Markets

By 2020, the Spanish utility Iberdrola plans to double its installed power generation capacity in Mexico to almost 10,000 MW, according to a company executive, benefitting from the growth dynamic sparked by the liberalisation of the Mexican energy market.

Low US gas prices, forecast to stay below $5/mmBtu through 2040, are forecast to drive a rise in natural gas consumption in the industrial and power sector. Overall, EIA analysis sees gas use to grow 1% annually, up from 28 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) last year to 34 Tcf in 2040.

Japan's Jera Co, a joint venture of Tepco and Chubu Electric, has sealed a deal to sell up to 1.5 million tons per annum of LNG to the London-based trading arm of the French utility EDF. Sluggish gas demand in Japan makes utility buyers seek to offload over-contracted volumes.

Installed renewable generating capacity in Germany has surged 31% to reach 194 billion kWh at the end of last year. Coal power, with cheaper operational costs than CCGTs, act as backup capacity. In stark contrast to Germany’s clean energy policy at home, however, is the fact that government-backed banks still finance coal power projects around the globe.

PJM Interconnection’s second auction –  with stringent pay-for-performance standards – has attracted a significant volume of new-build CCGT capacity which brought down the clearing price by $65/MW-day, or 39%, to just $100/MW-day for the majority of the region.

Tata Power, India's largest integrated utility, has seen its generation capacity rise 5% in the current financial year, reaching 9184 MW as of May 2016. Most of the additional capacity is coal-fired but Tata was keen to point out its clean energy credentials.

Overcapacity has lowered the utilisation rate of South Korea’s LNG-fuelled power plants to 40% in Q1-2016, down from 67.8% in February 2014, incurring massive losses for plant operators as well as grid operators. Supply exceeds demand by around 30%, not least owing to the country’s economic slowdown.

Persistently low gas prices and accelerated retirement of coal-fired power plants will spur a flurry of new-build gas power capacity in the US, mostly close to major shale gas plays. EIA analysis expects up to 18.7 GW of new capacity will come online between now and 2018.

Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) has filed for regulatory approval for a 20-year LNG import contract with Fortis that would help supply gas to power plants on O'ahu, Hawai'i Island and Maui starting from 2021. Shifting from fuel oil to natural gas is estimated to lead to up to $3.7 billion in customer savings.

Allowing for a slightly higher cost to consumers, gas and renewable energy can provide Texas’ entire electricity needs in the foreseeable future. The price of natural gas, forecast to stay below $4/mmBtu, – rather than new EPA regulation – is seen as the largest driver of how electricity will be generated in ERCOT over the next 20 years.

Competitiveness of burning gas as a fuel for power generation has increased in the UK in recent weeks, mainly due the rising coal prices while gas and power prices stayed fairly range-bound, according to S&P Global Platts analysis.

Two gas-fired power projects in Myingyan and Mawlamyine are set to add 162 MW to the regional power grid, according to a 100-day plan of Myanmar’s energy ministry. Start-up of the two plants is imminent and they will help boost the country’s total installed capacity to over 2,700 MW.

Energy-related CO2 emissions are projected to increase by one-third between 2012 and 2040 globally, with the energy hunger of countries outside of the OECD responsible for the bulk of the greenhouse gases. COP21 climate goals are hoped to alleviate the strain on the environment.

World energy consumption is projected to increase by 48% over the next three decades spurred by fast-growing economies in Asia, according to the EIA’s International Energy Outlook 2016 (IEO2016). Renewables are the world's fastest-growing energy source, rising by 2.6% per year through 2040, while natural gas is projected to grow by 1.9% per year.

Philippine’s major power and gas utility, First Gen, is in talks with LNG suppliers as it seeks to secure a long-term import contract over 0.5-1 mtpa to help fuel new gas power projects in Luzon. “Over the past year, we’ve been speaking with over 20 suppliers but terms vary greatly,” Jose Aldon, CEO, AXI LNGas, senior advisor to First Gen told Gas to Power Journal.

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