Natural gas prices at Henry Hub are forecast to stay lower than $4 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) through 2050 amid an abundance of low-cost resources, primarily in the Permian Basin.“With continued technologically-enabled growth in production, we see the United States remaining a net exporter of energy for some time,” said the head of the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), Linda Capuano.

Electricity generation from renewable energy sources in the United States is forecast to double between now and 2050. Declining capital costs, and higher renewable portfolio standards (RPS) targets in some U.S. states, will prolong the sharp growth in renewables seen during the past ten years while gas-fired generation stays rangebound.

LNG and pipeline gas have still a long way to go to reduce, let alone replace, the current “massive coal consumption” by Asian nations. In contrast to Europe, where gas is regarded as one of the fossil fuels amid strives for net-zero emissions, "coal-to-gas switching is important in Asia," the Institute of Energy Economics in Japan (IEEJ) noted.

Wärtsilä has missed Q4 expectations as order intake plunged 17 percent and the operating result fell to 202 million Euros, or 12 percent of net sales. Anticipating “soft” demand, Wärtsilä CEO Jaakko Eskola said “the year 2019 was characterised by a difficult environment and poor financial performance.”

Crude oil and associated gas production in the United States will keep growing, albeit at a much slower rate due to a decline in rigs. Projections of the U.S. government, revised in January, expect growth rates in crude oil production to slow down from 9 percent to just 3 percent by 2021, and remain subdued.

Germany's gas industry plans to establish a 5,900 kilometres pipeline network to enable the large-scale use of hydrogen use. FNB Gas, representing German gas TSOs, intends to use mainly existing infrastructure to transport hydrogen from future generation sites in the north of the country to industrial centres in the west and south.

Rising upstream spending, notably in unconventional oil and gas resources, will drive the related gas turbine market to an estimated $1.2 billion, growing at 3.5 percent annually through 2024. Major suppliers in this sector are GE, Siemens, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Solar Turbines, and Kawasaki Heavy Industries.

With solar PV set to become India’s largest power source by 2035, more energy storage capacity is needed to balance supply and demand when the sun is not shining. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), battery storage will account for more than one-third of India’s total deployment by 2040.

To enhance service reliability, FirstEnergy subsidiaries have approved part two of their Long Term Infrastructure Improvement Plans (LTIIP II), outlining an additional $572 million in capital investments over the next five years. The fresh capex adds to the nearly $360 million spent already.

Oil and related natural gas prices are falling, weighed down by fears over the economic impact of the fast-spreading coronavirus in China – one of the world’s largest oil consumers. Brent crude prices have shed $6 a barrel since 20 January, with front-month March20 last seen trading at $58.96 per barrel.

Economic growth in India has picked up pace, spurring a 5% rise in power generation capacity this year. Several plants with over 15 GW combined capacity are under construction and will add to India’s total 364.9 GW installed, Wood Mackenzie says, noting the economics of solar projects have improved substantially.

Growth in exports of U.S. gas production will nearly double over the next two years, as new liquefaction facilities are placed in service and new gas interconnectors to Mexico begin operations. Exports are forecast to exceed imports by an average 7.3 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2020, and 8.9 Bcf/d in 2021.

Page 16 of 221

News in Brief

Tokyo Gas snaps up US shale assets

July 31 – The Japanese utility Tokyo Gas has agreed to raise its stake in the U.S. firm Castleton Resources to 70 percent from 46 percent to increase its foothold in shale gas production in Texas and Louisiana.  Castleton Resources holds acreage in the Haynesville and Cotton Valley formations. The transaction is scheduled to be completed on August 14.

Electrical PE market to grow 1.7% through 2027

July 30 – The market for electrical protective equipment (PE) in North America, valued at $2,787 million in 2019, is forecast to rise at an annual rate of 1.7 percent to reach $3,163 million by 2027. Main growth drivers, according to ResearchandMarkets, are ongoing power transmission projects in the context with U.S. LNG export infrastructure expansions.

GE wins turbine order from Italian paper mill

July 29 – DS Smith Paper Italia has ordered a GE LM6000PF aero-derivative gas turbine for its paper mill in Lucca, Italy. The paper mill is currently powered by two aero-derivative turbines, and the additional unit will increase plant efficiency by 2%, while assuring steam supply for the industrial process.

Aceleron secures £2m green energy investment

July 28 – UK battery developer Aceleron today announced receipt of a £2 million equity investment from BGF and Mercia Asset Management. Aceleron is BGF’s second investment into a pure clean technology, signalling a shift in behaviour as more and more fund managers support a green recovery and the UK’s policy of net-zero carbon by 2050.

NRG buys Centrica’s North American arm for over $3.6bn

July 27 – U.S. utility NRG Energy has agreed with Centrica to acquire the latter’s North American subsidiary Direct Energy for $3.625 billion in an all-cash transaction. The transaction will diversify NRG’s earnings by adding more than three million retail customers and generate an estimated $740 million in adjusted EBITDA upon closing.

Siemens rolls out Comfy app

July 24 – Siemens is deploying its workplace experience solution Comfy across its global offices, including major utility customers. The aim is to equip approximately 600 company locations by October 2020.

BlackRock puts $18bn into sustainable investment

July 23 – Sustainability aspects are poised to bring about "fundamental change" to the way financial market actors operate, said Philipp Hildebrand, vice head of U.S. investment company BlackRock. About 18 billion dollars have been put into BlackRock's sustainable investment products since the beginning of 2020, he told the German business daily FAZ, arguing this would be "only the beginning" of a much larger shift in investment practices.

Vaca Muerta output slows

July 22 – Argentina has resorted to importing LNG for the Southern Hemisphere winter as domestic production at the vast Vaca Muerta shale formation fell in the first half of 2020. State-owned IEASA purchased 28 LNG cargoes at average prices of $2.87 million British thermal units (mmBtu).

GE to implement air quality control systems in India

July 21 – GE Power India Ltd (GEPIL) has won three contracts with a combined value of $112.57 million to supply air quality control systems. One semi-dry flue-gas desulfurization (FDG) unit will be installed for Hindalco Industries’ 1x150MW power plant at the Aditya aluminium smelter in Sambalpur. A wet FDGs system will be installed on behalf of NTPC for their Feroze Gandhi Unchahar thermal power plant (2x210MW plus 2x210 MW plus 1x210MW units) in Rae Bareli, Uttar Pradesh.

Wärtsilä CEO sees “tough” H2 ahead

July 20 – Wärtsilä CEO Jaakko Eskola has told analysts he sees a “tough second half of the year ahead,” as the Finish manufacturer seeks to mitigate Covid-related business disruptions. In the segment of up to 500 MW, Wärtsilä’s market share fell from 9% to 8%, while orders for gas- and liquid- power plants increased by 1% to 17.8 GW during the twelve-month period ending in March 2020.

GE launches update to digital plant software

July 17 – GE Digital has unveiled updates to its digital power plant software: Proficy Plant Applications, Proficy Operations Hub, Proficy Historian, and Proficy CSense. The software accelerates digitization for industries and integrates related onsite power generation units.

Germany EEG fund slips into the red

July 16 – Germany's green energy fund, funded through the renewable energy surcharge (EEG levy), has slipped into the red for the first time since 2013, according to TSO data. The account, funded by end-customers through a surcharge on their power bill, fell from about €2 billion in available funds to €-1.16 billion in the first six months of 2020.

China seen overtake Japan as worlds’ largest LNG buyer by 2025

July 15 – The International Energy Agency (IEA) expects China to overtake Japan as the world’s biggest LNG buyer with imports of 128 Bcm a year by 2025, equivalent to around 174 million tonnes. However, IEA analysts cautioned this scenario is “highly dependent on China’s future policy direction” and whether that includes an ongoing push for coal-to-gas switching for industry, residential heating and power generation.

IEA stages Clean Energy Transitions Summit

July 14 – Ministers from dozens of countries, accounting for over 80% of the world economy, have participated in the first Clean Energy Transitions Summit organised by the International Energy Agency (IEA). Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director, said there “clearly is momentum” behind a sustainable recovery from the economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. Participants agreed to reconvene in mid-2021.

Siemens Energy to exit coal

Jul 13 – Newly formed technology company Siemens Energy wants to phase-out any operations and technology to related to coal-fired power generation, CEO Joe Kaeser said, without giving a specific timeline. Siemens had been harshly criticised earlier this year for participating in the Adani coal mine project in Australia.

Statkraft, GE enhance GB grid stability

July 10 – Statkraft and GE Power Conversion are working together to stabilise Britain’s power grid. To that end, GE will manufacture and install two Rotating Stabiliser synchronous machines at Statkraft’s site in Keith, Moray. Statkraft was awarded four stability contracts (two at Keith and two at Lister Drive) by National Grid ESO (NGESO) earlier this year.

Siemens Energy spin-off approved

July 9 – A large majority of Siemens shareholders have voted to approve the spin-off of the company’s energy business. The spin-off was approved by 99.36 percent of capital stock represented at today’s extraordinary shareholders’ meeting.

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