Daily News

Iran’s energy ministry has announced plans to build 100 GW of new power capacity to and dismantle old thermal stations. “By next five years, the ministry has plans to install and operate 33,000 MW new electricity generation capacity to connect to the national grid,” said Iran's energy minister Hamid Chitchian.

The Brazilian government has awarded the first contracts for coal and gas power plants in three years in a bid to replace hydropower. The auction is meant to spur development of 51 new plants with a total capacity of 4.89 GW – the lion's share of 82%, or 4 GW will be produced by 12 new thermal projects starting from 2019.

Italy's Eni Exploration has signed an accord worth $6 billion with the government of Ghana to develop the Sankofa oil and gas fields. Production is set to start in mid-2017 and will boost Ghana's domestic supply of liquefied petroleum gas as well as lean gas, earmarked to fuel new power generation projects such as the 550 MW Takoradi​ unit.

E.on, Germany's largest utility, announced a new strategy on Sunday to divide its business and focus on renewables, distribution networks and customer solutions.Conventional generation, energy trading as well as exploration and production will be combined in a new, independent company, most of which will be spun off to E.on shareholders.

The government of India is fast-tracking its financial support measures to boost power generation capacity by 30,000 MW by tackling fuel scarcity. Power minister Piyush Goyal this week met with senior ministers to agree a plan to use idle gas plants as "spinning reserve" to preserve grid stability.

The Energy Ministry of Thailand is set to finalise the first integrated energy plan for the country by the end of this year, officials have announced. The ASEAN country faces dwindling gas reserves, so the new strategy also aims to promote investment in alternative fuels to reduce import dependency.

North Yorkshire-based Drax has been hit with a £28 million penalty, the largest ever imposed by Ofgem. The British energy regulator also requested InterGen to pay £11 million for failing to meet energy saving targets for low-income households.

U.S. electric utility AES Southland is ready to install the world’s largest lithium battery system at its Alamitos Power Center in Long Beach, California, in an effort to provide backup peaking power. The battery will have capacity to deliver 400 MWh, equivalent to 100 MW of auxiliary power units, and can run for up to 4 hours.

Electricity supply shortages are affecting Libya's oil sector and compromise production at some of the country's largest oil fields. Hydrocarbon exports are vital to prop up the Libya's war-torn economy, but IMF analysts expect oil production will fall by another 20% this year.

The U.S. Supreme Court is to consider evidence that emissions regulations put in place by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are too stringent and may potentially repeal existing laws.

In a stark warning about a capacity crunch, the Polish energy regulator URE said installed power generation capacity could fall short of meeting up to 1.2 GW of peakload demand, particularly between January next year and 2016.

Earnings of German utilities stay squeezed as power prices continue to drop for baseload and peak power contracts, both on a forward and on a settled basis. Societe Generale analysis anticipates prices are unlikely to recover in the next several quarters.

To curb subsidies for oil used for power generation, the Indonesian government must push for increased production of natural gas as a replacement fuel, the Oxford Institute of Energy Studies (OIES) argues in a recently published paper. “Natural gas can play a powerful role in reconfiguring the country’s energy mix and make a positive long-term change to its energy landscape,” said Siew Hua Seah, research fellow at OIES and author of the report.

The German government is considering imposing CO2 limits on power producers in a bid to promote the use of cleaner-burning natural gas. However, energy minister Sigmar Gabriel was quick to stress that such plans would not force old coal-fired generators to shut down.

News in Brief

Rolls-Royce conducts laser field tests in the US

May 18 – Rolls-Royce has successfully conducted laser field tests to demonstrate ‘deep magazine’ power capability for directed applications in connection with Lockheed Martin’s layered laser defense project. Deep magazine power can be provided by a battery-only system, but the Rolls-Royce ColdFire system includes both battery-powered and near-continuous firing modes provided by M250 gas turbine engines.

Gas vs oil ratio increases in the Bakken

May 17 – The ratio of natural gas to crude oil production has risen in North Dakota’s Bakken region since 2008, and continues to accelerate. According to the US Energy Information Administration's (EIA) Drilling Productivity Report, annual gas gross withdrawals in the Bakken increased by 9% to an annual high of 2.97 Bcf/d in 2021, even though the region’s crude oil production fell by 6%.

Middle East shifts to gas power

May 16 – The Middle East, a region vulnerable to climate change, is undergoing a major shift from petroleum-based power plants towards gas-fired generation and renewable power sources. Capacity additions of over 185.46 GW are the pipeline, according to ResearchandMarkets, as the regions electricity demand for industry and residential cooling is set to grow. In fact, cooling already accounts for 70% of residential power demand.

Carbon utilisation in strong demand

May 13 – The market for carbon utilisation is forecast to grow rapidly from the 2030s onwards to surpass $285 billion by 2042, driven by rising climate commitments and a favourable regulatory framework. In its latest report IDTechEx also highlights the role of technology advances such as thermodynamics which help sequester CO2 permanently.

MTU gensets approved for biofuels

May 12 – Rolls-Royce has gained approval to use synthetic fuels in its MTU Series 4000 and Series 1600 diesel engines for power generation application. Field testing confirmed both engines can use a range of sustainable fuels including biomass-to-liquid, hydrotreated vegetable oil and power-to-liquid fuels such as e-diesel.

E.ON tells Germans how to save gas

May 11 – A large-scale switch to heat pumps, solar power and better demand-side management could help save Germany nearly 100 TWh of natural gas per year, E.ON has said, calling on households to contribute to Europe’s efforts to reduce reliance on Russian gas imports. “If 10% of the homes in Germany are equipped with solar PV installations, 20% of gas boilers are replaced by heat pumps, and the average temperature in all households is reduced by one degree Celsius on average, this would lead to natural gas savings of 103 TWh per year," E.ON Energy CEO Filip Thon said, noting this volume would equate to about 30% of Germany’s current gas imports from Russia.

Exelon Q1 earnings lower following Constellation cave-out

May 10 – Exelon has reported lower first quarter earnings and a higher operating revenue, having completed the separation of Constellation Energy – Excelon’s former power gen business. Focussing now solely on transmission and distribution, Exelon’s net income from continuing operations for the first quarter of 2022 decreased to $0.49 per share from $0.53 a share in pre-year period. In contrast, adjusted operating earnings notched up to $0.64 per share, primarily due to due to higher electric distribution earnings at ComEd from higher rate base and higher allowed electric distribution. Rate increases at Excelon’s group companies PECO, BGE, and PHI were partially offset by higher depreciation expenses at BGE and PHI.

South Africa to add 2.6 GW of new capacity

May 9 – South Africa’s Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, has just announced the REIPPPP BW6 Request for Proposals (RFP).  The bid round will add 2,600 MWs of new capacity to the energy mix. The ministry seeks to procure 11,813 MW of electricity from various power sources including renewable energy, storage, gas and coal.

GE Gas Power authorized as CVE Numbering Authority

May 6 – GE Gas Power’s increased focus on cybersecurity has been recognized by the Common Vulnerability and Exposures Programm as a ‘CVE Numbering Authority (CNA).  As such, GE Gas Power can now assign CVE identification numbers to newly discovered vulnerabilities potentially related to its products and allow GE Gas Power to directly publish new CVE Records and streamline the reporting process.

Heliogen gets nearly $90m in funding

May 5 – Heliogen has moved from design into testing and implementation of its supercritical CO2 power gen system that will be deployed for Woodside in California. The system consists of a 5 MWe sCO2 power block integrated with high temperature solid media thermal energy storage. The demonstration project is being funded with up to $50 million from Woodside, along with $39 million from the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE).

Capstone to install microturbine in the Caribbean

May 4 – E-Finity Distributed Generation, Capstone's distributor for the Mid-Atlantic, Southeastern United States and the Caribbean, has secured an order for two C1000S microturbines for a government water authority in the Caribbean. The 2 MW system will provide emergency standby power to several pumping stations throughout the remote island community and is scheduled to be commissioned towards the end of 2022.

Forecasting solar and energy storage in CAISO

May 3 – Marubeni has chosen Veritone’s AI-based distributed energy resource management solution (iDERMS) to provide price, demand and generation forecasts at their pilot project in the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) SP-15 region. In addition to day-ahead and real-time generation figures, Veritone will also forecast production and demand for the overall CAISO region.

Forecasting solar and energy storage in CAISO

May 2 – Marubeni has chosen Veritone’s AI-based distributed energy resource management solution (iDERMS) to provide price, demand and generation forecasts at their pilot project in the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) SP-15 region. In addition to day-ahead and real-time generation figures, Veritone will also forecast production and demand for the overall CAISO region.

Steam turbines in high demand

April 29 – The market for steam turbines for power generation will grow around 6.5% through to 2027, driven by the build-out of combined-cycle gas power plants – notably in Asia and the United States, ResearchAndMarkets finds. Coal power projects in China, India and Bangladesh also require significant numbers of steam turbines. “Many of the countries in Asia-Pacific cannot provide 24-hour electricity to its citizens, and the cheapest way to achieve the objective is to build thermal [coal power] plants and use steam turbines,” analysts commented.

LNG-fuelled power for Antigua

April 28 – Antigua Power Company Limited (APCL) has contracted Wärtsilä to supply and install a 46 MW dual-fuel power plant on the Caribbean island. The plant will operate primarily on regasified LNG, imported through a small-scale import terminal developed by U.S.-based Eagle LNG in partnership with APCL.

ION launches risk analyser

April 27 – ION Commodities has built a cloud-based solution – FEA Analyzer – to help energy and commodity firms transition to new renewable energy markets while simultaneously optimizing trading strategies and supply chains. The tool combines pre-trade analytics with risk management and asset optimization, all powered by predictive analytics and stochastic models. 

Capstone to service 600kV microturbine

April 26 – Capstone has landed a rental contract for a 600 kilowatt (kW) microturbine-based system with one of the largest energy infrastructure companies in North America. Due for commissioning in mid-May 2022, the plant will supply power to remote mid-stream operations along the customer's gas pipeline in Colorado.