The market share of natural gas in Germany's power generation mix is estimated to rise to 19%, the regulator BNA's estimated in a mid-range scenario, deemed more likely than a bullish or bearish case. The mid-range scenario anticipates installed capacity from gas-fired plants to surge from 26.5 GW in 2011 to 32.9 GW in 2023.
Unconventional gas, due to its estimated abundance, has improved energy security in the United States and started a process of gas displacing coal as the dominant power generation fuel. Europe needs to adapt regulation to foster shale gas drilling, as it needs unconventional gas to make up for depleting indigenous gas production and supply new-build gas-fired plants, says Morgan Bazilian, deputy director of the Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis in Colorado, USA.
Enel has taken action to increase the competitiveness of its fleet of combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plants, as the operator needs to come to terms with reduced operating hours and increases number of plant start-ups and shut-downs to balance renewable energy supply.
South Korean energy companies, in line with the government's "Green Growth policy", have shifted towards generating more electricity from nuclear and renewable energy sources backed up by gas generation, analysts say. The government has also embarked on the liberalization of its electricity market to improve competition in the industry and encourage investment with the aim of increasing installed capacity.
Future gas turbine research and development (R&D) needs to focus on a 'big is beautiful' approach to developing smaller, flexible units that can run efficiently at part-load, OEM representatives from Alstom, GE, Mitsubishi HI, Siemens and Pratt & Whitney Power Systems agreed at a conference in Brussels today.
Singapore has ruled out nuclear energy as an alternative for the near future despite concerns over energy security. The city-state is heavily reliant on imported natural gas for power generation and policy makers had mulled the nuclear option to complement its energy mix.
Natural gas is set to become a 'high-carbon fuel' after 2025, as the perception of gas generation changes over time amid EU member states trying to reach the Commission's 2020 carbon reduction goals. "In the short-term, we need gas [generation] to keep the lights on, while in the long run we need to develop additional technologies such as carbon capture storage (CCS), so that gas can still be perceived as a low-carbon technology," says Steve Heinen, energy analyst, energy technology policy division at the International Energy Agency (IEA).
Turkey keeps getting the attention of players from every corner of the natural gas-based power generation industry, even though the government complains about the country's dependency on natural gas and pledges to bring it down from today's 70% market share.
Louisville Gas & Electric (LG&E) has accelerated works to commission a replacement 640-MW gas-fired plant and the utility said it will consequentially retire three units at the 536 MW Cane Run coal plant in Kentucky eight months earlier than initially planned.
Britain is preparing to make a 'dash for gas generation' which may pove to be the more affordable option than renewables.
"Following the government's change in policy direction, it is now time and money that will determine whether a power plant, equipped with viable Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology, will be in operation by 2020," says Howard Rogers, Director, Gas Programme, Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (OIES).
To break the vicious cycle of high gas prices leading to demand destruction, no downstream investment and gas generation being displaced coal, analysts at the French investment bank Société Générale recommend to adapt pricing to the source of demand.
Singapore is building three new large combined cycle plants to cater for the city state's growing electricity demand.
"The selection of combined cycle plants based on GT26 advanced gas turbines for all three of these projects indicates the importance of high plant flexibility while maintaining high efficiency and low emissions in many of today's electricity markets," says Pascal Radue, regional vice president, Alstom Gas Business, Asia.
GE has revealed plans to add 12.5 GW to its portfolio of operational gas turbines in Brazil by 2020, as the country turns to gas generation to dent a shortage in peak-load power supply.
Commercial operation has started at Imperial Irrigation District's 140 MW El Centro Unit 3 repowering project at the gas-fired El Centro Generating Station, located in El Centro, California. The revamped plant is adding 140-MW of electricity to the local power grid.
UK utilities and investors with gas to power assets in their portfolios face rising uncertainty in predicting long-term operational cash flows as market interventions as proposed under the UK's Electricity Market Reform have the effect of replacing market risk with political risk, says Dr. Jim Fitzgerald, Associate Partner at The Advisory House.