Markets

Industries in Guangdong, southern China’s manufacturing hub, are forced to ration their electricity use as China Southern Power Grid, the regional TSO, is struggling to meet demand. Export-orientated manufacturers in the province staged 30% growth the first five month of 2021 alone, though supply of coal-fired and imported power from Yunnan is limited.

This summer season will be “the tightest in several years” in terms of LNG supply, Japan’s largest utility JERA warns. To avert fuel shortages and potential blackouts, JERA developed precautionary measures to ensure the dispatch of its 70 Gigawatt (GW) installed power gen capacity.

A rebound in gas demand through 2024, following the pandemic-related plunge lasts year risks to undermine the world’s goal of reaching net zero emissions by 2050, the International Energy Agency (IEA) warned. Gas demand in 2021 is forecast to rise 3.6% as global economies recover from the coronavirus crisis.

Only Asia has seen LNG imports rise despite the pandemic, largely due to the Chinese government’s coal-to-gas switching policies which pushed up imports by 1.0 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2020. India’s LNG imports increased 0.4 Bcf/d amid low prices for spot cargoes in spring and summer.

Williams, the owner of the largest US gas pipeline Transco, has increased its marketing footprint to over 8 Bcf/d through the $50 million acquisition of Sequent Energy from Southern Company Gas. The gas marketer Sequent reportedly made $200 million during the cold freeze in Texas in February.  

Heat waves are forecast for much of North America this summer, putting particularly California at high risk of blackouts. As part of the Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC), California relies heavily on imports to cover demand peaks and when solar power is unavailable.

Rolls-Royce Power Systems is investing in the Berlin-based start-up Kowry Energy. Focusing on Sub-Saharan Africa, the German engineers combine solar photovoltaic and battery storage into hybrid power units. As a young company, Kowry can “adapt to the realities” in Africa and the partnership with Rolls-Royce enhances its market positioning.

Europe's largest carmaker Volkswagen has pledged to phase out combustion engine cars in the EU by 2035 in anticipation of tighter climate regulations. VW, which also owns Audi, Skoda and Porsche, said it would raise its share of electric vehicles to 70% of total sales in Europe by 2030.

Peak summer LNG demand in Taiwan has surged due to an earlier-than-expected shutdown of the first 990 MW unit at the Kuosheng nuclear power plant. Decommissioning works are underway and Energy Aspects now expect Taiwan to import 9.7 million tons of LNG through September.

MAN Energy Solution’s PBST brand, developer of turbochargers and exhaust-gas-treatment, has agreed to distribute Rolls-Royce’s MTU turbochargers. The cooperation combines PBST’s global sales structure and MTU turbocharger technology for high-speed diesel and gas engines.

Investment in fossil generation will fall by one-fourth to below $54 billion, while spending on new wind and solar power units could double to $1.3 trillion over the current decade to 2030, Wood Mackenzie forecasts. Subsidy-free renewables, though, will not be competitive with coal power until 2025 or later. 

German carmaker Audi will launch its last combustion engine car in 2026 and then focus exclusively on pure battery-electric cars. CEO Markus Duesmann told press the VW premium brand will sell only battery models from the start of the 2030s at the latest, in a move that will boost electricity use for transportation and could exacerbate peakload demand.

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News in Brief

SDG&E accelerates drive towards Net Zero by 2045

Oct 20 – San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) has set a new sustainability strategy, outlining new and accelerated goals to help meet its pledge to reach net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2045. SDG&E it now seeks to operate a 100% zero emissions vehicle fleet by 2035 – five years earlier than planned.

B&W develops biomass-to-hydrogen plant in Australia

Oct 19 – B&W's Renewable segment and Port Anthony Renewables Ltd have started to develop a biomass-to-hydrogen energy project in Victoria, Australia, based on B&W’s BrightLoop technology. When completed, the plant is expected to be part of the largest green hydrogen hub in south-eastern Australia.

LNG prices rise faster than oil

Oct 18 – Liquefied natural gas and pipeline supplies have experienced an even sharper increase in prices in 2021 than oil, driven by a combination of circumstances that included a strong recovery in demand in North Asia, southeast Asia and Europe, unseasonal weather and planned and unplanned capacity outages.

Wärtsilä shaft gensets to power two LNG carriers

Oct 14 – The Finish technology group Wärtsilä has been awarded a contract to supply four shaft generators to provide electricity take-off from the main engines of two LNG carriers. The ships are being built at the Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) shipyard in Korea on behalf of the Capital Gas Ship Management of Greece.

VoltH2 gets green light for large hydrogen plant

Oct 13 – Vision Hydrogen Corp has announced that its affiliate VoltHe has received building and environmental permits to realise its first large-scale hydrogen plant at the Dutch North Sea Port of Vlissingen. The 5 MW hydrogen plant is located near existing high voltage power and gas infrastructure as well as large wind power assets. Once operational, it will produce around 3,500 tons of green hydrogen per year and will be scalable to 100 MW or 14,000 tons.

Tesla overtakes German e-cars

Oct 12 – Sales of Tesla in Germany has overtaken that of leading German carmakers. In September, more electric Tesla Model 3s were registered in the country than leading domestic models, such as the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes C-Class combined.

EnerMech spends £500k on crane training tech

Oct 11 – EnerMech has invested £500,000 in new crane simulator training systems at its Luanda (Angola), Doha (Qatar) and Great Yarmouth (UK) facilities. The British company recently formed a joint venture with 3t Energy Group to bring the KraneSIM-6000 equipment to both Qatar and Angola and offer in-country training across client organisations globally.  

Germany finances green hydrogen projects abroad

Oct 8 – The German government has agreed to support green hydrogen projects in other countries with up to €350 million by 2024, the economy ministry said when publishing a directive with relevant guidelines. Moreover, financial support is given to projects that produce and process green hydrogen for storage, transport and use in countries outside the EU through investment grants worth up to €15 million each.

UK e-car sales surge 186%

Oct 6 – Sales electric cars in the UK have surged 186% to a total of 108,000 in 2020 during the pandemic, up from just 38,000 in the previous year. Latest statistics show there were nearly 300,000 pure-electric cars on UK roads at the end of August 2021, and more than 600,000 plug-in models if including plug-in hybrids (PHEVs).

FogHorn deploys AI software at Chugoku Electric Power in Japan

Oct 4 – FogHorn, developer of Edge AI software, has deployed its Internet of Things (IoT) software at the Chugoku Electric Power hydroelectric power plant. The AI solutions will make the power gen process more efficient and enhances workplace safety. Chugoku Electric Power employs nearly 9,200 workers across 114 power units in the western part of Honshū, the largest island of Japan.

Rolls-Royce supplies MTU engines for ferry propulsion

Oct 1 – Rolls-Royce's new MT engines, automation system, and MTU Go! tool for remote service have future-proofed the high-speed catamaran Avemar Dos, run by the Spanish operator Balearia. Four MTU 20V1163 M84 units replaced the previous 1163 units, taking the vessel to a "new level of ecological soundness," the manufacturer says.

GES appoints former Puma Energy Chairman as NED

Sept 30 – Global Energy Storage (GES) has appointed the former Puma Energy Chairman, Graham Sharp, as an NED. Graham will support GES on its ‘new energies’ strategy for the energy transition, focusing on hydrogen fuels and hydrogen carriers space.

Aggreko reaches 2 GW of live power gen capacity

Sept 29 – Aggreko has today announced it has reached 2GW of live global gas power capacity and growth in flare gas to power and stranded gas projects. This new record follows a milestone of exceeding 1GW of delivered flare gas power projects in 2020.

Wärtislä renews O&M agreement with Lafarge Africa

Sept 28 – The Finish technology group Wärtsilä has renewed a long-term Operation & Maintenance (O&M) agreement with Lafarge Africa, a large producer of building materials in Nigeria. The agreement covers the 100 MW Lafarge Ewekoro power plant, which provides a dedicated supply of electricity to the company’s concrete and cement manufacturing processes.

Rolls-Royce supplies MTU engines to Sanlorenzo

Sept 27 – Rolls-Royce business unit Power Systems will become one of the leading engine suppliers for Sanlorenzo, delivering MTU 10V, 12V and 16V 2000 yacht engines with a compact IMO 3 solution. A framework contract from 2022 through 2024 has been signed at the Monaco Yacht Show.

Shell exits Permian Basin

Sept 24 – Royal Dutch Shell has sold all its upstream interested in US Permian Basin to ConocoPhillips for $9.5 billion in cash. Shell’s assets in the Permian include around 225,000 net acres with a current production of around 175,000 barrels per day equivalent.

Global biogas market tops $88bn in 2030

Sept 22 – The global biogas market is set to expand at a rate of 8.4% annually and reach $88.47 billion in 2025. According to ResearchAndMarkets, the main growth drivers are small-scale power generators that use biogas derived from municipal or agricultural waste through anerobic digestion.  Europe was the largest region in the biogas market in 2020, though Asia Pacific recorded the fastest growth.

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