Cost and performance of battery technologies will not only be shaping customer acceptance of electric vehicles in the coming years, but also determine how easy it will be to integrate renewable energy into the grid. Tracking the relation between the dramatic drop in prices for batteries and their usage, IEA analysts say “for each doubling of output, lithium ion battery prices have been getting 19% cheaper.”
Imports of liquefied natural gas to Japan have dropped for a fifth straight month as thermal coal imports is outcompeting gas in the power sector. In March, some 9.58 million tons of thermal coal was imported, up 3% on February, while LNG cargoes delivered in the same month totaled nearly 7.3 mt, down from 7.93 mt a month earlier, according to Japanese custom’s data.
Working natural gas inventories in the U.S. have ended the withdrawal season on 30% lower levels than the previous five-year average for that time of year. According to EIA figures, natural gas in storage in the Lower 48 states at the end of March totaled 1,137 billion cubic feet (Bcf).
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed to expand the reach of National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for stationary combustion turbines. Lifting a 15-year stay on NESHAP standards, the environmental watchdog is now working on a long overdue residual risk and technology review (RTR). New rules will impact lean pre-mix and diffusion flame gas combustion turbines.
Resurgent economic growth in many developing countries will push the market for steam turbines to over $32 billion by 2024. Analysts at Global Market Insights anticipate the <3 MW steam turbine market will grow over 2% annually, with demand driven by decentralized cogeneration and geothermal units.
MAN Energy Solutions is providing multiple MAN 18V48/60TS engines for two power plant projects, being built in stages in two remote districts in Bangladesh. Upon entering full operation, the two plants will feed a total of 170 MW into the national grid, helping to stabilize supply.
The Finish technology group Wärtsilä will supply an engine-based power plant, set to run primarily on regasified LNG, to a remote location in Nigeria. The plant will operated off-grid and was ordered by the BUA Group, following its decision to build a new cement line in Sokoto, northwest Nigeria.
Researchers at Texas University have been developing high-fidelity computational models that predict the onset of instabilities in hydrogen-burning engines, specifically the process of flashback, which can lead to catastrophic failure. Tests on flashback modelling were developped in conversations with Siemens and GE, and commissioned by the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE).
State-owned Israel Electric has announced it will pay GE about 1 billion shekels ($280 million) to convert the Orot Rabin power station from coal to natural gas, which includes a 9HA.01 gas turbine retrofit. The same turbine was selected for another unit, and GE expects a contract by the end of 2019.
Engine+ Hybrid Energy, Wärtsilä's latest technology solution, pairs gas-fuelled engines with energy management systems and storage. It forms a fully integrated system that provides reliable power supply for operators and power producers of islanded grids. Payback periods can be as short as two years, the Finish manufacturer claims.
The U.S. private equity firm Starwood Energy Group has acquired the 309-MW combined cycle Garrison Energy Center in Delaware and the 503-MW RockGen Energy Center peaker facility in Wisconsin. Starwood Energy is part of Starwood Capital, funded by the American investor Barry Sternlicht.
Six partners – Ansaldo Thomassen, Delft University, OPRA Turbines, Vattenfall, Nouryon and EMMTEC – have been granted €500 million by the Dutch Government for research into ‘High Hydrogen Gas Turbine Retrofit to Eliminate Carbon Emissions’. The aim is to develop a CO2-free hydrogen value chain, in line with the EU Energy Roadmap 2050.
Lawmakers in the U.S. state of Colorado are debating a bill that proposes the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) should consider the ‘social cost of carbon emissions’ before issuing permits for new fossil power plants. The concept seeks to put a price on harms caused by emissions and, if enacted, the new carbon tax would be $46/ton of CO2 emitted, starting from 2020.
The Indian government may give way to utilities’ demands and allow power plants running on regasified liquefied natural gas (RLNG) to sell electricity into the higher-priced spot market, without having to adhere to their power purchase agreements. The proposed e-RLNG scheme will likely require fewer subsidies than in past years due to the fall in global oil prices.
Vietnam Electricity (EVN) has awarded GE’s energy consulting arm a contract to carry out a battery storage feasibility study, funded by the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA). State-owned EVN seeks to deploy energy storage throughout Vietnam to help meet an estimated 8% annual electricity load growth through 2035.