Japan is to start publishing benchmark prices for short-term LNG imports, in a bid to reduce costs for gas power generators in the country. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) will initiate the index in a bid to reduce the spread between Japanese and US gas prices, and encourage greater use of gas in the country's energy mix.
Profit margins for gas-fired power in Russia are set to see a further squeeze as domestic gas prices rise over the mid-term, forecasts Alexander Grigoryev, analyst at Russia's Institute of Natural Monopolies Research (IPEM). Admitting that the government's recent decision to freeze Gazprom's domestic tariffs in 2014 makes gas forecasts "very speculative", he suggested reduced exports to Europe will lead to higher domestic prices.
California's power mix has seen a 10% rise in the contribution from natural gas and other fossil fuel sources over the summer months. In-state fossil fuel account of 47% of the mix on average, but this number can rise well above 50% on an hourly basis depending on the level of intermittent renewable supply, latest daily figures from the California Independent Systems Operator (CAISO) show.
As Russia shifts its outlook east and engages with China on a range of deals for oil, coal and power supply China, energy trade between the two neighbouring countries is likely to quadruple by 2025, according to Wood Mackenzie analysts. "If large projects are to be realised, Russia may have to allow deeper Chinese involvement," said Ian Thom, head of Russia upstream research, suggesting an gas supply deal will be reached in the next two years.
Gas-fired power will increase to account for 40 percent of the energy mix in the US market by 2035, spurring a growth in natural gas demand by one third, analysts with the consultancy ICF International forecast. Gas-fired power currently generates 1,000 Terawatt-hours per year (TWh/y) but new ICF figures expect this to double to 2,000 TWh/y.
The UK carbon floor price is not sufficient to encourage CCS-retrofitting in fossil plants in the short-term, says Heather Haydock, Practice Director, Energy & Climate Change at Ricardo-AEA. Neither has backloading of carbon permits in EU-ETS has helped to prop up carbon prices beyond €6/ton – too low to incentivise CCS or a switch from coal to gas generation in much of continental Europe.
Shale gas will bolster security of supply in the UK, displace a proportion of LNG imports and underpin new gas power generation projects. Substantial volumes of shale gas production, however, are not expected to be forthcoming until the mid-2020ies, delegates at the Gas to Power Britain conference learnt.