MonitorsPublished on Jan 11, 2017
Energy News Monitor | Volume XIII: Issue 30

Coal News Commentary: December 2016


The news that non-fossil fuels will account for 60 percent of generation capacity in India by 2026-27 grabbed the attention of most of those concerned about India’s coal use. Before declaring the victory of renewable energy over fossil fuels some underlying reasons need to be considered. First surplus fossil fuel (primarily coal) based generation capacity was created in the last decade which means additional capacity is not required in the immediate future. In the short span of five years from 2010 to 2015, coal based power generation capacity nearly doubled from 84 GW to about 165 GW which is unprecedented in the history of the Indian power sector.  Power generation capacity grew by about 7 percent between 2001 and 2015 and consumption grew by about 6 percent. However, from 2011 to 2015 capacity addition grew by about 12 percent (led by the private sector which recorded a CAGR of about 31 percent) while power consumption grew by about 7.5 percent. This also explains news items in the recent past that have declared that India has surplus power. Second the specific generation or the gigawatt hours of electricity generated per megawatt of capacity, a measure of economic efficiency (in terms of capacity utilisation) of non-fossil fuel based generation is lower than that of fossil fuel based capacity.  Among non-fossil the specific generation for renewable is one fourth that of fossil fuels. The specific generation of coal based generation fell from 6.61 in FY07 to 4.4 in FY16 mainly on account of surplus capacity. For non-fossil fuels based generation, the specific generation of nuclear power was 6.4 and that of hydro 2.9 while that of renewable 1.5. So far coal has contributed over 80 percent of generation despite the increase in share of non-fossil fuels. The share of coal may decrease to just over 65 percent by 2027 if we go by projections of the CEA but it will have an economic cost and social cost.

Moving on India was reportedly taking measures to change the negative image of coal mining India which generally portrays barefooted labourers tortured to work in blazing sun and a landscape that is devoid of water and vegetation signalling exploitation of man and nature. The first coal mine tourism opportunity was reported to have opened in WCL with support from Maharashtra Tourism.


Maharashtra Tourism Development Corp and WCL will reportedly allow tourists to visit the depth of a WCL coal mine in Saoner, tour an eco-park and visit the open cast mine in Gondegaon. Children below 18 years and entry into the mines would be subject to health and fitness parameters set by WCL.

Rest of the World

The IEAs report that growth in global coal demand will slow over the next five years due to lower consumption in China and the United States and as renewable energy sources gain ground was among the key developments reported in the media last month. According to the IEA the world’s top coal consumer China could be facing peak coal demand for the first time due to measures to cap coal use to tackle air pollution and curb excess supply. Even though China’s consumption is said to have peaked, the country is expected to remain the largest coal user over the next five years. Its coal demand is expected to decrease slightly to 2.816 BTCE of coal equivalent by 2021, compared to 2.896 BTCE in 2014. The IEA expects global coal demand to total 5.636 BT by 2021, compared to 5.400 BT last year, when coal demand dropped for the first time this century. According to the IEA this equates 0.6 percent average annual growth from 2015 to 2021, below the 2.5 percent average yearly growth over the past decade.

According to the IEA, the biggest growth in coal demand will occur in India, which will have an annual average growth rate of 5 percent by 2021. Coal demand in the United States and Europe are expected to decline, falling to 475 MT and 337 MT respectively in 2021. The rebound in coal prices in 2016 driven by a sharp cut in Chinese coal output coupled with strong demand across the Asia-Pacific region and in Europe was also reported in the media. In its report, the IEA forecasts thermal coal prices to decline next year and then remain relatively flat to 2021.

China plans to reduce coal production capacity as part of efforts by the President to reduce industrial overcapacity and use cleaner energy sources amid sliding demand for the fuel was also reported last month. According to reports the world’s largest coal consumer aims to eliminate as much as 500 MT of annual output in three to five years. The country is also reported to have plans to consolidate an additional 500 MT a year of capacity among fewer miners, ramp up financial support for some coal companies and encourage mergers, according to the guidelines.

According to reports, the 500 MT target could erase almost 9 percent of China’s capacity. Including projects under development, the country coal production capacity is 5.7 BT. Only 3.9 BT is in operation. China has also reportedly suspended approvals of new coal mines for the next three years.


ONGC plans separate division for difficult fields

January 3, 2017. Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) plans to spin off its difficult fields into a separate division that includes Gujarat State Petroleum Corp’s Deen Dayal Upadhyaya discovery in the Krishna Godavari (KG) basin. Besides, the company has chalked out a detailed plan for development of its existing KG basin assets after integration with GSPC facilities. It was this integration that added value to the $1.2 billion deal with GSPC, ONGC said. An analyst said ONGC had paid more money for the GSPC asset than its overseas arm ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) had paid for the Vankor asset in Russia to Rosneft. OVL bought a 26 percent stake in Vankor for about $2.2 billion and ONGC bought GSPC’s 80 percent stake in KG-OSN-2001/3 for $995.26 million.

Source: Business Standard

New rules keep petrol pumps ‘away’ from roads

January 3, 2017. The local self-government department issued new guidelines for petrol pumps, restricting them to 150 feet of the main road. As per the new provisions, pumps that have entry and exit points opening to roads will not be allowed to operate. The provisions were discussed earlier at the empowered committee meeting in July, following which they arrived at a consensus. Under the revised guidelines, if a road is 30 feet wide with frequent movement of vehicles, permission will be granted to set up petrol pumps within 100 metres. In case the road is less than 30 feet wide, pumps have to maintain a distance of 50 metres from the road.

Source: The Times of India

Rs 5 discount on online payment for LPG refill

January 3, 2017. You will get a discount of Rs 5 per cylinder if you book and pay for your LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) refill online. This is the latest in a series of incentives that the oil ministry has announced to promote cashless and digital payments. The retailers have already been asked to give a discount of 0.75% to consumers who pay through electronic mode such as debit and credit card or digital wallets. On doing so, customers will get the discounted amount displayed on their screens. This net amount payable will be retail selling price minus incentive amount of Rs 5 per cylinder. A subsidised LPG cylinder of 14.2 kg costs Rs 434.71 in Delhi. A non-subsidised refill of similar size, bought by consumer who do not qualify for subsidy or after exhausting the annual quota, costs Rs 585. The ministry asked the fuel retailers to launch a campaign to train and help consumers visiting petrol pumps and LPG dealerships to use electronic payment modes.

Source: The Times of India

New Year begins with crude shock as all fuels become costlier

January 2, 2017. The New Year started on a crude note for consumers as fuels across the board became costlier due to an uptick in global oil prices in the wake of a global production cut deal among major oil exporters, including OPEC and Russia. State-run fuel retailers raised petrol price by Rs 1.29 a litre, the third in a month. Diesel rate was hiked by 97 paise a litre, marking the second increase in a fortnight. The actual price, however, at the pumps will be higher since the revised prices are excluding local levies. The price of subsidised LPG cylinder was also raised by Rs 2 in line with a decision to raise prices every month till the price attains parity with market rates. Jet fuel also became costlier by 8.6%, or Rs 4,161 per kilolitre (kl), to Rs 52,540.63 per kl in Delhi. Global benchmark oil, Brent, which has nearly 30% weightage on India’s crude bill, has risen 52% in 2016, especially pushed by the production cut deal. As a result, India’s crude purchase cost has risen to $54.55 a barrel from an average of $44.46 in November.

Source: The Times of India

Sale of petrol, diesel grew 9 percent in Delhi last financial year

December 30, 2016. The sale of petrol and diesel in Delhi increased to 902,000 tonne during 2015-16 compared to 831,000 tonne in 2014-15 fiscal. As per latest data released by the city government, the sale of CNG (compressed natural gas) also went up from 717,000 tonne in 2014-15 to 738,000 tonne in 2015-16. For LPG (liquefied petroleum gas), the figures stood at 732,000 tonne and 777,000 tonne for 2014-15 and 2015-16 respectively.

Source: The Economic Times

15 mn LPG connections issued to BPL households

December 29, 2016. Government has achieved its target of providing 1.5 crore free cooking gas (LPG) connections to poor households in less than 8 months. The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana aimed to provide 5 crore free LPG connections to BPL (Below Poverty Line) families in three years. The target for the first was set at 1.5 crore. A woman member of BPL family identified through Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) data is given a deposit free LPG connection with financial assistance of Rs 1,600 per connection. The scheme was announced in the Budget for 2016-17 with an allocation of Rs 8,000 crore for three years. The top five states with maximum connections are UP (46 lakh), West Bengal (19 lakh), Bihar (19 lakh), Madhya Pradesh (17 lakh) and Rajasthan (14 lakh). These states constitutes nearly 75 percent of the total connections released. The households belonging to SC/ST constitute large chunk of beneficiaries with 35 percent of the connections being released to them.

Source: NDTV


OMCs to open trading desks in Singapore to hunt oil deals

December 28, 2016. State-run Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) Indian Oil Corp, Bharat Petroleum Corp and Hindustan Petroleum Corp are setting up offices in Singapore that will hunt for bargain crude oil deals, the companies said.

Source: The Economic Times

IOC’s Mathura refinery despatches BS VI fuel for testing to companies

December 28, 2016. IOC’s Mathura refinery has despatched BS VI high-speed diesel (HSD) to two auto companies to test viability and compatibility as part of its efforts to provide cleaner fuel for an eco-friendly environment. By October 2017, a new unit will go on stream at the refinery, where only BS VI standard HSD and high quality motor spirit will be produced on a mass scale.

Source: The Economic Times


Using CNG for bikes may get students more marks

January 2, 2017. State Education Minister Vinod Tawde said to encourage the use of scooters powered by compressed natural gas (CNG) in Mumbai, his department plans to introduce Rsclean energy’ credits that can be earned by students who use CNG two-wheelers or clean fuel to travel to college or for personal use. The per km operating cost of CNG scooters will be just 60 paise km as compared to Rs 1.88 km for petrol, Mahanagar Gas Ltd said. Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who inaugurated the first run of 25 CNG scooters in the suburbs, said that if youngsters are encouraged, they could influence other members in their family to use clean fuel.

Source: The Times of India

Petronet signs pact to set up $950 mn LNG project in Bangladesh

January 1, 2017. India’s largest LNG (liquefied natural gas) importer Petronet has signed an agreement to set up a $950 million LNG import project in Bangladesh. Petronet signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Petrobangla to set up a 7.5 million tonnes a year project to receive and regasify LNG on Kutubdia Island in Cox’s Bazar and lay a 26 km pipeline to connect it to the consumption markets. Petronet’s import terminal is expected to be completed within four years.

Source: Business Standard


CIL April-December output at 378 mt, misses target

January 2, 2017. Coal India Ltd (CIL)’s output in April-December of this fiscal stood at 377.7 million tonnes (mt), lower than the target of 417.5 (mt). CIL produced 54.2 mt of fossil fuel in December, lower than the target of 56.6 mt for the month, the company said. The offtake of coal in the April-December was at 391.7 mt, against the target of 433.9 mt. The coal offtake by CIL in December was at 51.4 mt, against the target of 52.4 mt for the month. The government had said there were no plans to cut down coal output because the demand has already picked up now. In October, the demand started picking up for both coal and power sectors, the government had said. CIL, which accounts for over 80 percent of the domestic coal production, is eyeing 598 mt production in 2016-17. CIL has a target to produce one billion tonnes of fossil fuel by 2020.

Source: The Economic Times

With few challenges ahead, coal will be open commodity: Goyal

December 30, 2016. For the first time in four decades, India may open up commercial coal mining to private firms in the new year with the government keen on gradually moving out of the end-use restrictions and cutting down on dependence on imports. The coal ministry sees the country’s dependence on import of fossil fuel coming further down in the New Year. Asserting that challenges are in some people’s mind and he sees no challenges in the coming year in the coal sector, Coal Minister Piyush Goyal exuded confidence that the output of the fossil fuel would witness a good growth in 2017. The government’s focus in the coming year would to implement all the plans for clean coal so that more washeries are on line. The coal ministry would also flex its muscles to see how coal mine operation could be made environment-friendly. Goyal said that the coal sector today has a surplus position and after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government came to power, India has moved from the country of perpetual shortages to the nation of surplus dry fuel. Amid surplus coal, the Minister said that there were no plans to scale down the one billion tonnes production target for Coal India Ltd (CIL) which accounts for over 80 percent of the domestic coal production. CIL is eyeing one billion tonnes of coal production by 2019-2020.

Source: The Indian Express

PM Modi talks to Jharkhand CM over coal mine tragedy

December 30, 2016. Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi expressed grief over the loss of lives in a coal mine accident in Jharkhand and spoke to Chief Minister (CM) Raghubar Das to take stock of the situation. The PM said the Jharkhand government and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal were working to restore normalcy. At least five bodies were recovered and over 20 persons were feared trapped as heap of mud caved in at the entry point of Eastern Coalfields Limited’s Lalmatia mines in Godda district. The Eastern Coalfields said its Chairman-cum-Managing Director and director personnel were on their way to the accident site. District administration has also been camping at the site and monitoring the rescue operation.

Source: The Economic Times

National: Power

CERC access rate hike plan clouds power market

January 3, 2017. The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has proposed to increase the short—and medium-term transmission corridor charges for open access by 35% and 25%, respectively, from the current levels. LTAs (long-term access) are not happening because states’ power demand hasn’t grown as anticipated. The CERC invited public comments on the draft regulations and is believed to be working on the final version. Transmission planning in the country is done by the central transmission utility (CTU), Power Grid Corp. Network planning relies heavily on the generators’ requests for LTA. These applications provide the CTU with critical input on the upcoming generation and demand for the same. However, in the last few years, the demand for short-term and medium-term power has spiked. The volume of short-term transactions has increased from 24.69 billion units (BUs) in 2008-09 to 63.96 BUs in 2014-15. However, the price of electricity in short-term transactions has come down from about Rs 7.29 per unit to Rs 4.28 per unit over the same period; in May this year, the price was even lower at Rs 2.50 per unit. Currently the charges for all types of connection are the same.

Source: The Financial Express

Indian Spot market power prices flat in December

January 3, 2017. Spot market power price remained flat at Rs 2.32 per unit last month, same as the previous month and about 10 percent less over prices of Rs 2.56 per unit in December, 2015. The Day-Ahead Market at India Energy Exchange witnessed transactions of 3101 million units in December despite low demand due to the cold wave in North and congestion in Inter-State Transmission Network. With the average daily purchase bid of 119 million units and average daily sell bids of 229 million units, the market remained highly liquid and thus the prices were buyer friendly. Large industrial consumers were key buyers in the market followed by distribution companies, it said.

Source: The Economic Times


Enough transmission capacity till 2022: CEA

January 3, 2017. India will not need power transmission projects in addition to the already planned capacity till 2021-22, a report by power sector planner Central Electricity Authority (CEA) said. CEA said while the country has over achieved transmission system capacity addition targets, some power generation projects have got stuck on account of various factors including shortage of finance and lack of demand for electricity from distribution utilities. It is estimated that an expenditure of Rs 260,000 crore would be carried out during 2017-22 for addition to transmission system capacity. CEA said that the already planned transmission corridors between various regions is sufficient to tackle variations in generation from wind and solar power plants.

Source: The Economic Times

Telangana, Assam to join UDAY scheme

January 3, 2017. Telangana and Assam are slated to join the Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY) scheme meant for revival of loss making discoms, which will result in overall net benefits of Rs 6116 crore and Rs 1,663 crore to them respectively. Under the UDAY scheme, while Telangana would take over Rs 8,923 crore of the total Rs 11,897 crore of discom debt, Assam would take over Rs 928 crore out of total Rs 1,510 crore. The scheme provides that the state government are required to take over 75 percent of their respective discom debt outstanding as on September 30, 2015. UDAY mandates that the balance debt (25 percent) would be re-priced or issued as state guaranteed discom bonds. In case of Telangana, the reduction in aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses and transmission losses to 9.95 percent and 3 percent respectively is likely to bring additional revenue of around Rs 1,476 crore during the period of turnaround. Additional revenue of Rs 699 crore would accrue to Assam on reduction of AT&C losses and transmission losses to 15 percent and 3.4 percent respectively. The gains to the states through demand side interventions in UDAY such as usage of energy-efficient domestic as well as industrial/commercial equipment is expected to be around Rs 1,200 crore and Rs 260 crore respectively. Telangana and Assam are also expected to gain around Rs 2,250 crore and Rs 520 crore respectively on account of the support being extended by the Centre through various coal reform measures.

Source: The Indian Express

Bajaj Hindusthan to seek shareholders’ nod to sell power business

January 2, 2017. Bajaj Hindusthan Sugar will seek shareholders’ approval for proposed sale of its co-generation power business to group firm Lalitpur Power Generation Co. Ltd (LPGCL) for about Rs 1,800 crore. The company said that its board, at its meeting held, considered seeking necessary approval of shareholders by way of postal ballot “for sale of co-generation business comprising of power generation facility aggregating to 449 MW”.

Source: Livemint

LED fans, tubes from mid-January

January 2, 2017. After the LED (light emitting diode) bulbs, Jharkhand Bijli Vitaran Nigam Ltd (JBVNL) is all set to distribute energy conserving fans and tubelights among consumers from mid-January, under the Centre’s Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA) scheme. Counters will be set up at offices of JBVNL and power sub-stations where people can collect the fans and tubelights, the cost has to be decided. JBVNL plans to replace all conventional street lights across the state with LED lights under the National Street Light Programme to conserve energy. At present, the work of replacing streetlights have started in Deoghar and more than 2,000 lights have been replaced. The replacement work in Ranchi and Dhanbad will commence from this week.

Source: The Times of India

Haryana’s Panchkula district, 173 villages get 24 hour power supply

January 1, 2017. Panchkula district, adjoining Chandigarh, and 173 villages of Haryana have qualified for 24-hour power supply from January 1, the state power utilities said. Panchkula has become the first district in the state to get 24-hour power supply in its towns as well as villages from this year. Among the 173 villages, 127 villages are under feeders of the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam, and 46 villages are under the Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam.

Source: Zee News

32k villages in state to get power in next 3 yrs: Jharkhand CM

December 31, 2016. Jharkhand Chief Minister (CM) Raghubar Das said the government would try to provide electricity to 32,000 villages of the state in the next three years. Das made the announcement while laying the foundation of a 132/33 KV grid substation at Khunti. Das said there would be a need to provide water in villages through electricity to fulfil Modi’s dream of increasing agriculture production by 2022.

Source: The Economic Times

India to supply additional 80 MW of electricity to Nepal

December 30, 2016. India will supply an additional 80 MW of electricity from January 1, 2017, to lessen the energy crisis in the Himalayan nation. According to the Indian Embassy, Nepal’s Minister of Energy Janardan Sharma held discussions with Power Minister Piyush Goyal. Besides reviewing cooperative and expanding ties between the two countries in the power/energy sector, Sharma requested for an additional 80 MW from India to help tackle power shortage in Nepal owing to seasonal reduction in supply from domestic hydroelectricity projects in the winter months. In a swift response, the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) installed an additional 220/132 kilo Volt 100MVA transformer at Muzaffarpur substation in India to facilitate additional power supply through the Muzaffarpur (India)-Dhalkebar (Nepal) transmission line. With additional energy, the total electricity supply to Nepal from India will be about 400 MW. Sharma met Goyal in Delhi and thanked him for the efforts made to facilitate the supply of additional power. The electrical grids of India and Nepal are connected through various radial lines with 132 kV, 33 kV and 11 kV voltage levels. Prior to February 2016, as per Nepal’s requests from time to time, various short-term augmentation schemes were implemented to increase power flow to Nepal from 50 MW to about 240 MW.

Source: Business Standard

Panel examines direct subsidy transfer for electricity consumers

December 29, 2016. After cooking gas, consumers may now get direct subsidy on electricity. An expert panel comprising senior officials from states and industry is studying the matter and will present its report to the power ministry next month. The expert committee, set up by the ministry to suggest ways to increase electricity demand and consumption, is examining subsidising the target consumers in a manner similar to what has been done in the case of LPG cylinders for plugging leakages and bringing down the subsidy burden. The Niti Aayog and industry experts have been advocating the scheme to lower subsidy, prevent its misuse and strengthening power distribution utilities. The committee comprises principal energy secretaries of states like Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and energy secretaries of Tamil Nadu and Bihar, besides top officials of the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission and the Central Electricity Authority. The committee is in the process of finalising its recommendations which will be sent to the power ministry for action. State governments give subsidies to power distribution utilities for selling electricity to consumers at less than the procurement cost or for free in some cases. However, subsidy payments by states are not made regularly, adding to the financial woes of distribution utilities. This is a good idea. Power subsidy is a politically sensitive issue, given that the biggest chunk goes to farmers. The need is for political will to phase out the subsidy and also stamp out power theft. There has to be proper metering to determine usage. Direct subsidy for electricity will enable discoms recoup the cost of power, and that is vital to their turning around.

Source: The Economic Times

In Delhi, no power tariff revision for first time in 5 yrs

December 28, 2016. For the first time since 2011, power tariffs won’t be revised in Delhi. The tussle between AAP government and LG’s office over the appointment of Krishna Saini as Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) chief has meant that tariffs will remain unchanged. Discoms (distribution companies) might file an appeal with the appellate tribunal, stating that the failure to revise the tariff was a violation of its guidelines and Delhi consumers could face stiff increases in the future to correct this anomaly. Tata Power Delhi recently filed a petition, seeking power purchase adjustment charges equivalent to a 2-3% hike in fuel bills for July-September 2016. Discoms have made multiple representations on how static tariffs will affect them financially. In 2011, the then Congress-led government had stopped DERC from announcing new tariffs.

Source: The Times of India


BRR Renewable Energy selected as consultant for 27 MW solar power systems in Nagpur

January 3, 2017. The standing committee of the Nagpur Municipal Corp approved the proposal to appoint city-based BRR Renewable Energy Consultant as project management consultant to install solar power generation systems with a capacity of 27 MW under the central government’s solar energy and net metering project. Estimated cost of the project is Rs 238 crore. With this, the civic body has started the process to illuminate all 1.26 lakh street lights and its buildings with solar power. Total power requirement of the NMC has been calculated to over 35 MW and the civic body is paying bills to the tune of around Rs 110 crore every year. The NMC will supply all power generated from the solar systems and then adjust the power consumed. Once installed, the solar power generation systems can be operated for 15 years.

Source: The Economic Times

Progress of green energy corridor very different on paper and on ground: Mercom Capital

January 3, 2017. The critical green energy corridor, which is important to evacuate renewable energy, is still far from reality and solar power project developers believe the current grid infrastructure is inadequate to handle the increased capacity, solar sector research firm Mercom Capital said in a report. The solar power sector is expected to add close to 9 GW capacity in 2017 as against 4 GW added in 2016 and this more than double capacity addition would require a better transmission infrastructure. Mercom said the government should provide compensation for projects on standby after they have been commissioned or developers will pay the price. The project is under implementation in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Tamil Nadu. Once complete, the green energy corridor is expected to facilitate evacuation from solar parks and large-scale grid-connected solar and wind projects. The report said solar project developers across the country are struggling with evacuation and transmission issues which account for huge losses and contributes to increased project costs. The green energy corridor is expected to boost the inter-state sale of renewable energy, and coupled with the waiver of Inter State Transmission System charges, renewable energy costs are forecast to come down enough to help states fulfill their renewable purchase obligations and meet energy demand. The corridor is expected to address certain limitations of renewable energy like intermittency and variation in power quality.

Source: The Economic Times


Pay Rs 1k fine if your vehicle adds to pollution

January 3, 2017. People might have to pay a fine of Rs 1,000 if they do not have a pollution-free certificate for their vehicle. The Pollution Under Control Certificate (PUCC) is a proof that your vehicle is not polluting the environment. Given poor air quality index in Lucknow, Allahabad and Kanpur, the Supreme Court appointed Committee on Road Safety has written to the transport department to crackdown on vehicles without PUCC. One of the reasons for poor execution of the rule is that the transport department does not conduct specific drive against polluting vehicles. The last such drive was conducted in January 2016. A PUCC is valid for six months and is issued by petrol pumps and agencies authorised by the transport department. In Lucknow, at least 100 agencies have been authorised to issue the certificate. All commercial and private vehicles without PUCC will be challaned and seized. Directions been issued to field officers to act against polluting vehicles in the Road Safety Week starting from January 9. Pollutants emitted by a petrol engine include oxides of carbon, nitrogen and sulphur, along with hydrocarbons and lead. The quantity of carbon monoxide (CO) in the smoke emitted by a vehicle is checked for issuing PUCC. If the smoke is less than 3% CO concentration, the vehicle is considered non-polluting and issued a PUCC. In case of diesel vehicles, smoke density is checked for pollution. If smoke density by a vehicle is less than 65 Hartridge Smoke Unit (HSU), PUCC is issued. While ‘0’ HSU means smoke is invisible, 100 HSU means smoke is thick and opaque.

Source: The Times of India

TRAI to start consultation on green issues in telecom infra

January 2, 2017. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is looking to bring out a consultation paper that would review issues related to reduction in carbon footprint for telecom infrastructure, including mobile towers. According to TRAI, the contours of the discussion paper on green telecommunication are expected to be firmed up over the next few weeks, following a reference from Department of Telecom.

Source: The Economic Times

Indian solar sector to rank among top three global markets by 2017 end: Bridge to India

January 2, 2017. Solar power sector is set to witness stellar growth in 2017 with India’s total installed capacity reaching around 18 GW by the end of the year, ranking it among top three global markets after China and US research firm Bridge to India said in a report. It said solar tariffs were expected to fall below the critical Rs 4.00 ($0.06) per kilowatt hour (kWh) mark making solar power the cheapest new source of power. At the same time, improving financial health of power distribution companies due to UDAY implementation will also help in sustaining renewable energy demand in particular. We expect sustainable demand of 6-8 GW for utility scale solar in the coming years. It said improving financial health of power distribution companies due to UDAY implementation will also help in sustaining renewable energy demand in particular.

Source: The Economic Times

Police lines go green to save Rs 50 lakh a year in power bills in Allahabad

January 2, 2017. The district’s reserve police lines will run on solar power following state government nod to the ‘Green Police Line’ project of the city police. State government has already sanctioned Rs 1 crore for the project and Allahabad reserve police lines would be the first in the state to get the green tag. Once solar pannels are installed, police administration would be able to save Rs 1.20 lakh every month on electricity bills. After state government sanctioned funds for the project, UPNEDA (Uttar Pradesh New & Renewable Energy Development Agency) was asked to install solar panels at the earliest. As per the plan, solar panels of total 130 KW would be installed at different buildings of reserve police lines including at the barracks (80 KW), modern police control room (40 KW) and the quarters (10 KW). Solar power generated would be utilised to meet the day-to-day requirements of the reserve police line.

Source: The Economic Times

Vizianagaram gets first solar power plant of 400 KW capacity at MVGR College

January 2, 2017. The first-ever solar power plant in Vizianagaram district was inaugurated in MVGR College of Engineering (Autonomous) by Vizianagaram district collector Vivek Yadav in the presence of Union Minister of Civil Aviation Ashok Gajapathi Raju. The plant has a capacity of 400 KW per day. The roof top solar power project was an initiative of MANSAS Trust keeping in view the need to identify and promote development of renewable sources of energy. Technology and services for the project was provided by Bosch India Ltd. MVGR College said Vizianagaram district had huge potential to promote and develop solar energy projects.

Source: The Economic Times

MP plans to develop 1,100 ‘climate-smart’ villages

December 30, 2016. Madhya Pradesh (MP) has embarked on an ambitious plan to develop 1,100 ‘climate-smart’ villages with an aim to prepare farmers to manage the climate change risks timely and ensure good productivity. Farmer Welfare & Agriculture Development Department said 100 villages in each of the 11 agro-climatic zones of the state would be taken up under the plan, which would incur a cost about Rs 150 crore every year. In these villages, the farmers would be encouraged to go for short duration variety of crops, in addition to using drought-resistance seeds.

Source: The Financial Express

Govt to unveil new solar-wind hybrid policy

December 30, 2016. Considering the advantages of integrated solar and wind power projects, the state government has decided to announce a new policy for such hybrid plants. It will be called Solar-Wind Hybrid Policy 2017. The government intends to invite suggestions from interested companies and other stakeholders for the proposed policy within a month. Under the proposed policy, power sector players can install solar power generation units in existing wind parks and vice versa so that infrastructure utilization can be maximized.

Source: The Times of India

156 households connected to solar power grid in Pench buffer in Maharashtra

December 29, 2016. Over 156 households have been connected to the solar mini-grid project in Ghatpendhri in the buffer zone of Pench Tiger Reserve (PTR) in Maharashtra. It is the first village in the buffer zone of any tiger reserve in the country to get a renewable energy project known as Kiran Prabha Solar Mini Grid, generating 2.4kV power. The project was initiated by Satpuda Foundation, a wildlife conservation NGO in Central India with financial assistance from Conservation Action Trust (CAT) and technical help from Bangalore-based SELCO Solar Light Pvt Ltd. The first phase was commissioned in September by chief wildlife warden Shree Bhagwan, in which 15 street lights and 76 households and one forest gate were added with solar lights and mobile charging facility. In the second phase completed on December 20, 75 poles were installed connecting 80 houses and 1 forest stay quarters.

Source: The Economic Times

India traded 251k RECs in December: IEX

December 29, 2016. A total of 2.51 lakh renewable energy certificates (RECs) were traded in December, Indian Energy Exchange (IEX) said. Power distribution companies as well as open access and captive consumers are under obligation to buy RECs from renewable energy producers under renewable purchase obligation (RPO) mandated by central/state regulatory commissions. RECs are aimed at providing an easier avenue for various entities, including power distribution companies, to meet their green energy obligations. Two power exchanges — IEX and Power Exchange India Ltd (PXIL), approved by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission — hold auction of RECs on the last Wednesday of every month. The purchase this month has been on account of few utilities such as BSES Rajdhani, DVC and BEST Undertaking. Further, obligated captive power and open access consumers also contributed in this trading session, it said. A total of 1,291 participants traded at IEX with 802 participants in non-solar segment and 489 participants in the solar segment.

Source: The Economic Times

Solar powered jammers to keep tab on phone calls from jails in UP

December 29, 2016. Close to 300 mobile phone jammers powered by solar energy are going to be installed in 24 district and central jails of Uttar Pradesh (UP) before the end of March 2017. There are close to 88,747 prisoners in 57 district and five central jails apart from other jails in Uttar Pradesh. In the first phase, jails of Muzaffarnagar, Agra, Varanasi, Mirzapur, Sultanpur, Meerut and Noida are going to be fitted with solar powered jammers; later Bareilly, Gorakhpur, Naini, Pratapgarh, Lucknow, Aligarh and Bulandshahr will have the jammers. According to UP police, Bareilly will have maximum 41 jammers, Naini 28, Lucknow 24, Meerut 15, Aligarh 12, Etah seven and Agra six.

ource: The Times of India

Nagpur Metro Rail’s solar power dream hits policy hurdle

December 28, 2016. The plans of Nagpur Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (NMRCL) to meet 65% of its energy needs through solar power has hit a policy hurdle. The fate of the project now depends on Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC). NMRCL’s petition will be heard by the Commission on January 17. Solarization is vital for the success of the Metro Rail project. The cost of Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL) power as per the Commission’s latest tariff order is Rs 7.33 per unit. This is exclusive of fuel surcharge and electricity duty. On the other hand, NMRCL can get solar power at between Rs 5 and Rs 6 per unit. NMRCL wants to go for solarization under state energy ministry’s solar roof top policy. The policy is mainly aimed at residential and commercial consumers and hence the maximum load permitted is 1 MW. On the other hand, NMRCL’s solar generation capacity is 14 MW and hence does not fit into the policy. NMRCL cannot go fully solar and needs MSEDCL’s power to meet the remaining 10MW load. Only the commission has the powers to consider NMRCL as a special case and grant exemption. MSEDCL though has promised not to oppose the petition. The solarization project has already been delayed due to heavy workload of the commission.

Source: The Times of India

Govt nod for ratifying ISA agreement

December 28, 2016. Government gave ex post facto approval to the proposal of Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) for ratification of the International Solar Alliance (ISA)’s Framework Agreement by India. ISA was launched jointly by the Indian Prime Minister and the France President, the MNRE said. The ISA will strive to bring together more than 121 solar resource rich nations for coordinated research, low-cost financing and rapid deployment. The foundation stone of the ISA Headquarters was laid at Gwal Pahari, Guragaon in Haryana. India has already committed the required support of operationalisation of ISA. ISA will put India globally in a leadership role in climate and renewable energy issues. It will also give a platform to showcase its solar programmes.

Source: The Indian Express

UP CM to launch 105 MW solar projects in Mahoba, Jhansi

December 28, 2016. Cutting short his three-day tour of Bundelkhand, Uttar Pradesh (UP) Chief Minister (CM) Akhilesh Yadav will now restrict his programme to a day-long tour of Mahoba and Jhansi to inaugurate solar power projects in the two districts. Akhilesh will inaugurate five solar power projects totalling 105 MWs in Mahoba and Lalitpur.

Source: The Economic Times

International: Oil 

Saudi Arabia to raise February term crude prices to Asia

January 3, 2017. Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia is expected to raise prices for all grades of crude it sells to Asia in February, tracking strength in the Dubai price benchmark and robust refining margins, traders said. The official selling price (OSP) for flagship Arab Light crude could rise by at least 50 cents a barrel for February, a survey of four traders showed. The respondents expect bigger price hikes for heavier grades in February, pushed up by the strongest fuel oil cracks in five years. Arab Heavy’s OSP could rise by as much as 90 cents to $1 a barrel in February, traders said. Saudi Arabia had committed to cut its production in January by 486,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 10.058 million bpd in an agreement among members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Still, the producer agreed to export more oil, above contractual volumes, to some Asian customers in January, opting to cut supplies to Europe and the United States instead because of higher netbacks in Asia, traders said. Saudi crude OSPs are usually released around the fifth of each month, and set the trend for Iranian, Kuwaiti and Iraqi prices, affecting more than 12 million barrels per day of crude bound for Asia.

Source: Reuters

Statoil increases stake in Byrding field in Norwegian North Sea

January 3, 2017. Statoil has acquired Wintershall’s 25% interest in the Byrding oil field located on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS). With the completion of the deal, the Statoil Petroleum has increased its stake in the Byrding project from 45% to 70%. Wintershall signed the deal to divest its stake to Statoil in October 2016. Located in the northern part of the North Sea, the Byrding oil and gas field is scheduled to commence production in the third quarter of 2017. The plan for development and operation of the field was submitted by Statoil and partners to the Norwegian authorities in August 2016. The development of Byrding includes two-branch well being drilled from existing Fram H-Nord subsea template through which oil and gas from Byrding will flow to Troll C. Oil and gas will be piped from there through existing pipelines to Mongstad and Kollsnes respectively. Statoil estimates that the oilfield will remain on stream for 8 to 10 years. The oil and gas discovery field, earlier known as Astero, is located about 4 km North of Fram and 27 km southwest of Gjoa. The expected capital expenditure for the project is around NOK1 bn ($121 mn), with projected recoverable volumes of about 11 million barrels of oil.

Source: Energy Business Review

Oil business seen in strong position as Trump tackles tax reform

January 3, 2017. Big Oil could be in a unique position to protect its interests against a Republican proposal to tax imports, given that President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet is studded with oil champions sensitive to the risk of higher gasoline prices. Trump himself has made no secret of his support for the energy sector. Integrated oil companies such as Exxon, Chevron Corp, BP Plc, Royal Dutch Shell Plc and ConocoPhillips could be hit, depending on whether they are net importers.

Source: Reuters

Iraqi PM says Kurds exporting more oil than allocated

January 3, 2017. Iraq Prime Minister (PM) Haider al-Abadi said the autonomous Kurdish region was exporting more than its allocated share of oil as the country seeks to comply with an OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) output cut. In November, OPEC agreed to cut output by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) from January 2017 to support prices. Iraq, OPEC’s second largest producer, agreed to reduce output by 200,000 bpd to 4.351 million bpd. Oil exports from the Kurdish region have long been a point of contention with Baghdad, which claims sole authority over sales of all the country’s crude. Kurdish regional authorities have yet to publish oil export figures for December, but the ministry of natural resources said it had pumped an average of 587,646 bpd to Turkey’s Ceyhan port in November. Under the terms of the 2017 budget, which passed despite a boycott from a key Kurdish party, the autonomous region is allocated 250,000 bpd exports from oilfields under its control. That does not include the disputed Kirkuk fields, which Kurdish forces control but are run by Iraq’s North Oil Company (NOC). The Kurds built their own oil pipeline to Turkey and began exporting oil via Turkey without Baghdad’s approval in 2013.

Source: Reuters

Russian oil output in December stays at record highs

January 2, 2017. Russian oil production in December stood unchanged at 11.21 million barrels per day (bpd), flat month on month and at its highest in almost 30 years, energy ministry data showed. Russia is preparing to cut output by 300,000 bpd during the first half of 2017 as a part of a global pact with Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) aimed at rebalancing the market. Oil prices ended at $56.82 last year, more doubling from lows hit early last year. In tonnes, production rose to 47.402 million in December from 45.884 million in November. In 2016 in total, output reached 547.499 tonnes, or 10.96 million bpd, up from 10.72 million in 2015. According to preliminary data, which excludes some producing units at some firms, output month on month was slightly down at Rosneft, including Bashneft, and at Gazprom Neft. The Russian energy ministry has said that its planned output reduction would be gradual as production cannot be cut abruptly due to weather and technological conditions. For 2017 as a whole, the Russian energy ministry forecasts oil production at 548-551 million tonnes, or 11.01-11.07 million bpd. Natural gas production in Russia in December rose to 66.38 billion cubic meters (bcm), or 2.14 bcm a day, from 62.59 bcm in November.

Source: Reuters

Iran qualifies CNPC to total for bidding on energy projects

January 2, 2017. Iran qualified 29 international oil companies to bid in tenders for crude and natural gas development projects as the Persian Gulf state seeks investment in energy. China National Petroleum Corp, Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Total SA are among the companies that will be invited to bid in tenders, according to the National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC). Total, along with Lukoil PJSC and the oil unit of Gazprom PJSC, are some of the companies on the list that have already signed preliminary agreements with Iran to study oil fields for potential future development. NIOC will hold its first tender in late January to seek partners for a project to develop the South Azadegan oil field.

Source: Bloomberg

Russia resumes oil loadings from Novorossiisk Black Sea port

December 30, 2016. Russian oil pipeline monopoly Transneft said it had resumed oil loadings from the Black Sea port of Novorossiisk after a storm. Transneft said that it expected to export 30.6 million tonnes of oil from Novorossiisk, 50.6 million tonnes from Primorsk, 30 million tonnes from Ust-Luga and 31.7 million tonnes from Kozmino this year.

Source: Rigzone

Oil in 2017 seen capped below $60 per barrel by strong dollar, US shale

December 29, 2016. Oil prices will gradually rise toward $60 per barrel by the end of 2017, a poll showed, with further upside capped by a strong dollar, a likely recovery in United States (US) oil output and possible non-compliance by Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) with agreed cuts. Brent crude futures will average $56.90 a barrel in 2017, according to analysts and economists polled. The current forecast is marginally lower than the $57.01 forecast in the previous survey. OPEC and non-OPEC producers reached their first deal since 2001 to curtail oil output jointly and ease a global glut after more than two years of low prices that overstretched many budgets and spurred unrest in some countries. While the OPEC has agreed to reduce output by 1.2 million barrels per day from January 1, 2017, producers from outside the 13-country member group agreed to cut production by 558,000 barrels per day. An acceleration in the market rebalancing could be achieved and the process could be completed by mid-2017 if the oil producers group sticks to the terms of the historic agreement, analysts said.

Source: Reuters

China slashes first round of oil products export quotas

December 29, 2016. China has cut oil product export quotas to the nation’s four oil majors by 40 percent in the first round of licences for 2017, even as traders expect allowances for overseas sales to meet or exceed this year’s record levels. In a notice, the ministry of commerce and the general administration of customs said the four state majors will be allowed to sell 12.4 million tonnes of gasoline, gasoil and jet fuel abroad next year. That’s down from 20.54 million tonnes in the same round this year. Still, the cut is likely to bring little relief to the stubbornly saturated Asian oil market as China’s majors did not use up the huge quotas issued at the start of last year, and have simply applied for more realistic quotas this year, traders said. China issued allowances for a record 46.08 million tonnes of oil products in 2016, up 80 percent from 2015. In the first 11 months of the year, it exported 43 million tonnes of oil products – including products other than gasoline, gasoil and jet fuel – up 35 percent on a year earlier. Independent refiners, known as “teapots”, were not included in the list, a change from the first round this year when four independent refiners were granted quotas for the first time. Teapots account for only a fraction of China’s fuel exports, but dropping them will hand the export business back to the majors and deal a blow to the small but fast growing group that has brought new competition to China’s oil industry.

Source: Reuters

US oil, gas reserve-based loans rise by 5 percent

December 28, 2016. US oil and gas companies are seeing their credit limits expand for the first time in two years as improving oil prices increase the value of their reserves against which banks lend. Oil and gas companies that have so far announced the results of a biannual revision of borrowing limits report an average increase of about 5 percent in credit lines.

Source: Reuters

International: GAS

Morocco picks financial and legal advisers for LNG import plan

January 3, 2017. Moroccan state-owned power utility ONEE has picked HSBC Middle East Ltd as financial adviser for its plan to boost its imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG), ONEE said. It has also chosen the law firm Ashurst LLP as legal adviser for the same plan. The HSBC contract is worth $7 million while Ashurst will earn around $2 million. The entire project, worth up to $4.6 billion, includes the import of up to 7 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas by 2025.

Source: Reuters

Turkmenistan halts gas exports to Iran over payment row: Tehran

January 1, 2017. Turkmenistan stopped gas exports to Iran in a long-running dispute over arrears, Iran’s state gas company said, days after Tehran said the issue had been temporarily resolved. The National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) called on consumers to cut gas usage, but said production increases and limiting industrial use could help avoid shortages during the cold winter months. Tehran said that Turkmenistan had threatened to stop gas exports because of arrears, which amounted to about $1.8 billion and dated back more than a decade. Iran wanted to refer the issue to arbitration. Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said that Turkmenistan had reached a temporary agreement with Tehran to continue gas exports. Iran has major natural gas fields in the south but has imported gas from Turkmenistan since 1997 for distribution in its northern provinces, especially during the winter.

Source: Reuters

BP buys Woolworths Australian gas stations for $1.3 bn

December 28, 2016. BP Plc will pay A$1.785 billion ($1.3 billion) for Woolworths Ltd’s network of Australian gas stations in a deal that will cement the London-based oil company as one of the nation’s biggest fuel providers. The British energy company will acquire 527 fuel outlets that are currently supplied by rival Caltex Australia Ltd, as well as 16 development sites, according to Woolworths. BP already owns 350 retail locations across Australia and supplies fuel to an additional 1,000 outlets owned by independent business partners. BP and Woolworths also agreed to a partnership that includes the continuation and expansion of a scheme providing fuel discounts for supermarket customers.

Source: Bloomberg

ExxonMobil announces new gas discovery in Papua New Guinea

December 28, 2016. ExxonMobil announced a new natural gas discovery in Papua New Guinea. ExxonMobil said it has a 42.5 percent stake in the project, while the rest of the interest is owned by Oil Search Ltd and Santos Ltd, with Oil Search as the operator. The PNG LNG Project is a 6.9 million ton per annum integrated LNG project operated by ExxonMobil PNG. The gas is sourced from seven fields, including the Hides, Angore and Juha gas fields.

Source: Reuters

Russian President launches natural gas pipeline supply to Crimea

December 28, 2016. Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a natural gas pipeline linking Crimea to Russia’s gas pipeline system, which will allow the inhabitants of the peninsula to receive a continuous supply of gas. The length of the natural gas pipeline is 358.7 km.

Source: Business Standard

Petronas eyes new Island for $27 bn Canada LNG plan

December 28, 2016. Malaysia’s Petroliam Nasional Bhd. (Petronas) is seeking to move ahead with a proposed $27 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in western Canada after identifying a new site for shipping the fuel, a shift that may help reduce costs and quell local opposition. Petronas’s Pacific NorthWest LNG project would continue as planned with the liquefaction plant on Lelu Island in British Columbia. The company would move the docking facilities to neighbouring Ridley Island, where ships would berth to take deliveries of the fuel for export, according to two people familiar with the negotiations. Petronas and its partners — China Petrochemical Corp, Japan Petroleum Exploration Co., Indian Oil Corp and Brunei National Petroleum Co. — are expected to decide whether or not to proceed with the project in early 2017. The facility would produce as much as 19.2 million metric tons a year of LNG and open up a new trade route for Canadian gas to be shipped to Asia.

Source: Bloomberg

International: Coal

China’s coal production set to rise even as Beijing targets excess capacity

December 31, 2016. China expects coal output to increase by 2020 even as it aims to cut 800 million tonnes of outdated capacity as the world’s largest consumer of the fuel ramps up years-long efforts to tackle smog and make its manufacturing sector more efficient. Under its five-year plan for the coal sector, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said it is targeting output of 3.9 billion tonnes of coal in 2020, up from 3.75 billion tonnes in 2015.

Source: The Economic Times

Ningxia coal-to-liquid plant delivers first shipment

December 28, 2016. A project to convert coal into oil in the north-western Chinese region of Ningxia, the biggest plant of its kind in the world, delivered its first shipment of products. The coal-to-liquid (CTL) project, which has an annual production capacity of 4 million tonnes of oil, was built by the Shenhua Ningxia Coal Industry Group, a subsidiary of China’s biggest coal producer, the Shenhua Group. It took 39 months to build and cost 44 billion yuan ($6.33 billion. Coal-to-oil technology rose to prominence in China due to soaring global oil prices, but regulators suspended all new projects in 2008 after oil prices retreated and concerns were raised about its feasibility. According to new guidelines issued last year, CTL plants in China are permitted to use a maximum of 3.7 tonnes of coal for each tonne of oil produced, and they should prioritize the use of low-quality coals in order to reduce their use elsewhere. The Shenhua Group launched its first CTL project in Inner Mongolia in 2010. The firm aims to boost total capacity at the Ningxia plant to 11 million tonnes a year by 2020.

Source: Reuters

China to cap 2017 energy consumption at 4.4 bn tonnes coal equivalent

December 28, 2016. China aims to cap total primary energy consumption at around 4.4 billion tonnes of coal equivalent in 2017, the National Energy Administration (NEA) said. The world’s biggest consumer of energy plans to lift the ratio of natural gas in its energy mix to 6.8 percent next year from 5.9 percent in 2015, the NEA said. Total primary energy consumption is expected to have reached 4.36 billion tonnes of coal equivalent in 2016, up 1.4 percent from 2015 – higher than the 0.9 percent growth rate forecast by the NEA. The NEA said China will aim to raise the ratio of non-fossil fuel consumption in its energy mix to 14.3 percent in 2017, up from an estimated 13.3 percent this year. The NEA will give priority to upgrading coal-fired power plants, as well as building new gas-burning utilities. China said in its 2016-2020 five-year plan in March that it would aim to keep total energy consumption below 5 billion tonnes of standard coal equivalent by the end of the decade.

Source: Reuters

International: Power

China’s State Grid asks Brazil to speed up power line license

January 3, 2017. State Grid Corp of China has asked the Brazilian government and regulators to speed up environmental licensing of a planned power line connecting to the Belo Monte dam in the Amazon forest. State Grid, the world’s biggest utility, fears it could have to delay construction of the line, possibly forcing the third-largest hydroelectric power dam to begin operating in 2019 below full capacity. Belo Monte, a dam built on the Xingu River in the Amazon forest, will have a total installed capacity of 11,233 MW, exceeded only by China’s Three Gorges and Brazil’s Itaipu dams. The Chinese firm, together with two units of the Centrais Elétricas do Brasil SA state-controlled utility, has begun work in the first of two transmission lines linking Belo Monte to cities throughout Brazil. State Grid had expected to receive a preliminary license from Brazil’s Ibama environmental agency for a second 2,500 kilometers-long transmission line by October 2016 and authorization to begin construction by February 2017. Ibama has not issued either of the licenses for the second transmission line, which will carry power to the southeast, Brazil’s biggest energy consumer, and other states. Construction of the power line, which State Grid estimates will cost 7 billion reais ($2.15 billion), needs to be complete by December 2019 if Belo Monte is to operate in full capacity.

Source: Reuters

Electricity prices in the US are capping their worst year ever

December 31, 2016. Electricity prices from Boston to Dallas sank to their lowest levels ever in 2016, presenting new challenges for generators more than a decade after the industry was deregulated. Power prices plunged this year as cheap natural gas cut fuel costs, and wind and solar alternatives came online. Consumers also used less electricity for the second straight year, despite a summer heat wave, amid an industrial slowdown and growing awareness among households and businesses of ways to boost energy efficiency, according to government estimates. FirstEnergy Corp plans to become a fully regulated utility within two years and American Electric Power Co. may follow. At the same time, Exelon Corp. won subsidies to keep New York and Illinois nuclear plants running with consumers covering the costs. The average around-the-clock spot price at PJM’s Western hub, which includes Washington and is the most actively traded United States (US) power location, tumbled 19 percent this year to $28.78 a megawatt-hour, the least in grid data going back to 2005.

Source: Bloomberg

Russian hackers penetrated US electricity grid

December 31, 2016. A code connected to Russian hacking efforts has been discovered within a utility system in Vermont, which could point to vulnerabilities in the United States (US) electrical grid. The code detected in the north-eastern state’s system did not disrupt its operations. In December 2015, a power failure that plunged parts of western Ukraine into the dark was found to be caused by a cyber-attack. The Russians were accused of causing the blackout, an allegation they have denied.

Source: The Express Tribune

China to fund 4 GW power transmission line in Pakistan

December 30, 2016. State Grid of China will help build a 4,000 MW power transmission line in Pakistan in a project valued at $1.5 billion, the Pakistani government said. The high-capacity transmission line will be the first of its kind in Pakistan and will link Matiari town in the south, near a new power station, to Lahore city in the east, a key link in transmission infrastructure, the government said. Construction will begin in January, and should take about 20 months. Pakistan has been plagued by a shortage of electricity for years, with widespread rolling blackouts in both rural and urban areas. The government has managed to reduce load shedding – scheduled power outages – in some areas, but production gaps and distribution woes remain. The project is the latest in a series of big Chinese investments, most of which fall under a planned $55 billion worth of projects for a China Pakistan Economic Corridor. The corridor is a combination of power and infrastructure projects that link western China to Pakistan’s southern port of Gwadar. Other Chinese investment in Pakistan has included the acquisition of a majority stake by Shanghai Electric of the K-Electric power production and distribution company for $1.8 billion.

Source: Reuters

Ivory Coast signs deal for construction of two 350 MW power plants

December 28, 2016. Ivory Coast will build two 350 MW charcoal power stations in the western cocoa town of San Pedro by 2021 to address growing national demand for electricity, the Ivorian government said. The government said that one plant was scheduled for completion in 2020 and the second in 2021. With electricity demand increasing by about 10 percent each year, the government is pushing for investments to double output to 4,000 MW by 2020. China Energy Engineering Corp is leading construction of the € 500 million ($520 million) Songon power station, whose two gas and one steam turbine will produce 372 MW of power. Ivory Coast exports power to several of its neighbours and plans to begin supplying electricity to Guinea and Sierra Leone within three years.

Source: Reuters


Solar could beat coal to become the cheapest power on Earth

January 3, 2017. Solar power is now cheaper than coal in some parts of the world. In less than a decade, it’s likely to be the lowest-cost option almost everywhere. In 2016, countries from Chile to the United Arab Emirates broke records with deals to generate electricity from sunshine for less than 3 cents a kilowatt-hour, half the average global cost of coal power. Now, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Mexico are planning auctions and tenders for this year, aiming to drop prices even further. Since 2009, solar prices are down 62 percent, with every part of the supply chain trimming costs. That’s help cut risk premiums on bank loans, and pushed manufacturing capacity to record levels. By 2025, solar may be cheaper than using coal on average globally. The US Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Lab expects costs of about $1.20 a watt now declining to $1 by 2020. By 2030, current technology will squeeze out most potential savings. The International Renewable Energy Agency anticipates a further drop of 43 percent to 65 percent for solar costs by 2025. That would bring to 84 percent the cumulative decline since 2009. The solar supply chain is experiencing “a Wal-Mart effect” from higher volumes and lower margins, according to the Enviromena Power Systems, an Abu Dhabi-based developer. The speed at which the price of solar will drop below coal varies in each country. Places that import coal or tax polluters with a carbon price, such as Europe and Brazil, will see a crossover in the 2020s, if not before. Countries with large domestic coal reserves such as India and China will probably take longer.

Source: Bloomberg

ReneSola strikes 335 MW rooftop solar deal in China

January 3, 2017. Chinese PV group ReneSola has tied up a 335 MW framework agreement to build rooftop solar projects in its domestic market. ReneSola said the deal with Beijing Enterprises Clean Energy (BECE) justifies its decision to target the distributed PV sector in China, after entering the market a few months ago. The projects are expected to be completed by end of June this year, with ReneSola providing EPC services and BECE financing the builds for purchase on completion.

Source: Recharge

Southern Power, RES to jointly build 3 GW of wind projects in US

January 2, 2017. Southern Power and Renewable Energy Systems Americas (RES) have signed an agreement to jointly develop and construct approximately 3,000 MW of wind projects in the United States (US). The joint development agreement for across 10 projects is part of Southern Power’s renewable development strategy. The projects are expected to enter service between 2018 and 2020. Southern Power agreed to purchase wind turbine equipment from both Siemens and Vestas for installation at the planned facilities. Southern Power said that the wind turbine equipment from both Siemens and Vestas will be used to secure current tax benefits for the identified projects. As part of the deal, RES will be the lead developer and balance-of-plant provider for projects while Southern Power will serve as co-developer for future projects.

Source: Energy Business Review

EDF RE commissions 184 MW Kelly Creek wind farm in US

December 28, 2016. EDF Renewable Energy (EDF RE) has commissioned the 184 MW Kelly Creek wind project in Illinois, United States (US). Located 60 miles southwest of Chicago in Ford and Kankakee counties, the wind farm features 92 Vestas V100 wind turbines. The project is designed to generate clean electricity required to power the equivalent of 78,000 average Illinois homes, according to US Energy Information Administration.

Source: Energy Business Review


Coal Imports by India: Coking and Non-Coking


2016-17 (till Sept)

(Million Tonnes)

Coking Non-Coking


(Coking & Non-Coking)

Indonesia 0 44.90 44.90
Australia 18.00 1.06 19.06
South Africa 0 16.71 16.71
U.S.A 0.45 1.33 1.78
New Zealand 0.21 0 0.21
Canada 1.21 0 1.21
Mozambique 0.28 1.45 1.73
Russia 0.13 1.82 1.94
Others 0 1.45 1.45
Total 20.29 68.71 89.00

Trends in imports of Coking and Non-Coking Coal


Source: Ministry of Commerce & Industry & Rajya Sabha Un-starred Q. No. 2883

Publisher: Baljit Kapoor
Editorial advisor: Lydia Powell
Editor: Akhilesh Sati
Content development: Vinod Kumar Tomar

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