Daily News

Europe's largest carmaker Volkswagen has pledged to phase out combustion engine cars in the EU by 2035 in anticipation of tighter climate regulations. VW, which also owns Audi, Skoda and Porsche, said it would raise its share of electric vehicles to 70% of total sales in Europe by 2030.

South Australia has the wind and sunshine to evolve into a prime hydrogen supplier. Cornwall Insight says a hydrogen plant could make a profit of $2.3 million this summer, assuming 20% utilisation and quarterly repayment on the $593 million government debt with interest, operating and fuel costs.

Karpowership had to halt three projects in South Africa with 2,000 MW combined capacity after environmental permits were refused. The government claims Karpowership did not comply with public participation rules, and the Turkish company now faces a long appeal process.

Mitsubishi Power, part of MHI Group, has received an order for a 180 MW combined-cycle power plant fired by blast furnace gas (BFG). Driven by a M701SDAX gas turbine, the CCGT will be built on behalf of the Chinese steelmaker Jiangsu Shagang and is due operational in 2023.

Energy storage deployments in the United States have risen a staggering 240% over the previous high to 476 MW new-built capacity. Large-scale utility procurements for solar-paired energy storage are expected to boost the US battery market from 1.2 GW in 2020 to nearly 7.5 GW (and 26.5 GWh) by 2025.

The solid-state battery market will grow to $8 billion by 2031, IDTechEx forecasts. With the larger electrochemical window of solid electrolytes – as opposed to liquid ones in lithium-ion batteries – high voltage cathode materials can be used. High-energy-density lithium metal anodes can push the energy density beyond 1,000 Watt-hours per litre (Wh/L).

MAN Energy Solution’s PBST brand, developer of turbochargers and exhaust-gas-treatment, has agreed to distribute Rolls-Royce’s MTU turbochargers. The cooperation combines PBST’s global sales structure and MTU turbocharger technology for high-speed diesel and gas engines.

Investment in fossil generation will fall by one-fourth to below $54 billion, while spending on new wind and solar power units could double to $1.3 trillion over the current decade to 2030, Wood Mackenzie forecasts. Subsidy-free renewables, though, will not be competitive with coal power until 2025 or later. 

Pivot Power, part of EDF Renewables, together with Wärtsilä and Habiat Energy have activated the UK’s first grid-scale battery storage. Combining lithium-ion and vanadium redox flow systems, the battery storage is directly grid-connected as part of the £41 million Energy Superhub Oxford (ESO) project aimed at decarbonising the city by 2040.

Japan’s largest LNG importer and power producer JERA and IHI Corporation have received a government grant to set up a demonstration project for ammonia co-firing at thermal power stations in Japan. Ammonia does not emit carbon dioxide when burned, and the test runs are due to start in June 2021.

New Fortress Energy, the US LNG supplier in the Americas, has received three permits from Mexican Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) for regasification, storage and distribution of the superchilled gas at its Pichilingue LNG facility near La Paz. The imported LNG will be used to fuel the LaPaz and Baja California Sur power plants.

One M501JAC gas turbine has been shipped from Mitsubishi Power Americas to Marlim Azul Energia's power project in Macae, Rio de Janeiro. The fuel-efficient 565 MW unit, due operational in January 2023, will enable Marlim to backup intermittent renewable power supply and turn pre-salt gas into attractively-priced electricity.

News in Brief

Growth in turbine air filtration tops 3%

July 22 – The turbine air filtration market is expected to grow 3.27% annually from $1.92 billion in 2020 to reach $2.29 billion in 2026. Demand from the oil & gas industry and electric utilities had plunged during the corona crisis and subsequent economic downturn, but the latest trend towards clean energy is driving robust growth for turbine air filtration which can be widely and easily applied in the power sector.

US oil exports stay high

July 21 – Despite volatile prices, U.S. crude oil exports reached a record high in 2020 and remained strong this year, averaging 3.51 million barrels per day (b/d). Expanded ports at Houston and Corpus Christi allow for oil to be exported from the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Basin.

CVEC to be converted to hydrogen

July 20 – Cricket Valley Energy Center (CVEC) is taking steps to run the  combined-cycle plants on hydrogen. Works to convert the plant will be carried out by GE and are scheduled to start in late 2022. One of three GE 7F.05 gas turbines at CVEC will be introduced to a 5% hydrogen blend with natural gas.

MAN ETES labelled solar impulse efficient

July 16 – MAN Electro-Thermal Energy Storage (ETES) was attributed the “Solar Impulse Efficient Solution” label by independent auditors. In January, the German manufacturer supplied to ETES heat pumps to DIN Forsyning for a heat and power plant in the Danish port city Esbjerg.

Electricity sales to US industry rebounds

July 14 – Economic recovery has caused a 5.1% rise electricity sales to US industry this year, dwarfing 2.8% more retail sales and a 2.1% rise in the commercial sector as many office workers continue working from home. The US Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) acting administrator, Steve Nalley, called the rebound in electricity sales to industry a “strong sign of rising levels of economic output as the Covid-19 pandemic recedes.”

Solar PV to triple in Asia by 2030

July 13 – Asia Pacific solar photovoltaic capacity could triple to 1,500 gigawatts (GW) by 2030. According to Wood Mackenzie estimates, China will add 619 GW of mainly utility-scale capacity while most other nations in Asia prefers distributed solar due to land constraints. Solar PV tends to be backed up by flexible gas gensets and energy storage, forming hybrid power units.

Kinder Morgan closes on Stagecoach assets

July 12 – US energy infrastructure major Kinder Morgan has closed its acquisition of Stagecoach Gas Services. The deal include 4 gas storage facilities with a 41 bcf working gas capacity and a transmission network with multiple interconnects to major interstate pipelines, including Tennessee Gas Pipeline. The Stagecoach assets add to Kinder Morgan’s approximately 83,000 miles of pipelines and 144 terminals.

Dortmund cancels electrotechnik fair

July 9 – The elektrotechnik fair, planned for 29 September to 1 October 2021, will now not be taking place in Dortmund due to requests from the industry. The next trade fair for building, industrial, energy and lighting technology will now open its doors again in spring 2023.

Hitachi to change name of ABB Power Grids

July 7 – Hitachi ABB Power Grids will become Hitachi Energy in October. The Japanese manufacturer bought a controlling stake in ABB’s grid business a year ago and is about to fully take the name of the merged company while expanding its direction towards e-mobility and data centres.

Tapping wind energy for hydrogen

July 6 – Spanish utility Naturgy and the gas grid operator Enagás are evaluating the use of 350 MW offshore and onshore wind capacity to produce green hydrogen. The fuel will be used to decarbonise the steel industry and shipyard in northwest Spain.

EU seeks to expand Green Deal to Africa

July 5 – The European Green Deal should be expanded to also include African states as partners, the German development minister Gerd Müller said. Green hydrogen production in Africa, in his view, should be a “cornerstone for economic cooperation with the Europe.”

Decom Engineering updates PCR

July 2 – Northern Ireland-based Decom Engineering has invested more than £700,000 to develop tools for repurposing and clean decommissioning of energy infrastructure. Through updated Pipe Coating Removal (PCR) equipment, decommissioned or surplus pipelines can be cleaned of multiple coatings, so they can be repurposed for used on other projects.

Cummins buys half of Momentum Fuels

July 1 – Cummins has signed a letter of intent to acquire a 50% equity interest in Momentum Fuel Technologies from Rush Enterprises. The transaction is expected to close before year-end, and the combined venture will produce Cummins-branded natural gas fuel delivery systems for the commercial vehicle market in North America.

Gazprom evaluates cost of grey hydrogen

June 30 – Scientific studies by Gazprom and the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) seek to solve technical challenges in producing grey hydrogen through steam reforming in the most cost-efficient way, as well as transporting the fuel to end-users. The findings of the studies will be factored into Gazprom's sustainable development scenarios up to 2050.

Redox about to overtake Li-ion batteries

June 28 – Li-ion batteries have dominated the energy storage field, but are expected to lose their leading role in stationary applications. According to IDTechEx findings, Redox flow batteries are gaining traction and are likely to overtake the installed Li-ion battery energy capacity before the end of 2030.

B&W proceeds with waste-to-energy projects

June 25 – Babcock & Wilcox’s (B&W) renewable segment has received limited notice to proceed for a waste-to-energy project in Europe as it finalizes terms for a $24 million contract with the customer. Ohio-based B&W said it looks to capitalize on an estimated addressable market of more than $7 billion in Europe over the next three years.

Japan’s gas-burn on the rise

June 24 – LNG imports for power generation in Japan have rebounded with steady volumes from the Middle East and Australia and higher cargo numbers from Russia and the US, though LNG deliveries were outpaced by thermal coal shipments. The May 2021 LNG shipments amounted to 4.95 million tonnes, or around 73 cargoes, a 8.2% rise on volumes received in May 2020, according to trade figures by the Japanese finance ministry.

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