Markets

Exports of liquefied natural gas from the US will exceed gas exports by pipeline in the first and fourth quarter of 2021, as well as in 2022 on an annual basis. Monthly US LNG exports reached a record of 9.4 Bcf/d in November and of 9.8 Bcf/d in December 2020 and January 2021, according to shipping data, and are forecast to average 9.7 Bcf/d in February.

Strong growth in renewables has reduced the share of coal in China’s power generation mix to less than 50% - for the first time. Fitch Ratings expects the contribution of coal will fall by a further 3% in 2021 as the government pushes for a coal-to-gas switch to reach carbon neutrality.

Volkswagen has sold more electric cars worldwide than Tesla for the first time ever, as electrification of transport accelerates in Europe, the US and China. The brands of the VW group, which include Porsche and Audi, sold 192,000 fully electric cars or plug-in hybrid vehicles in the fourth quarter, compared to Tesla's 181,000 e-vehicles sold.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has narrowly avoided a cascade of power failures thanks to a small surplus of gas supply near some peaking power plants. Natural gas fuels more than 40,000 MW generating capacity in Texas during peak periods, but the latest cold freeze disrupted production and made pipeline compressors trip.

The German gas industry calls for the construction of  Nord Stream 2 to be finalised this year to enhance competition amongst gas importers and ensure energy prices remain low. „If we didn't have it, we would be talking about several billion Euros of additional [cost] burdens,” said Timm Kehler, head of the lobby group Zukunft Gas.

Solar power is poised for “explosive growth” in India, matching coal’s share within two decades, the International Energy Agency (IEA) finds. Today, solar PV makes up 3% and coal close to 70% of India’s power mix, but by 2040 they will converge in the low 30%s in a dramatic tilt to green energy.

The European Union‘s 2030 emissions target of a 55% reduction over 1990 levels has made it the undisputed global leader in climate ambition. But the bloc is falling short of its goal, Wood Mackenzie warns, unless the rollout of electric vehicles and renewable build-out gets accelerated along with coal power plants retirements.

Fitch Ratings has warned fossil fuel exporters face a growing risk of loss of GDP, government revenue and export receipts as more upstream assets are downgraded, or become stranded, as the energy transition progresses. Coal suffers a greater loss of market share than oil and natural gas.

Dallas-based Energy Transfer has agreed to acquire Enable Midstream Partners in an all-equity transaction valued at around $7.2 billion. The merger is expected to lead to $100 million operational cost savings and gives Energy Transfer access to gas gathering and processing assets in the Anadarko and Haynesville Shale, and pipelines to transport the gas to the US Gulf Coast.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has decided to raise energy prices after a winter storm left more than 4 million people without electricity in Texas. The grid operator was not able to cope with the sudden demand spike, while fuel shortages forced some utilities to implement rolling blackouts.

The Japanese ministry of the economy, trade and industry (METI) is working on a new natural gas supply framework in the wake of recent price spikes. “The tightening of power supply ... has made us strongly realize once again the importance of LNG as an adjusting electricity source,” said Ryo Minami, METI's director-general of oil, gas and mineral resources.

US oil and gas midstream company Energy Transfer has created a new business group, led by Tom Mason, to develop alternative energy projects. In focus will be solar and/or wind farms (either through PPAs or partnership with third party developers) and hydrogen gas opportunities – when they make economic sense.

Page 9 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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