Regulation & Policy

U.S. power plant developer Global Edison is to build a new 1,500 MW gas-fired plant in Anambra State, Nigeria. The plant is expected to cost a total of $2.5 billion and will be fuelled by gas from the Nigeria’s eastern supply axis.

The government of Tanzania is keen to implement reforms to increase gas and coal power capacity in a bid to meet increasing shortfall in electricity generation. Grid operator Tanesco said this week that only two independent power producers are currently generating electricity in the country despite pressure for more output.

Israel's Public Utilities Authority (PUA) has issued new guidelines for power generators of how to handle domestic gas supply shortages. In such circumstances, private power producers will take priority as state-owned utility Israel Electric Corp (IEC) can switch to alternative fuels, such as gasoil or fuel oil.

Senate committees in Mexico have backed laws that regulate the opening of state-run oil and gas industries to private investment. The latest bill includes a raft of secondary laws supporting energy reforms, including a hydrocarbons law, which sets out contracts, fines and the ownership of Mexican oil and gas resources.

Questioning the government's ability to predict the UK's future power demand and criticising its risk appetite, analysts at Cornwall Energy suggest the 53 GW of de-rated capacity up for grabs in the upcoming capacity auctions would be" larger than necessary" due to difficulties in predicting supply and demand four years out from a delivery year as well as a too low a de-rating of interconnector.

The UK’s Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey has announced that the government will procure a total of 53.3 GW of power generation capacity in upcoming capacity auctions. While the main parameters for the December auctions had already been outlined the total amount of capacity up for auction had remained uncertain.

After relying on shale gas for over a decade, public opinion in the Texan town of Denton has shifted and the city council is considering imposing a ban on fracking as inhabitants want to preserve the livability of their surroundings.

Almost half of Europe's energy consumption is used for industrial processes and to heat and cool building, but policy makers at the European Commission are dragging their feet to assess how heat-related policies could help meet Europe's energy efficiency objectives and climate goals, criticised industry group COGEN Europe. 

Allowing European energy companies to bid into the UK's upcoming capacity auctions with electricity delivered by undersea interconnections could help reduce costs and save up to £1 billion, analysis from Policy Exchange suggests. "By opening up the capacity market to overseas participation, the government can ensure the widest possible pool of bidders. This will increase competition with gas generators for capacity contracts, and as a result should help lower the cost of delivering the policy." said Simon Moore, senior research fellow at the energy think tank

Projections of power sector CO2 emissions are sensitive to policy changes and natural gas supply, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said when drawing up five cases to gauge possible future emission cuts just days after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a rule to slash emission of existing fossil plants.

Edging closer to finalising a strategy to keep conventional power capacity operational in the future, the German government is aiming for a transnational solution: "We have to develop a capacity [remuneration] mechanism but this has to be developed in a synchronised way with our neighbours. We need an overall system," Uwe Beckmeyer, parliamentary state secretary in the economy and energy ministry said.

Europe needs greater alignment and clarity in policy to support gas-fired power generation and boost the role of capacity markets, Matthius Hartung, chief executive of RWE power generation told delegates at the Power-Gen Europe conference today. “For us political reforms are absolutely necessary, capacity markets have to be open to all types of technology and need to be free from discrimination and organised uniformly across Europe,” he commented.

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News in Brief

Growth in turbine air filtration tops 3%

July 22 – The turbine air filtration market is expected to grow 3.27% annually from $1.92 billion in 2020 to reach $2.29 billion in 2026. Demand from the oil & gas industry and electric utilities had plunged during the corona crisis and subsequent economic downturn, but the latest trend towards clean energy is driving robust growth for turbine air filtration which can be widely and easily applied in the power sector.

US oil exports stay high

July 21 – Despite volatile prices, U.S. crude oil exports reached a record high in 2020 and remained strong this year, averaging 3.51 million barrels per day (b/d). Expanded ports at Houston and Corpus Christi allow for oil to be exported from the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Basin.

CVEC to be converted to hydrogen

July 20 – Cricket Valley Energy Center (CVEC) is taking steps to run the  combined-cycle plants on hydrogen. Works to convert the plant will be carried out by GE and are scheduled to start in late 2022. One of three GE 7F.05 gas turbines at CVEC will be introduced to a 5% hydrogen blend with natural gas.

MAN ETES labelled solar impulse efficient

July 16 – MAN Electro-Thermal Energy Storage (ETES) was attributed the “Solar Impulse Efficient Solution” label by independent auditors. In January, the German manufacturer supplied to ETES heat pumps to DIN Forsyning for a heat and power plant in the Danish port city Esbjerg.

Electricity sales to US industry rebounds

July 14 – Economic recovery has caused a 5.1% rise electricity sales to US industry this year, dwarfing 2.8% more retail sales and a 2.1% rise in the commercial sector as many office workers continue working from home. The US Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) acting administrator, Steve Nalley, called the rebound in electricity sales to industry a “strong sign of rising levels of economic output as the Covid-19 pandemic recedes.”

Solar PV to triple in Asia by 2030

July 13 – Asia Pacific solar photovoltaic capacity could triple to 1,500 gigawatts (GW) by 2030. According to Wood Mackenzie estimates, China will add 619 GW of mainly utility-scale capacity while most other nations in Asia prefers distributed solar due to land constraints. Solar PV tends to be backed up by flexible gas gensets and energy storage, forming hybrid power units.

Kinder Morgan closes on Stagecoach assets

July 12 – US energy infrastructure major Kinder Morgan has closed its acquisition of Stagecoach Gas Services. The deal include 4 gas storage facilities with a 41 bcf working gas capacity and a transmission network with multiple interconnects to major interstate pipelines, including Tennessee Gas Pipeline. The Stagecoach assets add to Kinder Morgan’s approximately 83,000 miles of pipelines and 144 terminals.

Dortmund cancels electrotechnik fair

July 9 – The elektrotechnik fair, planned for 29 September to 1 October 2021, will now not be taking place in Dortmund due to requests from the industry. The next trade fair for building, industrial, energy and lighting technology will now open its doors again in spring 2023.

Hitachi to change name of ABB Power Grids

July 7 – Hitachi ABB Power Grids will become Hitachi Energy in October. The Japanese manufacturer bought a controlling stake in ABB’s grid business a year ago and is about to fully take the name of the merged company while expanding its direction towards e-mobility and data centres.

Tapping wind energy for hydrogen

July 6 – Spanish utility Naturgy and the gas grid operator Enagás are evaluating the use of 350 MW offshore and onshore wind capacity to produce green hydrogen. The fuel will be used to decarbonise the steel industry and shipyard in northwest Spain.

EU seeks to expand Green Deal to Africa

July 5 – The European Green Deal should be expanded to also include African states as partners, the German development minister Gerd Müller said. Green hydrogen production in Africa, in his view, should be a “cornerstone for economic cooperation with the Europe.”

Decom Engineering updates PCR

July 2 – Northern Ireland-based Decom Engineering has invested more than £700,000 to develop tools for repurposing and clean decommissioning of energy infrastructure. Through updated Pipe Coating Removal (PCR) equipment, decommissioned or surplus pipelines can be cleaned of multiple coatings, so they can be repurposed for used on other projects.

Cummins buys half of Momentum Fuels

July 1 – Cummins has signed a letter of intent to acquire a 50% equity interest in Momentum Fuel Technologies from Rush Enterprises. The transaction is expected to close before year-end, and the combined venture will produce Cummins-branded natural gas fuel delivery systems for the commercial vehicle market in North America.

Gazprom evaluates cost of grey hydrogen

June 30 – Scientific studies by Gazprom and the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) seek to solve technical challenges in producing grey hydrogen through steam reforming in the most cost-efficient way, as well as transporting the fuel to end-users. The findings of the studies will be factored into Gazprom's sustainable development scenarios up to 2050.

Redox about to overtake Li-ion batteries

June 28 – Li-ion batteries have dominated the energy storage field, but are expected to lose their leading role in stationary applications. According to IDTechEx findings, Redox flow batteries are gaining traction and are likely to overtake the installed Li-ion battery energy capacity before the end of 2030.

B&W proceeds with waste-to-energy projects

June 25 – Babcock & Wilcox’s (B&W) renewable segment has received limited notice to proceed for a waste-to-energy project in Europe as it finalizes terms for a $24 million contract with the customer. Ohio-based B&W said it looks to capitalize on an estimated addressable market of more than $7 billion in Europe over the next three years.

Japan’s gas-burn on the rise

June 24 – LNG imports for power generation in Japan have rebounded with steady volumes from the Middle East and Australia and higher cargo numbers from Russia and the US, though LNG deliveries were outpaced by thermal coal shipments. The May 2021 LNG shipments amounted to 4.95 million tonnes, or around 73 cargoes, a 8.2% rise on volumes received in May 2020, according to trade figures by the Japanese finance ministry.

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