The global energy transition moves faster than expected Wood Mackenzie says, suggesting a "sustainability tipping point" – when the world shifts from the ‘Age of Oil & Gas’ to the ‘Age of Renewables’ – will arrive by 2035, less than 18 years from now. Renewables and the use of electric vehicles are seen underpinning the pace and intensity of the transition.
Substantially less nuclear power supply has been available throughout the U.S. this autumn, mainly because the 2018 seasonal maintenance and refueling cycle began earlier. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the total nuclear outages averaged 14.5 GW in the last week of September, prompting utilities to fire up gas-fuelled power stations to balance supply and demand.
Cash-strapped General Electric is taking increasingly desperate measures to turn around the company’s fortunes. The new CEO Larry Clup needs more time for an “initial business review” so the Q3-earning release was pushed back to October 30, 2018. GE also announced it expects to take a non-cash goodwill impairment charge related to the GE Power business.
Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne and Adani Group Chairman Gautam Adani today signed an joint venture agreement to set up “multi energy offers” for the fast growing Indian market. The companies said they will jointly develop a fuel retail network and various regasification LNG terminals, including Dhamra LNG, on the East coast of India.
Alexey Miller, Gazprom Chairman and CEO, stays adamant in arguing China will prefer stepping up pipeline gas imports over incremental LNG supplies to meet the country’s rising energy demand. “Pipeline gas supplies from Russia will always be more competitive than LNG deliveries from any other part of the world,” Miller said, pointing out that Gazprom’s annual gas exports to Chinese buyers will reach 120 billion cubic meters this year alone.
French energy major Total is in advanced talks to buy a stake in gas import infrastructure in India. According to local media reports, Total seeks to purchase up to 50% of Adani Group’s stake in LNG terminals in Gujarat and Odisha as well as Adani’s city gas projects. Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne confirmed talks are being held but did not name the companies involved; the aim is to sell more gas from Total's global portfolio to India.
Costa Rica mainly relies on hydro power, wind and solar to cover its energy needs – hence some stable fossil-fuelled generating capacity is vital to balance intermittent renewable energy supply with actual demand. The largest of these backup power plants is the 200 MW ICE Garabito power station, running on 11 MAN 18V48/60 engines.
Coal-to-gas switch policies in China’s energy sector is expected to boost the country’s LNG demand by a 12 million tons in 2018, exceeding last year’s record growth of 8 mt. Already today, China’s energy hunger lies behind half of global LNG demand growth and Wood Mackenzie says: “Given China is only through its five year clean air policy, this growth story is far from finished.”
Risk of gas supply shortages this winter keeps growing in the U.S. because inventories are at record lows due to a late start of the gas storage refill season and high withdrawals. According to EIA’s Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) gas inventories will reach 3,263 billion cubic feet (Bcf) at the end of October – the lowest end-of-October level since 2005.
Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) has entered into a joint venture with Hambantota Power Private, a Chinese company listed in Singapore, to build a 400-MW power plant that will be fuelled by regasified LNG. Situated near a key shipping route, the port of Hambantota is currently being expanded. It has been leased to China Merchants Port Holdings for 99 years after the state of Sri Lanka failed to repay a Chinese loan of US$1.4 billion.
Britain will be able to cover its power and gas demand this winter even in the event of an extreme cold snap, National Grid said, forecasting total gas demand at 46.6 Bcm, slightly lower than last winter. “As global gas prices have risen, it is likely that coal will replace gas in the generation merit order for some of the winter,” the TSO said in its Winter Outlook 2018/19.
The Appalachian Basin, home to some of the most prolific U.S. shale gas plays, has attracted more than $25 billion with of new investment in gas power infrastructure. A total of 29 new plants with a capacity of 475-MW or above are in operation, under construction or in the permitting process in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Growth prospects for gas-distribution utilities are at risk in several American states, as decarbonization policies on state level and rising cost-competitiveness of renewables undermine the role of gas. According to McKinsey analysis, this could pose a challenge to gas distributors in some states as early as 2026, and in most of them by 2030.
Royal Dutch Shell will keep investing in global gas projects as demand is anticipates to grow at a rate of 2% per year, twice the rate to worldwide energy demand. “Our core business is, and will be for the foreseeable future, very much in oil and gas… and particularly in natural gas,” Shell CEO Ben van Beurden told a conference in London, warning about the risks of an LNG "supply crunch" by the mid-2020s.