Markets

Russia’s state gas company Gazprom seeks to boost gas production in Yakutia and enhance pressure as well as throughput at the ‘Power of Siberia’ pipeline. There is “plenty of supply,” Gazprom noted, to ramp up exports to China gradually to 38 Bcm/y, as planned, by 2025.

Low U.S. gas demand due to the pandemic and unseasonably mild weather has prompted a sharp rise in storage injection, in particular in the South Central region. EIA figures show net injection into storage increased 109 Bcf last week, some 35 Bcm more than typical levels.

Energy demand patterns and grid dynamics have shifted dramatically since mid-March. In the absence of sufficient energy storage, Germany at times had to export 14 MW of excess renewable power at a loss of €80 MWh to countries like Norway and Austria, Wärtsilä’s energy tracking shows.

Business shutdowns in New York State to contain the coronavirus have slashed daily electricity demand on weekdays between 11% and 14% in March and April, according to government figures. Downtown New York, the NYISO Zone J, was hardest hit with demand up to 16% lower than temperature-comparable historical demand.

Siemens expects “even stronger impacts” from the coronavirus pandemic in the coming weeks as it posted an 18% drop in profits during the second quarter. The German technology conglomerate withdrew its guidance for fiscal-2020 but confirmed the timeline for the spin-off of its energy business.

April 2020 was the first month ever that renewables generated more electricity than thermal coal in the United States every single day. According to government data, coal’s market share in April declined to 15.3% amid a steep drop in power demand due to the pandemic.

Nationwide lockdowns in India have highlighted the financial risk of coal power plants – a technology increasingly uncompetitive compared with gas or renewables. In the first 33 days of the 2020/21 fiscal year, coal-fired generation was down just shy of 30 Terawatt-hours (TWh).

Asia’s Japan/Korea LNG (JKM) price marker is “potentially undervalued”, Energy Aspects says, pointing at a strong demand upswing in South Korea. Should KOGAS switch decisively from coal to gas generation, this would pull JKM prices above levels at the Dutch TTF starting from the fourth quarter.

Rising volumes of US LNG exports have boosted liquidity at traded gas markets, leading to greater price correlation of regional hubs and more integrated markets. Still, prices at the U.S. Henry Hub, Asia’s Japan/Korea LNG (JKM), and the UK National Balancing Point (NBP) show much less correlation than crude oil benchmarks.

U.S. electric carmaker Tesla has applied to the British energy regulator Ofgem to sell electricity in the UK. The purpose of the licence may be to introduce Tesla’s Autobidder energy trading platform in the UK, which is already running at Tesla’s Hornsdale Power Reserve in South Australia.

The rental market for mobile power gen equipment is seen grow at a 6% annual rate, expanding by $1.5 billion in the years through 2024. Growth is largely driven by infrastructure programs, as well as rising demand from mining and the oil and gas industry.

Electricity use in Europe increased for the first time in eight weeks as lockdowns are lifted, Entso-E data shows, but prices remain in the doldrums. Wholesale power prices collapsed 30-40% in the wake of the pandemic and may not fully recover until 2025, Aurora Energy Research finds.

Page 7 of 221

News in Brief

Tokyo Gas snaps up US shale assets

July 31 – The Japanese utility Tokyo Gas has agreed to raise its stake in the U.S. firm Castleton Resources to 70 percent from 46 percent to increase its foothold in shale gas production in Texas and Louisiana.  Castleton Resources holds acreage in the Haynesville and Cotton Valley formations. The transaction is scheduled to be completed on August 14.

Electrical PE market to grow 1.7% through 2027

July 30 – The market for electrical protective equipment (PE) in North America, valued at $2,787 million in 2019, is forecast to rise at an annual rate of 1.7 percent to reach $3,163 million by 2027. Main growth drivers, according to ResearchandMarkets, are ongoing power transmission projects in the context with U.S. LNG export infrastructure expansions.

GE wins turbine order from Italian paper mill

July 29 – DS Smith Paper Italia has ordered a GE LM6000PF aero-derivative gas turbine for its paper mill in Lucca, Italy. The paper mill is currently powered by two aero-derivative turbines, and the additional unit will increase plant efficiency by 2%, while assuring steam supply for the industrial process.

Aceleron secures £2m green energy investment

July 28 – UK battery developer Aceleron today announced receipt of a £2 million equity investment from BGF and Mercia Asset Management. Aceleron is BGF’s second investment into a pure clean technology, signalling a shift in behaviour as more and more fund managers support a green recovery and the UK’s policy of net-zero carbon by 2050.

NRG buys Centrica’s North American arm for over $3.6bn

July 27 – U.S. utility NRG Energy has agreed with Centrica to acquire the latter’s North American subsidiary Direct Energy for $3.625 billion in an all-cash transaction. The transaction will diversify NRG’s earnings by adding more than three million retail customers and generate an estimated $740 million in adjusted EBITDA upon closing.

Siemens rolls out Comfy app

July 24 – Siemens is deploying its workplace experience solution Comfy across its global offices, including major utility customers. The aim is to equip approximately 600 company locations by October 2020.

BlackRock puts $18bn into sustainable investment

July 23 – Sustainability aspects are poised to bring about "fundamental change" to the way financial market actors operate, said Philipp Hildebrand, vice head of U.S. investment company BlackRock. About 18 billion dollars have been put into BlackRock's sustainable investment products since the beginning of 2020, he told the German business daily FAZ, arguing this would be "only the beginning" of a much larger shift in investment practices.

Vaca Muerta output slows

July 22 – Argentina has resorted to importing LNG for the Southern Hemisphere winter as domestic production at the vast Vaca Muerta shale formation fell in the first half of 2020. State-owned IEASA purchased 28 LNG cargoes at average prices of $2.87 million British thermal units (mmBtu).

GE to implement air quality control systems in India

July 21 – GE Power India Ltd (GEPIL) has won three contracts with a combined value of $112.57 million to supply air quality control systems. One semi-dry flue-gas desulfurization (FDG) unit will be installed for Hindalco Industries’ 1x150MW power plant at the Aditya aluminium smelter in Sambalpur. A wet FDGs system will be installed on behalf of NTPC for their Feroze Gandhi Unchahar thermal power plant (2x210MW plus 2x210 MW plus 1x210MW units) in Rae Bareli, Uttar Pradesh.

Wärtsilä CEO sees “tough” H2 ahead

July 20 – Wärtsilä CEO Jaakko Eskola has told analysts he sees a “tough second half of the year ahead,” as the Finish manufacturer seeks to mitigate Covid-related business disruptions. In the segment of up to 500 MW, Wärtsilä’s market share fell from 9% to 8%, while orders for gas- and liquid- power plants increased by 1% to 17.8 GW during the twelve-month period ending in March 2020.

GE launches update to digital plant software

July 17 – GE Digital has unveiled updates to its digital power plant software: Proficy Plant Applications, Proficy Operations Hub, Proficy Historian, and Proficy CSense. The software accelerates digitization for industries and integrates related onsite power generation units.

Germany EEG fund slips into the red

July 16 – Germany's green energy fund, funded through the renewable energy surcharge (EEG levy), has slipped into the red for the first time since 2013, according to TSO data. The account, funded by end-customers through a surcharge on their power bill, fell from about €2 billion in available funds to €-1.16 billion in the first six months of 2020.

China seen overtake Japan as worlds’ largest LNG buyer by 2025

July 15 – The International Energy Agency (IEA) expects China to overtake Japan as the world’s biggest LNG buyer with imports of 128 Bcm a year by 2025, equivalent to around 174 million tonnes. However, IEA analysts cautioned this scenario is “highly dependent on China’s future policy direction” and whether that includes an ongoing push for coal-to-gas switching for industry, residential heating and power generation.

IEA stages Clean Energy Transitions Summit

July 14 – Ministers from dozens of countries, accounting for over 80% of the world economy, have participated in the first Clean Energy Transitions Summit organised by the International Energy Agency (IEA). Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director, said there “clearly is momentum” behind a sustainable recovery from the economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. Participants agreed to reconvene in mid-2021.

Siemens Energy to exit coal

Jul 13 – Newly formed technology company Siemens Energy wants to phase-out any operations and technology to related to coal-fired power generation, CEO Joe Kaeser said, without giving a specific timeline. Siemens had been harshly criticised earlier this year for participating in the Adani coal mine project in Australia.

Statkraft, GE enhance GB grid stability

July 10 – Statkraft and GE Power Conversion are working together to stabilise Britain’s power grid. To that end, GE will manufacture and install two Rotating Stabiliser synchronous machines at Statkraft’s site in Keith, Moray. Statkraft was awarded four stability contracts (two at Keith and two at Lister Drive) by National Grid ESO (NGESO) earlier this year.

Siemens Energy spin-off approved

July 9 – A large majority of Siemens shareholders have voted to approve the spin-off of the company’s energy business. The spin-off was approved by 99.36 percent of capital stock represented at today’s extraordinary shareholders’ meeting.

House ad Jul2020