MonitorsPublished on Jun 13, 2014
Energy News Monitor | Volume X; Issue 52



Ø    ENERGY/CLIMATE CHANGE: India’s Low Carbon Diet

Ø    POWER: The curious case of power crises: Delhi & UP


Ø     Trends in Collection of Cess on Crude by the Central Government



·         Oil companies will see significant jump in profit: Crisil

·         BPCL, HPCL keen on buying crude from Cairn India

·         NRL launches online bill tracking system

·         Idea, IOC enter into pact for 24x7 LPG booking

·         GAIL’s US-linked LNG breaking traditional ties to crude

·         Reliance, Essar cut crude imports from Middle East

·         NEEPCO to raise capacity to 2 GW by 2016

·         NTPC invites bids for 1.3 GW Khargone project in MP

·         TGenco aims to make Telangana power-surplus

·         Haryana to set up two power plants

·         RINL signs power purchase pact with PTC India

·         MSMEs in North India facing severe power crisis: Assocham

·         Schneider Electric says will remain focused on India

·         MOL announces significant oil find in Pakistan

·         New Vietnam oilfield output seen below peak at start

·         Indonesian companies urged to build power plants

·          PetroChina plant revamp delay slows Saudi oil imports

·         Total signed 10 year LNG deal with Singapore's Pavilion Energy

·         Pemex sells $2.8 bn Repsol stake as industry opened

·         Hyundai Engineering to build 300 MW coal-fired power plant in Cebu

·         Mitsui to build and run $3.3 bn Malaysia coal power plant


·          Gas price hike to balance reforms, interest of poor: Oil Minister

·          A section of govt against gas price revision formula

·          Will BJP Govt cut the cap on subsidised LPG cylinders?

·          GAIL’s cheaper offer may impact gas pricing formula

·         Panel recommends reinstatement of DBTL scheme

·         Centre urged to focus on connectivity and hydro-power in Arunachal Pradesh

·         Govt may privatize mining, sale of coal

·         Goyal to power India using Gujarat model

·          UP plans to purchase 500 MW power on short term basis

·         UAE says oil prices are right for OPEC members

·          World needs record Saudi oil supply as OPEC convenes

·         Putin says Gazprom may need new capital after China deal

·          Iberdrola to invest $5 bn in Mexican energy infrastructure

·                   Gas-fired power exceeds coal in UK for first time in a year

·          Tata Power raises renewable energy capacity to 1.1 GW

·         India to work with global community to tackle climate change

·         ACME Solar to develop 30 MW solar projects in Chhattisgarh

·          China way ahead of India in renewable energy space

·         India to implement code for energy saving, green buildings construction by 2017

·         Karnataka plans to generate 2 GW solar power

·         Delhi eyes rooftop solar power, seeks inspiration from Gujarat model

·          Suzlon bags ` 7.5 bn order from ReNew Wind Power

·          ‘Obama's emission policy to have ripple effect on India’

·         Website to know climate change impact on Mumbai

·         Europe faces green power curbs to stop grids overloading

·          G-7 nations vow to produce climate pledges by March

·         Europe poised for hot weather as solar may be record

·          EU is omitting climate in energy security push: Prescott

·          Obama emissions plan seen as catalyst for climate talks

·         China studying timeline for carbon cap to include in next five-year plan

·         US fossil-fuel cut must go deeper to spur climate fight




India’s Low Carbon Diet

Lydia Powell, Observer Research Foundation


he final report of the expert group on low carbon strategies for inclusive growth was released by the planning commission recently. In the preface of the report, Dr Kirit Parikh, Chairman of the expert group makes some incisive remarks which must noted by those in a hurry to buy into new ‘ecogenic’ narratives. First India is already on a low carbon diet in terms of per person emissions which was at 1.4 tCO2 per person per annum in 2010. This is one fourth of that of China and one twelfth of that of the United States. It is no secret that this low value is under-written by massive energy poverty rather than through a comprehensive low carbon strategy. Second India may have to adopt an ‘all of the above’ approach to reduce carbon emission with strategies that include but not limited to energy use efficiency measures in industries, buildings, transport and households, investment in renewable energy technologies such as solar and wind, greater use of public and non-motorised transport and sequestration through enlarged green cover. Third and possibly the most important observation is that in the absence of dramatic reduction in the cost of renewable energy, expansion of renewable energy capacity for carbon emission reduction would require additional investment that will necessarily come at the expense of investment in other sectors and thus contribute to a reduction in GDP and GDP growth rates. At a time when GDP has become the single most powerful number capable of winning elections, putting countries on power tables and launching assaults on lesser nations, whether the government would want to pursue reduction of pollution and emission at expense of GDP is an open question. The most likely strategy of the government would be to implement a few show case projects which give the impression of something being done rather than actually doing something. 

‘Ecogenic’ show case projects come in very handy in this context. The key is to understand that a picture is worth a thousand tonnes of carbon. People can be seduced by the picture of a smiling politician standing amidst solar panels or windmills and be led to believe that their leader is fighting climate change. With the comforting image of a climate slaying leader, people can return to their comfortable lives fuelled by fossil fuels. You cannot blame them; it is the result of the way the climate debate is constructed and presented. People see climate change as a problem completely external to them and their lifestyles just as they see the financial crisis as a problem completely external to them. They hate bankers and banks even as they enjoy the returns from the money they voluntarily put in the bank. They also hate fossil fuels but are only too happy to use these fuels to go around the world saying that they hate fossil fuels.        

Returning to the seriousness of the low carbon growth report, the fact that it is uncompromising when it comes to inclusive growth must be commended. In both the scenarios in the report, the factor that is maintained constant is inclusive growth. Key assumptions under the first scenario labelled baseline inclusive growth (BIG) are an average growth rate of 7%, fall in rural poverty to less than 10%, elimination of urban poverty, increase in per person carbon emissions from roughly 1.3 tonnes per person to 3.6 tonnes per person until 2030. Under the scenario, coal consumption is expected to triple to roughly 1.5 billion tonnes (bt). Oil consumption is also expected to show a threefold increase to 406 million tonnes (mt) while gas consumption is expected to show a fourfold increase to 187 billion cubic meters (bcm). Emission intensity in terms of kg CO2 $ per unit of GDP (2005 PPP) falls from 0.43 in 2007 to 0.33 in 2030 a reduction of 22% over 2007 levels. 

Under the second scenario labelled low carbon inclusive growth (LCIG), GDP growth is marginally lower at 6.9% but inclusive growth measured in terms of lower poverty levels in urban and rural areas remains the same as that in the BIG scenario. Per person carbon emission reduces to 2.6 tonnes per person in 2030 and the carbon emission intensity falls by 42% over 2007 levels. Coal demand falls by roughly 20% to 1.2 bt compared to the BIG scenario, oil demand falls by roughly the same extent to 330 mt and gas demand increases by 11% to 208 bcm compared to the BIG scenario.  

What this means is that even if nothing much changes, India will keep the two promises that it has made in the context of climate change: (1) its per person emissions will not increase above global averages and (2) it will reduce its carbon emission intensity by 20-25% compared to 2005 levels by 2030.  However the 27% reduction in per person emissions and a 45% reduction in carbon emission intensity under the LCIG scenario are not likely to come cheap. It requires 50% higher investment in the energy sector estimated at about $ 834 billion even though the cumulative investments in the two scenarios are almost equal. The additional investment in the energy sector has to come at the expense of investment in other vital activities.   

Two other points are worth noting in the context of energy. The first is that coal will be the dominant source of power even in the LCIG scenario accounting for 65% of power generation. However it is assumed that under the LCIG scenario more than half of coal based power generation will come from super critical plants compared to the current 6-7%. The second is that the share of gas in power generation is likely to remain small in both BIG and LCIG scenarios at 2.5% and 3.5% respectively in terms of capacity and 2.8% and 3.6% in terms of generation by 2030. Natural gas is expected to have a lower share in generation of power compared to most other sources (hydro, wind, solar and nuclear) except coal. This is an unexpected outcome. For India which has to address multiple social and economic challenges, there would be a significant loss of investment in other vital segments if the cost of achieving a reduction in carbon emission levels is not optimised. In this context we may have to study if increasing the role of natural gas in power generation could achieve the same level of carbon reduction at lower cost especially in the light of the fact that the prospects for availability and affordability of gas from the global market look very bright. We may also have to study if more coal based supercritical plants can achieve the same reduction at an even lower cost. The only problem here is that a photograph of a smiling politician standing next to a natural gas plant, or worse, a supercritical coal plant, is definitely not as ‘ecogenic’ as that of him/her standing amidst solar panels or wind mills even if the former two are likely to achieve higher carbon emission savings at lower cost. 

Views are those of the author                    

Author can be contacted at [email protected]


The curious case of power crises: Delhi & UP

Ashish Gupta, Observer Research Foundation


nderstanding the power sector is not easy but capturing reality in the power sector is far more complicated. The important question is: can the power sector be separated from the politics? It is highly doubtful! The recent power crisis in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh shows how politics is entrenched in the power sector. Interestingly, the technical arm of the Power Ministry stated in one of their reports that Delhi and Punjab are energy surplus states but reality appears different. Both states are struggling from power woes. Criticising the technical arm is not likely to offer any solution as the problem lies elsewhere. Unfortunately rather than finding the solution, the decision makers seem to leaning towards political gimmicks. There is a need to ask if we are handling the lifeline sector the right way?

Many analysts including media reports suggest that the power sector needs out of the box solutions. Their concerns are genuine but their solutions are wrong. The power sector does not require out of the box solutions but only simple and straight forward measures that define roles and responsibilities of those who handle the sector.  Reform measures must not be enforced from the top of the political hierarchy and be allowed to trickle down to the bottom level of the utility. On the contrary, solutions should come from the power utility level and be heard by the top political level. Power utilities have the technical competence to analyse their problems and understand the sector from deep within. But are they really empowered to this? No. It is also unlikely that this will happen in the future. 

In the light of the power crisis in the capital, opposition parties are gearing up to stage a “dharna” at various places in Delhi. The ruling party is ready to bounce off allegations to the previous government. The blame game will continue and solutions will not be found. Interestingly, generators are willing to provide 6000 MW capacity for Delhi. Well thanks to the recent storm the utilities need not take them up on the offer and buy the power that is available. They can just blame transmission lines that were destroyed and stay put.  The storm has actually released the pressure on discoms to supply power.   

Delhi’s power sector problems are in far better shape compared to many other states but there is room for improvement. With due respect to the new government, it must be acknowledged that the statement that is making the rounds in the social media that “Humne ache din ka wada kiya tha, achi raat ka nahi” (we have promised good days, not good nights) sums up the situation. The Power Minister has entered the discourse and hopefully we will see solutions soon.

Uttar Pradesh on the other hand is literally struggling on the power front and restoration is likely to take time.  But thanks to the fact that people have got used to power cuts lasting 4 to 8 hours they do not find the situation very unusual. But according to some media reports, even though the state power utility is struggling to survive, high-profile constituencies like Rae Bareli, Amethi, Etawah, Mainpuri, Kannauj, Rampur are allowed to enjoy no power cut zone status. Varanasi was recently added to the list. It is good that these districts are getting 24x7 power supply but compromising other districts interests is not the best way forward. What about Kanpur (Business hub of the sate), Allahabad (headquarters for the government offices of the state including the judiciary) and many other important spots? The question is not who should get what but why? When Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation ltd (UPPCL) is struggling with dues and huge debt why should anyone get power?

The point here is to highlight the fact that utilities must be run on financial fundamentals rather than political fundaments. UPPCL has good leadership and if it is allowed to run like corporation, getting the power sector back on track in the state will be lot easier. Since the hon’ble Prime Minister comes from state where the power utilities performed exceptionally well on account of working freedom, there is a hope that UPPCL will be set free. But since power is a concurrent subject one has to wait and see if the State or Centre will win the tug of war!

Views are those of the author                    

Author can be contacted at [email protected]


Trends in Collection of Cess on Crude by the Central Government

Akhilesh Sati, Observer Research Foundation


Cess (` Crore)

Rate (` per tonne of crude oil)



60 (with effect from 23rd July 1974)















60 & 100 (w.e.f 13th July 1981) &

300 (w.e.f 15th February, 1983)





300 &

600 (w.e.f. 1st March, 1987)









600 &

900 (w.e.f. 1st February, 1989)





900 &

1800 (w.e.f. 1st March, 2002)



























1800 &

2500 (w.e.f. 1st March, 2002)









2500 &

4500 (w.e.f. 1st March, 2002)














Total Collection


Source: Oil Industry Development Board.






Finance Ministry vetoes Oil Ministry's policy on zero cess, tax holiday

June 4, 2014. The finance ministry has vetoed the oil ministry's plan to provide special benefits like a 10-year tax holiday and zero cess and royalty for ultra deep water exploration, which the oil ministry wanted under the proposed new oil and gas licensing regime to replace the controversial New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP). The finance ministry has sent its initial comments on a proposal sent during the UPA government's tenure, aiming to replace NELP with a noncontroversial uniform licensing policy (ULP). It favours continuation of cess on crude oil produced by companies in the country. The draft Cabinet note had proposed that the new regime should extend income tax exemption to 10 years for companies producing oil and gas from ultra-deep water and frontier blocks without the obligation of paying royalty. Currently, income tax exemption is allowed for oil production for seven years. (


IOC seeks exemption for LPG plant operations from strikes

June 7, 2014. Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) wants operations of LPG bottling plants to be included in the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) and has sought exemption for such facilities from strikes. IOC had lost over 20 working days due to strikes in Kerala last year. The company, which is the state-level coordinator for the oil industry in Kerala, wants the state government to include LPG bottling plant operations under the ESMA on the lines of milk, water and medical services, Murali Srinivasan, General Manager of IOC (Kerala office), said. While the government has brought transportation and LPG supply under ESMA, plant operations had not been included, he said. The plea comes at a time when IOC has decided to invest ` 1,800 crore by 2016-17 in the state to augment capacity at its three bottling plants and setting up various facilities. While the loss caused due to operations of its plants getting affected has not been quantified, 20 to 30 working days have been lost due to strikes, Srinivasan said. He further said there is a need for unhindered movement of LPG during strikes as backlogs causes hardship both to the consumer and the company. In Kerala, 60-70 per cent refills are re-booked within a week of getting the previous refills, he said. The facility for refill booking through SMS/IVRS - presently available in Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode - will be extended to all other districts, he said. Srinivasan also said that District Collectors have been asked to fix fixed wages for labour in LPG industry and to avoid frequent strikes. There was no waiting list for fresh connections and second cylinders, he said. IOC has also asked the state government to provide land for a huge parking space between Mangalore to Kochi. By next year, trucks not having ABS shall be phased out, he said. He said the revenue collected by the state government as tax last year from IOC stood at ` 2,388 crore for 2013-14. (

NRL launches online bill tracking system

June 4, 2014. Assam based Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) has launched an Online Bill Tracking System. The Company's Suppliers, contractors and service providers will be able to view online the status of their bills submitted. The automated bill receipt and tracking system was envisioned and put in place with the objective of providing an online information window to suppliers and service providers, thereby ensuring a high degree of transparency in their business transactions with NRL. Vendors will be able to track and monitor the status of their bills against an automated bill receipt number generated for each bill submitted by them. (

Transportation / Trade

Idea, IOC enter into pact for 24x7 LPG booking

June 10, 2014. GSM operator Idea Cellular has signed a two-year agreement with Indian Oil Corp (IOC) to deploy its enterprise mobility platform to oil marketing company’s LPG customers. The telecom company’s platform would be used to service IOC’s more than 82 million LPG consumers. IOC, which provides LPG under the ‘Indane’ brand, will extend its ‘Smart Gas Solution’ service to provide end-to-end automation on refill delivery process of IOC. The process starts from initiating booking request, billing and ends with delivery of LPG cylinder with regular updates to consumers, across the country. The service allows consumers to book LPG over phone or text messages, much in contrast with the traditionally mode of bookings done through distributors. The interactive voice response (IVR) system deployment covers more than 7,000 distributors delivering more than 1.5 million LPG cylinders every day. At present, the service is launched across 45 cities, with plans to cover other cities in the next three months. (

IOC keen to partner GAIL in Turkmenistan-Afghanistan- Pakistan-India pipeline project

June 9, 2014. Indian Oil Corp (IOC) is keen on joining gas utility GAIL India Ltd for implementation of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan- Pakistan-India natural gas pipeline. IOC wants to be equal partner with GAIL in the US $ 9 billion project with equal rights to sell gas imported from the pipeline. Billed as 'Peace Pipeline' for the troubled South-Asia region, the US-backed 1,680-km TAPI project is likely to be completed by 2017-18. The four nations have nominated a company each for implementation of the project with GAIL being the Indian representative. The TAPI pipeline would originate from Turkmenistan and pass through Afghanistan and Pakistan before entering India. It will have a capacity to carry 90 million standard cubic metres of gas per day (mmscmd) for a 30-year period and will be operational in 2018. India and Pakistan would get 38 mmscmd each, while the remaining 14 mmscmd will be supplied to Afghanistan. It wants to market half of the gas India will import through the pipeline. Interestingly, Bangladesh has renewed its case for joining TAPI. Dhaka had in May 2012 sent an initial proposal to the TAPI steering committee expressing interest in the project. The panel accepted it and asked for more details. (

Rawat to take up issue of gas supply to power plants with Centre

June 9, 2014. Uttarakhand government will soon take up with the Centre the issue of facilitating supply of gas to three gas-based power plants in the state which are yet to become operational, Chief Minister Harish Rawat said. A 450-MW power plant of Savanti Pvt Ltd, 225-MW plant of Bita Infratech and a 225-MW plant of Gama Infrafo based at Kashipur in Udhamsingh Nagar district have not been able to function due to non-availability of gas. (

BPCL, HPCL keen on buying crude from Cairn India

June 6, 2014. Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) have shown interest in buying crude oil from Cairn India Ltd. Cairn sells crude only to two Gujarat-based private refiners —Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) in Jamnagar and Essar Oil Ltd in Vadinar. A 590km pipeline moves crude oil from Cairn’s Barmer fields in Rajasthan to Salaya in Jamnagar district. With a new 79km pipeline connecting Salaya to a terminal in the Arabian Sea close to commissioning, Cairn is seeking new customers to supply crude through the sea route. Once the pipeline from Cairn’s Barmer field in Rajasthan reaches the coastal terminal in Gujarat, these state-owned firms could source crude from it. Selling to the state-run marketers could help Cairn potentially improve its earnings over time. However, both HPCL and BPCL are concerned about the quality of Cairn’s crude and difficulties in transporting it. HPCL may buy only up to 30,000 tonnes from Cairn. The company has an annual requirement of 15 million tonnes (mt), of which 10 mt is imported. Cairn produces close to 86 mt of crude every year. (

GAIL’s US-linked LNG breaking traditional ties to crude

June 6, 2014. GAIL India Ltd is offering supplies from the U.S. at prices tied to the American benchmark as an alternative to its oil-linked contracts. GAIL, which agreed to buy U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) starting in four years, is offering to resell it at a fixed premium over the price at Henry Hub, the Louisiana clearinghouse and North American benchmark. Asia’s LNG contracts traditionally are tied to oil, making them vulnerable to spikes in crude prices. Natural gas for July delivery was trading at $4.721 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. A U.S. benchmark gas price of $4 per million Btu would mean Asian importers will pay about $11.10 including liquefaction and shipping, Houston-based Cheniere Energy Inc. said. Japan, the world’s biggest LNG importer, paid an average $16.61 per million Btu for supplies in March. India’s natural gas consumption is projected to rise by 1.5 percent a year from 2010 to 2020, while production from local fields will decrease by an average 1.1 percent every year during that period, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), Indian Oil Corp (IOC), GAIL and Oil India Ltd (OIL) have invested in gas fields and liquefaction terminals in the U.S, Canada and Mozambique to secure supplies. (

India likely to miss 12th Plan target on gas pipelines

June 6, 2014. India is likely to have increased supplies of natural gas but too few pipes to carry them as infrastructure fails to keep pace with the coming supply surge. Implementation hurdles and unviable tariffs have slowed work on pipelines, threatening the target to add 15,918km of pipelines to the existing 12,144km by the end of 12th Five-year Plan in March 2017. The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB), which monitors and promotes natural gas transmission and distribution, had projected a doubling of transport capacity from 206 million standard cubic metres per day (mscmd) to 415 mscmd by March 2017. (

Reliance, Essar cut crude imports from Middle East

June 5, 2014. India's biggest oil refineries, owned by Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) and Essar, have gradually reduced imports from the Middle East and are increasing purchases from Africa, Latin America and even Canada, where prices have fallen due to lower demand from the US. The change helps the country take significant steps towards its goal to diversify its energy sources although it may not drastically reduce imports from the Middle East.

Experts and industry executives say this trend could reduce India's dependence on Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and make it less vulnerable to the cartel's market practices. It would also help moderate the price expectations of OPEC, whose domination and share of global output has fallen because more and more countries outside the cartel have discovered oil and the American continents have made rapid advances towards self-sufficiency with the help of shale and deepsea exploration. (

Policy / Performance

Gas price hike to balance reforms, interest of poor: Oil Minister

June 10, 2014. Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said a right decision will be taken at the right time by balancing the urgency of reforms with the interest of the poor. Refusing to speculate on the timing or what the decision will be, Pradhan said that bringing back the "derailed" economy on track is the top most priority of the Narendra Modi government and it will do whatever it takes for bring back the momentum. The first increase in natural gas prices in four years was to be originally effective from April 1. However, before a new rate could be unveiled, the general elections were announced and its implementation got deferred. The oil ministry said a decision on the issue will be taken before July 1. The ministry had told Reliance Industries Ltd, which was made to sell natural gas from its eastern offshore KG-D6 fields at the old rate of USD 4.2 per million British thermal unit even after its term had expired, that a new rate would be announced by July 1. The ministry will announce a new rate once its gets clarity on implementation of the Rangarajan formula, which would double the gas price, from the top. Pradhan refused to say if his ministry will go to the Cabinet again for a review or approval of the Rangarajan formula which was approved by the previous UPA government. The ministry is expected to make a presentation on the issues pertaining to the oil and gas sector to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in next few days and a clear direction on how to proceed on gas pricing will emerge after that. If the Prime Minister gives a go ahead for announcing a new rate as per the Rangarajan formula approved by the previous government in December last year, an announcement will be made forthwith. However, if it is felt that the formula suggested needs some adjustment or the government needs to take steps to protect interests of users in power and fertiliser sectors, then consultations at the level of Cabinet may happen. (

A section of govt against gas price revision formula

June 10, 2014. In a development that may further convolute the vexed issue of raising domestic gas prices, a section of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government is against the contentious price formula suggested by the C. Rangarajan committee. While the previous government had intended the increase, doubling the price of gas, to be effective from April, the hike could not be implemented after the Election Commission directed the Government on 24 March to defer it until after the April-May general elections were completed. The new price is based on a formula suggested by a panel headed by Rangarajan, former Reserve Bank of India governor and former chairman of the prime minister’s economic advisory council. (

Oil companies will see significant jump in profit: Crisil

June 9, 2014. The net profit of government-owned oil companies is expected to rise significantly in the current fiscal on the back of steadily falling under-recoveries, or the revenue loss on account of selling products below production cost, according to a report released by rating agency Crisil Ltd. Upstream companies such as oil explorers Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd (ONGC), and Oil India Ltd (OIL) will see their profit after tax (PAT) rise by ` 10,500-12,000 crore in fiscal 2015 and by a further ` 7,000-7,500 crore in fiscal 2016, the report said. Growth will be further boosted by a near doubling of gas prices. The impact will be equally prominent but a little subdued in case of oil marketing companies, or OMCs. Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd are forecast to see their PAT surging by almost ` 3,300-3,600 crore in fiscal 2015 and ` 700-1,000 crore in fiscal 2016, said Crisil. (

Will BJP Govt cut the cap on subsidised LPG cylinders?

June 9, 2014. The Petroleum & Natural Gas Ministry is considering seeking a reduction in the cap on the number of subsidised LPG cylinders. At present, every household gets 12 cylinders every year. As part of its proposal to reduce the subsidy burden, this may be cut to six. The pruning may be done in two stages, first to nine and then to six. A final call will be taken by the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs. A task force on subsidy set up by the UPA-II Government had suggested a cap of six cylinders and this was even implemented from September 14, 2012. But this cap was revised, first to nine in January 2013, and then to 12 from financial year 2013-14. The subsidy burden on LPG alone during 2013-14 was 46,458 crore, up from 39,558 crore in 2012-13. The Petroleum Ministry said the cap should not have been raised to 12. According to BJP, the Government could look at innovative ways to cut subsidy such as offering smaller sized cylinders at market price and expanding the piped gas network. It will also need to address the concerns of States such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha and West Bengal, which want to continue with the subsidy. But studies show that a BPL family, on an average, uses six-seven cylinders annually. (

GAIL’s cheaper offer may impact gas pricing formula

June 9, 2014. Gas utility GAIL hopes to shake up the domestic market by offering some 2.5 million tonnes of liquid gas from the US at a dollar less than imports from Qatar. GAIL has tied up 3.5 million tonnes of liquid gas per year from US firm Cheniere's Sabine Pass facility in Louisiana. It intends to trade a million tonne of this gas through its Singapore arm and offer the remaining quantity to domestic buyers. GAIL's gas deal is linked to Henry Hub, the US benchmark, where prices have fallen to $4.7 per unit due to shale gas boom. After adding shipping and other charges, GAIL expects to offer a price of $12-13 per unit. Sabine Pass is one of the three US liquid gas projects with permission to export to non- FTA (free trade agreement) countries. Since India does not have an FTA with the US, it has been lobbying for a special waiver. (

Govt to save ` 7 bn per year in subsidy from stopping gas to DFPCL

June 9, 2014. The government will save ` 700 crore annually in subsidy by supplying natural gas snapped from Deepak Fertilisers & Petrochemicals Corp Ltd (DFPCL) to National Fertilizers for manufacture of urea. Cheaper domestic gas replacing costlier imported fuel will result in a cut in subsidy bill, the Fertilizer Ministry said, asserting that the move to cut supplies to Deepak Fertilisers' plants in Maharashtra will not result in any shortage of crop nutrient anywhere in the country. Supply of 0.75 million standard cubic meters per day of gas to Deepak Fertilisers was stopped on grounds that the extant policy allows use of the cheaper fuel for manufacture of subsidised urea and not market priced crop nutrients as done by the private firm. The Department of Fertilizers (DoF) had sought stoppage of gas to Deepak Fertilisers, as it manufactures nitrogen phosphorus and potassium (NPK) fertilisers, which have been decontrolled. An Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) had decided that the gas being supplied to Deepak Fertilisers may not be stopped but the gain it makes from use of low-priced fuel be recovered from the company. The Department of Fertilizers was given three months to frame guidelines for recovery of the undue gains but the same was not implemented and it has been decided to stop gas supply to Deepak Fertilisers. (

Panel recommends reinstatement of DBTL scheme

June 5, 2014. Months after the scheme to pay LPG users cash subsidy was put on hold, an expert committee has recommended its reinstatement after streamlining some processes as it helps prevent pilferages. The Direct Benefit Transfer for LPG (DBTL) scheme was rolled out in 291 districts from June 1, 2013 in six phases to do away with the practice of selling the fuel at below cost rates. About ` 5,400 crore was transferred to more than 2.8 crore LPG consumers across the country. However, the scheme, which provided for cash transfer only to customers having Aadhaar number, was put on hold on March 7 following complaints that many consumers were left out because they either did not have the unique identification number or a bank account. The panel headed by the former Director of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur was appointed to review DBTL. The scheme promotes enhanced financial inclusion. The scheme design was "very robust and scalable" which prevents leakages, it suggested some systemic changes and enhancements to mitigate the hardships reported by the LPG consumers. It recommended a centralised grievance redressal mechanism as consumers, particularly illiterate, face difficulties in obtaining Aadhaar in some places and in getting it seeded in bank accounts and LPG database. Under DBTL, consumers got an advance of ` 435 on joining the scheme. Consumers used this money to buy a LPG cylinder at market price of ` 905 per 14.2-kg bottle in Delhi as against a subsidised rate of ` 411 they were paying previously. The committee felt that this amount should be raised as in some months the subsidy or the difference between the subsidised retail price and the market price was as high as ` 800. It also recommended that the launch of DBTL should be preceded by a three month preparatory period during which there should be extensive communication campaign, enrolment, seeding of Aadhaar in LPG/bank database. The committee said it received complaints regarding consumers not being able to open bank accounts in remote villages and the inconvenience faced by them in withdrawing the subsidy credited in their account due to poor accessibility of branches/banking facilities. It recommended that cooperative banks and post offices should join the banks and post offices should roll out micro ATMs through core banking system. The panel also suggested reducing VAT on LPG. (



NEEPCO to raise capacity to 2 GW by 2016

June 10, 2014. The North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) will take its generation capacity to around 2000 MW by March 2016, the company said. NEEPCO wanted to increase its power generation from the current 1130 MW to 2000 MW power by March 2016. The NEEPCO is going to rope in Tripura State Electricity Corporation (TSECL) to increase power generation of the existing power projects in the state. The joint venture comprising NEEPCO and TSECL would also increase power generation of state's lone hydro electric plant at Dumbur from 7 MW to 16 MW. (

NTPC invites bids for 1.3 GW Khargone project in MP

June 8, 2014. Country's largest power producer NTPC has invited bids for construction of the 1,320-MW Khargone thermal project, estimated to cost ` 7,000 crore. Bids have been sought for EPC (Engineering Procurement and Construction) package for the Khargone super thermal power plant coming up in Madhya Pradesh (MP). The plant would have two units, each having a generation capacity of 660 MW. (

KNPP unit I generates its full capacity of 1 GWe of power

June 7, 2014. Kundankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP) attained its full generation capacity and became the first nuclear plant in the country to generate 1,000 MWe of power, its Site Director R S Sundar said. He also said that of all the sources of power available in the country, units of KNPP had the capacity to produce large amounts of power from a single unit. He said this is the 21st nuclear power reactor in the country and India's first Pressurised Water Reactor belonging to Light Water Reactor category. On safety issues, he said the KNPP reactors incorporate enhanced safety features ensuring highest level of safety, in line with current international standards. (

TGenco aims to make Telangana power-surplus

June 5, 2014. Telangana Power Generation Corporation Ltd (TGenco) aims to make the newly formed State, which is facing a shortage of 2000 MW, a power-surplus State within three years by adding about 8,000 MW. Of this, 960 MW with a capital outlay of 5,643 crore is under construction at Bhoopalapally and Jurala hydel project. About 5,360 MW capacity projects with an outlay of 28,897 crore are either ongoing or being planned. NTPC is expected to execute a 4,000 MW project in the State. (

Haryana to set up two power plants

June 4, 2014. The Haryana government plans to set up a gas-based power plant in Faridabad and a coal-based supercritical unit in Yamuna Nagar district. The project is expected to be commissioned during the 13th five year plan (2017 onwards) after allocation of the required quantity of gas. It has also been decided to set up a 660 MW unit, based on supercritical technology, at Panipat in place of existing four units of 110 MW each. (

Transmission / Distribution / Trade

Transmission network short-circuits Delhi

June 10, 2014. The power crisis in the national capital, which has forced thousands of residents in the eastern, western and central parts of the city into long hours of darkness, was a disaster in the making. A thunderstorm on May 30 and record high demand this summer were the immediate triggers behind multiple trippings in the transmission and distribution network, already made weak by lack of upgrades. Power supply to several parts of Delhi has become erratic at a time when north India is in the grip of an extreme heatwave. After three main 220-KV transmission lines operated by the state-owned transmission company Delhi Transco Ltd (DTL) - Mandola-Gopalpur, Bamnauli-Pappankalan and Bawana-Rohini - were damaged in a thunderstorm on May 30, rotational load-shedding had to be implemented. System overloading resulted in 400-MW load-shedding past week, when the peak demand in the city stood at 5,600 MW. The stretched transmission system became even more vulnerable, as temporary arrangements were overloaded due to breakdown of the 220-KV 3Badarpur-Noida-Ghazipur line of UP Transmission Company on June 7. To assess the situation, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung held a meeting with senior executives of Delhi Transco and power distribution companies. While the crisis has been limited to east, central and west Delhi so far, Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd (TPDDL), which supplies power to the northern parts of the city, warned of load-shedding in case transmission lines catering to its areas tripped. TPDDL said through the past year, it had written at least nine letters to DTL and the Delhi government, highlighting the urgent need to ramp up and upgrade critical transmission infrastructure projects. (

Power shortage: AAP MLAs stage protest outside Vardhan's house

June 10, 2014. As Delhi continued to face long power cuts, over 20 AAP MLAs staged a protest outside Union Minister Harsh Vardhan's house in East Delhi demanding urgent steps by the Centre to improve electricity supply in the city. Senior leader Manish Sisodia said it was the responsibility of the Centre to ensure proper governance including facilitating basic amenities to the people in the city as Delhi is currently under Central rule. He said 22 AAP legislators came to Vardhna's residence and submitted a memorandum to his personal staff. Former AAP ministers Satyendra Jain, Somnath Bharti, Girish Soni and Saurav Bhardwaj were among the AAP MLAs who held a protest. Delhi has been reeling under long power cuts ranging from one to six hours for over a week after a devastating storm severely damaged major power transmission lines across the city. Congress as well as AAP have been targeting BJP for the power cuts, saying the Central government cannot escape responsibility. Vardhan later rejected the criticism, saying Congress and AAP should share the responsibility for the power situation in the city. The power situation had further deteriorated as a number of power transmission lines maintained by Delhi Transco Ltd (DTL), a Delhi government utility, had tripped. The DTL is yet to repair all the transmission lines damaged by the devastating storm on May 30. Congress MLAs and ex-MLAs had held a protest at Delhi Secretariat by locking the Chief Secretary in his room for over one-and-a-half hours demanding improvement in the power situation. (

RINL signs power purchase pact with PTC India

June 8, 2014. Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL) has entered into an agreement with trading firm PTC India for purchase of 25 MW electricity to tide over the perennial problem. Indian Energy Exchange (IEX) is a power trading platform in which PTC India is among the leading promoters. The company has started buying 25 MW power from the platform with effect from May 14 this year, RINL said. (

NTPC's Farakka project gets domestic coal via inland waterways

June 8, 2014. NTPC's thermal power project at Farakka in West Bengal has started getting domestic coal through inland waterways, helping to ease shortages caused by irregular fuel supplies by rail. The 2,100 MW thermal power project gets coal from the Rajmahal Coal Fields of Eastern Coalfields Ltd in Jharkhand. Hurdles in the supply of coal from these mines through railways had affected the project. The Farakka Super Thermal Power Station started the movement of imported coal by barges through inland waterway last year. The first set of three barges carrying about 1,500 tonnes each of imported coal berthed near Farakka station on November 13, 2013, NTPC said. The utility said it will transport 3 million tonnes of coal a year through the inland waterway to the Farakka station for seven years. The final phase of the Farakka plant was commissioned in March 2011. The project supplies electricity to West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, Sikkim, Assam and Tripura. NTPC, the country's largest power producer, has an installed generation capacity of 43,108 MW, of which 37,049 MW is coal-based. Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport, Highways and Shipping, has said waterways are a fuel-efficient mode of transport, costing barely 55 paise a km compared with ` 1.50 for highways. The promotion of inland waterways is part of the new government's larger plan to clean the Ganga. Under the plan, the Water Resources, Shipping, Environment and Tourism ministries will evaluate the proposal and work in co-operation with each other. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set up an inter-ministerial group under the chairpersonship of Gadkari for this purpose. (

MSMEs in North India facing severe power crisis: Assocham

June 8, 2014. Several micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in northern India are on the verge of closure due to severe power crisis in that part of the country, industry body Assocham said. In Uttar Pradesh, power cuts exceed 10-12 hours a day and in the absence of corrective measures, units would have to curtail their production. Besides, industrial units in Jammu & Kashmir are also suffering from a power shortage. The government should take steps like transfer of surplus power from the captive units to the state grids to fight power shortages in short-run. (

Schneider Electric says will remain focused on India

June 7, 2014. Schneider Electric Infrastructure, part of the euro 24-billion French Schneider Electric Group, wants to remain focused on high-end power distribution equipment and solutions in India. The company sees an opportunity in the high transmission and distribution (T&D) losses in India. The company’s interest was backed by government policies aimed at deploying smart-grid solutions to bring down losses. The company, in India for 50 years, is providing smart-grid solutions in Bihar, Kerala, Jammu and Kashmir and Odisha. The company supplies medium voltage switch gear and transformers apart from digitised substations, network automation systems and renewable integration systems. (

APERC rejects Amara Raja's power distribution license request

June 5, 2014. The Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC) has rejected Amara Raja Infra's application for power distribution license in Chitoor district. Amara Raja Infra had approached the electricity regulator of the State requesting a license for distributing power to various units in its proposed industrial park, expected to come up in Chitoor in about 500 acres. The company, which gets power form the state-owned southern DISCOM (APSPDCL) proposed to establish 132/33 KV Sub-station and switching station on its own. (

Punjab to revamp 66 KV network for power supply

June 5, 2014. The Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) has approved a comprehensive plan to extend and increase the capacity of the existing 66 KV network in the state with a view to provide uninterrupted and continuous power supply to the consumers. This whole exercise would entail financial outlay of ` 71 crore and under the project, 66 KV power transmission lines of 20 different Power Stations, be shifted and extended. (

MP Power signs deal with KRBL for supply of 15 MW power

June 4, 2014. An agreement was inked in Bhopal between MP Power Management Company and KRBL Ltd for supplying 15 MW of power to the state. KRBL Limited will set up a 15 MW solar power plant at village Hatipura in Barod tehsil of Agar district. The supply of power generated by this plant to Madhya Pradesh will start after 18 months from December 2015. Power from the plant will be obtained for next 25 years at the competitive tariff of ` 6.949 per unit. (

Policy / Performance

Centre urged to focus on connectivity and hydro-power in Arunachal Pradesh

June 10, 2014. Arunachal Pradesh has urged the Union Finance ministry to give special stress on connectivity as well as development of hydro-power for rapid progress of the state. Drawing attention of the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on the state's resources in hydro-power and tourism, Tuki said hydropower potential of the state could cater to 40 per cent of the energy demand of the nation, if harnessed sustainably. (

Govt may privatize mining, sale of coal

June 10, 2014. India may significantly reform the coal sector by allowing private firms to mine and sell the mineral since the state-owned monopoly is unable to meet demand, forcing many companies to import the fuel. The country currently allows private companies to mine coal only for captive use, barring them from selling the fuel in the open market. The proposal comes at a time when India is battling a severe shortage of coal because Coal India Ltd’s production falls short of demand, compelling the country to rely on imports despite huge reserves. Although India has estimated coal reserves in excess of 250 billion tonnes, its miners, chiefly Coal India, are unable to exploit the same because of capacity and technical constraints. (

Govt to make available gas for generating 400 MW power: Goyal

June 10, 2014. Power Minister Piyush Goyal said the central government will make available fuel for generating 400 MW additional power in Delhi. This gas is for the Bawana power project which has a capacity of 1,500 MW but is generating only 290 MW. He said that there will be a bulletin on power situation by the Delhi government every day. (

Electricity Act 2003 may be amended to fast-track power reforms

June 9, 2014. The government is open to amending the Electricity Act 2003 and sorting out issues related to quality and transportation of coal in an attempt to fast track power reforms, Piyush Goyal stressed, as he led a dozen top bureaucrats from the ministries of power, coal, and new and renewable energy under his charge to Gujarat for a day to learn from the state's stellar performance in the sector. The Gujarat officials requested the Goyal-led group to sort out the state's conflicts with the public sector monopoly miner Coal India, while the minister expressed his interest in replicating the state's Jyotigram Yojna for rural electrification across the country. Goyal also hinted at possible changes in the Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) of the states to promote renewable energy. The government might expand the scope of the Electricity Act to push for higher utilisation of renewable energy and that the power ministry was keen to fast-track rural electrification projects. Goyal said he and his officials had a fruitful session with the brass of Gujarat's electricity sector. The Centre's priority is to eliminate bottlenecks in decision-making and ensure supply of reliable power to all, the minister said. (

India has power surplus; distribution causing Delhi crisis, says govt

June 9, 2014. Piyush Goyal, Minister of State for Power said that the country has surplus power, but distribution is a problem. Goyal went on to blame the Congress government for not investing in transmission and distribution. Meanwhile, the Delhi government instructed authorities to switch off high-mast halogen street lamps for a few hours every day and cut power supply to malls after 10 pm, as part of a plan to stabilise the rolling blackouts in the city. At a time when North India is in the grip of an extreme heat wave, power supply to several parts of Delhi has become erratic following last month's thunderstorm, which caused disruption in the electricity transmission network. Against a peak demand of 5,600 MW on weekends, power distribution companies in the city are able to supply only 5,150 MW. State authorities did not disclose for how long the power-saving measures would be in place, but executives at BSES Yamuna, BSES Rajdhani and Tata Power Delhi, the national capital's power distribution companies, said the situation would improve with a drop in temperature. (

Odisha to seek FRBM nod for ADB assisted power project

June 9, 2014. The Odisha government will take the nod of its Cabinet and obtain FRBM (Fiscal Responsibility & Budget Management) clearance from the department of expenditure, Government of India, to avail loan from Asian Development Bank (ADB). ADB had agreed on a loan of $100 million to help rebuild power infrastructure in regions of Odisha affected by the Phailin storm that struck the state's southern coast on October 12. The cost of the project, 'Odisha Power Sector Emergency Assistance Project' (OPSEAP), is estimated at ` 1,000 crore. While ADB has agreed to provide a loan of around $100 million, the balance cost of the project will be funded by the state government. The ADB loan is meant for cyclone insulated infrastructure for transmission and distribution of electricity in the coastal zone and also for strengthening river and saline embankments. Under OPSEAP, the state government plans to go for a smart grid power network. (

India likely to see over 5 pc power shortage this fiscal

June 8, 2014. India is projected to see a power shortage of 5.1% compared to demand in the current financial year with southern and north-eastern regions anticipated to witness high deficits. According to CEA, the country is expected to see a power shortage of 5.1% this fiscal even as the deficit is projected to be very high in the Southern Region. Going by the projections, the shortfall in Southern Region would be 12.7%, North Eastern (17.4%), Eastern (3.4%) and Northern (3.1%). However, Western Region is expected to see a marginal surplus of 0.3%. For this fiscal, CEA said the gross energy generation in the country has been assessed as 1,023 billion units from the power plants in operation and those expected to be commissioned during this period. (

Advise CIL to supply fuel at notified price: PowerMin to CoalMin

June 8, 2014. Cautioning that an increase in the cost of coal would result in more expensive electricity, the Power Ministry has asked its coal counterpart to advise Coal India Ltd (CIL) to supply fuel at the company's notified price. Coal companies (CIL subsidiaries) are charging project developers 40% premium over CIL notified price for supply of coal. Coal companies are also charging a premium of 20% over CIL notified price for coal supplies to tapering linkage holders. Coal is the mainstay of country's energy programme as 70% of power generation is dependent on the dry fuel. Coal India accounts for over 80% of the domestic coal production. (

Take steps to get maximum power from KNPP for industry: Vasan

June 8, 2014. Former Union Minister G K Vasan requested the Tamil Nadu government to take effective steps to obtain maximum power from the Kundankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP), which has attained full generation capacity, to provide uninterrupted power to industry, facing severe power outages. The power cuts were affecting textile units in Erode, Tirupur, Salem, Coimbatore and Karur districts, he said. (

Goyal to power India using Gujarat model

June 7, 2014. Minister of State for Power, Coal and New and Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal announced that his ministry would replicate Gujarat government’s Jyotigram Yojna, or rural electrification scheme, in other states to provide 24x7 power supply to every household. The scheme was started by Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he was chief minister of the state. Goyal and a team of officials visited Gandhinagar to study initiatives taken by the state in the power sector. They had a five-hour meeting with state Energy Minister Saurabh Patel and senior bureaucrats. Under the scheme, Gujarat separated electricity feeder lines for agricultural and non-agricultural users, to make farm power rationing effective and tamper-proof. By providing a continuous, reliable full-voltage power supply for restricted hours daily, the plan made it possible for farmers to keep to their irrigation schedules, conserve water, save on pump maintenance costs and use labour more efficiently. According to him, big states like Uttar Pradesh, which is facing acute power crisis, could benefit from the model. The minister also enquired about the quality of coal supplied to state power generation units and how quality of coal needs to be controlled to increase efficiency of power plants. The issue of using railways for transportation of coal was also discussed. (

Govt rejects GMR plea to extend ToR validity for hydel project

June 5, 2014. The Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) under the Ministry of Environment and Forests has turned down a request by the GMR Group to extend the validity for preparing terms of reference for a hydel power project being set up in Arunachal Pradesh. The EAC while refusing to extend the validity of the terms of reference (ToR) also suggested the company to hold public meeting before August 2014. (

Odisha to have 3.1 pc excess power in peak hours

June 5, 2014. Odisha will have 3.1 per cent surplus power availability during the peak hours compared to the demand in 2014-15, according to the   Load Generation Balance Report (LGBR) brought out annually by Central Electricity Authority (CEA). The average availability of power during the peak hours is pegged at 4019 Mw against the demand of 3900 MW, a surplus of 119 MW, for the current fiscal. Seven months of the fiscal will have surplus power availability in the peak hours. However, there will be deficit in supply during the balance five months. (

UP plans to purchase 500 MW power on short term basis

June 4, 2014. Uttar Pradesh (UP), which is facing power shortages, is looking to purchase 500 MW electricity on round-the-clock basis. The 500 MW electricity is proposed to be bought on a short term basis from various entities, including generators and state utilities, according to the UP Power Corporation Ltd (UPPCL), a state government undertaking. The move comes against the backdrop of Uttar Pradesh witnessing severe power supply disruptions last week which also saw the Centre asking the state government to even procure electricity from the exchanges to meet the requirements. UPPCL has issued a public notice seeking Expression of Interest for supply of power on short term basis. It plans to buy "500 MW, round-the-clock, firm power from June 10 to June 30, under short term basis" from trading licensees, generators, state utilities, distribution licensees and State Electricity Boards (SEBs), among others. SEBs should be situated in northern, eastern and north eastern regions, according to the notice. The tariff, to be quoted by the interested entities, should include basic price, trading margin, open access charges, transmission losses and taxes, among others. The internal generation of UP is about 10,100 MW. (




MOL announces significant oil find in Pakistan

June 10, 2014. Hungarian oil and gas group MOL said the Ghauri Joint Venture (GJV) it partly owns had made a significant oil discovery in the Ghauri X-1 well located in the Punjab province of Pakistan. MOL said it was too early to give a forecast for the whole block. The joint venture comprises Mari Petroleum Company with 35 percent working interest as operator, Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) and MOL with 35 percent and 30 percent working interests. MOL also reaffirmed its commitment to increase investment in Pakistan. (

New Vietnam oilfield output seen below peak at start

June 10, 2014. Vietnam has begun pumping around 8,000 barrels of oil per day from a new offshore oilfield, Thang Long, while production is expected to start at another nearby field, state oil and gas Petrovietnam said. Production began at six wells at Thang Long field in the 01-02/97 blocks, 160 km (100 miles) east of Vietnam's Vung Tau city, Petrovietnam Exploration Production Corporation (PVEP), the production arm of Petrovietnam, said. Production at the Thang Long and Dong Do fields is expected to peak at 12,000-15,000 bpd. (

Abu Dhabi's ADGAS plans major gas production increase

June 10, 2014. Abu Dhabi Gas Liquefaction Co (ADGAS) said it planned to increase gas production to as much as 2.4 billion standard cubic feet (scf) per day by 2017. The firm, majority-owned by Abu Dhabi National Oil Co, said its current production was 2 billion scf per day. ADGAS said that of the current 2 billion scf currently produced, 1 billion was exported and most of it went to Japan, while the other 1 billion went to Abu Dhabi for local consumption. (

Canadian oil industry body cuts long-term production growth forecast

June 9, 2014. The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) cut its 2030 Canadian oil production forecast, citing growing uncertainty over the timing of development of some oil sands projects due to rising costs and lack of available capital. In its annual forecast, the lobby group for the country's largest oil and gas companies, said total Canadian oil production would rise to 6.4 million barrels per day in 2030, compared with 3.5 million bpd in 2013. That forecast was about 300,000 bpd, or 5 percent, lower than the one CAPP made last year. The divergence comes from a lower forecast for production from projects in northern Alberta's oil sands, home to the world's third-largest crude reserves after Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Total Canadian production is expected to average 3.9 million barrels per day by 2015 and 4.9 million bpd by 2020, while oil sands output is seen at 2.3 million bpd next year and 3.2 million by bpd by 2020. By 2030 oil sands output is now forecast to be around 400,000 bpd lower than the previous prediction of 5.2 million bpd. In 2013 output was 1.9 million bpd. CAPP said the oil sands remain the primary driver of Canadian production growth, but conventional oil production was reversing its previous long decline due to horizontal and multi-fracturing drilling techniques. (

Rapagnano gas reserves upgraded by 31 pc

June 9, 2014. Junior explorer Sound Oil confirmed an increase to its proven reserve estimates at the Rapagnano gas field, onshore Italy. The firm said that its internal estimate of proven (1P) reserves at Rapagnano has been upgraded to 1.06 billion cubic feet of gas – a 31-percent increase on its 2013 year-end estimate of 0.81 billion cubic feet. (

BG finds gas at Taachui-1 well in Tanzania's offshore block 1

June 5, 2014. Ophir Energy plc disclosed the successful results of the Taachui-1 & subsequent Taachui-1 ST1 well in Block 1, offshore Tanzania which has resulted in a new gas discovery. Ophir holds 20 percent of Blocks 1, 3 and 4. BG Group operates with 60 percent. The Taachui-1 well was drilled by the Deepsea Metro I close to the western boundary of Block 1. The well encountered gas in a single gross column of 948 feet within the targeted Cretaceous reservoir interval. Observed reservoir properties are in-line with those encountered at Mzia, the other Cretaceous-aged discovery on Block 1. Estimates for the mean recoverable resource from the discovery are c.1.0 trillion cubic feet (Tcf). (


PetroChina plant revamp delay slows Saudi oil imports

June 9, 2014. Revamping a PetroChina subsidiary refinery to process sour crude is taking months longer than expected, cutting the firm's crude oil purchases from Saudi Arabia. PetroChina Guangxi Petrochemical, which operates a 200,000-bpd refinery in the southern coastal city of Qinzhou, was earlier expected to finish a retooling programme by around April to start processing high-sulphur Saudi oil, but that is being delayed until August at the earliest. That, together with another PetroChina plant which switched to Russian from Saudi oil from January this year, contributed to a surprise 13-percent fall in China's Saudi crude oil imports for the January-April period. Traders had in early 2014 expected Saudi Arabia, China's top crude supplier, to ship in steady volumes of oil to Chinese buyers this year, as they did last year. Once the revamp at the Guangxi plant is completed, the refinery will be able to take 100,000 barrels of Saudi oil a day. The Guangxi plant delay could still result in an overall fall in China's Saudi crude imports for the whole of 2014, despite small incremental requirements from a separate Chinese refinery, the newly-started Quanzhou plant in southeastern Fujian province run by state-run Sinochem. From this January, PetroChina's Dalian Petrochemical Corp, a subsidiary refinery in the northeast port city Dalian, started to take more Russian crude, pumped in via the East Siberia-Pacific Ocean (ESPO) pipeline, replacing some 100,000 bpd of Saudi supplies. (

Transportation / Trade

EU gas traders urge grids to clarify EU data transparency

June 6, 2014. The European Federation of Energy Traders (EFET) has written to more than 25 natural gas grid operators requesting details on where to find data they should be reporting under a 2009 European Union (EU) regulation. The letters requested grid operators for information regarding the near real-time flows at interconnection points and the amount of gas in the grid’s pipelines, or linepack, Amsterdam-based EFET’s gas committee said. (

Total signed 10 year LNG deal with Singapore's Pavilion Energy

June 4, 2014. French oil major Total signed a 10-year deal with Singapore's Pavilion Energy for the supply of 0.7 million tonnes per year of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Asia, including Singapore, from 2018, the group said. The deal was signed with Pavilion Gas, a subsidiary of Pavilion Energy, Total said. (

TransCanada plans C$1.9 bn pipeline to serve Canadian LNG plant

June 4, 2014. TransCanada Corp said it has agreed to build a C$1.9 billion ($1.74 billion) natural gas pipeline to supply a liquefied natural gas (LNG) project on British Columbia's Northern Pacific coast planned by Chevron Corp and Apache Corp. TransCanada said the planned Merrick pipeline project will take 1.9 billion cubic feet of gas per day from Dawson Creek, British Columbia, to Summit Lake, B.C., a distance of 260 kilometers. There, it will meet the Pacific Trail Pipeline planned by the two partners backing the LNG project. The proposed line is the fourth in the works by TransCanada to supply northern British Columbia's nascent natural gas industry, which plans to liquefy the abundant shale-gas reserves in the province's north for export to high-paying markets in Asia and elsewhere. None of the handful of planned projects have received final approval from their backers. TransCanada said the line, which is conditional on Chevron and Apache proceeding with their LNG project at Kitimat, B.C., could be in service in early 2020, provided it receives timely regulatory approvals. (

Pemex sells $2.8 bn Repsol stake as industry opened

June 4, 2014. Petroleos Mexicanos is looking to strengthen its balance sheet with the $2.8 billion sale of Repsol SA shares as Mexico’s state-owned producer prepares to form partnerships with other foreign oil companies. Pemex, as the Mexico City-based company is known, sold a 7.9 percent stake in the Spanish oil company in an offer managed by Citigroup and Deutsche Bank AG. The Mexican company is raising cash as lawmakers prepare regulations to open the country’s oil industry to foreign investment for the first time since 1938. (

Policy / Performance

UAE says oil prices are right for OPEC members

June 10, 2014. Oil prices are at a suitable level for Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) members and the group sees no shortage in supply, the UAE's Energy Minister Suhail bin Mohammed al-Mazroui said. OPEC, which pumps more than a third of the world's oil, meets in Vienna to decide on output policy. Ministers have said they expect that the group will leave its output target of 30 million barrels per day unchanged. Oil reserves are still "acceptable" in most oil consuming countries and there is no shortage in supply, the minister said. (

World needs record Saudi oil supply as OPEC convenes

June 9, 2014. OPEC ministers say they will almost certainly leave their oil-production ceiling unchanged when the group meets this week. What really matters for markets is whether Saudi Arabia will respond to global supply shortfalls by pumping a record amount of crude. Just six months ago, energy analysts predicted output from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) would climb too high and Saudi Arabia needed to cut to make room for other suppliers. They changed their minds after production from Libya, Iran and Iraq failed to rebound as anticipated, and industrialized nations’ stockpiles fell to the lowest for the time of year since 2008. Saudi Arabia may need to pump a record 11 million barrels a day by December to cover the other member nations, says Energy Aspects Ltd., a consultant. (

Bulgaria will not resume South Stream work without EU green light

June 9, 2014. Bulgaria will not resume work on the Russian-led South Stream gas pipeline project until it receives the all clear from the European Commission, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski said. In a move that could inflame tensions between Russia and the European Union, the 28-nation bloc's executive arm asked the Balkan country to suspend work on Gazprom's South Stream project pending a decision on whether it complies with EU law. The pipeline is being built to transport 63 billion cubic metres of gas per year under the Black Sea through Bulgaria to central and southern Europe, bypassing Ukraine, as Russia seeks to cement its position as Europe's dominant gas supplier. Bulgaria is the EU's poorest member and almost wholly dependent on Russian gas, but Prime Minister Oresharski said it would comply with the European Commission's request. (

Putin says Gazprom may need new capital after China deal

June 4, 2014. President Vladimir Putin said that Russia should consider recapitalising state gas company Gazprom after a $400 billion deal with China which will require multi-billion-dollar investments in pipelines and new fields. Russian authorities have estimated that the 30-year China deal could add 0.3-0.4 percentage points to economic growth annually from 2015. The economy is likely to grow by around 0.5 percent this year, the central bank said. The $400 billion deal, signed during a visit by Putin last month, secured a major source of supply for China, the world's top energy user, and opened up a new market for Moscow, which risks losing European customers over the Ukraine crisis. Russia plans to invest $55 billion in exploration and pipeline construction to China's border, and China's CNPC said it would build the Chinese section of the pipeline. Gazprom said China would provide a $25 billion pre-payment. (



Indonesian companies urged to build power plants

June 9, 2014. The energy and mineral resources ministry is drawing up a new regulation that would encourage companies to build their own power plants. The new regulation would be centered on three issues: bureaucratic hurdles, pricing policy and ease of access to infrastructure.

Consumers classified as I3 and I4 are medium- and large-scale industries. The government is gradually removing electricity subsidies and the 371 I3 and 61 I4 consumers will be without subsidies by the end of this year. Industries are allowed to build their own power plants, but they typically build it near their projects. The scheme is called power-wheeling, Jarman said. (

S.Africa's Eskom to have first Medupi unit operating by early 2015

June 5, 2014. South Africa's Eskom expects to have the first unit of its Medupi power plant operating by early next year, the utility said, as it races to ease tight supply and keep the lights on in Africa's most advanced economy. Medupi, a coal-fired plant with expected total capacity of 4,800 MW, is one of three large-scale power plants Eskom is building to ease pressure on the grid, but progress had been had been hit by labour unrest and technical glitches.

But construction of Medupi, which has six units each with capacity of 800 MW, may face further delays if the metalworkers union follows through on its threat to strike from next month in the metal and engineering industries. Construction of a second coal-fired power station, Kusile, has also been hit by delays and the first unit from the plant is expected to come online next year. (

Hyundai Engineering to build 300 MW coal-fired power plant in Cebu

June 5, 2014. South Korea-based Hyundai Engineering has secured a contract from Aboitiz Power to build a $937 mn coal-fired power plant in Cebu province in the Philippines. Aboitiz Power's subsidiary Therma Visayas has signed the engineering, procurement and construction contract with Hyundai and local company Galing Power Energy. The 300 MW baseload power plant is expected to start operations by the third quarter of 2017. The power plant will feature two 170 MW steam turbines and two circulating fluidized bed (CFB) boilers. (

Mitsui to build and run $3.3 bn Malaysia coal power plant

June 4, 2014. Mitsui & Co., Japan’s second-largest general trading company, will build and operate a $3.3 billion coal-fired power plant in Malaysia in partnership with a local state-owned company. Construction of the project, the first given to a foreign investor from a tender, will start this year, Tokyo-based Mitsui said.

The plant will have an annual capacity of 2,000 MW and begin generation in 2018 to meet a 25-year sales contract with state-owned utility Tenaga Nasional Berhad, Mitsui said. (

Transmission / Distribution / Trade

Buffett’s $26 bn power bet in west seen paying off

June 5, 2014. Warren Buffett’s $26 billion bet on western U.S. power plants, transmission lines and wind farms is poised to pay off. The energy unit of Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., with the help of California’s grid operator, is moving to unite the holdings under a single market capable of dispatching power across seven states every five minutes.

The system, designed to handle sudden swings in supply and demand, would revolutionize the markets from Oregon to Nevada, where 38 transmission operators manually balance their territories on an hourly basis. (

Furukawa Electric to support Nalcor’s power transmission project in Canada

June 5, 2014. Suzhou Furukawa Power Optic Cable, a subsidiary of Furukawa Electric, has secured a contract to provide optical ground wire (OPGW) and fittings for Nalcor Energy’s power transmission project in Canada.

Under the deal, Suzhou will provide 1,100km of OPGW and fittings as well as All-Dielectric Self-Supporting cable (ADSS) for the project, which connects between an 824 MW hydroelectric power plant in Labrador and a substation in Newfoundland. (

Policy / Performance

Iberdrola to invest $5 bn in Mexican energy infrastructure

June 10, 2014. Iberdrola SA, Spain’s largest utility, plans to invest $5 billion in Mexico over the next four years prompted by broad reforms in the country’s energy industry. The agreement between the company and the Mexican Federal Electricity Commission, known as CFE, involves power generation, transmission, distribution and natural gas storage, Bilbao, Spain-based Iberdrola said. The plans also include renewable energy projects. The investment includes the $1.5 billion the company is already spending in Mexico, where Iberdrola also owns 5.2 GW of generating capacity, primarily combined-cycle natural gas plants and wind farms. Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto initiated structural reforms that have made the country’s economy more open to foreign investment. (

Gas-fired power exceeds coal in UK for first time in a year

June 9, 2014. Natural gas displaced coal in U.K. power generation for the first time in a year as the pace of the fuel’s price decline makes it more profitable to burn. Gas-fired power plants generated as much as 10.7 GW at the end of June 7, the most since March 29, 2013, and almost four times the amount from coal-fed stations on the same day, according to National Grid Plc. Front-month gas has dropped 43 percent this year to 38.55 pence ($0.66) a therm, the lowest since August 2010, broker data show. The switch to gas comes three years after utilities began shutting or selling the plants as cheaper coal and carbon emission permits made that fuel more profitable to burn. European Union policy makers started the bloc’s emissions-trading system in 2005 to encourage generators to use less coal, which produces twice as much carbon dioxide as gas. The front-year coal contract for Rotterdam dropped 8.6 percent this year to $79.20 a metric ton, the lowest since September 2009, according to broker data. U.K. month-ahead power has slumped 21 percent since Dec. 31, cutting the profit for coal-fired plants by 80 percent to 5.66 pounds a megawatt-hour. The spark spread, a measure of gas-fed power plant profitability, for next month rose for a second day, climbing 8.5 percent to 3.07 pounds a megawatt-hour, broker data show. (



Tata Power raises renewable energy capacity to 1.1 GW

June 10, 2014. Tata Power said its renewable energy capacity has risen to 1,170 MW with the commissioning of its 28.8 MW solar plant at Palaswadi in Maharashtra. The company has an operating capacity of 460.6 MW from wind farms and 54 MW of solar generation. Tata Power has been working in different areas of renewable power generation, both grid connected and distributed generation, it said. Tata Power is one of the biggest wind energy generators in the country. Its 460.6MW of installed capacity is spread across Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Rajasthan. (

India dumping duties risk choking Modi’s solar revolution

June 10, 2014. Indian government may strangle Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s efforts to reap more electricity from the sun should it impose duties on solar panel imports proposed by the nation’s previous administration. Only a quarter of the 1.6 GW of solar capacity in the works now will be finished if the levies are enacted, said Headway Solar Pvt., an industry consultant based in Gurgaon, near New Delhi. The tax would double the cost of solar power, according to the Solar Power Developers’ Association. The estimates are aimed at pushing Modi’s government away from backing a recommendation to impose the duty, which would protect India’s few solar cell producers from cheaper Chinese and U.S. imports. Modi must balance the needs of those manufacturers led by Indosolar Ltd and Websol Energy Systems Ltd against the interests of panel makers and developers that benefit from cheaper cells. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has until Aug. 22 to implement the duties favored by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry. Officials in charge of clean-energy policy oppose tariffs but say there’s little they can do. India has built photovoltaic plants capable of powering more than 6 million homes since 2010, mostly using equipment imported from the U.S., China, Malaysia and Taiwan. Developers led by Welspun Energy Ltd. and Azure Power India Pvt. have used imported panels for 80 percent of that capacity. Modi, who pioneered large-scale solar development in 2009 as chief minister of his home state, Gujarat, has vowed to harness solar power to reduce blackouts and ensure energy security. His party pledges to run everything from street lights and farm irrigation pumps to lightbulbs in every Indian home by 2019 on the sun’s energy. (

‘Power projects given time frame for clearances’

June 10, 2014. Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said his and power ministry had reviewed power projects awaiting environment clearances and set a time frame to speed the process. Javadekar said the ministry was talking to Maharashtra and Goa. According to the ministry, there are 80 projects awaiting environment clearances at various stages in Maharashtra. Javadekar listed out the major environment concerns - air pollution, water pollution and solid waste. (

India to work with global community to tackle climate change

June 9, 2014. India will work with global community to meet the challenges of climate change, Government said and spelt out local action plans to tackle the warming. The steps included conservation of Himalayan ecology, regeneration of forest and promotion of cleaner fuels to bring down carbon emission. Outlining the vision of the new government, the President Pranab Mukherjee said it will earnestly take up mitigation works to meet the challenges posed by climate change and will closely work with the global community in this regard. The Government's statement assumes significance in the wake of various global reports suggesting that air in Indian cities including national capital Delhi are dirtiest in the world. (  

China way ahead of India in renewable energy space

June 9, 2014. Manufacturing and infrastructure aren't the only areas where China has beaten India hollow by establishing world-class capacities. The communist nation, the world's largest polluter, has stolen a march on India in the renewable energy space too, investing a cool $56 billion in the sector over the past few years, making India's $6 billion look paltry. Representatives of the Narendra Modi government and industry experts say the country must consider China's model of penalising old coal-based plants, having an economically viable long-term policy and giving huge monetary incentives for both generation and manufacturing while drafting the new renewable energy policy. Industry leaders also say that like China, India must strictly enforce the obligation on distribution companies to purchase power produced from renewable sources and penalise those who fail to meet their targets. Last year, when China invested more in renewable energy than the whole of Europe, India's investment declined 15 per cent. Sector experts say these investment figures are quite significant, especially as China and India top the list of the world's largest energy importing nations after the US. Both countries have the most voracious appetite for highly polluting non-renewable fossil fuels like oil, coal and gas, necessitating an urgent adoption of renewable energy sources, especially as about 40 crore people in India lack access to electricity. Most of India's power production is coal-based and the country is the third largest importer of this highly polluting dry fuel, despite sitting on the world's fifth largest coal reserves of 200 billion metric tonnes. (

ACME Solar to develop 30 MW solar projects in Chhattisgarh

June 9, 2014. ACME Solar said it would develop 30 MW solar power projects in Chhattisgarh. As per the terms and conditions of the bidding document, the selected developer would sign 25-year long power purchase agreement with the Chhattisgarh State Power Distribution Company Ltd (CSPDCL) on the uniform tariff submitted in the bid. (

India to implement code for energy saving, green buildings construction by 2017

June 8, 2014. It will be mandatory for all state governments to implement by 2017 the minimum requirements for energy efficient design and construction set by the central government to meet the challenges of depleting resources, increased urbanisation and rapid construction. Shifting its focus to building energy-saving structures, the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) of the power ministry has made mandatory the Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) which acts like a "cross-check for building designs and specifications" to reduce the energy consumption through design and choice of material and equipment. (

Karnataka plans to generate 2 GW solar power

June 7, 2014. Karnataka plans to generate 2,000 MW of solar power over the next seven-eight years through public-private partnership, as the state is blessed with about 300 days of good solar radiation in a year, state Energy Minister D.K. Shivakumar said. In order to tap the huge potential of solar energy as an alternative to generating power from conventional energy sources like coal, thermal and hydel, the minister said the state government would facilitate financial support to the private sector to set up solar plants on private lands. As part of the Jawaharlal Nehru national solar mission, the central government has set an ambitious target of generating 20,000 MW of solar power by 2022 across the country. (

Delhi eyes rooftop solar power, seeks inspiration from Gujarat model

June 6, 2014. Delhi is trying to draw a few lessons from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Gujarat model. Gandhinagar's rent-a-roof project may help Delhi supplement the power supply in the capital with solar energy. If the model is replicated in Delhi, according to official sources, it has the potential to deliver 50-100 MW. This was discussed by the capital's top bureaucrats with their Gujarat counterparts. On the direction of LG Najeeb Jung, three teams of senior officials have gone to the state to study the Gujarat model. Among the other things they are looking at are Ahmedabad's Sabarmati riverfront project and the CCTV-based city surveillance system in Surat. The teams visited the river and several solar power projects. Under the rent-a-roof project, residents give their rooftops on hire to private solar energy companies who in turn pay them ` 3 for every unit of energy produced. Similarly, rooftops of government buildings like schools and hospitals are also leased out for solar panels. (

AIIMS to become country’s first green hospital

June 6, 2014. The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here is all set to become the country’s first ‘green hospital’ with Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan announcing his Ministry’s ‘green-plan’ for medical institutions across the country. There will also be regular energy audits and a phased renewal plan with a view to making the buildings on the complex more energy efficient. With environmental degradation and environmental risks emerging as the single biggest source of diseases – from ordinary water borne diseases to cancers – the Health Minister has also announced plans for setting up a network of capacity building institutions all over India modelled on the line of All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health, Kolkata, and the Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health in Delhi’s Maulana Azad Medical College. (

Suzlon bags ` 7.5 bn order from ReNew Wind Power

June 5, 2014. Wind turbine maker Suzlon Energy has bagged an order worth about ` 750 crore for a project in Rajasthan. The order for 100.8 MW wind farms has been awarded by ReNew Wind Power. It is a repeat order placed by ReNew Wind Power. ReNew Wind Power said the deal reinforces its commitment to developing sustainable energy solutions for India. (

Duty on imported solar gear to attract foreign investment: ISMA

June 5, 2014. Indian Solar Manufacturers Association (ISMA) has said the imposition of Anti-Dumping Duty on imported equipment, mainly from China and Taiwan, will attract global investment in the solar gear manufacturing market in the country. ISMA said instead of employment generation, 20,000 Indian skilled workers have suffered loss of employment due to dumping. Dumping has caused a massive structural supply overhang of cells and modules since 2011, to the detriment of Indian industry, ISMA said in a letter to the Power and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal. The damage has been caused due to massive investments in manufacturing capacities in China and Taiwan as 80 per cent of the production is concentrated in these two countries. Due to the supply overhang, the Chinese and Taiwanese manufacturers have dumped their products in the international markets at prices below the cost of operations, ISMA said. The Commerce Ministry has recommended levying anti- dumping duty on solar cells imported from the US, Malaysia, China and Chinese Taipei, in the range of USD 0.11 to 0.81 per watt. The US and Europe have both imposed steep Anti-Dumping Duties on China in 2012 and 2013. India imported ` 4,100 crore of cells and panels in 2013. If this import trend is not averted - forex outgo will be an un-sustainable ` 82,000 crore to import 20 GW of cells and modules by 2022 for Nehru Solar Mission, ISMA said in the letter. The industry body is of the view that there will be a big boost to high quality employment if the solar manufacturing base is allowed to prosper. (

‘Obama's emission policy to have ripple effect on India’

June 5, 2014. The Obama administration's new ambitious carbon emission standard shows that the US is serious about climate change and it should have "ripple effects" in India and across the globe, Jamshyd Godrej, chairman and managing director of Godrej & Boyce, said. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced to cut carbon emission from existing power plants by 2030, which is the single largest source of carbon pollution in the US, by 30%. It also announced to cut by 2030 particle pollution, nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide by more than 25% as a co-benefit. (

Website to know climate change impact on Mumbai

June 5, 2014. This world environment day, Mumbaiites will have dedicated tools in their hands to keep tabs on and control climate change. A team of inspired and dedicated youngsters have put up a website the city’s old and young can use easily. On this World Environment Day, environmentally conscious Mumbaiites will have tools at the click of a mouse to help them keep tabs on, and control climate change. A bunch of young and dedicated professionals have put together a website to help tackle climate change. The tools help calculate carbon footprints and their impact on the city, and suggest changes for a sustainable lifestyle. The website was launched at Maharashtra Nature Park at Dharavi here on the eve of World Environment Day. (

Goldman’s ReNew orders 101 MW of Suzlon turbines

June 5, 2014. ReNew Power Ventures Pvt., majority owned by Goldman Sachs Group Inc., has agreed to buy 101 MW of wind turbines from Suzlon Energy Ltd. The 48 turbines will be delivered to the Bhesada project in Jaisalmer district in Rajasthan state, Suzlon said. (


$5.68 mn research to provide solar electricity any time

June 10, 2014. Australian scientists are working on a USD 5.68 million research programme, where they are developing advanced solar storage to provide solar electricity at any time, day or night. The research led to a breakthrough when Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) used solar energy to generate hot and pressurised 'supercritical' steam, at the highest temperatures ever achieved in the world outside of fossil fuel sources. Supercritical steam is a breakthrough for solar energy and means that one day the sun could be used to drive the most advanced power stations in the world, currently driven only by coal or gas. The new development was made at Newcastle based energy centre of CSIRO, a national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world. CSIRO said this milestone is a game-changer for the renewable energy industry. (

Europe faces green power curbs to stop grids overloading

June 7, 2014. Europe’s drive toward a power system based on renewable energy has gone so far that output will probably need to be cut within months because of oversupply. Network operators are likely to curb solar and wind generation at times of low demand to prevent overloading the region’s 188,000 miles (302,557 kilometers) of power lines, Entso-e, the grid association in Brussels, said. Renewable output is poised to almost double to 18 percent by 2020, according to Energy Brainpool GmbH & Co. KG, a consulting firm in Berlin. Europe’s fivefold surge in green energy in the past decade pushed prices to a nine-year low and wiped out $400 billion in market value of utilities from Germany’s RWE AG to GDF Suez SA in Paris. There’s so much power available on windy and sunny days in Germany and Austria that the number of hours producers had to pay consumers to use it doubled in the first five months of 2014, data from the Epex Spot SE exchange in Paris show. The expansion of renewables is at the center of the European Union’s unprecedented effort to cut carbon emissions by 20 percent from 1990 levels by the end of the decade. Governments in the 28-nation bloc are discussing accelerating reductions to 40 percent by 2030. (

G-7 nations vow to produce climate pledges by March

June 7, 2014. Seven of the world's top economies pledged they will “lead by example” to produce an ambitious international climate accord by putting their pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions on the table by March 2015, well ahead of talks later that year where the deal is to become final. The statement, offered by Group of Seven leaders at the conclusion of their June 4-5 summit in Brussels, also acknowledged the increasing challenge of energy security in Europe following Russia's annexation of Crimea in March. Russia's move led to the cancellation of the previously scheduled meeting of top economic powers in Russia. The G-7 statement also reaffirmed a vow to phase down hydrofluorocarbons under the Montreal Protocol and said the U.S. will propose two rules this summer: one to promote the use of “climate-friendly alternatives” to the highly potent greenhouse gases and another to bar the use of certain HFCs in some applications, such as vehicle air conditioning. The seven countries are the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the U.K. The G-7 also reaffirmed a commitment made by the U.S. and other industrialized countries at the 2009 climate summit in Copenhagen to provide $100 billion a year from public and private sources to developing nations to help them adapt to climate impacts and cut their emissions. Raising a significant amount of climate finance for developing nations is widely viewed as a key component to getting developing countries to sign on to the international climate accord, which is to be concluded in Paris in December 2015. (

Texas cash-from-carbon program lures climate skeptics

June 6, 2014. At an aging cement plant in San Antonio, entrepreneur Joe Jones is trying to turn fighting climate change into a money-making venture. Instead of letting carbon dioxide escape from the plant and contribute to global warming, Jones’s Skyonic Corp. is spending $128 million to convert the gas into baking soda and hydrochloric acid that can be sold to the cattle and oil industries. More technologies like Skyonic’s could emerge as President Barack Obama steps up his fight against global warming, such as with the regulations to cut carbon pollution from power plants the Environmental Protection Agency proposed June 2. The company says its technology can be used to help plants comply. To be sure, one project under construction capturing some of the emissions from one cement factory is a far cry from solving climate change. And, some analysts question whether the Skyonic model can ramp up to serve more than a niche market. (

Republicans can’t block EPA’s greenhouse gas rules, says Hoyer

June 6, 2014. Democrats in Congress will be able to keep Republicans from overturning the Obama administration’s rules to lower greenhouse-gas emissions, said second-ranking House Democrat Steny Hoyer. The Environmental Protection Agency’s rule, proposed June 2, seeks to reduce carbon emissions from power plants by an average of 30 percent from 2005 levels. The reduction would be equal to eliminating carbon pollution from two-thirds of all cars and trucks in the U.S. Republicans in Congress oppose the plan, saying it would cost jobs and raise electricity prices. A number of Democrats from energy-producing states have expressed concern about the proposed rules or said they want to see changes. House Republican leaders are considering whether to push legislation to reject the emissions rules or try to block the EPA from spending money to implement them. The House voted in August 2013 to allow either chamber of Congress to veto major U.S. rulemaking, including emissions rules. Democrats held their defections to just six lawmakers who voted with Republicans to pass the bill. (

Europe poised for hot weather as solar may be record

June 6, 2014. Europe faces hotter-than-usual weather through August as German solar-energy production is set to advance to a record, potentially driving power prices lower. Five of six meteorologists polled by Bloomberg projected higher-than-usual temperatures in the next three months after the region had its warmest spring in 34 years. Deutscher Wetterdienst, Germany’s state forecaster, sees an 80 percent chance that Europe’s biggest economy will meet or exceed the seasonal average of 17.1 degrees Celsius (62.8 degrees Fahrenheit) in the period. European solar capacity is set to more than triple through 2035 from 2010, Citigroup Inc. said in a report. The region is increasing its reliance on renewable sources at the same time as electricity demand falls, pushing power prices to record lows and curbing profit at utilities from Germany’s EON SE to CEZ AS in Prague. (

EU is omitting climate in energy security push: Prescott

June 5, 2014. The European Union (EU) risks losing ground in the fight against climate change as it tries to shore up energy security in response to concerns about dependence on Russian gas, said John Prescott, the bloc’s lead negotiator for the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The annexation of Crimea by Russia has pushed the issue of energy security to the top of the European political agenda as the 28-nation bloc devises plans to cut reliance on natural gas imports from Russia’s OAO Gazprom. That risks overshadowing the debate about cutting greenhouse gases, according to Prescott, former deputy prime minister of the U.K. The EU’s energy dependency rate is set to rise to 80 percent by 2035 from 60 percent, according to the International Energy Agency. Russian gas met about 30 percent of EU consumption last year, according to Gazprom. The European Commission presented a draft energy security strategy that EU heads of state will discuss during two days of meeting starting June 26 in Brussels. (

China coal spending of $21 bn seen risked by climate rules

June 5, 2014. Spending by Chinese companies of $21 billion last year on coal reserves might be wasted amid tougher environmental rules and weaker growth in electricity demand, according to a report released. Tighter restrictions on greenhouse-gas discharges may cut China’s total power output by as much as 40 percent from 2012 levels by 2020 under an aggressive scenario, the Carbon Tracker Initiative and the Association for Sustainable and Responsible Investment in Asia, environmental groups focusing on investment and finance, said in the report. Demand for coal imports could drop rapidly, they said, forcing exporters to seek new outlets and threatening to strand assets. China is the world’s largest producer and importer of coal, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. It’s also the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases blamed for rising sea levels, droughts and floods, the World Bank says. Nations are negotiating a global climate treaty to be signed in Paris in 2015 that would require all countries to act to cut climate pollution from 2020. (

Obama emissions plan seen as catalyst for climate talks

June 5, 2014. U.S. President Barack Obama’s plan to cut power plant emissions by 30 percent can spur other major emitters to step up greenhouse gas cuts, envoys from developing countries said at United Nations climate talks. Developing countries have been calling for years for the U.S. to step up action against climate change. That’s because the U.S. is the biggest cumulative polluter since industrialization began, and it never ratified the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, the only treaty limiting emissions in richer nations. Obama failed in 2010 to get an emissions-limiting law through Congress. That has forced him to use his executive authority through the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate the gases that are blamed for pushing up global temperatures. The EPA proposed cutting power plant emissions in 2030 by 30 percent from 2005 levels. Electricity generation accounts for almost a third of U.S. emissions. The U.S. already cut emissions from power plants by about 15 percent since 2005, said Alden Meyer of the Union of Concerned Scientists. The Bonn negotiations are part of a UN effort to write a new global agreement to fight climate change at a meeting at the end of next year in Paris. Delegates to the talks have set themselves a goal of limiting warming since the industrial revolution to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). The UN projects as much as 4.8 degrees of warming by 2100 on current trends. The U.S. has pledged to cut emissions by 17 percent from 2005 to 2020. The EPA said that total emissions in 2012 were already 10 percent below 2005 levels. (

China studying timeline for carbon cap to include in next five-year plan

June 5, 2014. China is reportedly studying a timeline for an absolute cap on carbon dioxide emissions, as it prepares climate change policies to include in its forthcoming 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020), although an announcement of such a policy is premature, analysts said. The policies are expected to include measures to meet a previous carbon intensity target, as well as expansion of pilot plans on capping coal-consumption and moving toward a national carbon emissions trading system (ETS) as part of the country's overall climate change policy. A climate policy adviser for the Chinese government and director of the Low Carbon Economy Lab at Tsinghua University in Beijing, as saying China would implement an absolute cap on carbon emissions starting in 2016, analysts with understanding of the government's planning suggested he was misunderstood and that the remarks were his opinion on what the government should do. China is working on how to cap its greenhouse gas emissions for the first time, an effort that would spur the worldwide effort to hold back climate change. The world’s biggest producer of fossil fuel emissions has been studying for more than a year how and when it might be able to make its pollution levels peak and hopes to act as soon as possible, said Xie Zhenhua, China’s lead envoy to the United Nations global warming talks. The comments are the clearest indication yet of China’s willingness to join a global agreement that would for the first time limit emissions in all nations, both rich and poor alike. China along with other countries classed as developing economies were exempted from restrictions under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, the only pact of its kind curbing the pollution blamed for causing global warming. Xie’s remarks are the first response China has made to President Barack Obama’s decision on June 2 to restrict emissions from existing power plants in the U.S. Those measures call for a 30 percent cut in carbon emissions from existing power plants by 2030 and would reduce the role of coal in generating electricity. The power plant rules will be supplemented by efforts to lower emissions through fuel efficiency standards for vehicles, appliance efficiency standards, a strategy to cut methane, and new measures to reduce powerful greenhouse gases found in refrigerants known as HFCs, U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern said. (

US fossil-fuel cut must go deeper to spur climate fight

June 4, 2014. The U.S. must go much further than President Barack Obama has proposed in reducing carbon emissions if the fight against global warming is to gain any traction. Obama proposed cutting the share of U.S. electricity generated from coal-fired plants to 30 percent by 2030 from 39 percent last year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. That must decline to 14 percent to prevent dangerous climate change, the International Energy Agency estimates. (

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