The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved debt financing and partial risk guarantees worth $583 million to help Reliance of India develop a $1billion project in Bangladesh, consisting of an LNG import terminal near Kutubdia Island and adjacent gas power generation.
The technology group Wärtsilä is witnessing the growing importance of utilities as a customer segment, alongside independent power producers. “Utility-scale solar projects with a full Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) are growing fast, and gas-fired power plants remains stable,” the Finnish manufacturer said. Geographically, it sees the highest demand growth the demand for EPC contractors in Africa and South-America.
Success of the global energy revolution – the shift from fossil to low-carbon power generation – hinges on the quality of the cable that underpins. Yet an estimated 20% of all cables in the UK are either sub-standard, counterfeit or non-approved. Pointing out the risks of such shortcomings, Jean-Sébastien Pelland, Director of Eland Cables said: “For a project, sub-standard cables can result in downtime, reliability issues and ballooning maintenance costs at best and major safety hazards at worst, as well as potential environmental damage.”
In Ireland, Germany and the United Kingdom, the share of wind and solar in total generation will exceed 25% over the next five years. Come 2050, the International Energy Agency (IEA) expects that by 2050 up to 32% of electricity generated will be variable, putting greater stress on reliability.
Uncertainty over gas demand growth for power generation in Virginia and North Carolina may put at risk the development of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, proposed in 2014 by a joint venture of Dominion, Duke, Piedmont Natural Gas and AGL Resources. Though developers say 79% of the pipeline capacity has been contracted, analysts from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) caution that projections for demand growth are overoptimistic.
Britain’s has embarked on a difficult process of untangling its economic ties with the European Union which may put the construction of three planned EU-UK gas interconnection pipelines at risk. Thierry Bros, OIES research fellow, pointed out the UK needs to “reshape its energy diplomacy” as it will have to negotiate gas supplies with both the EU and Norway, which supplies some 38% of its gas, in the future.
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.
Risk of power cuts in Britain seems unheard of for most electricity customers. But if coal power capacity comes off the grid more quickly than in 7 to 10 years’ time, subsidy-free renewables expand, and less interconnectors get built in the wake of Brexit – fast-ramping gas generator sets are best placed to fill the supply gap, Phil Grant partner at Baringa consultancy told industry stakeholders at the Finish embassy in London.
Europe’s first medium-voltage direct current (MVDC) link will be supplied by GE as part of Scottish Power’s grid extension in Anglesey and North Wales. The Angle-DC project aims to demonstrate a novel network reinforcement technique by converting an existing 33-kilovolt (kV) AC circuit to direct current (DC) operation.
Issuing a stark warning about the risk of power shortages from 2018, Sri Lanka's energy regulator has called on utilities to immediately start construction works for a first series of approved power plant projects. Pressure to add much-needed capacity has been put in particular on Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB), Sri Lanka’s main energy supplier.