Sudden shutdown of six gas-fired power stations in Nigeria has brought the country on the brink of an energy crisis. The outages made power supply slump drops by 1,087 MW, as reported by the Nigerian Electricity System Operator (NESO). Load-shedding is currently imposed all across Nigeria to avoid a complete collapse of the power transmission network.
Competition in the U.S. power market keeps heating up with marketers supplying about 21% of retail electricity sold, up from just 11% in 2005. Investor-owned utilities, in contrast, lost market share from 62% in 2005 to currently just above 52%. According to EIA analysts, this shift was driven by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which closed the original federal regulatory structure established by New Deal-era legislation.
June 14 – Enel Group’s first utility-scale, stand-alone battery energy storage - the 25 MW/12.5 MWh Tynemouth project - is about to start operations, supported by a four-year contract with British System Operator National Grid to provide grid-balancing services. Enel bought the storage venture from Element Power in May 2017, and invested about 20 million Euros in the overall project, including construction.
The Swiss arm of MAN Diesel & Turbo has agreed with ABB Switzerland to jointly develop, produce and commercialize a three-way Electro-Thermal Energy Storage system (ETES). Based on so-called ‘charging cycle,’ the ETES uses surplus renewable-electricity to generate heat and cold for storage in insulated reservoirs.
June 8 – For electricity, the number of end-uses estimated in the EIA’s Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) has expanded from 4 to 26 by adding estimates for various types of equipment. Itemized estimates collectively cover 87% of residential electricity use.
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.”
June 7 – COGEN Europe, an industry lobby group, has underlined the sector’s commitment to a “cost-effective transition towards a sustainable future in Europe” by means of utilizing combined heat and power generation. CHP provides flexibility across heat, electricity and gas networks and sectors by relying on short, medium and long-term storage to balance energy supply and demand.
Bowing to industry pressure, the British government has indicated it will make a direct investment of public money into the much-contended Wylfa nuclear project in north Wales, backed by Hitachi. Critics dismiss this move as state aid, a reversal of 40 years of UK energy sector privatisation, and unfair prioritisation of nuclear power to the detriment of renewables and new gas-fired power projects.
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.”
With falling battery technology costs, BP’s Technology Outlook predicts that buying, running and fuelling electric cars in Europe will become competitive with internal combustion engine-driven models before 2050. The question is, however, whether there are enough resources of lithium and cobalt globally for a battery-powered future.