Regulation & Policy

Rising CO2 costs accelerate the coal exit in Germany. With the EU’s carbon price trading above €56 per ton, a lignite power station in Chemnitz will be shut early and the conservative chancellor candidate Armin Laschet suggested North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) “could manage [the coal exit] as early as 2030” – years before the mandatory exit date in 2038.

Resolving a standoff over Nord Stream 2, Germany and the US agreed Russia must be prevented from “using energy as a weapon”. If Gazprom halts flows through Ukraine, the West will impose sanctions. The Russian gas link to Germany is 98% complete and ready for start-up in September.

The European Commission’s ‘Fit for 55’ legislative sets a 55% net emission reduction target to 1990-levels by 2030 and acknowledges the critical role electricity will play. “Everything that can be electrified, should be electrified,” analysts commented. For industry sectors not suitable for electrification, Brussels is promoting low-carbon hydrogen, carbon capture and storage and biofuels.

Gas steam reforming could become a lifeline for Gazprom if it manages to convince the EU to adopt a “technologically neutral approach to hydrogen.” Grey hydrogen currently costs $1–1.80 per kilogram to produce, which is far cheaper than the $2.50-6.80/kg for green hydrogen.

Karpowership had to halt three projects in South Africa with 2,000 MW combined capacity after environmental permits were refused. The government claims Karpowership did not comply with public participation rules, and the Turkish company now faces a long appeal process.

New Fortress Energy, the US LNG supplier in the Americas, has received three permits from Mexican Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) for regasification, storage and distribution of the superchilled gas at its Pichilingue LNG facility near La Paz. The imported LNG will be used to fuel the LaPaz and Baja California Sur power plants.

Germany’s coalition government has approved a ‘climate pact’ that allocates up to €8 billion to finance initiatives from 2022. Urgent action is required in energy, industry and transport as Chancellor Angela Merkel vowed Germany will reach Net Zero emissions five years earlier than planned in 2045. The steel, chemicals and cement industry has come under intense scrutiny.

US electric car maker Tesla has said it was “irritated” by administrative delays to its new Gigafactory and urged the German government to speed up the permitting process. Construction of Tesla’s new factory is advancing in Grünheide near Berlin, though the project has not received final approval.

President Joe Biden’s latest announcement to reduce US greenhouse gas emissions by “at least 50% by 2030” has been welcomed by policy makers in the EU. The target more than doubles the US prior commitment under the Paris Agreement. A few days earlier, the UK announced a radical new 78% emission reduction target by 2035.

The United Kingdom, host of the COP26 climate summit in November, plans to announce more ambitious climate targets “in the coming days.” According to the Financial Times, the UK’s new pledge will be to cut emissions by 78% compared to 1990-levels by 2035. If realised, Britain would outperform other major economies, notably in Europe.

German gas TSOs are carrying out substantial infrastructure investments to convert the country’s gas supply system from low calorific gas (L-gas) to high calorific gas (H-gas). Almost one million appliances, mostly in western Germany, have already been switched with the aim to finish works by 2030.

Germany’s Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) has defined the route for a much-debated new direct current power transmission line that will bring wind power from the North to the Germany’s industrial south. The regulator approved the last 190-km stretch of the 700-km grid connection, called SuedLink, set to be built by the TSOs TenneT and TransnetBW.

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News in Brief

CCUS market to reach nearly $3bn in 2025

Oct 25 – The global carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) market will grow from $1.30 billion in 2020 to $1.46 billion in 2021, according to ResearchAndMarket estimates. The rebound comes as companies return to normal operations and sales, after a pandemic-related slowdown. Analysts expect the market will keep growing at a rate of nearly 20% annually to reach $2.97 billion by 2025.

SDG&E accelerates drive towards Net Zero by 2045

Oct 20 – San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) has set a new sustainability strategy, outlining new and accelerated goals to help meet its pledge to reach net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2045. SDG&E it now seeks to operate a 100% zero emissions vehicle fleet by 2035 – five years earlier than planned.

B&W develops biomass-to-hydrogen plant in Australia

Oct 19 – B&W's Renewable segment and Port Anthony Renewables Ltd have started to develop a biomass-to-hydrogen energy project in Victoria, Australia, based on B&W’s BrightLoop technology. When completed, the plant is expected to be part of the largest green hydrogen hub in south-eastern Australia.

LNG prices rise faster than oil

Oct 18 – Liquefied natural gas and pipeline supplies have experienced an even sharper increase in prices in 2021 than oil, driven by a combination of circumstances that included a strong recovery in demand in North Asia, southeast Asia and Europe, unseasonal weather and planned and unplanned capacity outages.

Wärtsilä shaft gensets to power two LNG carriers

Oct 14 – The Finish technology group Wärtsilä has been awarded a contract to supply four shaft generators to provide electricity take-off from the main engines of two LNG carriers. The ships are being built at the Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) shipyard in Korea on behalf of the Capital Gas Ship Management of Greece.

VoltH2 gets green light for large hydrogen plant

Oct 13 – Vision Hydrogen Corp has announced that its affiliate VoltHe has received building and environmental permits to realise its first large-scale hydrogen plant at the Dutch North Sea Port of Vlissingen. The 5 MW hydrogen plant is located near existing high voltage power and gas infrastructure as well as large wind power assets. Once operational, it will produce around 3,500 tons of green hydrogen per year and will be scalable to 100 MW or 14,000 tons.

Tesla overtakes German e-cars

Oct 12 – Sales of Tesla in Germany has overtaken that of leading German carmakers. In September, more electric Tesla Model 3s were registered in the country than leading domestic models, such as the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes C-Class combined.

EnerMech spends £500k on crane training tech

Oct 11 – EnerMech has invested £500,000 in new crane simulator training systems at its Luanda (Angola), Doha (Qatar) and Great Yarmouth (UK) facilities. The British company recently formed a joint venture with 3t Energy Group to bring the KraneSIM-6000 equipment to both Qatar and Angola and offer in-country training across client organisations globally.  

Germany finances green hydrogen projects abroad

Oct 8 – The German government has agreed to support green hydrogen projects in other countries with up to €350 million by 2024, the economy ministry said when publishing a directive with relevant guidelines. Moreover, financial support is given to projects that produce and process green hydrogen for storage, transport and use in countries outside the EU through investment grants worth up to €15 million each.

UK e-car sales surge 186%

Oct 6 – Sales electric cars in the UK have surged 186% to a total of 108,000 in 2020 during the pandemic, up from just 38,000 in the previous year. Latest statistics show there were nearly 300,000 pure-electric cars on UK roads at the end of August 2021, and more than 600,000 plug-in models if including plug-in hybrids (PHEVs).

FogHorn deploys AI software at Chugoku Electric Power in Japan

Oct 4 – FogHorn, developer of Edge AI software, has deployed its Internet of Things (IoT) software at the Chugoku Electric Power hydroelectric power plant. The AI solutions will make the power gen process more efficient and enhances workplace safety. Chugoku Electric Power employs nearly 9,200 workers across 114 power units in the western part of Honshū, the largest island of Japan.

Rolls-Royce supplies MTU engines for ferry propulsion

Oct 1 – Rolls-Royce's new MT engines, automation system, and MTU Go! tool for remote service have future-proofed the high-speed catamaran Avemar Dos, run by the Spanish operator Balearia. Four MTU 20V1163 M84 units replaced the previous 1163 units, taking the vessel to a "new level of ecological soundness," the manufacturer says.

GES appoints former Puma Energy Chairman as NED

Sept 30 – Global Energy Storage (GES) has appointed the former Puma Energy Chairman, Graham Sharp, as an NED. Graham will support GES on its ‘new energies’ strategy for the energy transition, focusing on hydrogen fuels and hydrogen carriers space.

Aggreko reaches 2 GW of live power gen capacity

Sept 29 – Aggreko has today announced it has reached 2GW of live global gas power capacity and growth in flare gas to power and stranded gas projects. This new record follows a milestone of exceeding 1GW of delivered flare gas power projects in 2020.

Wärtislä renews O&M agreement with Lafarge Africa

Sept 28 – The Finish technology group Wärtsilä has renewed a long-term Operation & Maintenance (O&M) agreement with Lafarge Africa, a large producer of building materials in Nigeria. The agreement covers the 100 MW Lafarge Ewekoro power plant, which provides a dedicated supply of electricity to the company’s concrete and cement manufacturing processes.

Rolls-Royce supplies MTU engines to Sanlorenzo

Sept 27 – Rolls-Royce business unit Power Systems will become one of the leading engine suppliers for Sanlorenzo, delivering MTU 10V, 12V and 16V 2000 yacht engines with a compact IMO 3 solution. A framework contract from 2022 through 2024 has been signed at the Monaco Yacht Show.

Shell exits Permian Basin

Sept 24 – Royal Dutch Shell has sold all its upstream interested in US Permian Basin to ConocoPhillips for $9.5 billion in cash. Shell’s assets in the Permian include around 225,000 net acres with a current production of around 175,000 barrels per day equivalent.

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