Gas-fired generation could meet between 7% and 40% of Britain’s annual electricity demand in 2035, according to National Grid findings. Its latest Gas Future Operability Planning (GFOP 2018) takes a deeper look at the key drivers of change: the proliferation of renewables and the support for electricity interconnectors.

Natural gas use in the American power sector fell 7.7% last year, a sharp drop compared with the 2.5% decline in coal-burn. Though gas remained the most-used fuel source for the third year in a row, the sharp drop in usage significantly narrowed the gap with coal. Net electricity generation in the U.S. from all fuel sources saw a slight decline of 1.5% in 2017, reflecting lower demand.

In 2018, three cargoes - each providing around 0.1 billion cm of liquefied gas - have come directly to British regas facilities from Yamal LNG in Russia. But as the UK is preparing for another cold snap, and there’s talk that the country is too reliant on Russia for LNG. Murray Douglas, research director, Europe Gas, evaluates if fears are overstated and where British gas buyers can turn to secure top-up supplies.

Cloud-based distributed power generators, aggregated to a Virtual Power Plant (VPP), are gaining popularity notably in North America – the world’s first country to implement demand response where end-users can earn monetary incentives by managing power usage. Globally, the VVP market is forecast to grow at an annual rate of 29.68%, reaching an estimated $709.2 million by 2021.

Shell is close to signing Hong Kong’s first LNG supply deal with CLP Power, developer of a new unit at Black Point Power Station (2,500 MW). The new 600 MW unit is scheduled to start operations by 2020, according to CLP Power’s latest annual report, hence the utility is now keen strike a deal to import LNG via a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) to be moored just south of Hong Kong.

Since the U.S. shale oil and gas revolution ended the need to import crude oil from Mexico, the trade balance shifted and U.S. energy exports have been exceeding imports from Mexico for each of the past three years. In 2017, overall U.S. energy exports to Mexico hit a record high of $25.8 billion in 2017, more than twice as much as the $11.1 billion value of imports from Mexico.

Record results in shale oil and gas output in Appalachia and the Permian basin have been helped by President Donald Trump’s latest changes to the US corporate tax law. Several shale gas drillers reported hundreds of millions in savings after being allowed to re-measure their net tax liabilities, and are now budgeting less tax expenses for the future. Production among American shale drilling companies, sampled by the consultancy Energy Aspects, grew by 1.6 Bcf/d, or 5% year-on-year and 0.5 bcf/d, or 2% quarter-on-quarter in Q4-2017.

Siemens has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (APEX-Brasil) to triple its investments in the country to up to €1 billion, addressing bottlenecks in the Brazilian infrastructure, especially in the fields of energy, transportation, and healthcare.

Malaysia’s energy giant Petronas has signed a heads of agreement (HOA) with its long-time business partner Tokyo Gas to supply LNG cargoes over a period of 13 years starting from April 2018. Tokyo Gas, Japan’s largest city gas provider, will be using most of this contracted gas import as a fuel at its power stations.

PTSC Mechanical & Construction, a Vietnamese service provider for the oil & gas industry, has contracted MAN Diesel & Turbo to supply two compressor trains for the Sao Vang and Dai Nguyet gas field developments off Vietnam's southern coastline. The government in Hanoi is supporting efforts to step up domestic gas supply in order to shift the country’s energy mix towards cleaner-burning fuel sources.

London-based SDX Energy Inc. has made a new onshore gas discovery in Morocco, at is SAH-2 well on the Sebou permit. The latest find helps advance the government’s policies to promote renewables and cleaner-burning natural gas while seeking to reduce dependence on seasonal LNG imports.

Reshaping the German power sector, RWE announced on Sunday it had agreed to sell its 78.8% stake in its clean energy arm Innogy to rival E.ON in an asset swap. Through the mega deal, if approved, E.ON would acquire Innogy’s regulated energy networks and customer operations, while RWE would get hold of E.ON’s renewable business and keep that of Innogy.

Cost competitiveness of wind and solar power is rapidly increasing, hence many installations in favourable locations are now economically viable without subsidies. This accelerating green energy transition drives the need for flexible gas engine solutions. Benefitting from this trend, Wärtsilä managed to boost its market share in the <500 MW market segment from 13% in 2016 to 19% in 2017, according to the McCoy Power Report.

About two-thirds of the utility-scale battery storage capacity installed in the United States is located in two electricity markets: the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) and the PJM Interconnection which covers all or parts of 13 eastern states.

Despite Gazprom’s latest threat to end gas supply contracts with Naftogaz Ukrainy, the Russian gas giant continues to rely on transiting gas through Ukraine to meet its contractual obligations to European customers. According to Wood Mackenzie data, the Ukrainian route in 2017 accounted for over 45%, or 93.5 bcm, of Gazprom’s exports to Europe and Turkey. Alternative routes will not be available until 2020.

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