The Indian government is not paying enough attention to smaller gas-based plants to cater for peak load demand as it focusses on large-scale coal-fired plants that provide base load capacity. The Indian power ministry recently awarded licenses for four Ultra Mega Power Projects with a capacity of 4,000 MW each. All plants are coal based.
India's power ministry and the eight north Indian states, which were affected by prolonged blackouts after the collapse of the power grid on 30 and 31 July, have agreed on a 12-point resolution to avoid a similar crisis. "The Centre and the concerned states agreed to abide by a 12-point resolution to ensure that such breakdowns in the power grid do not recur," the ministry said in a statement.
South Korea has risen high on the agenda of Siemens, Germany's engineering giant, who is targeting the country as a key growth market for gas turbine sales.
Sales prospects and revenue generated in Asia and the Middle East currently more than offsets reduced earnings in ailing European markets, says Lothar Balling, Head of Gas Turbine Power Plant Solutions in the Fossil Power Generation Division at Siemens Energy.
Investment in combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGTs) power plants in Germany are "highly problematic" as decreasing, even negative clean spark spreads resulting from reduced runtime hours have cut profit margins to zero". Unless capacity remuneration mechanisms are introduced, PricewaterhouseCoopers sees no market signals that could convince operators to build new plants.
During the first half of 2012, new gas-fired and renewable capacity has dominated power plant additions in the United States. As total of 165 new electric power plants were added in the 33 federal states, with combined new capacity of 8,098 megawatts (MW), according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).