Royal Dutch Shell has seen second quarter profits plummet 25% to $3.6 billion – way short of analysts’ forecast of $4.93 billion. Shell CEO Ben van Beurden blamed lower oil and gas prices and pointed out the company’s “good cash flow performance” not least due to the start-up of Prelude FLNG.
U.S. technology innovator Tesla has launched a huge battery, called Megapack, claiming it would be more cost-effective and faster to install than any fossil-fuelled power plant. The pilot utility-scale Megapack battery will be installed on behalf of the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) for the Moss Landing project in California.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is taking steps to stop funding new fossil fuel-reliant energy projects by the end of 2020. A draft of the EIB’s new leaning strategy states the bank will no longer support upstream oil and gas, coal mining and power generation from fossil fuel sources.
TC Energy, formerly known as TransCanada, has agreed to divest three gas-fired power stations in Ontario for around C$2.87 billion (US$2.18bn) to Ontario Power Generation (OPG). The proceeds will be used to pay for construction of the Coastal GasLink Pipeline that will deliver feedgas to the LNG Canada project in Kitimat, B.C.
Retirements of coal-fired power plants by U.S. utilities over fuel economics or environmental reasons is expected to reduce the country’s overall coal generating capacity by nearly 120 gigawatts (GW) by 2025. Several retired plants are getting repowered with combined-cycle turbine technology, as utilities shift to cheaper and cleaner burning natural gas.
Engas, the Spanish gas network operator, has reported record gas deliveries to the electricity sector. July demand grew by 45% compared to the same month last year due to a sharp rise in gas-burn compared to coal amid high temperatures and low hydroelectricity production.
Silent-Power Project, a Swiss technology start-up, is producing of CO2-neutral electricity from methanol. CEO Urs Weidmann told Gas to Power Journal the company aims to achieve an annual production of 1 million liters of carbon neutral methanol with its first synthesis plant by 2020.
Iain Conn, the Centrica CEO, has decided to step down 2020 after posting a statuary operation loss of £446 million, mainly due to the UK energy price cap. The departing CEO also announced Centrica will stop producing oil and gas to focus on customer-facing business such as supplying electricity and energy services.
International Finance Corp (IFC), part of the World Bank, has made a $2 million cost-sharing commitment to South Africa’s Transnet to develop a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) at the Port of Richards Bay by 2024. The aim is import LNG to fuel independent power projects.
Australia will see solar costs – already competitive against gas power – breaking through the coal-fired power price barrier. Levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) for solar power has fallen 42% in the past three years, according to Wood Mackenzie, and is forecast to reach $48/MWh in 2020 – beating all fossil fuel competitors.
Hybrid HHO Gas, a developed by Eneco, is capable of generating large volumes of oxyhydrogen gas using only a small amount of electricity. The new technology is expected to cut the price of HHO gas by more than two-thirds of the current average price.
Egypt’s National Electricity Technology company Kahraba has handed an engineering and equipment (EEQ) contract to Wärtsilä to install two 34SG engines at a power plant in Borg El Arab, an industrial city some 45km southwest of Alexandria. The upgrade will increase the plant’s capacity by two thirds.
The Florida Power Plant Siting Board has approved Tampa Electric's plan to build a combined-cycle gas power unit in replacement for a coal-fired block at its 1,700 MW Big Bend power station in Hillsborough County, Florida. Construction of the CCGT comes at a cost of $853 million, with works slated to start in August.
Electrification of transport has propelled up demand for batteries, increasing the risk that battery metals – cobalt, lithium, and nickel – will face a supply crunch by the mid-2020s. If automotive manufacturers realize their pledge to “go completely electric” by 2050, demand for battery metals would skyrocket – as would the electricity-use of these vehicles.
With heat waves becoming more frequent and widespread, an additional 720 million people will seek to get access to air-conditioning by 2050. According to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) ‘Cooling for All’ this would require roughly 105 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity in 2050.