Green stimulus packages, fiercely debated in Germany, could be instrumental to reset the economy on a more climate-friendly path as the country gradually phases out both nuclear and coal power. However, calls from the industry to loosen emission regulations to boost economic activity are growing louder.
European responses to contain the coronavirus accelerate the electricity system transition by a decade, Wärtsilä analysis finds. Coal generation collapsed by almost one third in the four weeks prior to April 10 while renewables contributed half of the reduced EU electricity demand, down by on tenth due to the lockdowns.
Germany should not focus exclusively on ‘green hydrogen’, made with renewable electricity, but start decarbonising LNG pipeline gas as well, Uniper CEO Andreas Schierenbeck. The Nord Stream-2 pipeline could run on 80% hydrogen, he said to increase public acceptance for the project.
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), the largest municipal utility in the U.S., is leading a $1.9 billion project to convert the 1.9 GW Intermountain Power Plant from coal to gas and green hydrogen. MHPS supplies two M501JAC power trains, due onstream in 2025.
Texas-based Vistra is stepping up the size of its battery energy storage unit at its Oakland Power Plant. The capacity of the battery will be boosted to 36 MW/145 MWh, up from initially 20 MW/80 MWh, and it is due to enter commercial operation by January 2022.
Peaking power plants in France, mostly gas combined-cycle units, are lying idle in recent days as power demand from industries fell 26.4% due to the lockdown, extended until at least May 11. Spark spreads, the profit margin for burning gas to generate electricity, are deep in the red.
Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems’ (MHPS) fleet of 43 J-series gas turbines worldwide have reached one million hours of commercial operation, nearly double that of similar-sized turbines from competitors. Launched in 2011, the J-series delivers 99.5% reliability and efficiency greater than 64%.
Siemens Gas and Power has been selected to supply three SGT-700B industrial gas turbines (33 MW each) to upgrade chemical manufacturing processes at Ascend Performance Materials’ factory in Alabama. The shift to gas turbines for steam generation will allow Ascend to retire ageing assets and lower emissions.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has extended the nationwide lockdown until May 3 but allows some graded relaxations. The restart of selected manufacturing after April 20 is seen to be critical to the country’s economic stability and the shape of near-term energy demand.
As the U.S. has become the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic, grid operators have seen not only reduced weekday electricity demand relative to expectations for this time of year and current weather but also changes in daily electricity usage profiles. The morning peak, for example, is now later and with a more gradual ramp.
China’s Baotou Iron and Steel Group has contracted Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) to build two 165 MW blast furnace gas-fuelled power plants at its manufacturing site in the Inner Mongolia. Powered by M701S turbines, the CCGTs will make use of steelworks gas emissions.
Debt financiers of U.S. fracking firms are preparing to directly manage distressed energy assets to avoid debt write-offs in the event of bankruptcies. Bank of America, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase and Wells Bank are understood to set up holding companies for distressed oil and gas producers as the industry owes over $200 billion to lenders.