Rapid renewables build-out makes California subject to rising volumes of intermittent electricity, hence peak demand is covered by thermal power from Arizona and Utah. California’s net imports were the largest in the U.S. last year at 70.8 million MWh, or 25% of the state’s total supply.
‘Dirty king coal’ is losing out on cost not only to natural gas but also increasingly to solar power. Based on solar PV’s “extremely competitive costs,” the International Energy Agency (IEA) expects solar-derived power will become the “new king” of world electricity markets, overtaking gas.
DNV GL’s 2020 Energy Transition Outlook forecasts global electricity demand will more than double from 26 PWh/yr today to 56 PWh/yr in 2050. Progressive electrification will make industrial and transport sectors, that previously used various energy carriers, increasingly compete for the same sources of renewable energy.
British utility ContourGlobal enters the US energy market by acquiring gas power plants in Texas and New Mexico as part of an $837 million deal. ContourGlobal said it was buying the assets, including a 1,502 MW combined-cycle plant in Trinidad, from Western Generation Partners on a debt and cash-free basis.
Installation of the first 750 MW gas turbine at the 3,200 MW Bac Lieu power plant in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta will start in early 2021. The Singapore-based investor Delta Offshore Energy will sell all electricity from the LNG-to-Power project to Vietnam Electricity starting from 2023.
Europe’s largest power producer Uniper has contracted Siemens Energy to upgrade two grid stabilisation plants in the UK. Synchronous condensers will be installed, or retrofitted, at the Grain power plant in Kent and at the Killingholme plant in Lincolnshire, both due operational in 2021.
The Wärtsilä 31 engine, introduced in 2015, is now being upgraded to increase its power output while maintaining the physical footprint. The output range of 4.2 to 11 MW will be enhanced to 4.6 to 12 MW, with the engine’s fuel-flexible DF version also running on natural gas.
Energy storage deployments in the United States have risen 240% over the previous high, set last quarter, to 476 MW new capacity. Large-scale utility procurements for solar-paired energy storage will see the US battery market grow from 1.2 GW in 2020 to nearly 7.5 GW (and 26.5 GWh) in 2025.
RWE Generation will install 11 units of GE’sLM2500XPRESS technology, based on aeroderivative gas turbines, to deliver 300 MW of reserve power at Biblis to help stabilise the grid in southern Germany. The novel power plant is 95% factory-assembled for fast and easy site installation.
Electricity from gas-fired generation has increased throughout the United States over the past five years. Gas-burn surged 31% in the Northeast, by 20% in the Central region, and by 17% in the South but remained flat in California and the Northwest, where renewables gained ground.
Sports car maker Porsche and Siemens Energy have launched a pilot project on synthetic climate-neutral fuels. The ‘Haru Oni’ project in southern Chile uses wind power to produce around 130,000 litres so-called E-fuels by 2022, with the output meant to rise towards 550 million litres by 2026.
Japanese and Korean investors need to reassess the financial risk of gas-fired power projects in the Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Maryland (PJM) system, where wind and solar gain competitiveness against natural gas. Analysts say Japan’s exposure to such projects in PJM amounts to several billion U.S. dollars, and several plants face delays.