Daily News

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).

Swiss software maker, Coresystems, has raised €11.3 million in a first round of funding for its iPad app technology that simplifies the inspection of gas-fired power plants and other industrial processes. The funding has come from a consortium of private Swiss and German technology investors, including ex-SAP board member Peter Zencke.

Natural gas is the cheapest and most widely used fuel in Russia, exceeding 70% of the of fuel balance of thermal power producers in Russia. However, regulated prices distort the generating mix, GCE-Group president and CEO Aleksander Moskalenko warned regulated prices distort the market and pose a risk to security of energy supply.

Struggling to reign in losses in its Spanish home market Gas Natural Fenosa (GNF) has set out a strategy for post-2015 growth, focussing on midstream LNG, downstream gas distribution, and international electricity generation mainly in South America.

Tennessee based manufacture and service company, Clarcor has agreed to acquire GE's air filtration business for $265 million. The GE unit currently generates trailing 12 month revenues of approximately $230 million and has over 700 employees worldwide.

Up to 30 gigawatts of Japan’s mothballed nuclear power plants are expected to restart in 2014, displacing demand for natural gas power. “The power companies have actually already applied to restart 12 reactors with a total capacity of 11.2 GW, and others will come up over the next year or two no doubt,“ says Niall Trimble, managing director of the Energy Contract Company.

Lookheed Martin has developed technology to harnesses differences in sea temperature to gasify liquid and power a turbine at the surface. Together with Reignwood Group it has started to design a 10 MW pilot project which will be the world's largest Ocean Thermal Conversion (OTEC) power plant.

News in Brief

Orbital signs MSA with Midwestern utility

Dec 3 – Orbital Energy has signed a master service agreement (MSA) with a US Midwestern investor-owned utility. The accord is expected to generate monthly revenues from the fourth quarter and increase revenues by 30% on an annualised basis.

Wärtsilä to use Shell engine oils

Dec 2 – The Finish engine maker Wärsilä has selected Shell as its test oil partner for engines during stress tests and fine-tuning at engine manufacturing sites. Shell’s Mysella, Argina and Gadinia range of engine oils have been developed to provide top class engine cleanliness, enhanced wear protection, long oil life, and high system efficiency.

Hamburg CHP runs fully on hydrogen

Dec 1 – Field testing has started for HanseWerk’s combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Hamburg to run fully on hydrogen. The converted 1 MW pilot plant, powered by Jenbacher engines, provides district heating equal to 13,000 MWh/year to 30 residential buildings, a sports facility, a daycare center, and the Othmarschen Park leisure centre.

Oil majors in the red

Nov 30 – For most oil majors worldwide, higher prices are needed to get their business out of the red. Breakeven prices for Saudi Arabia are $85 per barrel, around $64/bbl for Iraq, $49/bbl for Kuwait and as little as $40/bbl for Russia. As business confidence plummets, major oil companies have already slashed planned CAPEX spending by almost $89 billion in first quarter of 2020, with further cuts being made throughout the summer and autumn.

EU invests into battery cells

Nov 27 – Germany's EU Council Presidency has pledged Europe should develop an integrated value creation chain for battery cells, starting with the processing of raw materials over battery cell production to recycling. Germany is investing 3 billion Euros into the two projects that foster novel methods of battery production.

Rolls-Royce wins order from Hinkley Point C

Nov 26 – Rolls-Royce has been awarded an order from Hinkley Point C to deliver 140 Bibloc pressure transmitters for the two EPR nuclear reactors currently under construction in Somerset, UK. The transmitters will measure the flow, level and pressure of the Nuclear Steam Supply System (NSSS).

CHP industry to grow 14.4% through 2025

Nov 25 – The combined heat and power (CHP) market, evaluated at $12.152 billion, is expected to expand nearly 14.4% per year to reach $27.196 million by 2025. Growth is primarily driven by government funding and subsidy schemes. According to the U.S Environmental Protection Agency, the country aims to install 40 GW of new, cost-effective CHP to save $10 billion per year, compared to current energy use.

Rolls-Royce opens US customer center

Nov 24 – Rolls-Royce has opened its latest US customer support center in Savannah, Gerogia. The 62,000 square feet facility houses a power plant completion center, a wing services repair unit and a warehouse, all under one roof.

Lithium Werks grows manufacturing

Nov 23 – US-Dutch manufacturer Lithium Werks is growing the output and sales fuel cells and battery modules for use as power, pulse, and stand-by applications. The company’s 26650 Nanophosphate cells are used as single cells, as well as to build cell-packs and modules like Lithium Werks P40-24 battery modules. The Austin and Enschede-based company said it can “produce millions of 18650 and 26650 cells a month in China.”

AGL plans 1,000 MWh battery

Nov 20 – Australian power producer and retailer ALG wants to realise a large grid-connected battery storage unit of up to 250 MW rated output and four hours’ duration of storage, equalling 1,000 MWh. The battery will be built in stages on the site of Torrens Island Power Station in South Australia. AGL vowed to reach net zero emissions by 2050, but is currently still operating some 40 GW of coal-fired generation.

Fusion demo plant to be designed in Canada

Nov 19 – Vancouver-based General Fusion has entered a partnership with the architecture firm AL_A to design a demonstration plant, based on magnetized target fusion (MTF). Once operational, the demo plant will showcase MTF technology under power plant-relevant conditions.

Toshiba opens H2One fuelling station

Nov 18 – Toshiba has opened the first ‘H2OneMulti Station’ which fills fuel cell vehicles with green hydrogen and supplies for green electricity at Tsuruga City in Fukui prefecture. The station consists of H2One ST Unit and H2One, using hydrogen produced from wind and solar power sources.

Shale gas market grows at 7% rate

Nov 17 – Unconventional gas markets are poised to grow by $41.76 billion through 2024, rising at a rate of almost 7%. According to Technavio, about 87% of the supply growth this year is coming from the Americas.

Agua Blanca pipeline expanded

Nov 16 – Austin-based WhiteWater Midstream and MPLX have completed a 1.8 billion cubic-feet-per-day (Bcf/d) expansion of their joint venture Agua Blanca pipeline system. Christer Rundlof, CEO of WhiteWater CEO, said the expansion will be brought into service ahead of schedule. Testing and commissioning will begin this month, for the new pipeline stretch to be brought into full service in early 2021.

Wärtsilä integrates clean energy

Nov 13 – Finish technology group Wärtsilä strives to integrate variable clean power sources to achieve a 100% renewable energy future. The necessary operational flexibility will come from gas generation assets running on synthetic renewable fuels and by the extended use of energy storage.

First German-Belgium power link to start operation

Nov 12 – The two TSOs Amprion and Elia are preparing to launch the first electric interconnector between Germany and Belgium. The 1,000 MW interconnector stretches between Aachen and Lüttich, from where it links to the Rhineland region and Wallonia. It will go into operation as of 18 November, with intraday capacities to begin trading on 8 December.

Sachsen Energie takes on E.ON and RWE

Nov 11 – A small regional energy provider in Saxony seeks to counter the dominance of E.ON and RWE. Sachsen Energie, set up in a merger between two local utilities, claims it will become "the largest municipal utility in eastern Germany," catering to about one million customers, when it begins operation in 2021.

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