One of the UK’s major remaining coal generators, the 1,960-MW Eggborough Power Station in North Yorkshire, is set to fizzle out in September 2018 after it failed to win a 2018-19 capacity contract. As a consequence, the operator has just updated its planning application to convert the 51-year-old Eggborough facility into a new 2-Gigawatt (GW) combined-cycle gas power plant.
Cost competition between fossil fuels and renewable energy sources is intensifying and will be won by the latter by 2020. Technology advances by that time will enable solar PV and onshore wind to generate electricity below $30/MWh, according to projections by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
Rapid changes in the energy landscape also drive businesses to adapt and update their existing trading platforms and systems. “We see a huge shift in digital innovation from aggregation of renewable generation, storage and emerging supply businesses that will significantly impact energy trading,“ said Tim Rogers, Contigo's head of sales and business development.Trayport affiliate Contigo, a vendor of Energy Trading and Risk Management (ERTM) software, will demonstrate its products at E-World, Essen in early February.
Moody's Investors Service maintains its stable outlook for the power sector in India over the next 12-18 months. The Indian government's debt restructuring of financially weak distribution utilities, under the Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY), is expected to “gradually improve the financial conditions of state-owned distribution companies,” alleviating off-taker risk.
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.