The power sector in Pakistan has seen nationwide load-shedding in the last week of May, leaving electricity production in an estimated 4,000MW shortfall, after the closure of the partially state-owned Qadirpur gas field for annual maintenance contributed to a gas shortage of reportedly 1.2 billion cubic feet a day (Bcf/d).
The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects the extension of the renewable electricity production tax credit (PTC), which Congress extended on 1 January as part of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA), will result in the addition of significant wind capacity in the US over the next three years. A higher share of intermittent wind energy will require flexible fossil backup capacity.
E.on has chosen the right time to enter the European market for small gas-fired combined heat and power (CHP) systems under 1MWe, according to Michael Brown, Director at consultancy Delta Energy & Environment (Delta-ee) and former Executive Director at COGEN Europe. Delta-ee's projections see annual deployment of around 1.5 – 2.0 GWe for CHP projects in the 0.4 – 5.0 MWe size, and up to 1.5 GWe for projects in the 10 – 400kWe size by 2020.
Rather than sourcing flexibility from part-loaded conventional generation, Wärtsilä Power Plants believes that electricity markets should embrace high efficiency peaking and load-following power that can rapidly ramp up from standstill to provide the super-fast flexibility needed to balance large fluctuations of wind and solar power, says Melle Kruisdijk, Wärtsilä's Market Development Director for Europe.
SSE has called gas-fired generation in the UK "barely profitable, if at all" in its annual report for the 2012/13 fiscal year, due to spark spreads throughout the year being "stubbornly low, if not negative." The company said that a combination of minimal economic growth, a sustained fall in underlying energy demand and high wholesale prices were largely to blame for the difficult environment facing gas-fired power generation.
Toshiba Infrastructure South America Ltd (TIC-SA) has expanded production of electricity transformers in Brazil, "Renewable energy sources need transformers to connect with existing grid [and] this need will show a solid rise in emerging nations [such as Brazil] with its high growth rates," Atsushi Ido, Toshiba representative told Gas to Power Journal.
The impact of the US shale gas revolution – though positive for coal-to-gas switching in US power generation, will keep a lid on oil prices. The price of crude was "more likely to go down than up" over the next two to five years, said Paolo Scaroni, chief executive of Italy's incumbent energy company Eni.
The contribution of gas to the UK's power generation mix has plunged by 32 percent in 2012 from 2011 level, comprising 28 percent of total generation, mainly due to the relative low cost of coal compared to gas and cheap coal imports mainly from Russia, Columbia and the United States, the latest country analysis done by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows. The contribution of coal was 39 percent of UK's energy mix, rising by 32 percent.
The crux of renewable expansion lies in the choice of location: If installations were built at the sites in Europe that offer the highest power yields, some €45 billion of investment in renewables could be saved by 2030, a study carried out by Siemens together with the Technical University of Munich finds.
Billions of euros are being wasted every year as a result of "building and expanding renewable power sources in the wrong location" and as a result of "inefficiencies in worldwide energy systems and markets," Siemens board member and CEO, Dr. Michael Suess said when presenting the study in Brussels today.