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.