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.
Networked technologies and rising digitisation create efficiencies in energy management, but these benefits come with increased vulnerabilities, in particular due to the automation of Industrial Control Systems (ICS). Attacks on ICSs could lead to loss of control of key equipment, a report issued by the World Energy Council warns.
Irish utility Electricity Supply Board (ESB) is unlikely to start commercial operation for its 880 MW Carrington combined-cycle gas power plant project before September. First commercial gas deliveries to site are due in the week commencing March 7, synchronisation will start in week 11, ESB said, so National Grid forecasts full generation could be reached just after the summer.
To ensure “peace of mind” for industrial and household electricity customers in Britain, the UK government plans to start its capacity trading market one year earlier than planned. This move is meant to avert blackouts in the coming winter as closure of major coal power stations is adding supply-side risk. Now, an early capacity auction has been pencilled in for January 2017, for delivery in winter 2017/18.
One in four in Germany’s nearly 1,000 municipal utilities, so-called Stadtwerke, face financial woes due to depressed wholesale power prices, reduced runtime hours of their thermal fleet and rising debts. Cash injections by their municipal owners would help, a KPMG study suggests, – but those are far from certain.
Though New England is expected to experience no electricity shortages this winter, the state’s grid operator has warned that constraints on the size of natural gas pipelines restrict the maximum gas volumes delivered to the region which may impact on security of power supply.
If all UK coal-fired power plants will be closed as planned by 2025, National Grid may well struggle to keep balance without substantial new-build gas and nuclear capacity additions. Plant closures due to EU regulation are already jeopardising security of power supply, with Britain’s reserve margins at risk of falling to a record low of 1.2% from October to March.