Power producers in the United States like American Electic Power, Duke Energy and Southern Co. must abide by federal limits on mercury and other power plant plants, a U.S. appeals court ruled, upholding the EPA's Mercury and Air Toxic Standards (MATS) regulation that was heavily criticized by the industry.
Dangerous levels of greenhouse gas emissions could be mitigated by replacing existing carbon-intensive coal plants with modern gas-fired combined cycle plants, according to new findings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The report shows that gas power generation without CCS acts as a bridge technology towards greater renewable energy use with the aim of achieving 450 ppm CO2eq concentrations by 2100.
Japanese ministers voted today to reinstate some of the country's nuclear power plants in a bid to reduce crippling gas import costs for power producers. The government made no comment on how many plants will be restarted, but the new plan is hoped to alleviate the estimated $50 billion losses incurred by nuclear operators as they have been forced to switch to costly fossil fuel imports.
Cogeneration in Spain could become a causality of current changes in electricity legislation, with an estimated 6 GW at risk of closure. Proposed reductions of the CHP tariff will immediately drive roughly half of the existing capacity into negative gross margins and force them to shut-down, industry association COGEN Spain warns.
The German government and the European Commission have ended a lengthy dispute over exemptions and rebates to industry from paying the full levy charged for subsidizing renewable energy. A compromise allows firms to pay less than the 20% share of the EGG levy which the EC had proposed, German media reported.
A proposed reform of Germany's renewable energy act (EEG) is set to hit manufacturers with substantial extra costs for energy which may lead to closures, the industry warns. The renewables levy will rise to €77/MWh in 2020 from currently €62.40/MWh and the extent of industry exceptions is still uncertain.
Reviewing the EU Energy Efficiency Directive by July, the Commission is likely to set more stringent targets after the European parliament voted for 40% improvements in efficiency by 2030. "The parliament is expecting an ambitious energy efficiency target from us," Mechthild Wörsdörfer, Director Energy Policy at DG Energy said in Brussels today.
U.S. power provider Invenergy is in talks with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to get a waiver approved for its 600MW gas-fired Nelson Energy Center in Illinois. The waiver, if granted, will allow the facility to sell some of its capacity outside of the Base Residual Auction (BRA) of PJM Interconnection's Reliability Pricing Model (RPM).
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.