Industriekraftwerk Greifswald, a joint venture between Wingas and E.ON, has commissioned a combined heat and power (CHP) unit in Lubmin, Germany, fuelled by natural gas sourced through the Nord Stream pipeline. Capable to ramp up to full load in just 10 minutes, the fast-start unit is expected to deliver 47 megawatts (MW) of process heat and about 39 MW of electricity. "Since the Lubmin plant is utilizing low energy heat, a fuel efficiency of 90% can be achieved during optimal conditions," a Siemens spokesperson told Gas to Power Journal.
Stepping up efforts on energy efficiency may limit the need for new-build power generating capacity. "Simply put, the cleanest megawatt hour will be the one we never need (...). It is also often the cheapest, and the easiest to achieve in difficult conditions," says IEA executive director, Maria van der Hoeven.
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.