Unparalleled clean energy investment – set to triple by 2030 – will drive up overall energy spending to $5 trillion by 2030 and add an extra 0.4% per year to global GDP growth. In its Net Zero pathway, the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) assumes no new oil and gas fields or coal mines will be developed as demand shifts to clean fuels.

Japan’s largest power producer JERA is conducting a competitive bid to procure up to 500,000 tons of ammonia per year under a contract running from 2027 until the early 2040s. JERA wants to switch 20% of the fuel at Unit 4 of its Hekinan Thermal Power Station to ammonia by the late 2020s.

Siemens Energy has put more pressure on its Spanish wind power unit Gamesa. “We want management to push for change with discipline and in all consequence,” CEO Christian Bruch said prior to the annual shareholder’s meeting on February 24. The German manufacturer is expected to buy the rest of the ailing unit and restructure it.

Russia’s state-dominated Gazprom has disclosed supplies to its European customers were lowered by over 35.5%, or 9.8 billion cubic meters (bcm), in January and February to date, while flows to China through the ‘Power of Siberia’ interconnector increased. February 14 marked a new record for daily supplies to China’s CNPC.

Costs to compensate energy companies in Britain who take on stranded customers from bankrupt firms like Bulb, Arvro and Octopus have been levied onto energy bills. The onboarding suppliers passes on the extra distribution network charges which pushes up bills by an average £34.36, or 33.9%, in the 2022-23 period, Cornwall Energy finds.

ABB has rebranded its turbocharging division for diesel and gas engines by renaming it Accelleron: a combination of Access – Accelerate – Excel – on and on. The move is part of ABB’s strategy carve out the division before deciding between a sale or spin-off at the end of the first quarter.

Generators in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) have met a surge in electricity use for heating during icy weather in early February when demand peaked at 68,862 MWh – slightly below the 69,215 MWh peak during the February 2021 winter storm. Unlike last year, generators kept fuel supplies in place and avoided power outages.

French utility ENGIE has returned to a net profit amid a 30% surge in revenue as prices soared, the network business improved and nuclear reaped a profit. Profits of €3.66 billion ($4.14 billion) in 2021 reversed a loss of €1.53 billion in the previous year, though renewables were disappointing.

Flows of Russian gas via the Yamal-Europe pipeline remain reversed until Wednesday at least. Data from the TSO Gascade shows a steady stream of 1.52 million kWh/h of natural gas exiting Germany via the Mallnow border point to Poland. Gazprom normally uses the pipeline for 15% of its annual westbound supply, but has currently not booked any capacity.

Tokyo Gas has decided to issue a corporate bond in March to finance low-carbon initiatives. The bond will be issued in two tranches of 7-year and 10-year terms, with a combined value of 20 billion yen ($173 million). Proceeds will be used for the Niihama LNG import project, smart energy networks as well as for the Harumi hydrogen venture.

Germany’s liberal party FDP wants to scale up activities that make use captured CO2 to create a market for negative emission technologies. By issuing tradable certificates for each tonne of CO2 withdrawn from the atmosphere, heavy industry and power generators would be incentivised to retrofit their plants with carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS).

Despite relying heavily on imports at the start of the winter, France has maintained its position as the biggest net exporter of electricity in Europe in the second half of 2021. According to EnAppSys data, France’s net exports amounted to 21.5 TWh and most of the electric power was flowing to Italy (7.5 TWh) and Great Britain (6 TWh).

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News in Brief

FlatFish drone inspects Shell fields off Brazil

May 25 – Shell and Petrobras have contracted Saipem to use its FlatFish subsea drone in pilot projects to inspect two ultra-deepwater oil and gas fields offshore Brazil in over 2,000-meter depth. Initial tests will be carried out at Saipem’s base in Trieste, Italy, with a view to deploying the drone to Brazilian waters in the third quarter of 2022.

Gazprom cuts off supplies to Finland

May 24 – Gazprom has completely suspended gas supplies to Gasum after the Finish company refused to pay in roubles, the two companies said in separate statements. Gasum is confident it will be able to supply all its customers with gas imported through the Balticconnector (2.6 Bcm/y) from Estonia.

Heisco wins tender in Kuwait

May 23 – Heavy Engineering Industries and Shipbuilding Company (Heisco) has won a KD1.8 million ($6.4 million) tender – floated by the energy ministry of Kuwait – to install, examine and test four high voltage transformers at the Doha East Power Generation and Water Distillation Station. Heisco, founded in 1974 and listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange, has developed into one of the largest energy engineering groups in the emirate.

JERA issues bond to finance power plant upgrades

May 20 – Japan’s leading LNG importer and power producer JERA has issued its first energy transition bond to help finance the accelerated deployment of decarbonisation technologies like hydrogen and ammonia co-firing, as well as the decommissioning of older thermal power stations. The bond is offered in two tranches: a 12 billion yen ($83 million) for a 5-year bond with a 0.420% per annum coupon, and a 8 billion yen $62 million) for a 10-year bond with a 0.664% rate coupon.

Rolls-Royce conducts laser field tests in the US

May 18 – Rolls-Royce has successfully conducted laser field tests to demonstrate ‘deep magazine’ power capability for directed applications in connection with Lockheed Martin’s layered laser defense project. Deep magazine power can be provided by a battery-only system, but the Rolls-Royce ColdFire system includes both battery-powered and near-continuous firing modes provided by M250 gas turbine engines.

Gas vs oil ratio increases in the Bakken

May 17 – The ratio of natural gas to crude oil production has risen in North Dakota’s Bakken region since 2008, and continues to accelerate. According to the US Energy Information Administration's (EIA) Drilling Productivity Report, annual gas gross withdrawals in the Bakken increased by 9% to an annual high of 2.97 Bcf/d in 2021, even though the region’s crude oil production fell by 6%.

Middle East shifts to gas power

May 16 – The Middle East, a region vulnerable to climate change, is undergoing a major shift from petroleum-based power plants towards gas-fired generation and renewable power sources. Capacity additions of over 185.46 GW are the pipeline, according to ResearchandMarkets, as the regions electricity demand for industry and residential cooling is set to grow. In fact, cooling already accounts for 70% of residential power demand.

Carbon utilisation in strong demand

May 13 – The market for carbon utilisation is forecast to grow rapidly from the 2030s onwards to surpass $285 billion by 2042, driven by rising climate commitments and a favourable regulatory framework. In its latest report IDTechEx also highlights the role of technology advances such as thermodynamics which help sequester CO2 permanently.

MTU gensets approved for biofuels

May 12 – Rolls-Royce has gained approval to use synthetic fuels in its MTU Series 4000 and Series 1600 diesel engines for power generation application. Field testing confirmed both engines can use a range of sustainable fuels including biomass-to-liquid, hydrotreated vegetable oil and power-to-liquid fuels such as e-diesel.

E.ON tells Germans how to save gas

May 11 – A large-scale switch to heat pumps, solar power and better demand-side management could help save Germany nearly 100 TWh of natural gas per year, E.ON has said, calling on households to contribute to Europe’s efforts to reduce reliance on Russian gas imports. “If 10% of the homes in Germany are equipped with solar PV installations, 20% of gas boilers are replaced by heat pumps, and the average temperature in all households is reduced by one degree Celsius on average, this would lead to natural gas savings of 103 TWh per year," E.ON Energy CEO Filip Thon said, noting this volume would equate to about 30% of Germany’s current gas imports from Russia.

Exelon Q1 earnings lower following Constellation cave-out

May 10 – Exelon has reported lower first quarter earnings and a higher operating revenue, having completed the separation of Constellation Energy – Excelon’s former power gen business. Focussing now solely on transmission and distribution, Exelon’s net income from continuing operations for the first quarter of 2022 decreased to $0.49 per share from $0.53 a share in pre-year period. In contrast, adjusted operating earnings notched up to $0.64 per share, primarily due to due to higher electric distribution earnings at ComEd from higher rate base and higher allowed electric distribution. Rate increases at Excelon’s group companies PECO, BGE, and PHI were partially offset by higher depreciation expenses at BGE and PHI.

South Africa to add 2.6 GW of new capacity

May 9 – South Africa’s Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, has just announced the REIPPPP BW6 Request for Proposals (RFP).  The bid round will add 2,600 MWs of new capacity to the energy mix. The ministry seeks to procure 11,813 MW of electricity from various power sources including renewable energy, storage, gas and coal.

GE Gas Power authorized as CVE Numbering Authority

May 6 – GE Gas Power’s increased focus on cybersecurity has been recognized by the Common Vulnerability and Exposures Programm as a ‘CVE Numbering Authority (CNA).  As such, GE Gas Power can now assign CVE identification numbers to newly discovered vulnerabilities potentially related to its products and allow GE Gas Power to directly publish new CVE Records and streamline the reporting process.

Heliogen gets nearly $90m in funding

May 5 – Heliogen has moved from design into testing and implementation of its supercritical CO2 power gen system that will be deployed for Woodside in California. The system consists of a 5 MWe sCO2 power block integrated with high temperature solid media thermal energy storage. The demonstration project is being funded with up to $50 million from Woodside, along with $39 million from the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE).

Capstone to install microturbine in the Caribbean

May 4 – E-Finity Distributed Generation, Capstone's distributor for the Mid-Atlantic, Southeastern United States and the Caribbean, has secured an order for two C1000S microturbines for a government water authority in the Caribbean. The 2 MW system will provide emergency standby power to several pumping stations throughout the remote island community and is scheduled to be commissioned towards the end of 2022.

Forecasting solar and energy storage in CAISO

May 3 – Marubeni has chosen Veritone’s AI-based distributed energy resource management solution (iDERMS) to provide price, demand and generation forecasts at their pilot project in the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) SP-15 region. In addition to day-ahead and real-time generation figures, Veritone will also forecast production and demand for the overall CAISO region.

Forecasting solar and energy storage in CAISO

May 2 – Marubeni has chosen Veritone’s AI-based distributed energy resource management solution (iDERMS) to provide price, demand and generation forecasts at their pilot project in the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) SP-15 region. In addition to day-ahead and real-time generation figures, Veritone will also forecast production and demand for the overall CAISO region.