Markets

Fuel security has been politicized in the U.S. and PJM Interconnection has just passed a stress test, imposed by the U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry on all transmission system operators. Selecting 14-day period of winter weather, PJM analyzed the system under more than 300 different scenarios that might occur from 2023 onwards. “We could handle it, but need to focus on fuel supply and demand response,” said PJM President, Andrew L. Ott.

New York Public Service Commission (NY PSC) has approved a petition by Consolidated Edison Company (Con Edison) for a $5 million, three-year gas demand response pilot program, one of the first schemes of its kind. Industries and large commercial customers will get financial incentives to reduce gas consumption at times of peak demand.

Strong winds and plentiful sunshine has pushed up the renewables share in Germany to 43% in January, April and May – and with an average amount of wind in Q4-2018, renewables could cover 38% over the entire year. “Clearly, renewables are in the fast lane, while the contribution of conventional energy sources to cover gross power consumption is falling continuously,” said BDEW head Stefan Kapferer.

Canadian oil and gas producer Encana has a made its boldest move yet, buying all shares of Newfield Exploration for US$5.5 billion and assuming US$2.2. billion of Newfield’s net debt. The takeover gives Encana premium positions in three of North America’s highest-quality, oil and liquids-weighted shale plays – the Permian, STACK/SCOOP and the Montney.

India has just completing the electrification of all its villages, and worldwide over 120 million people gained access to electricity. This means that for the first time ever, the total number of people without access fell below 1 billion according to new data from the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) World Energy Outlook 2018.

A rebound in global oil and gas prices has helped Royal Dutch Shell’s quarterly profit to reach $5.6 billion, the highest level in four years – but still short of analysts’ expectations. "Good operational delivery produced one of our strongest-ever quarters with cash flow from operations of $14.7 billion," CEO Ben van Beurden commented.

Indian LNG buyers have been courting the incumbent seller Qatar to invest in stranded gas-fired power station as a precondition for new long-term offtake agreements. If Qatargas or Qatar Petroleum agrees to supply fuel to some stranded power plants, they are offered a profit share.

Switching from coal to cleaner-burning gas for power generation has led to a 28% decline in carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. power sector. Slower growth of electricity demand also contributed to the decline, with the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) calculating that power generation-related CO2 emission fell to a near 30-year low at 1,744 million metric tons (MMmt).

Wednesday, 31 October 2018 / Markets

GE to split its power business

Cash-strapped General Electric has curtailed its quarterly dividend and announced plans to split its Power business into two units. First, the unified Gas business will combining GE’s gas product and services groups, and a second unit will other assets including Steam, Grid Solutions, Nuclear, and Power Conversion.

Disruptions in gas supply and greater gas and electricity price volatility will have a critical negative impact on UK business in the next 10 years, a survey of the British Gas Security Group (GSG) finds. With 80% of Britain’s gas needs set to be imported in 2030, and in the face of the closure of Rough storage, the industry is vary about being overexposed to the volatility of international gas markets.

Seeking to balance a steady decline in domestic gas production, European buyers have been increasing their LNG imports for the third consecutive year to cater for growing demand from the power sector. Low hydroelectric output in Spain, Italy, and Portugal as well as unplanned nuclear plant shutdowns in France in 2017 led to greater gas use for power generation, and higher LNG import.

‘Producer economies’ in the Middle East need to look at a strategic calculation about where and how gas – often together with renewables – can bring the best value to the energy system. However, the International Energy Agency (IEA) says most Gulf States first need to adapt pricing policies to make it lucrative to produce gas as a commodity in its own right.

Growing use of electric vehicles (EV) in the UK could increase peak power demand by 3.5 GW by 2030 and 18 GW by 2050, up from currently around 60 GW. Under the 'Consumer Power Scenario', National Grid anticipates EV sales to account for more than 90% of all cars by 2050.

Since the Trump administration threatened fresh sanctions against Iran, the oil-rich country has substantially scaled down its production and exports of crude oil and natural gas. In May 2018, the White House said it would withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and reinstate sanctions against the regime in Teheran.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has called on Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iraq, the UEA, Nigeria and Venezuela to step up efforts to diversify their economies to be able to cope with volatility of shale gas supply, and uncertainties over the pace of demand growth. In its Outlook for Producer Economies, the IEA assesses how the world’s six resource-dependent economies might fare to 2040 under a variety of price and policy scenarios.

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