French utility Engie has sold its shareholding in Thailand’s Glow Energy to the PTT unit Global Power Synergy for net proceeds of €2.6 billion. With the disposal, Engie will no longer operate any coal-fired assets in Asia-Pacific and reduces its installed coal power capacity by 14% globally.
Risk of a trade war with China is affecting U.S. President Trump’s homeland, after China threatened to levy tariffs on imports of crude oil, natural gas and refined products from the United States. If imposed, these tariffs would be a big deal given that China just emerged as the largest importer of U.S. crude oil and a key LNG offtaker.
Rick Perry, the U.S. Secretary of Energy, is convinced “clean coal” will remain at the centre of his energy agenda, using “American innovation” to advance cleaner, cheaper coal which is also meant to help create jobs. Asked about President Trump’s favouritism of coal – in disregard of climate change concerns – Perry underlined “clean coal is not only pragmatic, but will become commonplace.”
Energy industry stakeholders have unanimously condemned U.S. President Trump’s latest market interference by directing the Department of Energy (DOE) to stop, what he calls, “impending retirements of fuel-secure power facilities.” Rebuking the move, several energy industry associates called the action “misguided” as it would be effectively subsidizing “failing coal and nuclear plants.”
Fossil fuel consumption in the U.S. power sector has fallen to a 23-year record low with a slightly offsetting increase in the use of natural gas, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) finds. Overall fossil fuel-burn for power generation fell to 22.5 quadrillion British thermal units (quads) in 2017, the lowest level since 1994.
China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) will unify China’s residential and industrial city-gate natural gas pricing systems from June 10 to better reflect rising demand and costs. The new mechanism will allow gas prices to rise by no more than 20% from a benchmark price, NDRC stated, which is “more flexible” than the existing one which since 2010 kept a ceiling on residential gas prices at at 1.4 yuan (about $0.22) per cubic metres.
South Korea coal-fired power plants will be mandated to meet a new 0.4% sulphur limit in coal consumption, effective from July 2018. The new law is meant to diversify the energy mix away from fossil power sources but WoodMackenzie analysts warn the new policy will push up the cost of power generation, impacting on electricity prices.
Dirty king coal is no longer vital for Germany’s security of power supply. In fact, about half of the country’s coal-fired power generation capacity could be shut down over the coming years if planned grid extension and the additional gas-fired plants start operating according to schedule, said Jochen Homann, head of the German energy regulator.
May 23 – Andrew M. Cuomo, the Governor of New York, has proposed new regulation that would establish emission limits strict enough to effectively end the use of coal for power generation by 2020. The proposal is now up for public comment, with three hearings on the matter scheduled in July.
Price-sensitive Japanese utilities prefer thermal coal over regasified LNG as they seek to minimize fuel costs for power generation. Consequently, Japan’s LNG imports fell 14.5% during the month of April to 5.60 million tonnes while import of thermal coal for power generation increased by 6.7% during April to 8.74 million tonnes, according to preliminary trade figures from the Japanese finance ministry.