Regulation & Policy

City-gas distributors in China will benefit from timelier fuel-cost pass-through under the national gas market reform, Fitch Rating reckons. With pipeline access now open to all, those with access to cheap LNG enjoy lower gas procurement costs which will be passed on to end-customers.

Corporate power purchase agreements (CPPAs) are on the rise in Taiwan, underlined by the world’s largest CPPA deal over 920 MW between Ørsted and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC). Energy-intensive industries prefer CPPA as it allows them buying electricity in bulk for cheap, rather than from the state supplier.

The German parliament has voted in favour of increasing the starting price of one tonne of CO2 to 25 Euros as of January 1, 2021. Vendors of petrol, diesel, heating oil and natural gas will have to buy emissions allowances, whose price will rise to 55 Euros by 2025.

Wholesale power prices will increasingly hinge on zero marginal cost generators, such as variable renewables, which undermine the profitability of thermal power units. Cornwall Insight proposes to guarantee each generator at least their floor price for each MWh produced. The value would be determined in a competitive tender.

US oil and gas major ExxonMobil has been given regulatory approval to build a LNG import terminal and power project at the northern Vietnamese port city of Haiphong. The project is meant to start generating electricity by 2026, though ExxonMobil has yet to confirm it is going ahead.

Thailand’s B.Grimm Power gained approval from the Provincial Electricity Authority to service more industrial customers near the Map Ta Phut LNG regas terminal. The Thai IPP is building 700 MW of gas-fired capacity, and arranged two LNG licences with a view to start importing as early as 2022.

The latest round of Germany's green energy tenders has spurred a run on combined solar and storage, while onshore wind energy tenders were undersubscribed yet again. The German regulator initiated an ‘innovation auction’ for 650 MW projects that combine fluctuating onshore wind or solar PV with biomass and energy storage.

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.

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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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