Daily News

The German Parliament has adopted a law that ensures the phase-out of coal power by no later than 2038. Several reviews throughout the 2020s will assess progress on the build-out of wind and solar power as the end date for burning lignite could be brought forward to 2035.

Lockdowns and stay-at-home orders have increased U.S. residential electricity use substantially in April through June. The sector would have used 3.1 million MWh of electricity per day in April, as per the previous five years, but in April 2020 demand was 3.3 million or about 6% higher.

Penn Power, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp, has started to modernize its electricity infrastructure in Lawrence County as part of a new, four-year plan. Works add to the utility’s previous grid enhancements that have reduced the number of frequency disruption by 20% on average.

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems’ T-Point 2 gas turbine validation facility has started up in Japan. Powered by a JAC gas turbine, the T-Point 2 power station has entered operations at record-setting combined-cycle efficiency greater than 64% and a turbine inlet temperature of 1650°C.

Europe’s largest power producer E.ON and the German steelmaker thyssenkrupp have teamed up to produce hydrogen by linking large-scale electrolysis units, built by the latter, with E.ON’s virtual power plants (VPPs). That way, industrial hydrogen can help integrate green energy into the grid.

Germany’s Evonik and UK’s Omexom have ordered 18 of GE’s ‘Green Gas for Grid’ solutions, or ‘g³’ gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) bays for use at industrial sites. g³ is an alternative to sulphur hexafluoride (SF₆), a potent greenhouse gas, used in high-voltage equipment including switchgear.

The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) has issued requests for proposals (RFP) for up to 500 MW of mobile temporary capacity to meet peak summer demand. PREPA said it still assess the damages of an earthquake earlier this year, which incapacitated the 967 MW Costa Sur power plant.

Cummins has taken legal actions against Turbo Lab for infringement of patents by the unauthorized selling of turbo nozzle rings, a critical component of the Holset VGT engine. Turbo had to concede Cummins’ patents were valid and infringed, and must now destroy all existing infringing stock.

MAN Energy Solutions has completed the Sund power plant extension and handed it over to Elfelagið SEV, the local energy supplier on the Faroe Islands. Four MAN 9L51/60 engines were added, enhancing the plant's generating capacity by 37 MW as well as district heating.

Indonesia’s LNG imports are expected to be resilient against the coronavirus-led global economic downturn. Wood Mackenzie says import volumes could hit 3.1 million tonnes in the second half of 2020, rising 1.2 million tonnes or 63% year-on-year.

Black Bear Transmission has agreed to acquire six intrastate natural gas pipelines spanning approximately 1,400 miles in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi from a subsidiary of Third Coast Midstream. The transaction marks Black Bear’s second bolt-on acquisition, having bought the Ozark system from Enbridge in April 2020.

Global battery manufacturing capacity is seen surge as energy storage is increasingly installed in conjunction with fast-start gas engine gensets and renewables. By 2021, battery making is forecast to more than double to 278 Gigawatt-hours (GWh), up from 103 GWh at present.

News in Brief

Tokyo Gas snaps up US shale assets

July 31 – The Japanese utility Tokyo Gas has agreed to raise its stake in the U.S. firm Castleton Resources to 70 percent from 46 percent to increase its foothold in shale gas production in Texas and Louisiana.  Castleton Resources holds acreage in the Haynesville and Cotton Valley formations. The transaction is scheduled to be completed on August 14.

Electrical PE market to grow 1.7% through 2027

July 30 – The market for electrical protective equipment (PE) in North America, valued at $2,787 million in 2019, is forecast to rise at an annual rate of 1.7 percent to reach $3,163 million by 2027. Main growth drivers, according to ResearchandMarkets, are ongoing power transmission projects in the context with U.S. LNG export infrastructure expansions.

GE wins turbine order from Italian paper mill

July 29 – DS Smith Paper Italia has ordered a GE LM6000PF aero-derivative gas turbine for its paper mill in Lucca, Italy. The paper mill is currently powered by two aero-derivative turbines, and the additional unit will increase plant efficiency by 2%, while assuring steam supply for the industrial process.

Aceleron secures £2m green energy investment

July 28 – UK battery developer Aceleron today announced receipt of a £2 million equity investment from BGF and Mercia Asset Management. Aceleron is BGF’s second investment into a pure clean technology, signalling a shift in behaviour as more and more fund managers support a green recovery and the UK’s policy of net-zero carbon by 2050.

NRG buys Centrica’s North American arm for over $3.6bn

July 27 – U.S. utility NRG Energy has agreed with Centrica to acquire the latter’s North American subsidiary Direct Energy for $3.625 billion in an all-cash transaction. The transaction will diversify NRG’s earnings by adding more than three million retail customers and generate an estimated $740 million in adjusted EBITDA upon closing.

Siemens rolls out Comfy app

July 24 – Siemens is deploying its workplace experience solution Comfy across its global offices, including major utility customers. The aim is to equip approximately 600 company locations by October 2020.

BlackRock puts $18bn into sustainable investment

July 23 – Sustainability aspects are poised to bring about "fundamental change" to the way financial market actors operate, said Philipp Hildebrand, vice head of U.S. investment company BlackRock. About 18 billion dollars have been put into BlackRock's sustainable investment products since the beginning of 2020, he told the German business daily FAZ, arguing this would be "only the beginning" of a much larger shift in investment practices.

Vaca Muerta output slows

July 22 – Argentina has resorted to importing LNG for the Southern Hemisphere winter as domestic production at the vast Vaca Muerta shale formation fell in the first half of 2020. State-owned IEASA purchased 28 LNG cargoes at average prices of $2.87 million British thermal units (mmBtu).

GE to implement air quality control systems in India

July 21 – GE Power India Ltd (GEPIL) has won three contracts with a combined value of $112.57 million to supply air quality control systems. One semi-dry flue-gas desulfurization (FDG) unit will be installed for Hindalco Industries’ 1x150MW power plant at the Aditya aluminium smelter in Sambalpur. A wet FDGs system will be installed on behalf of NTPC for their Feroze Gandhi Unchahar thermal power plant (2x210MW plus 2x210 MW plus 1x210MW units) in Rae Bareli, Uttar Pradesh.

Wärtsilä CEO sees “tough” H2 ahead

July 20 – Wärtsilä CEO Jaakko Eskola has told analysts he sees a “tough second half of the year ahead,” as the Finish manufacturer seeks to mitigate Covid-related business disruptions. In the segment of up to 500 MW, Wärtsilä’s market share fell from 9% to 8%, while orders for gas- and liquid- power plants increased by 1% to 17.8 GW during the twelve-month period ending in March 2020.

GE launches update to digital plant software

July 17 – GE Digital has unveiled updates to its digital power plant software: Proficy Plant Applications, Proficy Operations Hub, Proficy Historian, and Proficy CSense. The software accelerates digitization for industries and integrates related onsite power generation units.

Germany EEG fund slips into the red

July 16 – Germany's green energy fund, funded through the renewable energy surcharge (EEG levy), has slipped into the red for the first time since 2013, according to TSO data. The account, funded by end-customers through a surcharge on their power bill, fell from about €2 billion in available funds to €-1.16 billion in the first six months of 2020.

China seen overtake Japan as worlds’ largest LNG buyer by 2025

July 15 – The International Energy Agency (IEA) expects China to overtake Japan as the world’s biggest LNG buyer with imports of 128 Bcm a year by 2025, equivalent to around 174 million tonnes. However, IEA analysts cautioned this scenario is “highly dependent on China’s future policy direction” and whether that includes an ongoing push for coal-to-gas switching for industry, residential heating and power generation.

IEA stages Clean Energy Transitions Summit

July 14 – Ministers from dozens of countries, accounting for over 80% of the world economy, have participated in the first Clean Energy Transitions Summit organised by the International Energy Agency (IEA). Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director, said there “clearly is momentum” behind a sustainable recovery from the economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. Participants agreed to reconvene in mid-2021.

Siemens Energy to exit coal

Jul 13 – Newly formed technology company Siemens Energy wants to phase-out any operations and technology to related to coal-fired power generation, CEO Joe Kaeser said, without giving a specific timeline. Siemens had been harshly criticised earlier this year for participating in the Adani coal mine project in Australia.

Statkraft, GE enhance GB grid stability

July 10 – Statkraft and GE Power Conversion are working together to stabilise Britain’s power grid. To that end, GE will manufacture and install two Rotating Stabiliser synchronous machines at Statkraft’s site in Keith, Moray. Statkraft was awarded four stability contracts (two at Keith and two at Lister Drive) by National Grid ESO (NGESO) earlier this year.

Siemens Energy spin-off approved

July 9 – A large majority of Siemens shareholders have voted to approve the spin-off of the company’s energy business. The spin-off was approved by 99.36 percent of capital stock represented at today’s extraordinary shareholders’ meeting.

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