Daily News

US power producer, Panda Power Funds, will commission two natural gas-fired plants, based in Temple and Sherman, by the end of 2014 in a move set to add a total of 1,500 megawatts to the Texas electric grid.

Current proposals for UK capacity markets are likely to favour larger portfolio generators and existing, mothballed plants that are better placed to handle risks. "There seems to be general agreement that there will be critical demand for flexible gas-fired power from 2018-2019 onward but the proposed penalty regime could be prohibitive for some players, with some potentially opting to stay outside the capacity market," Tony Ward, head of Power & Utilities at Ernst & Young (EY) said, speaking to Gas to Power Journal.

Bundesnetzagentur (BNetzA), the German energy regulation authority, has received applications for the closure of 30 power plants, with a capacity of more than 6.5 GW, according to a list seen by Gas to Power Journal. Of the 30 plants involved, five ENBW power plants have been declared vital for the system, so a shutdown is not permitted.

Wood Mackenzie analysts expect winter gas shortages to become an annual trend in China through to 2020 as surging gas demand for power generation and heating in cities cannot be met by domestic supply. Progress on shale gas production remains slow despite a domestic gas price reform, so reliance on importing LNG spot cargoes continues.

Irish utility Energy Supply Board (ESB) has sold its 50% stake in the Marchwood Power Station in the UK to the reinsurancer Munich Re. Though ESB did not reveal how much it received for its holding in the 800-megawatt plant, proceeds are understood to be in excess of £200m (€240m).

The former head of the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has said that natural gas in the U.S. offers a bridge to a cleaner energy mix. Carol Browner, now senior counsellor at the Albright Stonebridge Group, gave her comments at a conference focused on the energy outlook for 2014.

Setting up a capacity market in Germany would "very expensive" and seems unnecessary as the country is oversupplied – except for southern states – and should rather switch off older power plants instead of keeping them alive with financial support, said Claudia Kemfert, head of the energy, transport and environment department at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW).

Ed Davey, the UK secretary for energy and climate change, has urged country leaders at the UN climate conference in Warsaw to end funding for overseas coal-fired power plants as a step towards forging a global climate protection deal in 2015.

Cote d'Ivoire will have an additional 139MW of gas-fired capacity as Globeleq, an independent power company, announced an expansion of its existing 288MW Azito gas power plant near Abidjan to be completed by 2015. Expansion works have started and are set to increase the plant's capacity by 50% without requiring any additional fuel, with the electricity output set to be sold to the state through a 20-year concession.

EDF Energy has submitted an updated application to build a gas-fired power station (1,800 MW) at Sutton Bridge in Lincolnshire. The proposal will now be considered by the UK Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and follows a previous application made in December 2005 that has since been on hold.

China is turning to use more natural gas for power generation to help promote energy saving and reduce air pollution. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has set out plans for gas supply capacity to exceed 260 Bcm, underpinning a 16.2% growth gas-fired capacity to reach 56 GW/year by 2015.

Energy and services company Emera has spent $541 million to buy three combined-cycle gas-fired power plants in New England from Capital Power Corporation in a bid to expand its plant portfolio. The purchased assets comprise the 520MW Bridgeport Energy plant in Connecticut, the 265MW Tiverton Power plant in Rhode Island, and the 265MW Rumford Power plant, Maine.

News in Brief

Growth in turbine air filtration tops 3%

July 22 – The turbine air filtration market is expected to grow 3.27% annually from $1.92 billion in 2020 to reach $2.29 billion in 2026. Demand from the oil & gas industry and electric utilities had plunged during the corona crisis and subsequent economic downturn, but the latest trend towards clean energy is driving robust growth for turbine air filtration which can be widely and easily applied in the power sector.

US oil exports stay high

July 21 – Despite volatile prices, U.S. crude oil exports reached a record high in 2020 and remained strong this year, averaging 3.51 million barrels per day (b/d). Expanded ports at Houston and Corpus Christi allow for oil to be exported from the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Basin.

CVEC to be converted to hydrogen

July 20 – Cricket Valley Energy Center (CVEC) is taking steps to run the  combined-cycle plants on hydrogen. Works to convert the plant will be carried out by GE and are scheduled to start in late 2022. One of three GE 7F.05 gas turbines at CVEC will be introduced to a 5% hydrogen blend with natural gas.

MAN ETES labelled solar impulse efficient

July 16 – MAN Electro-Thermal Energy Storage (ETES) was attributed the “Solar Impulse Efficient Solution” label by independent auditors. In January, the German manufacturer supplied to ETES heat pumps to DIN Forsyning for a heat and power plant in the Danish port city Esbjerg.

Electricity sales to US industry rebounds

July 14 – Economic recovery has caused a 5.1% rise electricity sales to US industry this year, dwarfing 2.8% more retail sales and a 2.1% rise in the commercial sector as many office workers continue working from home. The US Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) acting administrator, Steve Nalley, called the rebound in electricity sales to industry a “strong sign of rising levels of economic output as the Covid-19 pandemic recedes.”

Solar PV to triple in Asia by 2030

July 13 – Asia Pacific solar photovoltaic capacity could triple to 1,500 gigawatts (GW) by 2030. According to Wood Mackenzie estimates, China will add 619 GW of mainly utility-scale capacity while most other nations in Asia prefers distributed solar due to land constraints. Solar PV tends to be backed up by flexible gas gensets and energy storage, forming hybrid power units.

Kinder Morgan closes on Stagecoach assets

July 12 – US energy infrastructure major Kinder Morgan has closed its acquisition of Stagecoach Gas Services. The deal include 4 gas storage facilities with a 41 bcf working gas capacity and a transmission network with multiple interconnects to major interstate pipelines, including Tennessee Gas Pipeline. The Stagecoach assets add to Kinder Morgan’s approximately 83,000 miles of pipelines and 144 terminals.

Dortmund cancels electrotechnik fair

July 9 – The elektrotechnik fair, planned for 29 September to 1 October 2021, will now not be taking place in Dortmund due to requests from the industry. The next trade fair for building, industrial, energy and lighting technology will now open its doors again in spring 2023.

Hitachi to change name of ABB Power Grids

July 7 – Hitachi ABB Power Grids will become Hitachi Energy in October. The Japanese manufacturer bought a controlling stake in ABB’s grid business a year ago and is about to fully take the name of the merged company while expanding its direction towards e-mobility and data centres.

Tapping wind energy for hydrogen

July 6 – Spanish utility Naturgy and the gas grid operator Enagás are evaluating the use of 350 MW offshore and onshore wind capacity to produce green hydrogen. The fuel will be used to decarbonise the steel industry and shipyard in northwest Spain.

EU seeks to expand Green Deal to Africa

July 5 – The European Green Deal should be expanded to also include African states as partners, the German development minister Gerd Müller said. Green hydrogen production in Africa, in his view, should be a “cornerstone for economic cooperation with the Europe.”

Decom Engineering updates PCR

July 2 – Northern Ireland-based Decom Engineering has invested more than £700,000 to develop tools for repurposing and clean decommissioning of energy infrastructure. Through updated Pipe Coating Removal (PCR) equipment, decommissioned or surplus pipelines can be cleaned of multiple coatings, so they can be repurposed for used on other projects.

Cummins buys half of Momentum Fuels

July 1 – Cummins has signed a letter of intent to acquire a 50% equity interest in Momentum Fuel Technologies from Rush Enterprises. The transaction is expected to close before year-end, and the combined venture will produce Cummins-branded natural gas fuel delivery systems for the commercial vehicle market in North America.

Gazprom evaluates cost of grey hydrogen

June 30 – Scientific studies by Gazprom and the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) seek to solve technical challenges in producing grey hydrogen through steam reforming in the most cost-efficient way, as well as transporting the fuel to end-users. The findings of the studies will be factored into Gazprom's sustainable development scenarios up to 2050.

Redox about to overtake Li-ion batteries

June 28 – Li-ion batteries have dominated the energy storage field, but are expected to lose their leading role in stationary applications. According to IDTechEx findings, Redox flow batteries are gaining traction and are likely to overtake the installed Li-ion battery energy capacity before the end of 2030.

B&W proceeds with waste-to-energy projects

June 25 – Babcock & Wilcox’s (B&W) renewable segment has received limited notice to proceed for a waste-to-energy project in Europe as it finalizes terms for a $24 million contract with the customer. Ohio-based B&W said it looks to capitalize on an estimated addressable market of more than $7 billion in Europe over the next three years.

Japan’s gas-burn on the rise

June 24 – LNG imports for power generation in Japan have rebounded with steady volumes from the Middle East and Australia and higher cargo numbers from Russia and the US, though LNG deliveries were outpaced by thermal coal shipments. The May 2021 LNG shipments amounted to 4.95 million tonnes, or around 73 cargoes, a 8.2% rise on volumes received in May 2020, according to trade figures by the Japanese finance ministry.

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