Risks of large-scale UK power generation units not being operational next winter have substantially increased National Grid’s procurement target in the latest capacity market auction. This, in turn, pushed up the clearing price in the T-1 auction Round 6 for deliver year 2021-22 to a record price of £45 per kW.

A sudden and critical drop in electrical frequency brought the EU power grid at the brink of collapse on January 8, 2021, when grid operators had to split up the integrated power system to avert blackouts.  4,000 fast-start Jenbacher gas engines helped TSOs to regain grid frequency within a few minutes.

US LNG export have notched up amid rising buying interest in Asia and Brazil, where more and gas peaking power plants are being dispatched as drought condition limits baseload hydropower generation. Several cargoes also set sail for Asia where the JKM price for North Asian spot cargoes for April increased to $6.000 per MMBtu, up from last week’s $5.805 per MMBtu.

Deutsche Börse AG announced late Wednesday that Siemens Energy has joined its blue-chip DAX stock index, replacing Beiersdorf AG which was shifted to the lower-ranking MDAX, along with Porsche Automobile Holding effective as of March 22.

Natural gas production across the United States has fallen by 1% over the course of 2020, despite rising output from Marcellus and Utica Shale where production kept growing despite low regional spot prices. Within the Appalachia region, West Virginia saw the largest rise in gas production, up by 1.2 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d), or 20%, to reach 7.1 Bcf/d.

The 2021 February cold freeze has claimed the first victim, with Brazos Electric Power Cooperative filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Brazos said in a statement it was hit by “excessively high invoices” of $2.1 billion from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) for purported cost electricity service during February 13 and 19.

US gas demand spiked in the mid-February cold freeze, was pushing up storage withdrawals to record highs. Weekly stocks fell by 338 billion cubic feet (Bcf) in the week ending February 19, 2021, according to EIA figures, and a record 156 Bcf of natural gas was withdrawn in the South Central region which includes Texas.

An affordable and largely CO2-free European power supply by 2050 can only be realised with renewables as the main energy source and a well-connected electricity grid across the EU. A report by Connect Energy Economic finds wind and solar power could cover nearly 50% of Europe’s power demand, if the grid becomes flexible enough to handle intermittency challenges.

Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in the United States will decline in most years through the mid-2030s but then start to rise slightly from the mid-2030s through 2050, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). In its AEO2021 Reference case, the EIA projects that by 2050, energy-related emissions will be 5% higher than 2020 levels.

Excelon Corp will split into two publicly traded companies. The plan is to carve out its six regulated electric and gas units as Exelon Utilities (RemainCo) and separate it from Exelon Generation (SpinCo) – set to become the largest clean energy provider in the United States with 31 GW generating assets.

Electric utilities in China avoid investing in gas peaking plants due to cost issues. Fuel prices are bound to rise with the start of China’s national emissions trading scheme (CETS) in mid-2021, and the latest winter cold period highlighted security of supply risks for imported LNG.

German construction firm Bilfinger and the infrastructure finance arm of Munich Re have both withdrawn from work related to the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline through the Baltic Sea, due to looming US sanctions. Bilfinger had been contracted to deliver and operate process control systems and supply a gas-fired heat and power unit.

Page 8 of 240

News in Brief

Growth in turbine air filtration tops 3%

July 22 – The turbine air filtration market is expected to grow 3.27% annually from $1.92 billion in 2020 to reach $2.29 billion in 2026. Demand from the oil & gas industry and electric utilities had plunged during the corona crisis and subsequent economic downturn, but the latest trend towards clean energy is driving robust growth for turbine air filtration which can be widely and easily applied in the power sector.

US oil exports stay high

July 21 – Despite volatile prices, U.S. crude oil exports reached a record high in 2020 and remained strong this year, averaging 3.51 million barrels per day (b/d). Expanded ports at Houston and Corpus Christi allow for oil to be exported from the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Basin.

CVEC to be converted to hydrogen

July 20 – Cricket Valley Energy Center (CVEC) is taking steps to run the  combined-cycle plants on hydrogen. Works to convert the plant will be carried out by GE and are scheduled to start in late 2022. One of three GE 7F.05 gas turbines at CVEC will be introduced to a 5% hydrogen blend with natural gas.

MAN ETES labelled solar impulse efficient

July 16 – MAN Electro-Thermal Energy Storage (ETES) was attributed the “Solar Impulse Efficient Solution” label by independent auditors. In January, the German manufacturer supplied to ETES heat pumps to DIN Forsyning for a heat and power plant in the Danish port city Esbjerg.

Electricity sales to US industry rebounds

July 14 – Economic recovery has caused a 5.1% rise electricity sales to US industry this year, dwarfing 2.8% more retail sales and a 2.1% rise in the commercial sector as many office workers continue working from home. The US Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) acting administrator, Steve Nalley, called the rebound in electricity sales to industry a “strong sign of rising levels of economic output as the Covid-19 pandemic recedes.”

Solar PV to triple in Asia by 2030

July 13 – Asia Pacific solar photovoltaic capacity could triple to 1,500 gigawatts (GW) by 2030. According to Wood Mackenzie estimates, China will add 619 GW of mainly utility-scale capacity while most other nations in Asia prefers distributed solar due to land constraints. Solar PV tends to be backed up by flexible gas gensets and energy storage, forming hybrid power units.

Kinder Morgan closes on Stagecoach assets

July 12 – US energy infrastructure major Kinder Morgan has closed its acquisition of Stagecoach Gas Services. The deal include 4 gas storage facilities with a 41 bcf working gas capacity and a transmission network with multiple interconnects to major interstate pipelines, including Tennessee Gas Pipeline. The Stagecoach assets add to Kinder Morgan’s approximately 83,000 miles of pipelines and 144 terminals.

Dortmund cancels electrotechnik fair

July 9 – The elektrotechnik fair, planned for 29 September to 1 October 2021, will now not be taking place in Dortmund due to requests from the industry. The next trade fair for building, industrial, energy and lighting technology will now open its doors again in spring 2023.

Hitachi to change name of ABB Power Grids

July 7 – Hitachi ABB Power Grids will become Hitachi Energy in October. The Japanese manufacturer bought a controlling stake in ABB’s grid business a year ago and is about to fully take the name of the merged company while expanding its direction towards e-mobility and data centres.

Tapping wind energy for hydrogen

July 6 – Spanish utility Naturgy and the gas grid operator Enagás are evaluating the use of 350 MW offshore and onshore wind capacity to produce green hydrogen. The fuel will be used to decarbonise the steel industry and shipyard in northwest Spain.

EU seeks to expand Green Deal to Africa

July 5 – The European Green Deal should be expanded to also include African states as partners, the German development minister Gerd Müller said. Green hydrogen production in Africa, in his view, should be a “cornerstone for economic cooperation with the Europe.”

Decom Engineering updates PCR

July 2 – Northern Ireland-based Decom Engineering has invested more than £700,000 to develop tools for repurposing and clean decommissioning of energy infrastructure. Through updated Pipe Coating Removal (PCR) equipment, decommissioned or surplus pipelines can be cleaned of multiple coatings, so they can be repurposed for used on other projects.

Cummins buys half of Momentum Fuels

July 1 – Cummins has signed a letter of intent to acquire a 50% equity interest in Momentum Fuel Technologies from Rush Enterprises. The transaction is expected to close before year-end, and the combined venture will produce Cummins-branded natural gas fuel delivery systems for the commercial vehicle market in North America.

Gazprom evaluates cost of grey hydrogen

June 30 – Scientific studies by Gazprom and the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) seek to solve technical challenges in producing grey hydrogen through steam reforming in the most cost-efficient way, as well as transporting the fuel to end-users. The findings of the studies will be factored into Gazprom's sustainable development scenarios up to 2050.

Redox about to overtake Li-ion batteries

June 28 – Li-ion batteries have dominated the energy storage field, but are expected to lose their leading role in stationary applications. According to IDTechEx findings, Redox flow batteries are gaining traction and are likely to overtake the installed Li-ion battery energy capacity before the end of 2030.

B&W proceeds with waste-to-energy projects

June 25 – Babcock & Wilcox’s (B&W) renewable segment has received limited notice to proceed for a waste-to-energy project in Europe as it finalizes terms for a $24 million contract with the customer. Ohio-based B&W said it looks to capitalize on an estimated addressable market of more than $7 billion in Europe over the next three years.

Japan’s gas-burn on the rise

June 24 – LNG imports for power generation in Japan have rebounded with steady volumes from the Middle East and Australia and higher cargo numbers from Russia and the US, though LNG deliveries were outpaced by thermal coal shipments. The May 2021 LNG shipments amounted to 4.95 million tonnes, or around 73 cargoes, a 8.2% rise on volumes received in May 2020, according to trade figures by the Japanese finance ministry.

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