Views of industry observers vary on how the Government's nuclear deal with EDF and Chinese investors may impact investment in new gas-fired capacity. "It is very hard to see the nuclear announcement as particularly good for gas-fired power generation investment as, all things being equal, it means we need less new gas plants than we did before the announcement," Trevor Sikorski, senior analyst at Energy Aspectus told Gas to Power Journal.
The US Supreme court has announced it will hear a challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) recent climate directives as the beleaguered coal power generation sector in the country fights the regulation. "Whatever happens will undoubtedly be important for the economic case for new gas-fired generation...what this does is buy some time for coal-fired plants," Trevor Skirkoski, analyst at EnergyAspects told Gas to Power Journal.
As South Korea transforms into a creative economy "the energy industry is one of the areas where this creative paradigm can shine," Park Geun-hye, President of the Republic of Korea told the World Energy Congress today, referring to her signature policy targets to utilise enhanced technology for energy storage and demand side management to reduce peak-load power consumption.
The US government shutdown looks set to weaken the ability of legislators to regulate energy policy related to natural gas as uncertainty hangs over the world's largest economy. "It reflects very poorly on the government's ability to pass legislation and this will have an impact on their ability to implement future energy bills," Trevor Sikorski, lead analyst at Energy Aspects told Gas to Power Journal.
India's cabinet agreed new rules for the allocation of domestic shale gas resources this week, in an effort to boost gas-fired power production and feed fuel-starved power plants. To dent rising gas demand, India was forced to import 1.2 million tons of LNG in August at prices between $12-15/MMBtu – a substantial premium to Henry Hub gas prices around $3.5/MMBtu.
Capacity markets look set to strengthen their role in assuring reliable power supply in the US, following a conference, hosted by John Norris of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), on Wednesday. Topics discussed ranged from the metrics used to measure success, design elements, key challenges and effective accommodation of federal and state policies in centralized capacity markets.
Rebuking plans of Labour leader Ed Miliband to freeze gas and electricity prices for 20 months if he wins the 2015 election, the UK Big 6 energy companies have condemned this proposal – at a cost of £4.5 billion – as a roadblock to investment in new power plants which exacerbates the risk of blackouts.
Germany's re-elected chancellor Angela Merkel is seeking a coalition partner before the new Government can jointly tackle rampant electricity costs that resulted from the 'Energiewende' policy of phasing-out nuclear energy in replacement of subsidised renewable power. Curbing the EEG levy – an extra charge for renewables imposed on the taxpayer – is one of the most likely options.
SSE sees an "acute need" for Capacity Auctions to stop further plant closures and bring mothballed power plants back into the market to help counter the imminent shortages in Britain's power generation capacity, says policy and research director, Dr. Keith MacLean.
"If the capacity auctions planned for next year were also targeted at immediate delivery, with payments starting straight away, this would help keep existing, but loss-making, plants operational, which is cheaper than building new ones at a later stage," he told Gas to Power Journal.
While both Portugal and Spain are weighted down under a sizeable electricity tariff deficit due to excess renewables capacity, that Portugal hopes to pay off by 2020 while Spain has no definite plan, Portugal has a better chance of ever climbing out of debt than Spain, found ratings agency Fitch Energy in its report Electric Shock: Iberian Tariff Deficit Comparison.