Regulation & Policy

First auctions under the UK's capacity market will take place - subject to State Aid approval - in 2014, for the delivery of flexible electricity capacity from the winter of 2018-19, the government said today. The Capacity Market, along with long-term Contract for Differences (CfDs) is meant to spur infrastructure investment of up to 100 billion pounds.

The US executive's new carbon emissions rules, that will impact existing fossil-fuel power generation are seen to be "positive overall for gas-fired power and coal", said Tudor, Pickering, Holt (TPH) Energy Research. "Coal is not going to be outlawed tomorrow, a warming-up to natural gas and renewables is promoted, but this is largely rhetorical," said TPH Energy Research.

US President Barak Obama has proposed an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation to start limiting carbon emissions for both new and existing fossil power plants, while installing wind and solar installations on federal land.

Policy makers in Texas have signed new legislation into law with the aim of increasing cogeneration capacity in the state as an emergency power source in the event of a hurricane.

The introduction of a capacity mechanism is not absolutely necessary to spur the building of new gas-fired power plants in the UK, Clare Duffy, General Manager UK at the Irish utility Electricity Supply Board (ESB) told Gas to Power Journal in an interview.

"ESB has always been equivocal about the need for a capacity mechanism in the GB market and has demonstrated that investments can be made in the absence of a capacity mechanism through our investments in Carrington CCGT," she said.

The US president's Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has raised its estimate of the social cost of carbon emissions by 59% percent in a move likely to impact policy decisions favouring the use of natural gas over coal as a fuel for fossil power plants in the United States.

Criticising the UK government's slow delivery of introduction capacity payments as part of a wider Electricity Market Reform (EMR), Tony Cocker, chief executive of E.on UK said "there needs to be greater transparency in discussion about the costs and implications of energy policy decisions."

What surprises forecasters at National Grid "is the segment of unabated coal generation, which has seen many coal plants close earlier than expected as they have already used up their allotted runtime hours," said Chris Train, Operations Director at National Grid. The British power transmission system operator had come up with three 2012 UK Energy Scenarios to evaluate the pathways towards meeting the country's renewable integration and carbon reduction targets.

As high-performance, newly built power plants are not running sufficiently to earn back investment, Lothar Balling, Siemens' Head of Gas Turbine Power Solutions, is calling on policy makers to change Germany's power market design and adopt capacity mechanisms. "Support for rapid response and reliable gas turbines and CCGTs are required to keep the power flowing," he said with reference to this year's motto of PowerGen Europe.

A critical decision on whether the EU-backed Nabucco pipeline or the Trans-Anatolian Gas Pipeline (TANAP) will emerge as the chosen project for transporting gas from Azerbaijan through Turkey to Europe will be taken before the end of June, the Austrian federal minister for energy, Reinhold Mitterlehner said in Vienna today.

Addressing delegates at Power-Gen Europe 2013, Europe's biggest trade show for the power industry, he highlighted Austria's role as hub to help diversify sources of gas imports away from Russia.

Investment in new gas-fired power plants in the UK is "critical" in the upcoming years, especially if the country is to transition to a low carbon economy, Jonathan Holyoak, Head of Gas Generation at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) told the Westminster Energy, Environment and Transport Forum's keynote seminar in London. "There is a remarkable amount of political consensus about the need to do something about [building new] gas generation...as over time we see the capacity outlook deteriorating," he said.

New investments in gas-fired capacity in the UK are being put on hold until there is clarity surrounding the government's ongoing Energy Market Reform (EMR), George Grant, Director at Stag Energy told Gas to Power Journal at the Westminster Energy, Environment and Transport Forum keynote seminar in London. "The industry acknowledges that we are waiting for the EMR, part of which is the capacity mechanism that's being talked about [and] there isn't going to be any new investment in gas until that's clarified. So the phrase that's being thrown out about there being a dash for gas is just incorrect," he said.

The implementation of a capacity mechanism as part of the UK's Energy Market Reform (EMR) should be done "as soon as possible" in order to spur investment and prevent electricity shortfalls in the coming decade, Stephen Davies, Energy and Environmental Policy at E.on UK told Gas to Power Journal at the Westminster Energy, Environment and Transport Forum keynote seminar in London. "From our point of view a capacity mechanism is necessary. It's very difficult for any investor to build right now and looking at the spark spread, the market is very challenging for gas," he said.

The UK government is likely to oppose an EU renewables target for 2030 which is considered "inflexible and unnecessary", energy secretary Ed Davey said. He made the comment after the European Parliament on Monday extended a deadline for the submission of amendments to a proposal to intervene in the carbon market.

India's Central Electricity Authority (CEA), which oversees development of the national grid for the Indian Ministry of Power, has reduced its gas-fired generation target for the current year by almost 46 per cent amid gas supply shortages. Low natural gas production output last year is expected to continue through 2013, an official told The Economic Times, despite Reliance Industry's recent announcement of a "significant gas condensate discovery in deepwater KG D6 block".

Page 44 of 55

News in Brief

Siemens Energy takes shape

Dec 12 – Siemens AG has revealed that Jochen Eickholt will become a member of the future executive board of Siemens Energy, responsible for the Power Generation and Oil & Gas units. According to Bloomberg reports, Siemens is aiming to shed 75% of its energy unit in its listing.

Norway’s oil fund starts investing in renewables

Dec 11 – The Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), traditionally heavily exposed to the oil and gas industry, has been permitted to shift its strategy. Acknowledging heavy losses of the world’s largest pension fund, worth an estimated $1 trillion, the government in Oslo has allowed GPFG fund managers to also invest in unlisted infrastructure, notably renewable energy sources and alternative fuels, including hydrogen.

ENGIE invests in wind energy in Italy and France

Dec 10 – France’s largest energy company ENGIE has completed the acquisition of Renvico from Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets and KRR. The move contributes to utility’s ambition of boosting its renewable energy assets to 3 GW in Europe and 9 GW worldwide by 2021. The Renvico takeover comprises 329 MW of operating wind farms of which 142 MW in Italy and 187 MW in France. It also includes a 300 MW greenfield portfolio of various fossil power assets.

Dominion issues Scammer Alert

Dec 9 – Dominion Energy Ohio has reminded customers they will begin receiving the next U.S tax credits automatically, beginning in April 2020, in their monthly bills. Customers were warned not to provide banking details to scammers who claim such data is required to receive the federal tax credits.

BOL finances entire 220 MW plant in Nassau

Dec 6 – Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) has agreed to cover the entire costs to build a 220 MW power plant at the Clifton Pier site in Nassau, and transfer the assets to Shell North America. BPL and Shell had agreed to jointly develop a 220 MW power plant plus LNG regas terminal, but the Bahamas state utility later signed a $95 million contract with Wärtsilä to install a 132 MW engine-driven power plant at the same site.

Kepco to operate CCGT in Uruguay

Dec 5 – Kepco KPS has been awarded a contract to operate and maintain the recently commissioned combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plant in Punta del Tigre, Uruguay. Under the O&M contract, Kepco said it expects to earn 17 billion Won in sales every year, for a maximum eight years.

Siemens to create thermal twin for Bajaj Energy plant

Dec 4 – Lalitpur Power Generation Company Ltd (LPGCL), part of Bajaj Group, has contracted Siemens to create a complete twin for its fossil power plant in Uttar Pradesh, India. The thermal twin, powered by thermodynamic analysis and machine learning, allows power plant operators to diagnose performance gaps for every asset in the cycle in real time.

Talks between Gazprom and Naftogaz continue

Dec 3 – Russia’s Gazprom and Naftogaz Ukrainy have continued difficult negotiations about an extension of Russian gas supplies and transit after the current contract expires on December 31, 2019. The two state-run companies are embroiled in a legal dispute that still needs resolving, however, they confirmed talks are underway and focus on the technical aspects of transiting Russian gas to Europe from 2020 onwards.

Asia seen add 400 GW by 2030

Dec 2 – Asian nations are expected to add more than 400 gigawatts (GW) of electrical capacity to the grid over the next decade — equaling about twice the installed capacity of Germany. Much of the new capacity will be renewables, backed up by some 140 GW of dependable gas-fired capacity, according to GE Energy findings. Hence, the U.S. turbine manufacturer decided to invest up to US$60 million to convert its Singapore repair center into a HA engineering and development center.

Total starts up hybrid plant with energy storage

Nov 29 – Total Quadran has started up the largest hybrid power plant combined with energy storage to harness the ample solar power potential of New Caledonia, a French overseas territory. With an installed capacity of 16 MW-peak, the plant also features a 10 MW lithium-ion energy storage system. Combining of hybrid solar PV units and possibly gas-powered generator sets with energy storage balance out supply swings and enhances the reliability of the electricity grid.

Rolls-Royce, AVK partner on standby gensets

Nov 28 – AVK, Britain’s largest supplier of critical power solutions for data centres and the financial sector, has partnered with Rolls-Royce’s MTU brand for standby gensets in UK and Ireland. The deal covers MTU Series 2000 and 4000 diesel systems in a range from 825 to 4,000 kVA. In the past 30 years, AVK has developed into the largest solutions provider in the UK’s critical power market and has to date supplied gensets equipped with MTU engines with a total capacity of more than 3.5 GW.

Golar suffers setback amid restructuring

Nov 27 – Golar LNG, owner of a fleet of 27 vessels, has seen operating revenues plunge 20% to $98.67 million, in the first nine month of this year, while net losses amounted to over $236 million. Bermuda-registered Golar in May 2019 announced plans to spin off its LNG carrier fleet with the aim of becoming a gas project developer. It recently won a contract for the Barcarena power project (605 MW) in northeastern Brazil.

Burckhardt buys remaining share of Arkos

Nov 26 – Burckhardt Compression’s subsidiary in North America has purchased the remaining 60% of Arkos Group. The US has the world’s largest installed base of reciprocating compressors, and the integration of Burckhardt and Arkos Field Services, will turn the company into the only independent one-stop provider for equipment and service in the upstream, midstream and downstream business.

Gazprom’s exports to Austria reach fresh record

Nov 25 – Supplies of Russian gas to Austria and transits to Western Europe have already exceeded record levels set last year. From January 1 through November 21, 2019, Gazprom delivered over 12.7 billion cubic meters of natural gas – 33.5% more than in the same period in 2018. Austria’s OMV imports Russian gas under a long-term contract that was recently extended until 2040.

OGUK responds to Labour Party Manifesto

Nov 21 – The UK North Sea industry association Oil & Gas UK (OGUK) has warned of an investment hiatus in reaction to Labour’s pledge to introduce a windfall tax on oil and gas companies, if it wins the General Election on December 12. Responding to this, OGUK said any increase in tax rates would drive investors away, damage the competitiveness of the UK’s offshore oil and gas industry, and could potentially increase the country’s reliance on imports. OGUK underlined it has put in place a ‘Roadmap 2035 a blueprint for net zero emission’ and is investing in technology to achieve this goal.

France, Germany and UK led on demand-side flexibility

Nov 21 – France, Germany and the UK are leading on demand-side flexibility (DSF) and grid-integration of decentralized energy sources while Sweden, Spain and Portugal are lagging behind the rest of Europe, the consultancy Delta-EE and SmartEN finds. Areas covered by their new DSF monitoring tool include availability and accessibility of demand-side response, and its monetization across the gas value chain.

AI predicts peak in power use

Nov 20 – ABB and Verdigris Technologies have developed machine-learning algorithms to predict unplanned peaks in electricity consumption and help avoid them. The Energy Forecasting app will enable users to reduce their electricity bills by reducing peak demand charges.