The U.S. is awash with cheap gas supplies for power generation due to rising domestic shale gas production, with Canadian natgas imports providing a "reliable backstop" for US gas-to-power demand, Louis Caron, energy risk specialist at Risk Advisory, SAS Group, told Gas-to-Power Journal today.
Australia's ERM Power confirmed it has received development approval to build and operate a 500MW gas-fired power plant at Braemar, around 240 kilometres west of Brisbane. "The next stage in the development of the Braemar 4 project is finalising fuel supply and electricity take-off agreements, which will allow us to make a final investment decision on this development," Philip Baker, managing director and CEO at ERM Power said.
In North-West Europe, investments in new gas-fired power plant projects will be in the money post 2018 at the earliest, Thomas Birr, VP corporate development & strategy at RWE Group forecast. "In Turkey and Eastern Europe, where power demand is rising, things are looking better," he said at the Gas-to-Power Europe Forum in Berlin.
If the spark spread stays below 10 Euro/MWh at times of peak electricity demand, building new gas-fired plants in Germany does not make economic sense, Torsten Amelung, senior vice president Trading and Origination at Statkraft Markets said today. "The only way out is ramping down capacity simply by shutting down power stations, until peak electricity prices are sufficiently high to sustain operations of the remaining gas-fired plants," he told Gas-to-Power Journal at the sidelines of a conference in Berlin.
Markets in Asia, the Middle East and North America are the "centres of growth" for new projects of gas-fired power plants , Brigitte Urban, VP global marketing, energy solutions at Siemens Energy forecasts. In reaction to the surge in gas-to-power demand in Saudi Arabia, Siemens has started construction of a new gas manufacturing plant in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, she confirmed in Berlin today.
Denmark's Dong Energy has set out the vision of shifting its power generation portfolio to a 85% share in green energies by 2020, including gas-fired plants, by reducing its share of coal-fired plants to 15%. "Throughout the transition period, when coal will leave Dong's power generation portfolio, gas-fired capacity is crucial as it delivers the flexibility required by modern and sustainable energy systems," Anders Eldrup, CEO of Dong Energy said in Berlin today.
A rise in gas-to-power generation would be a bet on the failure of U.K. energy policies under the Electricity Market Reform that favour renewables and nuclear energy, Pierre Noel, senior researcher at the Energy Policy Forum at the University of Cambridge said today. Calling for a level playing field for all power generation technologies, Noel opposed the introduction of subsidies for capital-intensive technologies that infringe on the role of gas in the European energy mix.
Gujarat State Energy Generation (GSEG), a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) formed by Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation, has confirmed the imminent start-up of a 360 MW gas-fired unit at the Hazira power plant. "The gas-based power plant at Hazira is ready for commissioning and could start generating electricity any day now", GSEG said.
Energy shortages and rolling blackouts could become a real possibility in the UK in five years' time, warns Pilgrim Beart, founder of AlertMe. "A large fraction of our coal power stations are scheduled to be decommissioned in 2016. If you reduce supply without reducing demand then you get rolling blackouts," he told Gas-to-Power Journal.
Weakness in UK power markets is forecast to continue until 2013 as significant oversupply of power generation capacity is cutting into profit margins of gas and coal-fired plans, JP Morgan Cazenove (JPMC) said today in a research report. "UK power demand is worse than anaemic," JCMC analyst, Edmund Reid, said with reference to a drop in electricity demand below 2009 levels.
Societe Generale forecasts Europe's electricity demand in 2012 will see a mere 0.7% rise in annual demand as economic growth remains lacklustre. "Consumption should recover in 2012, but overall growth will likely to be modest," the bank said in its latest Energy Pulse report.
The implementation of Smart Grids – as a flexible demand response mechanism - is rising. "In Europe, we are selling Smart Grids based on the rise of green energy. In the U.S., the key driver for smart grids is to ensure security of power supply," Dietrich Biester, representative of Siemens' Smart Grid Division told Gas-to-Power Journal' in an interview.
North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) has alerted the U.S. energy industry of a growing reliance on natural gas as the primary fuel source at times of peak electricity demand. "The growing dependence on natural gas as a primary fuel source of on-peak capacity must be considered in planning, and operational measures must be in place to minimize interdependency risks," NERC told Gas-to-Power Journal.
Alstom, the French engineering company, today reported a rebound in orders this quarter to €4.9 billion. Thermal power orders reached a value of €1.9 billion, benefiting from successes in Iraq and Poland.