Intermittency issues of wind and solar power supply are feared to jeopardize the stability of the U.S. power grid. To remedy this issue scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed an “air-breathing” battery storage that, at the cheapest, run about $100/kWh and functions only in certain locations.
Dongfang Electric International, a Chinese engineering contractor, has signed a framework contract with Wärtsilä for the latter to supply the generating equipment for three new power plant projects in Angola. The plants are being built on a fast-track basis and are due to start operation in the third quarter of 2018.
Luminant, a subsidiary of the U.S. power company Vistra Energy, has decided to shut down two coal power plants in Texas, which together with an earlier announced closure, will remove more than 4,200MW of coal generating capacity from the market. The operational end for these units comes irrespective of last week’s pledges EPA administrator Scott Pruitt to repeal the Obama-era Clean Power Plan (CPP), in a bid to ease pressure on the coal industry.
Regardless of the implementation of the Clean Power Plan, NRG and several other large U.S. power generators have already come forward with their own commitments to reduce carbon emissions. Over the past two years, NRG managed to reduce its absolute GHG emissions by 35%, putting it well on track to reach its 50% reduction goal by 2030.
The Brazilian utility Centrais Elétricas do Pará (CELPA) has contracted Siemens to design and install twelve microgrids at twelve distributed power stations across the state in order to remotely operate these assets via a central control center in Belém. Each distribute generator will be monitored as a self-contained island network, with the overall monitoring system scheduled to go into service at the beginning of 2018.
In 2018, energy-related CO2 emissions forecast to rise for each fossil fuel—petroleum, natural gas, and coal—for a total increase of 111 million metric tons. According to EIA’s Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), this rise in energy-related emissions is caused by an overall rise in electricity output, and reverses a 3-year trend of falling emissions in the power sectors.
Peak power demand in the UK is forecast to top 50.7GW, but National Grid is “confident” to be able to balance the system “even under colder conditions than we have experienced in recent years,” the grid operator said in its 2017/18 winter outlook. Without intervention, reserve margins would be 1.2% - the lowest in a decade.
US oil major ExxonMobil has started to operate its third cogeneration plant at its Singapore Refinery on Jurong Island. The 84 MW plant makes use of natural gas and waste heat from the refinery to generate electricity and steam, enhancing the overall efficiency of the facility by 25%.
Renewable natural gas (RNG), derived from biogas collected at landfills, is getting increasingly used to meet fuel production targets set out by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA). About 189 million gallons of RNG were consumed last year to meet about 82% of federal targets, set specifically for cellulosic biofuel.
As China is following through on plans to expand its power grid and regional connectivity, the country topped the global transmission tower market with a market of $3,963 million in 2016, followed by India with $2,058 million. According to a GlobalData forecast, China’s market will exceed $4,259 million by 2021.
US manufacturers Koch Industries and Dow Chemical are lobbying against the plan of Energy Secretary Rick Perry to subsidize nuclear and coal as a fuel for power generation. In a letter to Congress, manufacturers dismissed the Department of Energy’s (DoE) plan as “anti-competitive” and said it could distort or “destroy competitive wholesale electricity markets and increase the price of electricity to all consumers.”
Voicing plans to shut down all coal-fired power stations by 2030, the incoming Dutch government has sent a dramatic signal to energy markets that investments in coal is no longer safe. The far-reaching approach of the new coalition is striking, given that RWE, Uniper and Engie in the past few years commissioned three of Europe’s most modern coal power units in the Netherlands.
Investment in energy efficiency exceeds $231 billion worldwide, growing a 9% rate globally and at 24% in China. Energy efficiency codes and standards now cover about 32% of global energy use which helped to decrease energy intensity by 1.8% last year, said Dr Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA).
Finland’s technology group Wärtsilä has renewed its contract with the mining company PT Aneka Tambang Tbk (ANTAM) to improve the efficiency and operational reliability of its power plant in Indonesia. Wärtsilä has worked with ANTAM for over 15 years, and the latest 5-year agreement was signed in the second quarter of 2017.
“The war on coal is over,” were the words used by Scott Pruitt, head of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), when he announced the Trump administration will put an end to the Obama-era plan aimed at reducing power plant emissions. Pruitt argues that the Clean Power Plan violated federal law by “setting emission standards that power plants could not reasonably meet.”