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.
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.
Natural gas consumption in the UK is due to hit a 9-year low this month, as unusually warm weather conditions in November and low sparks-spread for gas-fired power plants curtails the usage of the fuel and leaves storage inventories full up, National Grid data shows.