Markets

British Gas parent company Centrica has contractually agreed to sell its Langage and South Humber combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plants, with a total capacity of 2.3 GW, to the Czech utility Energetický a Průmyslový Holding (EPH) for £318 million ($401 million). The divestment comes just a day after Centrica announced the closure of its Rough gas storage and is part of the company’s strategy to downsize its overall operation as margins shrink.

Reliance Power still faces uncertainty over the source of LNG supply for its 718-MW gas-fired power plant project in Bangladesh, and is awaiting a government decision on the matter. The Indian energy company is the first to build a power plant that will run on regasified LNG in neighbouring Bangladesh; but to operate the plant near full capacity Reliance needs around 110 million cubic feet per day (mmcf/d) of natural gas as fuel.

A flurry of new gas power stations has been developed across most of the United States over the past fifteen years, with 228 GW of gas-fired capacity addition “far exceeding retirements of 54 GW,” according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). However, coal still dominates the energy mix in a few states, notably in the Midwest.

Top forecasters anticipate energy demand growth through 2035, but projections on rates and market size vary significantly between Wood Mackenzie’s 'Energy View to 2035' and similar outlooks by BP, ExxonMobil (XOM) or the IEA’s New Policies Scenario. Outlooks broadly agree on which fuels will win or lose across Asia Pacific: Coal is seen static across all forecasts, backed out by gas, nuclear and renewables, although WoodMac’s projection is highest on gas growth.

Australia’s Origin Energy has announced a 15-18% rise in 2017 power prices for customers in New South Wales (NSW) and South Australia (SA) from July 1. Passing fuel costs through to consumers, Origin's decision makes average small-sized companies pay $750-920 per year more for their electricity use. With this latest price hike, Origin follows in the footsteps of EnergyAustralia, AGL Energy and ActewAGL all of which are already implementing power prices rises of up to 20%.

The EV30@30 campaign has been launched during the 8th Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) Meeting on June 8 in Beijing. The campaign sets a “collective aspirational goal” of a 30% market share for electric vehicles by 2030. Deployment of electric cars is already proceeding swiftly in some markets: In Norway, electric cars had a 29% market share last year, the highest globally, followed by the Netherlands with 6.4%, and Sweden with 3.4%.

Collectively, power plants are responsible for a declining share of U.S. air pollution emissions, a Ceres benchmarking report finds. Yet, emission levels vary significantly dependent on the volume of power output, fuel type and use, efficiency of generation technology, and installed pollution control.

More than 15% of the world’s population, or around 1.1 billion people, were without stable access to electricity in 2014 even though electrification rates have been rising gradually over the past decade. Back in 1994, a quarter of the world’ population had no access to electricity. According to the latest World Bank data, electrification levels improved most, albeit from low levels, in rural areas in Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia.

John Flannery today has been named as chairman and chief executive of General Electric, replacing Jeff Immelt who steps down from his role after 16 years at the helm of one of America's largest corporations. Mr Flannery, is currently the head of GE’s healthcare sector, and in 2014 led GE’s takeover of the French turbine and train manufacturer Alstom.

NNPC, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, has stepped up domestic gas supply to an average 7.32 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscf/d). This increased volume guarantees an average supply of 689 mmscf/d to national gas-fired power plants, allowing for a total power output 3,056 MW. Daily gas supply is up by nearly 100 mmscfd month-on-month from 582 mmcf/d, Ndu Ughamadu, NNPC Group spokesman said when presenting the group’s latest monthly report on finances and operations.

Australia’s Macquarie Group has agreed to acquire Cargill's North America power and gas business, for an undisclosed amount, just months after the bank bought the petroleum business of Cargill. The global commodities trader has streamlined its business over the past year, reacting to a nearly 3-years slump in global oil prices.

Three new gas pipelines between the US and Mexico are due to come in service in June, with a combined capacity of about 3.3 Bcf/d: their routes are Encino-to-Laguna, Guaymas-to-El Oro and Ojinaga-to-El Encin. Timely operational start of these lines, and how they work in conjunction with existing gas infrastructure, is critical for boosting supply of cheap U.S. shale gas to Mexico’s electric power utilities and industry.

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), California’s largest public-owned utility, is reconsidering plans to spend over $2 billion on natural gas and power infrastructure. The company’s board confirmed it "has put on hold all planned local repowering projects until a system-wide, in-depth, and independent study/analysis is conducted." Falling costs for renewables, and rising green energy supply, has inspired the California Senate to propose a 100% renewable energy target by 2045.

Shares in E.on and RWE have risen up to 5% after news broke on Wednesday that Germany’s top court declared the country’s nuclear fuel tax as “unconstitutional”. This ruling opens up doors for litigation, and the country’s main operators of nuclear power stations – E.on, RWE and EnBW - are expected to claim back over €6 billion that they were made to pay between 2011 and 2016.

Germany’s MAN Diesel & Turbo has contractually agreed to acquire a 40% participation in Aspin Kemp & Associates, a Canadian specialist manufacturer. Based in Montague, Prince Edward Island, Aspin Kemp is a technologically leader the field of energy storage and hybrid power solutions. When announcing its share purchase, MAN D&T pointed out “Aspin Kemp has developed game changing technology for power, propulsion and drilling applications in the offshore oil and gas sector.”