The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has decided to raise energy prices after a winter storm left more than 4 million people without electricity in Texas. The grid operator was not able to cope with the sudden demand spike, while fuel shortages forced some utilities to implement rolling blackouts.
The Japanese ministry of the economy, trade and industry (METI) is working on a new natural gas supply framework in the wake of recent price spikes. “The tightening of power supply ... has made us strongly realize once again the importance of LNG as an adjusting electricity source,” said Ryo Minami, METI's director-general of oil, gas and mineral resources.
US oil and gas midstream company Energy Transfer has created a new business group, led by Tom Mason, to develop alternative energy projects. In focus will be solar and/or wind farms (either through PPAs or partnership with third party developers) and hydrogen gas opportunities – when they make economic sense.
It has become clear that the German government was ready to pay over €1 million to the Trump administration to avert US sanctions against Nord Stream 2. Finance minister Olaf Schulz offered the money to his US counterpart Steven Mnuchin, saying Germany would support the construction of LNG import terminals.
Installing a 3,200-kilometre network of overhead power lines for hybrid trucks would help Germany cut its road freight emissions by a fifth each year. Researchers reckon it would cost about €7 billion to add such overhead power lines on the busiest parts of Germany's autobahn, though the system could gradually become financially self-sustaining.
Modelling how fast US energy demand will recover after the pandemic, analysts say the consumption of natural gas will increase faster than other fossil fuels. Electricity use is expected to largely return to 2019 levels by 2025, causing a slight uptick in gas-burn while the contribution of coal, oil and nuclear falls behind.
Mitsubishi Power, part of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), has decided to streamline its boiler business by consolidating manufacturing and after sales services at Nagasaki Works. With this move, the Japanese OEM reacts to a sharp contraction in coal power projects and shifts its focus to cleaner fuels.
US fracking companies fear the impact of President Biden’s plan to lower the number of drilling leases on federal land. Analysts see no near-term effect on volumes or prices until 2022, but warn a complete halt on new production would effectively zero out the Gulf of Mexico, much of the Permian’s section in New Mexico and a large chunk of Wyoming.