Regulation & Policy

President Xi Jinping has told the UN General Assembly that China, the world’s largest carbon emitter, will reach peak emissions before 2030 and aspires to become carbon-neutral by 2060. President Xi called on all countries to “stop only pursuing development rather than environment protection.”

Striving to jump-start Australia’s economy, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has tabled a National Gas Development Plan, promising over $28 million to develop five gas basins and another $10.9 million on priority pipelines. Subsidies for gas-fired power are also on the cards as the PM aims for a “gas-led manufacturing recovery.”

Angela Merkel is under growing pressure to end her support for the German-Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline project. Leading CDU party members and the Green party want the German Chancellor to halt construction after the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, especially because economists say the pipeline is “unnecessary” for ensuring supply security.

Germany’s federal and state governments have sealed a deal to make official the 40 billion Euros in state support for mining regions. The funding is dedicated to companies and regions worst affected by the landmark plan to exit coal-fired power generation by 2038 at the latest.

Northern Powergrid has become the UK’s first distribution network operator to release a strategy paper on how it can contribute to the country’s ‘green recovery’. The TSO, serving 8 million customers in the North East and Yorkshire, submitted its 2023-28 business plan in line with Ofgem’s ED2 price control regulatory period.

Utilities’ rising use of artificial intelligence (AI) accelerates Europe’s green energy transition. The greatest potential, according to Germany's energy agency (dena) lies in forecasting as well as optimising operations and inventories. dena CEO Andreas Kuhlmann said AI can “drive new business models, accelerate innovation and increase efficiency.”

The German government prepares to launch green ‘twin bonds’ with a volume of eleven billion Euros in a bid to attract investors to sustainable finance and raise funds for emissions reduction projects. From September, investors can swap government bonds with the new green bonds.

High costs of renewable electricity in Germany prevent the realisation of green hydrogen projects, says Nils Aldag, CCO of the Dresden-based startup Sunfire. In Norway, one of Sunfire’s electrolysis plant pays less than a quarter of German prices for using renewable energy as the basis of hydrogen production.

Latest ‘Future Energy Scenarios’ (FES 2020), published by UK’s National Grid strike a more confident tone that enough fossil and new technologies can be deployed to achieve the Government’s Net Zero by 2050 targets. At least two of four scenarios show pathways to accomplish this.

Exelon Corp has accused ISO New England of putting Boston’s power supply security at risk by “hastily” eliminating the out-of-market retention of Mystic Generating Station. Exelon filed to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to bar ISO NE from making these changes.

Williams has received approval from the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to move forward with the Leidy South Project. The pipeline expansion will allow for further supplies, produced by Cabot Oil & Gas and Seneca Resources in Marcellus and Utica Shale, to be transported to the Mid-Atlantic region by winter 2021/22.

German Energy Agency dena has advised the Government to support households by lowering the renewable surcharge they pay with their power bills, also known as the EEG levy, to zero by 2021. The resulting lower electricity prices would help stimulate private consumption.

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News in Brief

Barclays may help fund Rolls-Royce

Sept 30 – UK’s prime engine maker Rolls-Royce is understood to be close to getting fresh financing from Barclays Bank. The Derby-based company, however, insists no final decision has been taken on the precise amount that may be raised or any allotment of shares to any investor.

Petronas to truck LNG to off-grid users

Sept 29 – Petronas Dagangan Group is gearing up to build a LNG truck delivery service for off-grid customers in Peninsular Malaysia. Trucks fitted with cryogenic tanks will bring the super-chilled fuel to remote industries and small-scale power generators with no access to the natural gas grid. Malaysia’s Peninsular Gas Utilisation (PGU) pipeline is only 2,500 kilometers in length and was initially built to export gas to Singapore.

Siemens to reduce emissions at NLNG

Sept 28 – Nigeria LNG has contracted Siemens Energy to provide a cryogenic boil-off gas (BOG) compression train for its liquefaction plant on Bonny Island. The new BOG train will be driven by an high-efficiency electric motor and includes two compressors. Manufactured in Duisburg, Germany, the equipment will be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Supercapcitors to replace batteries

Sept 25 – The global market for supercapacitors was valued at over $487 million last year and is forecast to top $1,570 millio by 2025, growing at an annual rate of 21.8%. Supercapacitor, an emerging technology for energy storage systems, can offer higher power density than batteries was may soon replace the latter.

Atos, Siemens expand digital partnership

Sept 24 – Atos, a global leader in digital transformation, has expanded its strategic partnership with Siemens AG for five years, helping the latter with data driven digital, cloud transformation and cybersecurity. The extension comes in the context of 5-year total €3 billion agreements which were separately signed with Siemens AG, Siemens Energy and Siemens Healthineers.

Rotterdam Port to store CO2 beneath the North Sea

Sept 23 – The Porthos project, a joint venture between the Port of Rotterdam Authority, Gasunie and EBN, seeks to transport CO2 from industry in the port to empty gas fields beneath the North Sea. In its early years, the Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) will be able to store approximately 2.5 million tonnes of CO2 per year with plans to be operational by 2024.

German power sector to reach net zero in 2040s

Sept 22 – Revisions to Germany’s Renewable Energy Act (EEG) stipulate the power sector should become greenhouse-gas neutral in the early 2040s. Despite the gradual electrification of heating and transport, the German energy ministry is so far sticking to its estimate of 580 terawatt-hours (TWh) of power consumption in 2030 – close to current levels.

B&W to supply superheaters to Lumiant

Sept 21 – Babcock & Wilcox’s thermal segment has been contracted to design, manufacture and supply new superheater components for a high-efficiency boiler at Luminant’s Oak Grove Power Plant near Franklin, Texas. Material delivery to Oak Grove is scheduled for February 2021.

EC targets 55% emission cut by 2030

Sept 17 – The European Commission’s latest 2030 Target Plan stipulates a 55% cut in emissions by 2030, compared to 1990-levels. The lobby group COGEN Europe stressed the importance of combined heat and power generation (CHP) to reach that goal, calling for more stable policies and supportive regulation.

Rolls-Royce may sell ITP Areo

Sept 17 – Britain’s prime manufacturer Rolls-Royce confirmed it is looking to strengthen its balance sheet, possibly by disposing of ITP Aero which his hoped to generate proceeds of more than £2bn over the next 18 months. Further cost cutting is meant to deliver £1 billion and revamping of the company’s Civil Areospace business should save another £1.3 billion.

China’s GDP may grow 1.8%

Sept 16 – China’s GDP is forecast to grow 1.8% this year as the economy recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic. The government slashed electricity tariffs to support manufacturing but the Asian Development Bank (ADB) warns of mounting credit risk for banks. Fiscal revenue pressure also intensifies as 1.5% of China’s GDP growth in the first half of 2020 was based on bond-funded investment by local governments.

Zeebrugge goes for green hydrogen

Sept 15 – Colruyt Group (Eoly), Parkwind and Fluxys aim to spend up to 35 million Euros to develop a green hydrogen plant in Zeebrugge, Belgium, by 2023. The plan is to convert off-shore wind energy into green hydrogen which can then be injected in the high-pressure natural gas transmission grid.

Shale gas market to top $41bn

Sept 14 – Global markets for unconventional gas, mostly developed by shale fracking, is forecast to grow at an annual rate of 7% to reach $ 41.76 billion by 2024. According to Technavio, the Americas region will remain dominant with an 87% market share as hydraulic fracturing technologies evolve. Top players in the market are BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil, PetroChina, Gazprom, Shell, Santos, Saudi Arabian Oil Co., and YPF.

SNAM, Saipem join forces on hydrogen

Sept 11 – Two Italian energy companies, SNAM and Saipem, have agreed to develop initiatives for green hydrogen production and transport, as well as for carbon dioxide capture, transport and reuse or storage (CCRS). The move supports the European Commission’s Hydrogen Strategy to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

MAN, Wasco to drive Power-to-Gas Tech in Asia

Sept 10 – MAN Energy Solutions and Wasco have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote and commercialize Power-to-X (PtX) projects in South-East Asia. The technology in question converts electricity into carbon-neutral synthetic fuels, gas or liquid, for use as a clean, carbon-neutral energy source.

Romgaz, GSP to realise 200 MW gas and solar project

Sept 9 – Romania’s state gas company Romgaz has agreed to build 200 MW power generation capacity with the privately-owned Grup Servicii Petroliere (GSP) which is controlled by the local businessman Gabriel Comanescu. The project entails a 150 MW gas-fired power plant and a 50 MW solar photovoltaic park, to be built on the site of a disused coal power plant in southern Romania.

Alaska uses twice as much energy for transport as NY

Sept 8 – More energy is used per person for transportation in U.S. states with low population density. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA), people in geographically large states with small populations, such as Alaska, Wyoming and North Dakota, are useing twice as much energy for transportation than the U.S. average on a per capita basis. That’s in stark contrast to states with higher population density, such as Rhode Island and New York.

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