Daily News

Britain’s energy needs may be entirely covered by non-fossil fuels for short periods starting from 2025, National Grid said, stressing it aims to be “zero-carbon capable” by then. To achieve this goal, flywheels and supercharged capacitator technology need to be deployed to ensure the grid has the necessary resilience, known as inertia.

Partners of the HYPOS alliance – a German consortium including VNG, Ontras and the Fraunhofer Institute – have launched a platform to store renewable hydrogen in a salt cavern in Bad Lauchstädt, Saxony-Anhalt. The plan is to build Europe’s first hydrogen storage and operate it for research purposes.

The Hill Top Energy Center in Nemacolin, Pennsylvania, will be powered by one of GE’s HA gas turbines. Kiewit Power Constructors (Kiewit) will handle EPC on the project, including the integration of a 7HA.02 gas turbine into the power plant which is due operational in 2021.

Occidental Petroleum has sweetened its buyout bid for Anadarko, now offering 78% cash and 22% stock rather than a 50:50 split, in an effort to outbid Chevron. Anadarko reacted by stressing the Chevron Merger Agreement is still valid, but analysts reckon the revised terms and Occidental’s pledge to sell Anadarko’s Mozambique LNG stake to Total could force Chevron to improve its offer.

NRG Energy’s latest quarterly earnings came in at $0.34 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, just below analysts’ estimate of $0.39. During the second quarter of 2019, the utility accumulated revenues of $2.17 billion, up 4.8% compared to the same quarter last year. Return on equity was 129.32% that quarter, resulting in a net margin of 2.58%.

The UK energy regulator Ofgem has been reviewing, and revising downward, some incentive schemes for small gas- and diesel-fired power plants. Proponents of decentralized power solution warn a withdrawal of subsidies could make developers scrap 2,000 MW of planned capacity. In contrast, operators of larger power plants claim that larger payouts to distributed gensets would lead to a ‘market distortion’ and discourage investments in flexible combined-cycle gas power units.

The French government has decided to put a cap on carbon emissions from its coal-fired power plants starting from 2022. The measure is meant to ensure that “they are forced out of the market,” energy minister Francois de Rugy said when announcing the new draft law.

The Canadian utility Capital Power has agreed to acquire Goreway Power Station Holdings, jointly held by JERA and Toyota Tsusho and operator of the 875 MW Gorway Power Station in Ontario. The deal will be financed through RBC Capital Markets and TD Securities by issuing 4.3 million in subscription receipts through a Public Offering. Gross proceeds are expected to total about $130,290,000 million.

Royal Dutch Shell has increased its investment in research on hydrogen production through electrolysis as well as pilot projects, singling out the fuel as "one of the world’s energy pathways to reach the emission reduction targets of the Paris Agreement." The share of hydrogen in final energy consumption is forecast to rise from less than 1% before 2040 to 6% by 2070.

Iraq’s Ministry of Electricity has signed an implementation agreement with Siemens to kick off the execution of the Iraq Roadmap. Phase-1, valued at 700 million euros ($785m), include EPC for the 500 MW Zubaidiya power plant, the upgrade of 40 turbines and grid infrastructure. The entire four phases of the Roadmap could see contracts awarded for up to $14 billion.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is co-financing one of the largest combined-cycle gas power plants in Indonesia, the 1760 MW Jawa-1 unit. This week the ADB started to provide its first drawdown of funds under a private sector financing package totaling more than $305 million.

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority's (DEWA) extension of its M-Station power and desalination plant in Jebel Ali has increased the plant’s capacity to a current total of 2,885 MW and 140 million imperial gallons of water per day. Siemens handled EPC and equipment delivery. The combined cost for M-Station’s construction and expansion amounts to AED 11.669 billion (US$ 3.177 billion).

Neonenergia, a Brazilian electric utility with 4.5 GW installed capacity and majority-held by Iberdrola, has started a second attempt for an IPO after it had to call off an effort to get listed on the Sao Paulo Stock Exchange in 2017. Iberdrola shareholders now hope for higher price in the IPO, based on Neonenergia’s improved results since its merger with Elektro.

The French oil major Total has announced plans to invest between $1.5 billion and $2 billion per year on low-carbon power sources in a strategic shift to the retail energy sector. CEO Patrick Pouyanne said the Group’s target of 7 million retail energy clients in France and Belgium, equaling about 15% of the market, would be achievable before 2022.

Ukrainian agro-holding I&U Group has contracted KTS Engineering, INNIO’s authorized channel partner, to supply a power solution based on four Jenbacher biogas cogeneration units for a new zero-waste biogas plant. The biogas CHP will reduce I&U Group annual carbon footprint by 24,000 tons.

News in Brief

Fuel switch could abate 1.2bn tons of CO2

July 19 – Some 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2 could be abated by switching to gas using existing infrastructure, if prices and regulation are supportive. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), this would be enough to bring global CO2 emissions back down to where they were in 2013.

IEA launches methane tracker

July 18 – A new ‘methane tracker’, launched by the International Energy Agency (IEA), provides up-to-date estimates of current oil and gas methane emissions by drawing on the best available data. Analysts stressed methane emissions could be reduced by nearly half at no net cost.

Canada’s CO2 tax also affects gas power

July 17 – Change in Canada’s carbon tax regulation for new power plants has changed to also affect cleaner-burning, gas combined-cycle power stations starting from 2021. The move could cause SaskPower to reconsider its planned upcoming Moose Jaw gas power station.

MAN, Daewoo, HSD partner on engine digitalization

July 16 – MAN Energy Solutions, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) and HSD Engine (HSD) have signed a strategic agreement to cooperate in the field of marine engine systems digitization. The three companies also work together on auxiliary systems and data analysis, aiming to apply part of their know-how to power generation and related sectors.

Canada launches first utility-scale smart microgid

July 15 – The Ontario-based municipal utility North Bay Hydro Services is cooperating with the smart grid solutions firm S&C Electric to launch Canada’s first utility-scale microgrid system. Among some solar power, the 789KW microgrid system will be powered by two 265kW natural gas generators.

Macquarie funds Mexican power plant

July 12 – Macquarie Capital has chosen Credit Agricole, Natixis and SMBC to co-finance a $380 million combined-cycle gas power plant. The 560 MW plant is designated to be built in San Louis Potosi, a city in central Mexico.

B&V launches distributed energy group

July 11 – Black & Veatch has launched a dedicated distributed energy group to place its conventional power business in the context of the global energy transition. The distribute energy group will look into new fuel sources such as hydrogen and aspires to “re-power the more-than-century-old power industry.”

Funding secured for Kazah CHP project

July 10 – Kazinform Erg has committed to spend $500 million on a gas cogeneration station that will provide heat and electricity to the south of Kazakhstan. Over 87% of Kazakhstan’s electricity is generated from fossil fuels, and in 2018 the country produced 107,060 billion kWh of electricity, a 3.8% increase over the previous year and enough to cover total power use of 103,228 kWh.

Bitcoin mining uses much energy

July 9 – Estimates of bitcoin’s electricity consumption are wide-ranging, on the order of 20‑80 TWh annually. According to George Kamiya, digital energy analyst at the International Energy Agency (IEA), bitcoin mining consumed around 45 TWh in 2018 although this has risen significantly this year. Through the first six months of 2019, bitcoin mining has already consumed an estimated 29 TWh.

Coal exit doesn’t impact Germany's supply security

July 8 – Electricity supply security in Germany is set to stay “very high” even as the country begins to phase out coal-fired power generation, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) said in a monitoring report. “Energy supply is adequately ensured”, the ministry said, in all scenarios examined up to 2030. Thereafter, things are less clear but the German Coal Commission is adamant that its proposal to exit coal power by 2038 is feasible and won’t seriously impact reserve margins.

Hydrogen demo plant starts in Adelaide

July 5 – The Australian Gas Networks (AGN), part of the Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG), has received A$4.9 million in government funding for an A$11.4m hydrogen electrolyser demonstration project at the Tonsley Innovation District in Adelaide. At the test site, AGN plans to blend 5% renewable hydrogen with natural gas for supply to customers using its existing gas distribution networks. The project is based on a Siemens proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyser, running based on wind and solar power.

Wärtsilä forms biogas solution

July 4 – Wärtsilä Puregas Solutions, specialists in biogas upgrading technology, has merged with Wärtsilä’s biogas liquefaction team to create a one-stop-shop service for biofuel production. Having installed the world’s largest bioLNG facility in Skogn, Norway, Wärtsilä will deliver two more bio-LNG plants to customers in Scandinavia. The company’s Puregas CA process recovers more than 99.9% of the biomethane present in raw biogas.

PNM to close San Juan Generating Station

July 3 — New Mexico's largest energy holding, PNM Resources, has filed an application to the Public Regulation Commission to close the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station. For replacement power, PNM said the preferred option was a mix of gas power plants, solar and wind farms and new battery storage facilities. The utility strives to be ‘emissions-free’ by 2040.

ADB opens office in Singapore

July 2 — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has decided to open an office in Singapore. The lean office with twelve staff will focus on the expansion of its private sector operations, e.g. through Public-Private Partnerships. “We estimate that developing Asia will need $1.7 trillion per year in infrastructure investments until 2030 to maintain the region’s growth momentum,” commented Singapore’s finance minister Heng Swee Keat.

Testing starts at Haliade-X

July 1 – Technology testing has started at GE’s Haliade-X, the world’s biggest offshore wind turbine. The 12 MW nacelle and 107-metre long blade was shipped to the UK as part of an advanced technology testing program, focused on enhancing the platform before it enters into serial production in 2021.

Tata to build UK’s first CCUS plant

June 28 – Tata Chemicals has announced plans to build the UK’s first industrial-scale Carbon Capture, Usage and Demonstration plant at its Northwich industrial site. The CCUD unit will be built at an estimated cost of£16.7 million and is planned to start operation in 2021. It will make use of CO2 emissions from fossil fuel power plants and turn it into sodium bicarbonate, which can then be sold to pharmaceutical industries.

Gazprom seeks to partner with Fortum

June 27 – The heads of Gazprom and Forum, Alexey Miller and Pekka Lundmark, have met in St. Petersburg to discuss a potential cooperation in the field of power generation. The Finish energy company Fortum owns 29.5% of the Russian power plant TGC-1 as well as a 49.99% share in the German utility Uniper. Through the talks, Gazprom could gain Fortum’s support to expand its firm long-term deliveries of Russian gas to Finland and Germany.