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Daily News

Royal Dutch Shell's Nigerian business unit SPDC has halted operations of the Afam VI power plant (624MW) over a gas shortage due to the closure of the Trans Niger Pipeline.

British consumers will be hit with rising energy bills as utilities are passing on the costs for power grid updates allowing greater volumes of intermittent renewable energy, warned RWE Npower, one of the UK's Big Six power producers.

With about 10 GW of offshore wind power expected to come on the system in the UK by 2020, balancing the additional intermittent capacity, mostly through gas-fired plants, will "not pose a major challenge," Dong Energy's UK country manager, Benji Sykes said in an evening debate in Westminster on 'Cutting the costs of Carbon'.

Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest utility, has filed for approval to build a 700MW combined cycle gas-turbine (CCGT) plant in Flint at a cost of $750 million to replace coal-fired capacity that is up for retirement by 2017.

Impending reforms of Spain's electricity market will reduce Red Electrica's regulated revenues by up to 100 million euros this year from 1,628 million euros, the TSO said with the aim of limiting downside risk for investors.

The use of fuel cell based micro Combined Heat and Power (CHP) installation is rapidly expanding in Japan, underpinned by government support for decentralised power generation in reaction to blackouts in the wake of the 2011 tsunami, says Scott Dwyer, senior analyst for Micro-CHP at Delta-ee.

The European Commission will open a state aid infringement case against Germany on Wednesday to investigate alleged state aid for the energy-intensive under the country's renewable energies act (EEG), a report in Der Spiegel states today.

Demand from Chinese and US energy companies will spur an expansion of the global stream condenser market for thermal power plants to $3.3 billion by 2020.

Shale gas developments in the UK, given their projected timing and modest production volumes, "in no way changes the critical and pressing nature of UK energy policies" and won't affect gas pricing to help promote peak-load power plant projects, says Howard Rogers, Director of the Natural Gas Programme at the Oxford Institute of Energy Studies (OIES).

Natural gas will ascent to become a leading power source in Texas, competing with and complementing the inherently intermittent renewable energy supply, a Brattle Group study shows.

GE Water & Power will supply the Chinese steel and iron company, Jiangsu Yonggang Group with an innovative blast-gas fueled 7.88MW cogeneration system for its steel mill in Zhangjiagang City. The project marks the first commercial use of blast furnace gas to generate power and heat worldwide, GE said.

The share of coal in Germany's power generation mix has risen to 52 percent in the first-half of this year amid a drop in output from gas-fired power plants and wind turbines, research organization Fraunhofer Institute (ISE) said.

News in Brief

Germany ups support for CO2 conversion in industry

Oct 30 – Industries in Germany will enjoy a further 75 million in funding to convert carbon dioxide emissions in heavy industry into useful chemical products. Thyssen-Krupp is already testing the process of converting CO2 emissions into substances like ammonia and methanol. The steel industry alone accounts for 6% of global CO2 emissions.

Operating assets ‘from anywhere’

Oct 29 – GE Digital’s latest software gives electric utilities remote and mobile control over their power stations for remote start-up, external monitoring and operational fine-tuning. The goal is to safe cost through autonomous operation from any location.

Enlit Europe goes digital

Oct 28 – In face of the second wave of the pandemic, Enlit Europe has decided to move its Milan trade show online. A virtual keynote will be held on Thursday, October 29, starting from 9:30 CET.

Singapore sets aside $36m for low-carbon tech

Oct 27 – The Singapore government is supporting low carbon tech by setting aside SG$49 million ($36m) for research into hydrogen, carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) and energy storage. Testbeds for blending of low-carbon hydrogen with natural gas in combined cycle gas turbines, will yield insights into low-carbon tech and facilitate future deployment, said Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star).

Researchers develop lightweight battery

Oct 26 – Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Structural Durability and System Reliability (LBF) have developed a lightweight battery pack to reduce the overall weight of e-car batteries. The new pack holding the battery cells is made of fibre-plastic composites, reducing the weight by 40 percent compared to a casing made of aluminium. The new battery is hoped to drive the upward trend for e-car registrations in Germany and help lower emissions in the transport sector.

MAN to maintain power plant in Benin

Oct 23 – PrimeServ, the after-sales brand of MAN Energy Solutions, has signed a service agreement with BWSC for the Maria Gleta power plant near the city of Cotonou, Benin. The 127 MW plant is powered by seven MAN 18V51/60DF engines. The ten-year contract covers the supply of spare parts and the provision of technical services for scheduled maintenance.

Gas saves Virginia over $14bn

Oct 22 – Virginia’s businesses and families saved more than $14.2 billion between 2008 and 2018 thanks to low-cost natural gas and expanded energy infrastructure, according to a new Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) report. Almost 60% of power generation relies on natural gas and a third of its households use gas for home heating.

Energy storage for LNG-powered vessels

Oct 21 – Louisiana-based Harvey Gulf has asked Wärtsilä to retrofit its energy storage system (ESS) on four LNG-fuelled platform support vessels. Once upgraded in early 2022, all vessels will be of full tri-fuel operation.

Mott McDonald starts construction on ALCP6

Oct 20 – US construction firm Mott McDonald has started building the ALCP6 waste to energy project in Krabi province, southern Thailand. The plant will incinerate 144,000 tonnes per year of municipal solid waste, and the heat obtained will be converted into 6 MW of electricity to be exported to the Thai national grid.

Brace for EU sustainable finance rules

Oct 19 – Sustainable finance practices, drawn up by the European Commission, could create a "bureaucratic monster" that smaller companies and energy investors would find overbearing, the Munich-based Institute for Economic Research (ifo) warned. The regulation should hence prioritise closer scrutiny of large and listed companies.

UK could become net power exporter

Oct 16 – Increased interconnection could provide a route for excess offshore wind power in Britain to be consumed elsewhere in Europe. National Grid Interconnector Register shows up to 16 GW of interconnection could be operational by 2025 and up to 25.4 GW by 2030.

Wärtsilä to deploy GridSolv in US city

Oct 15 – AEP OnSite Partners has contracted Wärtsilä to deploy its GridSolv Quantum energy storage in the city of Martinsville, Virginia. The system includes an UL9540A limiting 2-hour battery firewall and will help lower the city’s energy costs.

Rolls-Royce spends $13.9m in Mankato

Oct 14 – Britain’s engine maker Rolls-Royce has decided to invest nearly $14 million in its Power System business to build a new R&D centre at its MTU manufacturing plant in Mankato, Minnesota, US. The expansion will see 28,000 square foot added to the facility’s existing hall, making room for the production of high-power MTU gas gensets, enhanced product testing and the creation of 20 new manufacturing positions.

Clarke commissions Vitalait power unit in Tunisia

Oct 13 – Clarke Energy and INNIO Jenbacher have completed the commissioning of an onsite power plant of a milk producer in Tunisia. The installation of another Jenbacher gas engine has increased the plant’s output to 4 MW of electricity as well as 1,100 kW of hot water and 800 kW of steam.

Secondary battery market to top $55bn

Oct 12 – Technavio expects the secondary battery market to grow by $55.62 billion through 2024, rising at an 11% rate over the forecast period. Falling costs for lithium-ion batteries as well as growing demand in Asia Pacific allowed the market to grow 2.01% this year, despite adverse effects of the pandemic. Top battery suppliers are Tesla, Clarious, Exide, LG Chem, GS Yuasa and Samsung.

Shift to sustainable tech

Oct 9 – Three quarters of utilities, surveyed by EIT InnoEnergy, are considering adopting sustainable technology over the next 12-18 months. However, over one third of the respondents found it hard to recruit the skills they need.

Generator rentals slow

Oct 8 – The rental market for power generators has slowed down due to the pandemic, with genset rentals from the oil and gas industry forecast to grow by just $153.87 million this year. However, Technavio expects the market will return to a 3% annual growth rate by 2024.

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