Combustion-weighted carbon intensity of all fuels used to generate electricity in the United States is now lower than that of natural gas. After averaging near 60 kg CO2/MMBtu for decades, the carbon intensity in the electric power sector fell to 48 kg CO2/MMBtu in 2016 – slightly lower than that of natural gas, which produces 53 kg CO2/MMBtu.
The transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources is the most pressing challenge in the global energy industry, says Jantine Zwinkels, Consultant at Royal HaskoningDHV. Throwing in a word of caution, she added that “the challenge for our [renewable] industry is to stand truly on its own two feet and outcompete fossil fuels without public money.”
The global gas insulated switchgear (GIS) market is forecast to grow from $5.23 billion in 2015 to $8.61 billion by 2020. According to GlobalData analysis, extensive power plant capacity additions in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East and the need to improve access to electricity are driving grid expansion and the GIS market.
Gas could be the “ideal partner for renewable energy generation” in a future sustainable energy mix, says Remi Eriksen, head of Det Norske Veritas (DNV) and Germanischer Lloyd (GL). He calls on the energy industry to work together to help policymakers, planners and the public understand and embrace the “non-price benefits of the fuel.”
Throughout the US, the running costs of solar-tracking photovoltaic units vary greatly dependent on the weather and how much the unit is exposed to the sun throughout the year. In Nevada and California, and other areas of the western United States which receive more direct solar radiation, single-axis PV panels track the sun’s path from east to west – a technology that is becoming increasingly cost-competitive with burning fossil fuels to generate electricity.
Working gas storage in the United States as of March 31 stood at 2,051 billion cubic feet (Bcf), ending the most recent gas year around 15% above the five-year average. Responding to slightly higher prices, gas consumed in electric power generation fell 2.1 Bcf from the 2015–2016 heating season, but the drop was almost entirely offset by a 2.0 Bcf increase in US gas exports, according to data from PointLogic.
Competitive natural gas prices, growth in renewables generation, EU air quality directives and weak electricity consumption have squeezed the role of coal in Europe's power mix, a report by the Economist Intelligence Unit finds. The EU market environment for coal-fired power is described as "a tough one," with little upside potential.
Egypt is positioning itself as a prominent gas importer during the northern hemisphere summer while becoming a winter exporter. WoodMackenzie points out that “a pragmatic approach to pricing” by the Petroleum Ministry has secured over US$28 billion in new gas field investment since 2015, so “this could be just the start of Egypt's second gas boom.”
With global energy demand forecast to grow by 30 percent through to 2030, driven by industry and rising prosperity in emerging markets like ASEAN, Thailand’s energy secretary Areepong Bhoocha-Oom seeks to turn the country into a regional energy hub. For the Thai power sector that means liberalising integrated utilities and transforming the fuel mix toward clean gas and renewables.
Steep rise in the deployment and use of new Floating Regasification and Storage Units (FSRUs) – notably in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa – will substantially increase the supply of natural gas for decentralised power generation projects worldwide. From 2019 onwards, Energy Aspects anticipates the deployment of three to four new FSRUs per year, with a combined LNG import capacity of some 12-15mtpa, as “the maximum level of uptake.”
Worldwide markets for battery energy storage systems (BESS) are expected to grow exponentially due to its grid, generation, and consumer-side applications – reaching more than 14 GW by 2020, up from about 1.5 GW in 2015, according to GlobalData analysis. The United States is leading the BESS market followed by Japan, Germany and China.