Shale gas developments in the UK, given their projected timing and modest production volumes, "in no way changes the critical and pressing nature of UK energy policies" and won't affect gas pricing to help promote peak-load power plant projects, says Howard Rogers, Director of the Natural Gas Programme at the Oxford Institute of Energy Studies (OIES).
Reacting to a "rapid structural change in the energy sector", the German utility EnBW has decided to shut-down four fossil power plants with a combined capacity of 668MW. It will furthermore mothball steam plant RDK-4 as the plant is "hardly being utilised and is consequently unable to cover its full costs".
A bomb attack on the Sinai pipeline near the Egyptian city of El Arish has interrupted the flow of gas to the state-owned Egyptian Electricity Holding Company (EEHC), forcing it to switch from natural gas to heavy fuel oil for power generation. The pipeline blast affects gas supply to Egypt's power producers and industry, negatively impacting EEHC's profit margins, which in turn has the potential to impact export to Israel and Jordan.
US coal receiving markets like the Netherlands and China are expected use more coal for power generation. Imports of US coal around the world increased 14 percent in the first quarter of 2013, driven by low global coal prices as US power producers prefer to utilise the abundant domestic shale gas production, data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows.
Western European electricity producers will benefit from the unification of the European Electricity Market by 2020, a report by GBI Research has predicted. Expanding cross-border electricity trade has implications for renewables-dependancy, in countires like Germany, where it can help to backstop intermittent renewable power supply.
Nationwide investment in gas-fired capacity in Australia has surged 54 percent over the past decade, driven by an expanding upstream sector. Though coal still dominates the energy mix, gas is rapidly gaining market share and is forecast to account for 36 percent of power supply, up from currently 20 percent, according to projections of Australia's Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE).