Relative gas and coal prices will have a significant impact on the future energy mix in the US, according to the US Energy Information Administration's (EIA) 2013 Annual Energy Outlook. Under the EIA's Reference case, natural gas power plants will begin to lose their competitive advantage over time as natural gas prices increase relative to coal, making up 28 percent of the generation mix in 2040. This represents a rise from the 2011 level of 24 percent but falls short of the 42 percent that would be expected under the EIA's High Oil and Gas Resource case.
The 'Golden Age of Gas' fueled by the rise of unconventional gas resources such as shale gas is set to spur new CHP capacity, Shonodeep Modak, Global Marketing Manager at GE Gas Engines told Gas to Power Journal at this year's COGEN Europe annual conference in Brussels. "In the near term, the majority of new CHP will be gas based. There will be some biomass projects in places such as South East Asia and parts of Latin America which lack fossil fuels, but that is still some time away," he said.
GDF Suez' fourth gas-fired plant in France - the Dunkirk natural gas-fired combined cycle power plant (DK6) - "is planned to remain in full operation", GDF Suez confirmed. Fuel economics of the 788 MW CCPP plant are more advantageous, it said, as the plant is operated by burning blast furnace gas and the coke oven gas from a nearby steel mill.
Spain saves an estimated €1,250 million per year thanks to the utilisation of combined heat and power (CHP) plants, representing an increase in savings of €70 million or 6 percent from two years ago. The figure is based on the sum of savings from primary energy costs included avoided grid losses, savings from avoided CO2 emissions, and energy transport and distribution savings.
On the eve before the European Parliament's vote on backloading – a measure deemed crucial for the future of EU emissions trading - over 40 power producers and technology developers including Areva, Alstom, EDF, EnBW, E.on, GDF Suez, GE, Shell and Statkraft, have made a strong case in favour of the proposal, arguing current carbon price levels at 4-6 €/ton are "insufficient to stimulate investments in low-carbon power generation.
US power producers used 16 percent, or 3.5 Bcf/day, less natural gas to generate electricity in March 2013 compared to the same month of the previous year, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said. The lower use of gas compared with coal for power generation follows a rebound of traded wholesale gas prices at Henry Hub to $4 MMBtu by late March.