Germany's Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) has granted approval for the upgrade of over 24 transmission pipelines to also transport hydrogen. German gas grid operators had said an initial hydrogen grid could be established at “justifiable cost” of around €660 million, largely by converting current pipelines.
Japan’s largest LNG importer and power producer JERA has submitted the environmental impact assessment and scoping document for Units 7&8 at its Chita Thermal Power Station. The plan involves the decommissioning of the ageing coal-fired Units 1 through 5, and replacing them with two LNG-fuelled combined-cycle power units with 63.2% thermal efficiency.
The German Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged industry and private households to do more to expand the renewable energy rollout, especially in the heating sector where most energy is still produced from fossil fuels. Speaking at a VKU event, she called the 46% renewables share in the power sector “remarkable” but looking at 2030 this was “not yet enough.”
In today’s budget, the UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to commit £27 million for the Aberdeen Energy Transition Zone, designed to turn the area into a renewable energy hub. The UK oil and gas industry also welcomed the Chancellor’s announcement that Scottish businesses will receive a boost of over £57 million to create local jobs in key sectors.
Germany’s investments under the European recovery programme are below the required minimum share. The government proposed a €130 billion recovery package in 2020 and promised to add another €300 billion to the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility, but green energy spending is still significantly below the 37% benchmark set by the European Commission.
Australia-listed Energy World Corp has received a favourable ruling from the Indonesian regulator that reverses a zoning error, allowing EWC to proceed with its Sengkang LNG plant in South Sulawesia and an adjacent 315 MW power project. The site had been classified as ‘forestry land’ but is now ‘industrial land’.
President Joe Biden has moved swiftly to reconfigure US energy policy, cancelling the Keystone XL oil pipeline and signalling to factor in emissions costs into project reviews. Analysts warn this could put key gas interconnectors at risk, notably the 2.0 Bcf per day Mountain Valley Pipeline meant to alleviate take-away constraints from the Appalachian.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) is about to launch the world’s first roadmap to net-zero emissions by 2050. The UK and the Netherlands already set binding CO2 reduction goals and if US President Biden follows through on his pledges, countries accounting for over 60% of global emissions will have net-zero ambitions.
The US Department of Energy’s Office, staffed by the outgoing President Trump, has launched a report on impacts of the so-called “ill-conceived ban on hydraulic fracturing,” proposed by the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden. The ban will allegedly cost millions of jobs and make gas and power prices surge.