Intelligent use of drones in the electric power sector can help utilities enhance the operational safety of their assets. Routine inspections of boilers, wind turbine blades and power transmission lines can be made cost-effectively by an unmanned drone – without putting workers at risk.
High-voltage direct current (HVDC) lines play a vital role in integrating renewable energy into the electric grid. Considering their cost effectiveness and lower electricity losses, HVDC lines could – if properly configured – help mitigate some operational issues associated with renewable generation.
Eager to develop proprietary gas turbine technology, State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC) of China has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Siemens to explore a technology cooperation. The aim of SPIC is to boost its heavy duty gas turbine programme.
Taking bold steps to curb air pollution, China’s State Council has extended the reach of the three-year 'blue sky defence' action plan to cities in Shanxi, Shaanxi and Henan provinces. The target area now includes ‘2+26’ cities and prioritizes switching from coal to gas for winter heating and power generation, as well as renewables. Accelerating air pollution now affects a region with 37% of China's population and contributes to 41% of the GDP.
Peak power demand in ERCOT, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, can barely be met with installed capacity as reserve margins are less than 11%. This is not enough to meet peak summer demand, the North American Electric Reliability Corp (NERC) finds, considering that reserve margins in PJM Interconnection (PJM) are substantially higher at about 33%.
Pacific Gas and Electric Co (PG&E), together with Texas-based Vistra Energy, have sought regulatory approval to install a 300-MW/1,200-MWh battery storage facility at Moss Landing in California. The project is part of a wider PG&E venture, comprising four projects with a total capacity of 567.5 MW – all due for commissioning before end-2020.
Alan Finkel, Australia’s chief scientist, has highlighted the country’s potential to become a world leader in energy storage, including renewable hydrogen. Large-scale deployment of energy storage, however, requires a smarter electricity grid and mechanisms to empower consumers to manage their costs.
Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) has joined forces with Énergir, a Canadian gas utility, along with French utilities GRDF and GRTgaz, focusing on research into clean energy sources. Targeted innovations include renewable natural gas, solar-powered hydrogen generation, fuel cells, power-to-gas and energy storage.
Alleviating power shortages in Myanmar, the Finish technology group Wärtsilä will provide equipment for a new gas power plant. The 145 MW facility, to be driven by eight Wärtsilä 50SG engines, is under construction on a fast-track basis and scheduled to be operational in the first quarter of 2019.
Natural gas, coal and petroleum account for at least 80% of energy consumption in the United States, even though the share of fossil fuels has fallen to the lowest level since 1902. Fossil fuel consumption in the U.S. dropped for the third consecutive year, according to EIA data, driven by slight decreases in coal and gas use in the power sector.
EGEMAC, Egypt’s largest original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of medium-voltage equipment, has asked ABB to supply several thousand medium-voltage air insulated indoor switch-disconnectors. ABB’s devices will help improve grid performance and ensure stable supply to almost 50 million users of electricity.
July has started with early and intense heat in the United States, which coincides with a new high in natural gas production. However, consumption from the power sector is soaking up any additional supply, as cooling demand skyrockets and a slate of new combined-cycle generators (CCGTs) have begun operation. Cash prices at Henry Hub are nearing the critical $3/mmbtu price threshold.
Researchers from Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) and B&B Agema have been looking at a novel design approach – Nekomimi film cooling – to further increase temperatures at the combustor exit and high-pressure turbine stage inlet. The aim is to boost efficiency without putting too much strain on vanes and blades, considering that modern turbine stage inlet temperatures exceed the melting points of turbine blade materials.
Today’s start-up of Shah Deniz Phase Two is a milestone for Azerbaijan and the BP-led consortium: a complex megaproject delivered on schedule and under budget. Around $28 billion was spent to produce the gas and transport it to the Georgia-Turkey border for onward shipment to Europe via the Southern Gas Corridor. In WoodMackenzie's view, “Azerbaijan's offshore still has plenty of volume and value to offer to international investors, most notably BP.”
Urban agglomerations, often called mega-cities, will make up more than 90% of the growth in global gas consumption through 2040, according to research by Snam, the International Gas Union (IGU) and the Boston Consulting Group. This transition will require infrastructure investment of between $35-55 billion per year, as clean-air policies in Asia and beyond herald a steep rise of gas use for power generation.