Regulation & Policy

Britain’s energy regulator Ofgem has told EDF Energy to pay £6 million for breach of energy market rules. From September 2017 to March 2020, EDF frequently inflated the minimum amount of power it said its West Burton B plant could supply, making National Grid buy more electricity than needed.

Norwegian-German registrar and classification society DNV-GL has decided to suspend works for the Nord Stream 2 project. Vessels, supervising progress on the controversial pipeline project, are deemed “subject to US sanctions,” DNV-GL said, noting it “will no longer provide services that may be incompatible with the PEESA law.”

The first round of auctions for decommissioning 4 GW of Germany’s hard coal plants has been oversubscribed, with almost 5 GW to be offline by year-end. Stiff competition at the auction drove down compensation payments for plant operators to €60,000, well below the planned maximum of €165,000.

Electricity Generating Public Company (Egco) of Thailand has applied to the state regulator for a licence to import LNG to fuel gas-fired power plants. Egco said the 256 MW Banpong plant and the 121 MW Klongluang plant “could use additional supplies,” though they already source gas from state-run PTT.

The US government has started to call companies involved in the 27.5 Bcm/y Nord Stream 2 pipeline, threatening sanctions if they do not pull out. The Trump administration heavily opposes the Russian gas interconnector to Germany, but all five investors continue to support the project.

The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has set out plans for a “green industrial revolution,” pledging to mobilise £12 billion of government investment to create up to 250,000 green jobs. The upfront funding is meant to spur over three times as much private sector investment by 2030.

If China is serious about becoming carbon neutral by 2060 it has to clamp down on coal, the International Energy Agency (IEA) argues. Beyond 2040, there is “practically no carbon budget for unabated coal generation," so China’s next 5-Year Plant needs to cap unabated coal use.

Jo Biden is set to transform US energy policies, promising a boost for offshore wind and restrictions for hydrocarbons. The President-elect pledged to end sales of new leases on public lands and waters. If permanent, this would lower US offshore oil and gas production by about 30% by 2035.

Governments in Europe and around the world are holding their breath as votes are counted in the US General Election. While a win by incumbent President Trump would likely heighten disputes on energy policy, a victory by Democratic candidate Joe Biden would see the US re-enter the Paris Agreement.

The Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has pledged to reduce the country’s emissions to net-zero by 2050. Power generators, car makers and steel mills will have to comply with stricter emission limits, but critics say Japan will not become carbon neutral without phasing out all coal power units.

Though common ground has been found on the planned EU climate law, environment ministers left the decision on a more ambitious 2030 target for heads of state and government to decide in December. The climate law will make the goal of climate neutrality 2050 legally binding.

‘Green’ LNG is the new trend, with six ‘carbon-neutral’ cargoes from Shell and Jera delivered or agreed with Asian buyers, and one long-term supply tender announced by Pavilion. “If LNG is to safeguard its position in the future energy mix, it must be carbon competitive,” Wood Mackenzie said.

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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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