Importers of LNG to India strive to lower the per-unit-costs of natural gas to unlock the huge demand potential from fuel switching in the power sector. In eastern India, however, a severe lack of pipeline capacity hampers the distribution of regasified LNG, though works on the 2,655km Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga (PMGU) pipeline are due completed by year-end.
Transforming India to a “gas-based economy” has been President Narendra Modi’s vision for years but the country can ill afford subsidizing LNG imports to reduce fuel costs for power plants. Banks invested some Rs50,000 crores ($7.18bn) in these projects – many unable to repay their debt, leaving Indian public money at risk.
The Finish technology group Wärtsilä has signed an EPC contract for a new 100 MW/100 MWh energy storage project in South East Asia. The facility, including GEMS and the GridSolv solution, will be used for grid balancing purposes. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) committed to meeting 23 percent of its energy needs from renewables by 2025.
Singapore-based Delta Offshore Energy has been handed an investment permit to develop a $4 billion LNG-to-Power project in Vietnam’s southern province of Bac Lieu. Fuel for the 3,200 MW combined-cycle power plant will be shipped from the Magnolia LNG export plant in Louisiana, U.S.
The Argentine President Alberto Fernandez is preparing a bill to encourage more hydraulic fracking in the Vaca Muerta shale with a view to boosting domestic gas production for the power sector. Excess supply is sold via YPF’s small-scale liquefaction plant ‘Tango FLNG’ and plans for a larger, onshore LNG export plants are already in the making.
China’s hunger for gas surpasses initial estimates, hence Gazprom is evaluating a second interconnector in the Far East. With the launch of the landmark ‘Power of Siberia’ pipeline, Gazprom’s focus shifted to its Chinese offtaker CNPC who agreed to import 38 Bcm annually over the next 30 years, under a deal worth some $400 billion.
The German renewables energy surcharge (EEG) has swept a record payout into the coffers of wind, solar, biomass and hydropower producers. Proceeds totaled 27.5 billion Euros 2019, triple the amount paid in the previous year which sparked anger amongst end-users who have to pay the EEG surcharge with their electricity bills.
The Japanese trading house Marubeni has agreed to help transform the United Arab Emirates (UAE) into a “hydrogen-based society.” The aim is to use green hydrogen, produced from renewable energy, to help dent Abu Dhabi’s growing energy needs in a sustainable way.
Scaling up battery storage significantly to solely balance renewable power supply is not feasible, the London-based flexible power provider Statera said. Though Britain aspires to become carbon-neutral by 2050, the industry cautions this will prove impossible without gas gensets as backup.
In the first seven weeks of operation, Stadtwerke Kiel’s new gas-fuelled combined heat and power plant (CHP) has set “new standards in terms of flexibility, efficiency and sustainability,” the operator said. Powered by 20 Jenbacher J920 FleXtra gas engines, Kiel’s new coastal power plant provides 190 MW electricity and 192 MW thermal energy.
On-site power provider Cummins and researchers at the University of California (UC) San Diego are reusing and repurposing electric vehicle (EV) batteries for energy storage. The focus lies on lithium-ion batteries, which are currently recycled at a rate of less than 5% in the American market.
With plentiful supplies of cheap pipeline gas and LNG available, Europe in 2020 will once again become the ‘market of last resort.’ Record low prices at the Dutch TTF gas trading hub, last seen at $3.55 per MMBtu, incentivizes a significant step-up in coal-to-gas switching across northern Europe.
Utilities, particularly in China and Europe, are retrofitting their gas turbine with combustor enhancements to make assets more cost-effective. To support this market, Ansaldo Energia affiliate PSM developed a Low Emission Combustor (LEC-III) and new FlameSheet combustor retrofit for B, E and F-class gas turbines.
Energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the United States are forecast to continue falling year-on-year through 2021. Coal-to-gas switching in the power sector led to a 10.8 percent fall in emissions in 2020, after plunging 12.7 percent in 2019 due to record-low gas prices. However, EIA analysts say this rate will be less this year and in 2021, at 2.7 percent.
Utilities, trade unions and Germany’s federal and regional policy makers have agreed a landmark €40 billion deal to phase out all coal-fired power plants by 2038. The latest coal exit adds to the earlier agreed nuclear exit, under a scheme to compensate electric utilities, workers and coal-mining regions.