In a bid to increase the reliability of the U.S. power sector the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has ordered gas and electric providers to create closer ties to improve shipping and dispatch timetables. Providers must “better coordinate the scheduling of natural gas and electricity markets in light of increased reliance on natural gas for electric generation,” according to a FERC statement.
Any delay to the UK’s proposed capacity market mechanism could result in power brownouts and hold ups for power plant construction, according to the chief of National Grid's Electricity Market Reform team. “The risk has clearly increased and we are close to being in the position of experiencing brown outs". Mark Ripley, project director at National Grid said at the Future of Utilities conference in London.
UK chancellor George Osborne today announced that he would abandon any further increases in the Carbon Price Floor (CPF) in a bid to help reduce costs for fossil fuel based power producers. As part of his 2014 budget the chancellor announced a freeze at £18 per tonne from 2016 for the rest of the decade, up from currently around £16/t, and highlighted the need for lower energy prices to make British manufacturing more competitive globally.
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) ruled this week that it was not feasible to replace output from the retired San Onofre nuclear plant without including new natural gas-fired plants as part of the plan. Opponents had been pushing for a renewable-only option but this latest ruling will ensure that gas-fired power is included in the mix.
Keen to block tough new regulation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on new coal-fired power generating capacity Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives have voted through a bill aimed at thwarting the rules. The vote in the Republican-controlled House passed by 229 to 183 but commentators are sceptical it will make it past the Democrat-controlled Senate.
Security at power plants in the United States is under threat from cyber-attacks, according to a recent report from the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC). “Evidence collected by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) suggests that cyber-attacks on key energy infrastructure—and on the electricity system in particular—are increasing, both in frequency and sophistication,” said Margot Anderson, lead author of the report and director at the BPC.
Republicans in the U.S. have tabled a bill in the House of Representatives in an attempt to block pending Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules that require new coal-fired power plants to use carbon capture which opponents claim would effectively ban new coal projects. In a debate this week Congressman Ed Whitfield challenged EPA rulings that are due to come into force next year and called for representatives to overturn the “latest threat by the Obama administration”.
The anti-competition regulator in Australia has ruled against a proposed purchase power generation assets worth $1.35 billion by AGL Energy. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) issued a statement blocking the sale on the grounds that it would “substantially lessen” competition in the electricity market.