Ammonia, already in use to fuel vehicles, could be used as a source of fuel for gas-fired power especially for off-grid applications, said US-based Space Propulsion Group (SPG). The research group is developing a system that transforms ammonia into hydrogen-based fuel to power combined-cycle plants.
The majority of new power plants built between now and 2035 will be gas-fired, accounting for 1,374 GW, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in its 2013 World Energy Outlook.
"We expect 96% of growth in energy demand will come from non-OECD countries, led by China in the short term with India expected to lead growth from 2020," IEA chief economist Fatih Birol said at the launch of the report in London today. Asia is set to take the lead in building new gas-fired plants with capacity addition forecast to total 353 GW, followed by the Americas with 266 GW and the Middle East with 153 GW.
Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula will see diesel- and fuel-oil power plants converted to run on natural gas after state-owned utility CFE has secured over 300 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) in additional gas supply from Pemex by 2014.
The market for small scale generation in Asia Pacific is set to grow by 48% between 2013 and 2016 as increasing pressure on electricity grids spurs investment in localised gas and diesel-fired power solutions, according to Himoinsa, a Spanish manufacturer of reciprocating engines. "China, South Korea, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Australia are posting the highest demand for gas generators due to a huge lack of energy and rising per capita costs," Manuel Aguilera, sales support engineer for Himoinsa, told Gas to Power Journal.
Siemens Energy has won orders worth over €300 million to deliver 20 SGT-800 industrial gas turbines to Thailand as part of a government's program to support small power producers.
Two of GE's LMS100-PB aeroderivative gas turbines at Inter RAO's Dzhubginskaya thermal power plant (TPP) that provide peak load power Krasnodar region also during the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, have entered full commercial operation.
The European Commission has published guidelines to limit regulatory interventions in electricity markets through capacity payments and renewable subsidies with a view of making support schemes more cost-effective. Researchers at the Oxford Institute of Energy Studies criticised, however, "the guidance ....shows little sense of the urgency needed to address the increasingly dire situation of conventional back-up capacity for intermittent renewables."
Labour and the Green Party have criticised the central role of senior UK energy industry executives in shaping capacity mechanisms due to be launched as part of the Electricity Market Reform (EMR) but the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) described the knowledge and expertise of such secondees as "vital" to the policy making process.
To fill the gap between its 40+ MW aeroderivative LM6000s and 600+ MW industrial gas turbines, GE developed the LMS100. It takes the low pressure compressor designed for the Frame 6FA GT, runs the air through an intercooler, and then into a supercore which is based on the LM6000.
"In combination, this provides 100 MW of power and ten minute start times," said Phil Tinne, GE's LMS100 Product Manager.
Gas turbines may soon be able to utilise solar energy to operate with air inlet temperatures of 1,000C and above thanks to research to design new combustors and provide greater gas turbine efficiency. "We are investigating combustor designs that will facilitate higher temperature operation for lean-premixed combustors and allow us to harness greater percentages of solar energy to cut fuel costs," Klaus Brun, Program Director at the Southwest Research Institute (SWRI) told Gas to Power Journal.
U.S. power company, AES, has announced plans to sell its electricity generation and distribution business in Cameroon to Actis, a UK-based private equity fund, for $220 million in net equity proceeds. The deal will see AES affiliate, AES Société Nationale d'Electricité (AES-SONEL) divested after 12 years of ownership.
In a letter to Parliament, the UK Secretary for Energy & Climate Change, Ed Davey has asked for a cash advance of $4,069,000 from the Contingencies Fund to fast-track the launch of institutional frameworks to implement the Electricity Market Reform (EMR).