UK utility Centrica's share of nuclear output has increased 8% year-on-year in the first quarter to 4.2 TWh, while low spark spreads – the profit margin for gas-fired power producers – " are continuing to make market conditions challenging for our CCGT fleet," it said in an interim management statement on Monday.
Canada's natural gas industry is in a "holding pattern" as low prices of around $3.00/MMBtu in Western Canada are stifling new equity investment for gas producers, a report by Canada's National Energy Board (NEB) finds. Low gas prices have displaced "significant amounts" of coal-fired in favour of gas-fired generation but it is unclear if demand can be retained long enough to move prices into the $5.00/MMBtu level necessary to resume substantial investment in dry natural gas drilling.
Costs for power transmission rises following the construction of new electricity grid lines which is expected to spur growth in Alberta's cogeneration market, Vittoria Bellissimo, Executive Director at the Industrial Power Consumers Association of Alberta (IPCAA) told COGEN Canada's annual seminar in Calgary.
"With transmission costs predicated to go up, cost sensitive industrial customers will need to consider their options. This could mean out of province investments but could also mean an increase in onsite generation. Customers with large thermal requirements will inevitably be looking at this option," she said.
Electricity prices are of prime importance when it comes to investment in combined heat and power (CHP) facilities by Alberta's oil sands developers, W. Dale Hildebrand, President of Desiderata Energy Consulting told this year's COGEN Canada annual seminar in Calgary.
"The most important factor for oil sands developers that are considering cogeneration is the price of electricity: can they generate it cheaper on site compared to buying it for the grid?" he said.
The utilization of combined heat and power (CHP) catered for over 30 percent of Alberta's electricity demand last year, Sandra Locke, Assistant Deputy Minister, Electricity, Alternative Energy & Carbon Capture and Storage at Alberta's Department of Energy, told COGENCanada's Annual Seminar in Calgary. "Cogeneration has become an integral part of the province's electricity market providing over 30 percent of total generation output in 2012. That's approximately 23 000 GWh of electricity," she said.
Singapore's first regasification LNG terminal officially started operations today, the Energy Market Authority confirmed. Natural gas is already fuelling 80 percent of Singapore's power generation assets, so the launch of the LNG import terminal enables power producers to diversify supply sources beyond importing pipeline gas.
German industrial conglomerate Siemens AG today reduced its profit forecast for the year, after revenue declined seven percent and net income from continuing operations has come in near the low end of its 4.5 billion euro target. The energy sector, however, remains the companies' biggest revenues driver.
EDF Energy's Director of Strategy, Steve Hargreaves, has suggested that a balanced generation mix with a contribution of intermittent generation of around a 20 percent market share can help limit the cost impact of intermittency to about £10/MWh on top of the levelised cost of wind power generation.
Intermittency and remoteness of wind generation are "the two technical characteristics that impose additional costs on the rest of the UK power system," he told Gas to Power Journal.