Daily News

Peabody, the world's largest private coal producer, projects 2013 US coal demand to rebound 45 to 55 million tonnes over 2012 levels amid rising coal fleet utilization. Higher natural gas prices are cited as a reason for the uptick in coal with the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimating that US coal-fired electricity generation will rise by 6.1% this year while natural gas-fired generation will fall by 9.8%.

Upgrade work on the five gas turbine generators at the 30MW Termoyopal gas-fired power plant situated north of Bogota, Colombia, has reduced total cost of ownership (TCO), following work to install more advanced control systems. The overhaul involved upgrade work to the control systems for three GE Frame 5 gas turbine generators, imported from the U.S.

The California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has voted in legislation to mandate 1,325 megawatts of energy storage in the state in a move set fast-track expansion of the power-to-gas sector. The PUC vote mandates Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric to install extra storage capacity by 2020.

British Gas will hit domestic customers in the UK with a 9.2% hike in electricity prices ahead of the winter season to compensate for its rising costs of gas imports, loss-making operations of gas power plants in the UK, and reduced profitability of gas storage due to narrowing seasonal gas price spreads. 

PJM has been selected to replace the 48 burners at SSE's Ferrybridge plant with ultra-low NOx versions in a bid to reduce emissions. The retrofit comes as the first step of substantial renovations works set to turn the ageing plant into a multi fuel generating unit and adapt it to comply with stricter environmental legislation.

A consortium of European universities and industry has produced new research improving reliability of the combustion process in gas turbines (GT) which can potentially saving operators tens of millions of euros. "Although failure due to flame instability is extremely rare, a single event can cost in excess of €10 million - so research to improve reliability is vital" Professor Jim Kok, project co-ordinator for the Limousine group told Gas to Power Journal.

The US Supreme court has announced it will hear a challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) recent climate directives as the beleaguered coal power generation sector in the country fights the regulation. "Whatever happens will undoubtedly be important for the economic case for new gas-fired generation...what this does is buy some time for coal-fired plants," Trevor Skirkoski, analyst at EnergyAspects told Gas to Power Journal.

LNG buyers in power-hungry Asian countries seek more flexible terms and call for a Henry Hub price element in long-term import contracts in a bid to bring down costs of gas purchase. Almost 70% of global LNG supply is consumed in Asian countries but "it seems at times that we are paying more than we need to," Kogas CEO Jang Seok-hyo said at the World Energy Congress in Daegu, Korea.

Replacing coal-fired power with gas-fueled plants on a wide scale by 2030 would reduce carbon emissions in the power sector by five percent compared to today's levels, according to a Siemens study compiled under the lead of Professor Horst Wildemann at the Technical University of Munich. "Of course, it would be illusionary to replace all coal-fired power plants with gas-fueled units – but the potentials identified are really impressive," he admitted.

Uncompetitive gas markets in Europe could lead to the closure of up to 60% of Europe's gas-fired power plants by 2016, Cap Gemini has warned, causing regional price increases and making power shortages unavoidable. The predictions come as part of the consultancy's annual European Monitoring Centre for Energy Markets report and outline an uncertain future for the industry.

China will use fossil fuels in a low-carbon manner, engage in green growth and work towards energy security as rapid urbanisation continues, Wang Yumin, vice administrator of the National Energy Agency of China said in a keynote speech at the World Energy Congress this morning.

As South Korea transforms into a creative economy "the energy industry is one of the areas where this creative paradigm can shine," Park Geun-hye, President of the Republic of Korea told the World Energy Congress today, referring to her signature policy targets to utilise enhanced technology for energy storage and demand side management to reduce peak-load power consumption.

News in Brief

Supercapcitors to replace batteries

Sept 25 – The global market for supercapacitors was valued at over $487 million last year and is forecast to top $1,570 millio by 2025, growing at an annual rate of 21.8%. Supercapacitor, an emerging technology for energy storage systems, can offer higher power density than batteries was may soon replace the latter.

Atos, Siemens expand digital partnership

Sept 24 – Atos, a global leader in digital transformation, has expanded its strategic partnership with Siemens AG for five years, helping the latter with data driven digital, cloud transformation and cybersecurity. The extension comes in the context of 5-year total €3 billion agreements which were separately signed with Siemens AG, Siemens Energy and Siemens Healthineers.

Rotterdam Port to store CO2 beneath the North Sea

Sept 23 – The Porthos project, a joint venture between the Port of Rotterdam Authority, Gasunie and EBN, seeks to transport CO2 from industry in the port to empty gas fields beneath the North Sea. In its early years, the Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) will be able to store approximately 2.5 million tonnes of CO2 per year with plans to be operational by 2024.

German power sector to reach net zero in 2040s

Sept 22 – Revisions to Germany’s Renewable Energy Act (EEG) stipulate the power sector should become greenhouse-gas neutral in the early 2040s. Despite the gradual electrification of heating and transport, the German energy ministry is so far sticking to its estimate of 580 terawatt-hours (TWh) of power consumption in 2030 – close to current levels.

B&W to supply superheaters to Lumiant

Sept 21 – Babcock & Wilcox’s thermal segment has been contracted to design, manufacture and supply new superheater components for a high-efficiency boiler at Luminant’s Oak Grove Power Plant near Franklin, Texas. Material delivery to Oak Grove is scheduled for February 2021.

EC targets 55% emission cut by 2030

Sept 17 – The European Commission’s latest 2030 Target Plan stipulates a 55% cut in emissions by 2030, compared to 1990-levels. The lobby group COGEN Europe stressed the importance of combined heat and power generation (CHP) to reach that goal, calling for more stable policies and supportive regulation.

Rolls-Royce may sell ITP Areo

Sept 17 – Britain’s prime manufacturer Rolls-Royce confirmed it is looking to strengthen its balance sheet, possibly by disposing of ITP Aero which his hoped to generate proceeds of more than £2bn over the next 18 months. Further cost cutting is meant to deliver £1 billion and revamping of the company’s Civil Areospace business should save another £1.3 billion.

China’s GDP may grow 1.8%

Sept 16 – China’s GDP is forecast to grow 1.8% this year as the economy recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic. The government slashed electricity tariffs to support manufacturing but the Asian Development Bank (ADB) warns of mounting credit risk for banks. Fiscal revenue pressure also intensifies as 1.5% of China’s GDP growth in the first half of 2020 was based on bond-funded investment by local governments.

Zeebrugge goes for green hydrogen

Sept 15 – Colruyt Group (Eoly), Parkwind and Fluxys aim to spend up to 35 million Euros to develop a green hydrogen plant in Zeebrugge, Belgium, by 2023. The plan is to convert off-shore wind energy into green hydrogen which can then be injected in the high-pressure natural gas transmission grid.

Shale gas market to top $41bn

Sept 14 – Global markets for unconventional gas, mostly developed by shale fracking, is forecast to grow at an annual rate of 7% to reach $ 41.76 billion by 2024. According to Technavio, the Americas region will remain dominant with an 87% market share as hydraulic fracturing technologies evolve. Top players in the market are BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil, PetroChina, Gazprom, Shell, Santos, Saudi Arabian Oil Co., and YPF.

SNAM, Saipem join forces on hydrogen

Sept 11 – Two Italian energy companies, SNAM and Saipem, have agreed to develop initiatives for green hydrogen production and transport, as well as for carbon dioxide capture, transport and reuse or storage (CCRS). The move supports the European Commission’s Hydrogen Strategy to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

MAN, Wasco to drive Power-to-Gas Tech in Asia

Sept 10 – MAN Energy Solutions and Wasco have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote and commercialize Power-to-X (PtX) projects in South-East Asia. The technology in question converts electricity into carbon-neutral synthetic fuels, gas or liquid, for use as a clean, carbon-neutral energy source.

Romgaz, GSP to realise 200 MW gas and solar project

Sept 9 – Romania’s state gas company Romgaz has agreed to build 200 MW power generation capacity with the privately-owned Grup Servicii Petroliere (GSP) which is controlled by the local businessman Gabriel Comanescu. The project entails a 150 MW gas-fired power plant and a 50 MW solar photovoltaic park, to be built on the site of a disused coal power plant in southern Romania.

Alaska uses twice as much energy for transport as NY

Sept 8 – More energy is used per person for transportation in U.S. states with low population density. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA), people in geographically large states with small populations, such as Alaska, Wyoming and North Dakota, are useing twice as much energy for transportation than the U.S. average on a per capita basis. That’s in stark contrast to states with higher population density, such as Rhode Island and New York.

Hydrogen Council launched in Kobe/Kansai area

Sept 7 – Mitsubishi Power, part of MHI, and various Japanese energy companies have set up the so-called ‘Kobe/Kansai Hydrogen Utilization Council’ to develop new utilization methods and establish a regional hydrogen supply chain. The aim is to help Japan shift to a carbon-free, hydrogen-powered society by 2030.

B&W sets up Asia-Pacific HQ in Perth

Sept 4 – Babcock & Wilcox (B&W) has setup new Asia-Pacific headquarters in Perth, Australia, and named Nick Carter as managing director of the region. Headquartered in Akron, Ohio, the engineering company is also establishing or expanding operations in Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, China and India.

Germany boosts RES targets

Sept 3 – Striving to meet 2030 emission targets, the Germany government is increasing its renewable energy targets while adjusting the grid to accommodate a greater influx of fluctuating power supply. The draft reform of the Renewable Energy Act (EEG) stipulates raising the solar photovoltaic capacity to 100 GW (up from 52 GW today), onshore wind capacity to 71 GW (from 55 GW), offshore wind to 20 GW and biomass to 8.4 GW.

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