inverter, its high power density feature can reduce power losses by up to 50 percent," he explains.
Advancing much-needed power projects, the Philippines’ Department of Energy (DOE) has cleared 23 plant proposals for the conduct of a grid impact study (GIS) – a precondition before developers can proceed with the actual construction. If built, these projects will have a combined capacity of just over 2,750 MW.
California Independent System Operator (CAISO), the entity responsible for maintaining the balance between supply and demand for electricity throughout most of the state, had to resort to more power imports this summer as flexible gas generators could not fully balance the system amid fuel constraints.
Keen to curb corporate debts, Calpine Corp has agreed to sell its 375 MW Mankato combined-cycle gas power plant to Southern Power for $395.5 million plus working capital. The CCGT, located in Minnesota, provides electricity to Northern States Power under a 20-year tolling agreement through July 2026.
Jul 5 – Coal will keep covering most of baseload power supply in the Philippines, energy secretary Alfonso Cusi said in his first media briefing since President Rodrigo Duterte took office. "As a developing country we cannot afford not to have coal," Cusi said but was quick to add that the country would seek to boost the use of cleaner-burning fuels and renewables.
The corner may well have been turned for the European power sector, as many operators of fossil plants now focus on balancing markets. Grid services and flexible power supply is seen to remain essential in the medium- to long-term, industry experts at Power-Gen Europe agree, while gas use for baseload power will be very limited, indeed, notably in Europe as well as in parts of the U.S.
Falling gas prices and UK coal power stations, such as Eggborough and Ferrybridge, exiting the market has sparked a sharp rise in electricity generated from CCGTs in the first quarter of 2016. According to Enappsys analysis, gas-fired plants generated 32% more power than in the previous quarter while the contribution of coal generation fell by 18%.
Earnings of German utilities stay squeezed as power prices continue to drop for baseload and peak power contracts, both on a forward and on a settled basis. Societe Generale analysis anticipates prices are unlikely to recover in the next several quarters.