Germany's second largest utility RWE gears up to save "at least €500m per year" in costs at its power generation unit, in a move aimed at balancing losses incurred from falling wholesale power prices and reduced run-time hours of its fossil power plant fleet.
With European power prices caught in a downward spiral, utilities like Franco-Belgian GDF Suez or Germany's EnBW, E.on and RWE will resort to "more capacity closures", forecasts JP Morgan Cazenove.
As part of a 'smart grid' feasibility study, energy storage company ITM Power has launched an upgrade to its hydrogen-producing HGas electrolyser on the Isle of Wight, UK to allow more solar and wind power to come on the grid safely. Sponsored by the UK government, the study examines how HGas electrolyser units produce hydrogen gas from surplus renewable power that utilities can sell as fuel to natural gas consumers and power plants.
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has won a majority in the upper house, ending a political stalemate as he now controls both houses of parliament. The reshuffle paves the way for Japan to return to nuclear power, in a move poised to curb LNG imports and reduce the share of gas for power generation.
A heat wave in North Asia has spurred LNG demand for power generation amid rising use of air conditioning, with buyers rushing to increase gas inventories to cover summer spot requirements.
Nasdaq-listed Global Power Equipment Group (GLPW) has won an order worth $4million (25 million renminbi) to supply intake systems for the two unit Gaoantun power plant, located near the Chinese capital Beijing.
GDF Suez Energy North America has awarded Alstom a long-term service contract worth $480 million to enhance the flexibility of its power plant fleet in the US.
Japanese telecoms and energy provider SoftBank Group and American fuel cell producer Bloom Energy have formed a 50/50 joint venture, Bloom Energy Japan, to start selling distributed installations for base-load power. Bloom Energy Servers are based on gas-fired solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) stacks, with a net base load power output of 200kW.
UK Chancellor George Osborne has granted tax breaks to shale gas developers of more than half the amount they pay on profits, in an effort to kick-start shale gas drilling to boost Britain's domestic supply of gas for power generation.
In an effort to curb energy bills, Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is using Kitakyushu City as a test bed for a hydrogen storage system integrated with controller software, solar panels and industrial CHP (Combined Heat and Power) backup. The City of Yokohama, Toyota City, and Keihanna are also part of the Japan Smart City Portal experiment, which began in 2010 and ends in 2014.
Slashing the financing granted for coal-fired power projects is part of the World Bank's new energy strategy. "Only in rare circumstances" will the bank support new greenfield coal power generation projects, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said, while the help for natural gas projects will be scaled up.
ABB has won an order worth $30 million from Zagros Energy to build four substations in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, as part of an initiative to strengthen the reliability of the regional power grid. The project is scheduled for completion in 2014.