Markets

A growing number of power plant operators in the U.S. are choosing to retire coal-fired power plants in favour of gas-to-power generation in a move likely to propel up demand for domestic shale gas production.

Overcapacity in the German power generation mix and deteriorating economics of fossil-fuel plants has prompted Deutsche Bank to forecast closures, particularly of gas-fired power plants, until 2015.

Natural gas consumption in India and China has witnessed annual growth rates of 14% and 18%, respectively, over the last five years. Inaugurating the 7th Asia Gas Partnership Summit, in New Delhi today, India's Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh highlighted the role of gas as "an efficient fuel for power generation".

Electricity prices in Turkey have surged as markets are concerned about a looming reduction in Russian gas supply as well as bottlenecks in the country's gas transmission infrastructure, energy traders told ‘Gas-to-Power Journal’.

E.ON, the world’s largest utility by sales, is not planning to mothball any of its gas-fired power plants in Germany, despite the negative impact of oil-indexed gas purchase on the economics of operating power plants, a spokesman said today.

Electricity generated from gas still has an important role to play over the coming decades as the U.K. transitions to a low carbon economy, Energy and Climate Secretary, Edward Davey, said. "We can't take our foot off the gas for some time yet," he said with reference to the closure of a fifth of the UK's ageing fleet of power stations this decade.

French investment bank BNP Paribas sees "little hope" that the U.S. gas industry will sell more gas to electric utilities during the upcoming peak summer month based on increased cooling requirements.

Demand for natural gas in the EU will reach pre-crisis levels only by 2018, the French investment bank Société Générale said in a recent report.

Alstom, the French manufacturer of power plant turbines, forecasts the market for power equipement in Russia to expand on the back of new-built capacity. "For the power generation market, it is a 12 billion to 13 billion euro market," Denis Cochet, head of sales and marketing at Alstom, said in an analyst presentation.

A surge in shale gas production in the U.S. is underpinning a boost of the market share of gas-fired power generation. Shale natural gas production in key shale plays in the U.S. grew from 1.6 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) per year to 7.2 Tcf/year between 2007 and 2011, Lippman Consulting said in a recent report.

Demand for daily electricity consumption in the Indian state of Andrah Pradesh is at an all-time high, surpassing the record mark of 13,000 MW and reached a daily record of 13,376 MW on Tuesday, figures published AP TRANSCO, the electricity transmission system operator of the Government of Andhra Pradesh, show.

Increasing price competitiveness of natural gas relative to coal for power generation has led to a plunge in the share of coal in the U.S. energy mix below 40 % in November and December, the Energy Agency (IEA) said in a market update.

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The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates under its BLUE Map scenario that around 20% of gas-fired power plants in China will include carbon capture storage (CCS) technology by 2050, Hirohisa Yamada, IEA energy analyst, told Gas-to-Power Journal today.

IEA's BLUE Map Scenario is based on the assumption that one third of overall global carbon emission reductions will need to come from the power generation to reach the global climate goals. In contrast, in IEA's Baseline Scenario, the use fossil energy will surge 82% which will lead to a rise of global temperatures by 6 degrees Celsius.

RWE, Germany's second-largest utility, has posted a 9% drop in its 2011 electricity generation volume to 205.7 billion kilowatt hours (kW). The decrease is attributable to outages of several gas-fired power plants in the Netherlands and in the U.K. as well as to the shut-down of the Biblis nuclear power station, RWE said today when presenting its 2011 annual results.

The volume of natural gas used for power generation in the U.S. surged by 27% this February compared with the same month last year, according to estimates of BENTEK Energy LLC, an energy market analytics company.

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