Markets

In the U.K., new offshore wind power is dramatically undercutting new nuclear generation on cost which signals that the sector has become a mature, bankable new segment of the energy sector. The lowest successful bids in last week’s auction results at €63 ($83) per MWh, were 50% less than a corresponding UK auction in 2015.

By 2040, coal and renewables will both contribute 31% to world electricity generation. In Europe, strong renewable energy expansion will eradicate the growth of gas use in the power sector over the next 10 years, according to the EIA’s just-released International Energy Outlook 2017 (IEO2017). Only after 2030, pipeline gas and LNG is seen regain market share in Europe, displacing nuclear power and lignite coal.

At the peak of Hurricane Harvey’s impact along the US Gulf Coast, more than 10,000 MW of electricity generating capacity in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) had to be shut down. But despite the significant amount of generator outages, ERCOT was able to meet total electricity demand due to lower levels of demand.

LNG imports to Spain have kept rising over the summer driven by record levels of gas-burn in the power generation sector. At the end of the peak summer season in August, Spain imported 19 LNG cargoes originating from Qatar, Nigeria, Algeria, Norway, Peru, Trinidad and the U.S.

German power producer Uniper is considering dismantling some German power plants, reassemble them in the UK, and could purchase stakes in British gas-fired power station, CFO Christopher Delbrück told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

The US natural gas market was partially impacted as Hurricane Irma approaches Florida where six of the state’s largest power stations are running on gas. If the storm follows the forecast path and destroys key power transmission lines, Florida’s gas demand will be largely wiped out, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in its weekly natural gas report.

Despite declining costs for generating electricity from fossil fuels in the U.S., retail electricity prices have continued to rise in line with inflation – mainly due to higher expenses for delivering the electricity to end-customers. Power transmission costs have increased in real 2016 dollar terms from 2.2 cents/kWh in 2006 to 3.2 cents/kWh in 2016, roughly offsetting the decrease in the generation costs.

Ohio-based First Energy Corp. has reduced the sales price for five gas-fired power plants and a hydro electric facility in Pennsylvania and Virginia in an effort to close on a drawn-out deal with Power Equity Partners, a New-York based infrastructure fund. The assets, with a combined capacity of 1,615MW, will now be sold for $835 in cash.

Britain’s has embarked on a difficult process of untangling its economic ties with the European Union which may put the construction of three planned EU-UK gas interconnection pipelines at risk. Thierry Bros, OIES research fellow, pointed out the UK needs to “reshape its energy diplomacy” as it will have to negotiate gas supplies with both the EU and Norway, which supplies some 38% of its gas, in the future.

Eager to electrify remote areas and support energy-intensive industries, governments across Asia are investing in electrical infrastructure projects. The Asia-Pacific region hence is about to become the largest market for power transformers worldwide.

Australia’s power provider Hydro Tasmania is preparing to run the combined-cycle gas turbine at its Tamar Valley Power Station as of Tuesday morning local time -- purely for economic reasons. "Mainland electricity prices are currently high. The CCGT will be operated to help reduce the amount of electricity Hydro Tasmania needs to import from Victoria over the drier months, therefore reducing overall cost,” the utility pointed out.

EnergyAustralia, one of the nation’s three big power generators, is understood to have hired Morgan Stanley to advise on a bid for IFM Investor’s gas-fired power stations in Victoria. The sale of two Ecogen assets, with a combined capacity of 960 MW, comes amid heightened uncertainty over Australia’s clean energy policy which has propelled up gas and electricity prices.

Gas-burn for power generation in Spain has ended the month of August with an increase of over 60% to reach 7,800 GWh – the highest figure for this month since 2011, according to Enagas figures. The steep increase in the contribution of gas in the Spanish power mix was caused by very low hydro power availability and a lower generation from wind power.

Having moved to a competitive market, Mexico’s Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) released its first monthly price report on August 18 which shows that Mexican marketers sold gas at $4.10/mmBtu on average in July. CENAGAS, Mexico’s pipeline system operator also launched its natural gas capacity reservation system with electronic bulletin boards for posting natural gas flows.

Indian LNG buyers have been courting the incumbent seller Qatar to invest in stranded gas-fired power station as a precondition for new long-term offtake agreements. "It won't be quid pro quo but mutual interest [...]" oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan commented; “They can share the profit of those power plants."