National Grid has projected Britain’s de-rated power margin for winter 2017/18 projected will be 6.2 GW, or 10.3%, anticipating a net flow of electricity from Continental Europe to the UK at peak times. Considering the current price spread, the TSO also expects a net flow from the UK to Ireland, though this may be reversed in cases of high wind levels in Ireland.
Rick Perry, the U.S. Secretary of Energy, is convinced “clean coal” will remain at the centre of his energy agenda, using “American innovation” to advance cleaner, cheaper coal which is also meant to help create jobs. Asked about President Trump’s favouritism of coal – in disregard of climate change concerns – Perry underlined “clean coal is not only pragmatic, but will become commonplace.”
China’s LNG trucking capacity is set to double in medium term and WoodMackenzie analysts see trucked LNG and distributed generation have the potential to create synergies. Yet, few distributed generation is currently fuelled by trucked LNG because most of these power units are in areas with pipeline coverage and enjoy discounted gas prices already.
Contributing of distributed power, largely derived from wind and solar energy, is expected to account for over 25% of Pakistan’s energy mix over the next decade. According to Reon Energy CEO, deployment of distributed power generators is booming due to the deficit in Pakistan’s power distribution infrastructure and as a response to high energy cost of fossil-fuelled generators.
Blockchain, a digital ledger that creates and stores records that are linked together in a chain, offers the energy industry an opportunity reduce operational risk and transactional cost in trading, supply chain management and retail. The incorruptible digital record might also be used to increase compliance.
Accelerating China’s global drive, President Xi Jinping has declared the two day Belt and Road Forum in Beijing “a success” after Chinese companies signed deals with 68 countries to jointly develop energy infrastructure along the new Silk Road trade routes. Siemens, alone, entered into more than ten agreements with Chinese partners.
The world’s first liquid air energy storage (LAES) plant has been launched by Highview Power at Bury, near Manchester, this week. Supported by £8 million in UK government funding, the 5MW/15MWh LAES plant is the first operational LAES demonstration plant at grid-scale, providing backup electricity supply that is being utilized by the demand response aggregator KiWi Power.
Iraq’s ministry of electricity has handed a contract to ABB to deliver five fixed and fifteen mobile 132-kilovolt substations that will help strengthen the power grid and provide electricity in central Iraq. The substation projects are part of wider efforts to rebuild Iraq’s energy infrastructure and are supported by Swedish government financing.
Synthetic Genomics and ExxonMobil have worked together to turn algae into a low-emission transportation fuel for a number of years. Ongoing works in lab work are envisaged to lead to the technical ability to produce 10,000 barrels of algae biofuel per day by 2025.
Timera Energy is questioning the viability of SSE’s decision to invest £350 million in the 840MW Keadby-2 power plant even though there is currently no clear wholesale price signal to support CCGT economics, considering the £8.40/kW clearing price in the 2018 UK capacity auction. “The market risk sits firmly on the shoulders of project equity investors,” analysts said, and “without a 15 year capacity agreement the project will struggle to gain any significant advantage through debt financing.”
Scottish energy company SSE has contracted Siemens to provide a full turnkey solution for the Keadby 2 power plant, which will be powered by a SGT-9000HL gas turbine and is aimed to reach 63% efficiency. SSE said it will spend £350 million on the construction of the new 840 MW facility.
Bowing to industry pressure, the British government has indicated it will make a direct investment of public money into the much-contended Wylfa nuclear project in north Wales, backed by Hitachi. Critics dismiss this move as state aid, a reversal of 40 years of UK energy sector privatisation, and unfair prioritisation of nuclear power to the detriment of renewables and new gas-fired power projects.
Exhilarated by the success of bringing electricity to every village in India, Prime Minister Narenda Modi has now moved the target of achieving ‘universal household electricity access’ to the end of this year. This next “last mile” challenge will not be easy to meet but will bring huge rewards: it will improve the lives of over 230 million people.
Gaining access to shale assets in Argentina, Qatar Petroleum has acquired a 30% stake in ExxonMobil’s prolific Vaca Muerta oil and gas play in the onshore Neuquén basin in Argentina. The deal is hoped to bring fresh drive to shale drilling in Argentina which had been rather slow due to local price controls for natural gas. However, President Mauricio Macri's right-of centre government lately doubled wellhead gas prices for existing fields and introduced incentive prices for new developments.
Energy industry stakeholders have unanimously condemned U.S. President Trump’s latest market interference by directing the Department of Energy (DOE) to stop, what he calls, “impending retirements of fuel-secure power facilities.” Rebuking the move, several energy industry associates called the action “misguided” as it would be effectively subsidizing “failing coal and nuclear plants.”