Markets

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.

India is ready to import 5 GW of electricity from Iran as the two countries reached an agreement to export electricity instead of natural gas. Electricity exports will be "more cost-efficient" for Iran compared with exporting natural gas, Iran's energy minister Majid Namjou said on Sunday.

ETN Christer_Bjorkqvist

Christer Björkqvist

The challenges resulting from Spain's high volumes of intermittent power supply from renewable energy sources will not be solved by the Government's cut in renewable subsidies, Christer Bjorkqvist, Managing Director, ETN-European Turbine Network forecast.

"The cut will of course reduce the growth of renewables, but the problem is still there as Spain already has such a high amount of intermittent renewable energy production in the energy mix," he told Gas-to-Power Journal today.

Gavin Thompson

Gavin Thompson

The use of LNG in the power sector has developed despite the comparatively low average domestic gas price in China and the dominance of domestic coal in the power sector, Gavin Thompson, Head of Wood Mackenzie's China Gas & Power Research team in Beijing told 'Gas-to-Power Journal' today.

"We have something like an additional 30 GW of CCGT coming online in China by 2016 - this is named capacity, so pretty certain it is happening," Thompson said.

Franco-Belgian utility GDF Suez is in the process of restarting operations of its gas-fired power plant in Spem, France. The plant currently generates 47 MW but it is expected to be ramped up to full capacity of 435 MW by the end of today, a GDF Suez representative told 'Gas-to-Power Journal'.

Endesa, Spain's second largest utility, has reinforced its leading position the Spanish power generation market by hiking its electricity output in the country by 12 % to 74,249 GWh in 2011. Endesa has a 39.4% market share in the Spanish electricity market.

India is gearing up to become the largest single market for thermal power plants in the world after China. "The world's leading power plant facilities companies are racing to enter the Indian market," Doosan Heavy said with reference to plans of Indian energy companies to spend US$ 25 billion annually on new power plants through 2020 to ease the country's energy shortage.

Plans of Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco) to raise corporate electricity rates by an average of 17% in April have sparked fierce opposition from the Japanese industry and regional governors. Tepco needs approval from the central government for raising electricity rates.

The German power market is undergoing a transition in generation capacity on the supply side, while demand growth remains subdued, the French investment bank Societe Generale said. "2013 will be a key year for new build, but retirement decisions will be a key strategic variable as early as this year," the bank said in a special report.

Indonesia's state electricity company PLN has halted operations at six gas-fired power plants as it is struggling to obtain sufficient gas supplies from the Tangguh Field. "Some of PLN's power plants have not received gas supply [at all]," PLN chief executive Nur Pamudji told local reporters today.

French investment bank Société Générale recommends selling the Summer 2012 contract for natural gas traded at the British National Balancing Point (NBP), forecasting additional deliveries of Russian gas in over the coming months will leave markets oversupplied.

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News in Brief

MAN, Daewoo, HSD partner on engine digitalization

July 16 – MAN Energy Solutions, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) and HSD Engine (HSD) have signed a strategic agreement to cooperate in the field of marine engine systems digitization. The three companies also work together on auxiliary systems and data analysis, aiming to apply part of their know-how to power generation and related sectors.

Canada launches first utility-scale smart microgid

July 15 – The Ontario-based municipal utility North Bay Hydro Services is cooperating with the smart grid solutions firm S&C Electric to launch Canada’s first utility-scale microgrid system. Among some solar power, the 789KW microgrid system will be powered by two 265kW natural gas generators.

Macquarie funds Mexican power plant

July 12 – Macquarie Capital has chosen Credit Agricole, Natixis and SMBC to co-finance a $380 million combined-cycle gas power plant. The 560 MW plant is designated to be built in San Louis Potosi, a city in central Mexico.

B&V launches distributed energy group

July 11 – Black & Veatch has launched a dedicated distributed energy group to place its conventional power business in the context of the global energy transition. The distribute energy group will look into new fuel sources such as hydrogen and aspires to “re-power the more-than-century-old power industry.”

Funding secured for Kazah CHP project

July 10 – Kazinform Erg has committed to spend $500 million on a gas cogeneration station that will provide heat and electricity to the south of Kazakhstan. Over 87% of Kazakhstan’s electricity is generated from fossil fuels, and in 2018 the country produced 107,060 billion kWh of electricity, a 3.8% increase over the previous year and enough to cover total power use of 103,228 kWh.

Bitcoin mining uses much energy

July 9 – Estimates of bitcoin’s electricity consumption are wide-ranging, on the order of 20‑80 TWh annually. According to George Kamiya, digital energy analyst at the International Energy Agency (IEA), bitcoin mining consumed around 45 TWh in 2018 although this has risen significantly this year. Through the first six months of 2019, bitcoin mining has already consumed an estimated 29 TWh.

Coal exit doesn’t impact Germany's supply security

July 8 – Electricity supply security in Germany is set to stay “very high” even as the country begins to phase out coal-fired power generation, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) said in a monitoring report. “Energy supply is adequately ensured”, the ministry said, in all scenarios examined up to 2030. Thereafter, things are less clear but the German Coal Commission is adamant that its proposal to exit coal power by 2038 is feasible and won’t seriously impact reserve margins.

Hydrogen demo plant starts in Adelaide

July 5 – The Australian Gas Networks (AGN), part of the Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG), has received A$4.9 million in government funding for an A$11.4m hydrogen electrolyser demonstration project at the Tonsley Innovation District in Adelaide. At the test site, AGN plans to blend 5% renewable hydrogen with natural gas for supply to customers using its existing gas distribution networks. The project is based on a Siemens proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyser, running based on wind and solar power.

Wärtsilä forms biogas solution

July 4 – Wärtsilä Puregas Solutions, specialists in biogas upgrading technology, has merged with Wärtsilä’s biogas liquefaction team to create a one-stop-shop service for biofuel production. Having installed the world’s largest bioLNG facility in Skogn, Norway, Wärtsilä will deliver two more bio-LNG plants to customers in Scandinavia. The company’s Puregas CA process recovers more than 99.9% of the biomethane present in raw biogas.

PNM to close San Juan Generating Station

July 3 — New Mexico's largest energy holding, PNM Resources, has filed an application to the Public Regulation Commission to close the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station. For replacement power, PNM said the preferred option was a mix of gas power plants, solar and wind farms and new battery storage facilities. The utility strives to be ‘emissions-free’ by 2040.

ADB opens office in Singapore

July 2 — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has decided to open an office in Singapore. The lean office with twelve staff will focus on the expansion of its private sector operations, e.g. through Public-Private Partnerships. “We estimate that developing Asia will need $1.7 trillion per year in infrastructure investments until 2030 to maintain the region’s growth momentum,” commented Singapore’s finance minister Heng Swee Keat.

Testing starts at Haliade-X

July 1 – Technology testing has started at GE’s Haliade-X, the world’s biggest offshore wind turbine. The 12 MW nacelle and 107-metre long blade was shipped to the UK as part of an advanced technology testing program, focused on enhancing the platform before it enters into serial production in 2021.

Tata to build UK’s first CCUS plant

June 28 – Tata Chemicals has announced plans to build the UK’s first industrial-scale Carbon Capture, Usage and Demonstration plant at its Northwich industrial site. The CCUD unit will be built at an estimated cost of£16.7 million and is planned to start operation in 2021. It will make use of CO2 emissions from fossil fuel power plants and turn it into sodium bicarbonate, which can then be sold to pharmaceutical industries.

Gazprom seeks to partner with Fortum

June 27 – The heads of Gazprom and Forum, Alexey Miller and Pekka Lundmark, have met in St. Petersburg to discuss a potential cooperation in the field of power generation. The Finish energy company Fortum owns 29.5% of the Russian power plant TGC-1 as well as a 49.99% share in the German utility Uniper. Through the talks, Gazprom could gain Fortum’s support to expand its firm long-term deliveries of Russian gas to Finland and Germany.

Quarrels over contract award

June 26 – Guam Power Authority’s decision to award a contract to finance, build and operate a new 180 MW power station on the island to Korea Electric Power has sparked protest by rival bidders. Four companies had submitted proposals – Korea Electric, Osaka Gas, Powerflex and Hanwha Energy Corp. Declining to comment on the quarrels over the contract awarding process, GPA said the deal with Korea Electric is expected to close by September 9, pending a related impact study.

PTT steps up power sector investment

June 25 – Thailand's state-run PTT Pcl has decided to boost investments in the retail and industrial power sectors to help insulate the energy company against the impact of a global economic slowdown on its oil refining and chemical businesses. Referring to the Sino-U.S. trade war as a global challenge, PTT chief executive Chansin Treenuchagron said the company is looking “how we can survive in the short term.”

APR helps power Libya’s recovery

June 24 – Libya’s state-owned GECOL has asked APR Energy to bring in temporary generators to provide a rapid 450 MW boost. Under the latest contracts, APR provided mobile gas turbines at four key sites in Libya (250 MW) as well as 200 MW of diesel generators at two sites.