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If the asset swap of RWE and E.ON goes ahead, the resulting companies would have “unprecedented market power”, say Ines Zenke from energy law firm Becker Büttner Held. In 2018, E.ON agreed to buy RWE's subsidiary innogy and the two utilities agreed to exchange large parts of their assets. The swap will leave E.ON focused on regulated distribution grid with stable returns, while RWE takes on E.ON's and innogy's renewable business, on top of fossil power plants.

Natural gas is bound to gain importance in the German power mix starting from the mid-2020s when coal-fired capacity is gradually being phased-out. Energy Aspects says Germany’s coal exit will help more of the global LNG oversupply find a home in Northwest Europe. The 2022 start-up of the Wilhelmshaven FSRU will support this trend.

Analysts say carbon prices in the European Emissions Trading System (EU-ETS) could exceed €38 per ton by 2020 as emission certificates taken out by Germany will get cancelled as it exits coal-fired power generation. A subsequent surge in carbon prices will accelerate coal-to-gas switching in Europe.

Texas could not solely rely on green energy sources without putting supply security at risk. Replacing all installed coal power capacity cost-effectively would only work with a combination of renewables, natural gas-fired generation and battery storage. Gas generally outcompetes coal generation in ERCOT if the price of gas falls below $3/MMBtu.

Freezing weather in the Midwest and a fire at a gas compressor station in southeast Michigan has forced local utilities to restrain gas supply. General Motors halted operations at 11 Michigan manufacturing plants and Fiat Chrysler also had to cancel shifts to conserve natural gas.

Rapidly evolving exports of LNG and liquid fuels will turn the United States into a net energy exporter next year. As gas demand grows in Asia and Henry Hub prices remain competitive, US LNG export capacity is expected to rise further before levelling off after 2030, when rival supplies are set to enter global markets.

Streamlining operations, General Electric has decided to consolidate all of its renewable and grid assets into a single, simplified Renewable Energy business. With this move, GE wants to offer more integrated solutions, simplify its structure, and improve performance.

Energy-related emissions in the United States are poised to fall as the country’s GDP growth is anticipated to slow from 2.9% in 2018 to 2.7% this year and down to 2.0% in 2020. According to EIA projections, industrial production will soon grow at a slower rate than overall GDP.

Strong order intake and some very large orders support Siemens’ overall business, although Q1 net profits plunged 49% and revenue growth is seen to stay moderate. “There is still much to do before we achieve industry-leading margins in all our businesses,” CEO Joe Kaeser said in an analyst call today.

Reacting to lower net earnings Wärtsilä will lay off 1,200 employees globally, the Finnish company said in connection to its annual report. The order intake of Wärtsilä Energy Solutions’ business fell, CEO Jaakko Eskola noted, mainly due to “slower decision-making among our customers.”

A new ‘Distributed Resource’ Desk, just launched by UK’s National Grid, allows for faster dispatch instructions to small gensets, battery storage and demand-side response. In the first 24 hours of operation, the number of bids and offers accepted from these aggregated providers was 87 MWh, up 113% on average.

California-based Sempra Energy has decided to sell its equity interests two utilities in Chile and Peru to focus on its LNG export ventures in North America. Sempra CEO Jeffrey W. Martin said “this planned sale allows us more focused capital investment in the U.S. and Mexico.”

Contrary to U.S. President Trump’s policies to strengthen the role of coal in America’s energy mix and support cash-strapped mining companies, the use of coal is falling faster than in the Obama-era. According to EIA estimates, the coal share of total power generation reached a new low of 28%, well below the 35% share of natural gas.

China’s state-owned CNOOC is making a concerted effort to meet, and even overshoot, its target on capital expenditure. The company’s revised strategy follows President Xi Jinping's call for greater self reliance in the face of a growing economic slowdown.

Russia’s Gazprom has decided to invest another RUB 17.7 billion ($266m) on top of an earlier RUB 120.9 billion ($1.8bn) spent on the Sakhalin-III project in Russia’s Far East. The Sakhalin project is at the heart of Gazprom’s Eastern Gas Program, designed to establish a new export route for Russian gas to Asia-Pacific.

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