MonitorsPublished on Feb 20, 2017
Energy News Monitor | Volume XIII: Issue 36

Adapting to a Surplus Power Market

Power News Commentary: January – February 2017


One of the recommendations by a committee set up by the government to address the surplus situation in the power market has recommended the reduction in power tariff for major consumers. This is a step in the right direction as the industry which is a major consumer of power has been paying above average prices for power at the expense of its competitiveness to cross subsidise the household and agricultural segment.

The Indian power sector is also reported to be taking advantage of the glut in the power market to phase out old inefficient power plants. NTPC is said to have decided to shut down old polluting power plants of 11 GW capacity and replace those with new ones which are highly efficient.

On the other hand with the tax holiday for infrastructure projects including power projects coming to an end in FY17 power prices are expected to increase by Rs 0.05-0.10/kWh in FY18.  According to industry experts this is expected to affect even solar power tariffs. However this may not be a significant problem in an environment of surplus power and low power tariffs.


In a move that would probably increase efficiency in lighting and in the process offer an incentive to increase power consumption, the government is said to have decided to phase out incandescent bulbs by 2020, starting with high voltage lamps. Incandescent lamps consume 80 percent more electricity than LED lamps, but are widely used in middle class and poor households because they cost much less. A 60 watt incandescent lamp costs Rs 10 while an LED lamp of the same power can be ten times more expensive without subsidies. The government expects to save 8.5 million kWh electricity consumption every day or 15,000 tonnes of CO2 by replacing 770 million conventional bulbs and CFLs as well as 35 million street lights with LEDs over three years. One can only hope that increase in efficiency does not result in increase in consumption as Jevons predicted in 1865 in the context of coal. The CEA observed that India lost 15 BU of power generation in the quarter ended December due to shortage of natural gas.  This was said to be more than 5 percent of the planned quarterly power production of 295 BU from conventional sources. Apparently the government had allotted gas supply of 9,527 MMSCMD to gas-based projects for the three months period ended December but supply stood at a mere 2,609 MMSCMD or 28 percent. While the biggest losses are reported to be for Torrent, a private power generator, NTPC’s Ratnagiri is also said to have suffered losses.  It is important to note here that the shortage is only for ultra-cheap domestic gas and not internationally traded gas which is available and can be secured through India’s LNG terminals. The problem for gas based power generators is to find buyers for expensive power generated if they use imported LNG.

Uttar Pradesh was in the news not just in the context of the elections but in the context of being the only state that is yet to sign up to an agreement with the Centre for 24×7 Power supply as part of the UDAY scheme. It would be interesting to see how the Indian federal system that has devolved power over the power sector to the State will accommodate the scheme which is primarily driven by the federal Government.

Finally a ‘Chinese are coming’ story was also spotted in the press.  The Indian power equipment manufacturers have reportedly raised alarm over vulnerability of the country’s transmission networks to hacking as Chinese companies make steady inroads into SCADA systems being added to smarten up city grids. SCADA is a computer-based industrial automation control system that practically makes factories and utilities run on their own. In an electrical system, SCADA maintains balance between demand and supply in the grid. Though the Indian power sector has always been weary of the entry of Chinese companies into the Indian power sector this time the worry is reported to be strategic rather than mere business concern.

Rest of the World

The Canadian underwater energy storage company Hydrostor is said to be interested in the $1 billion of contracts to replace decommissioned US peak power plants in the next two or three years. These peaking power plants are turned on only when demand is highest, are a critical but expensive element of the electricity grid.  Hydrostor and its engineering partner AECOM are reportedly targeting coal-powered facilities of at least 100 MW across the US that either shut down in 2016 or will shut in 2017. Hydrostor buys off-peak electricity to compress air it stores underwater in balloon-type accumulators. It then reverses the process to generate power and feed it back into the grid when demand is high. Hydrostor is expected to compete for the attention of utilities against battery companies and new, more efficient gas-powered facilities.

At the other end of the Atlantic, where hard Brexit is hitting everyone, the UK National Grid has apparently warned of costs if Britain exits EU energy market.  Currently 9 percent of Britain’s energy supplies come from EU imports.  Several power links with the EU have been planned with the objective of giving Britain access to cheaper electricity from abroad as the country faces a supply crunch by the early 2020s as old nuclear power plants and coal-fired power stations close. According to the National Grid each 1 GW of new electricity interconnector capacity could reduce Britain’s wholesale power prices by 1-2 percent, with 4-5 GW of capacity equating to $1.23 billion saving. For such interconnectors to be economically viable, they must be able to sell capacity to traders and therefore require efficient and robust trading arrangements between the two regions (UK and the EU).  Britain currently has access to tariff-free electricity trading with Europe due to its participation in the so-called IEM, but National Grid has reportedly observed that leaving the market would make cross-border trade more difficult. National Grid has also warned that the cost of delivering new projects could rise due to Britain leaving the EU.


Cairn India scouts for oilfield services firms in a bid to cut cost, boost output

February 14, 2017. Cairn India Ltd, which is in the process of getting merged with Vedanta Ltd, is scouting for global oilfield services companies like Schlumberger Ltd and Halliburton Co., to take over operations of its key hydrocarbon assets in a bid to cut down expenses and boost production within a short span of time. Cairn India said that the idea is to monetize its resource base with further investments. The company has held a round of discussion with two global oil and gas field service providers and is exploring various partnership options with them and with others. The exact nature of the arrangement will be worked out keeping in mind the provisions in Cairn’s production sharing contract with the government for the hydrocarbon assets. Partnerships are being explored for the assets of Mangala, Bhagyam, Aiswharya, Barmer Hill and Raageswari Deep Gas fields in Rajasthan. The move is in line with recommendations made by the Boston Consulting Group. Cairn’s plan to outsource operations comes in the wake of oil and gas field services becoming cheaper in the wake of global exploration companies cutting down capital spending due to muted crude oil prices. Cairn said that the company was committed to invest Rs 30,000 crore to add 1,00,000 barrels of oil and oil equivalent over the next three years, primarily from its prolific Rajasthan fields. At present, Cairn accounts for 27% of India’s crude oil production and wants to raise its share to 50% over the next few years

Source: Livemint

LPG cylinder checks must: Oil firms

February 10, 2017. Next time your liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinder develops a leak, the authorities are liable to take action against the gas agency. Following instructions from the oil and natural gas ministry, all major oil companies have instructed agencies to ensure safety after delivering a cylinder to a house. Delivery staff are required to open the seal of the cylinder, check if the washer is in place and also connect it to a stove and ensure there are no leaks. Gas agencies said they are faced with acute staff shortage.

Source: The Economic Times

LPG distributorship for SC/ST category: UP, Maharashtra tops laggards’ list

February 9, 2017. While Uttar Pradesh (UP) has the highest number of pending letters of intent (LoIs) submitted by applicants belonging to the scheduled caste (SC) and scheduled tribe (ST) category for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) distributorship, at 262, Maharashtra, at 125, tops the list of states and Union territories with pending LoIs for fuel retail outlets. The data was submitted by the ministry of petroleum and natural gas against a Lok Sabha question. Stating the reason for pending LoIs, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, said though efforts are made to expedite the process of selection, issues such as complaint and references, court cases, applicants getting rejected during scrutiny, rejection during field verification of credentials (FVC), among others, often delay the process. PMUY is a scheme to provide free LPG connections to women belonging to the below the poverty line category to provide access to clean and healthy medium of cooking. The government surpassed its annual target for releasing 1.5 crore connections within eight months of announcing the scheme in May 2016. It has allocated Rs 2,500 crore as budgetary support for the scheme for financial year 2017-18 compared with Rs 2,000 in the previous year. The success of the scheme critically depends on the LPG distributor network though. The country has roughly around 18,100 distributors now.

Source: The Financial Express

ONGC’s overseas arm should not be merged with parent: Sarraf

February 9, 2017. ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), the overseas arm of Oil and Natural Gas Ltd (ONGC), should not be merged with its parent company, ONGC’s Chairman Dinesh Sarraf said, a week after the government proposed setting up an integrated oil company to better compete with global majors. OVL should be given more autonomy and merging companies horizontally will create a monopoly, Sarraf said. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley proposed setting up an integrated oil company in his budget speech, and said combining existing oil companies will give them capacity to bear higher risks and avail economies of scale. New Delhi is struggling to raise local oil production and imports about 80 percent of its oil. Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2015 set a goal of cutting that to 67 percent by 2020.

Source: Reuters

ONGC halts naphtha exports from Hazira

February 9, 2017. Oil and Natural Corp (ONGC) will not export naphtha from Hazira in western India as it supplies the fuel to a cracker operated by ONGC Petro additions Ltd (OPaL). OPaL, promoted by ONGC and co-promoted by Gujarat State Petroleum Corp (GSPC) and GAIL (India) Ltd, operates a cracker which has a capacity of 1.1 million tonnes of ethylene a year. ONGC is the key supplier of feedstock to OPaL, with the raw material coming from Hazira, Uran and Dahej in western India. ONGC Hazira was exporting one to two 34,500-tonne cargoes a month in 2016 but this stopped this year, based on data. ONGC was also exporting an average 35,000 tonnes of naphtha a month from Mumbai in 2016. It last sold a cargo for January 2017 loading.

Source: Reuters

Petrol prices lower now than in 2013-14: Govt

February 8, 2017. The prices of petrol are lower than the 2013 level and the money collected through taxes on petro products was being used to develop infrastructure and creating educational facilities, government said. Union Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said the price of petrol had come down from what they were in 2013. In July-August 2014, the price was 73.60 paise whereas in January 2017 it is 71, he said during the Question Hour. Increase in excise duty and depreciation of the Rupee are among reasons due to which the slide of petroleum products in international market are not reflected in the retail selling price, he said. The government said the price of petroleum in international market started sliding in July 2014 but the retail selling price has not witnessed a similar decline due to some factors. One of the factors was that the element of excise duty has been gradually increased by Rs 12 per litre on petrol since November 2014, it said, adding that depreciation of the rupee vis-a-vis the dollar was another reason. Another factor for the domestic prices not showing as much slide as global petrol prices was the increase in value-added tax (VAT) and other local levies by the state governments from time to time.

Source: The Indian Express


Essar Projects bags contract for 100 km pipeline

February 8, 2017. Essar Projects, a leading EPC (Engineering Procurement & Construction) company, has announced that it has won a contract for a 100 km pipeline from GSPL India Gasnet Ltd (GIGL). The project involves laying of natural gas pipelines, with diameter ranging from 12 inches to 18 inches, between Jalandhar and Amritsar, a critical segment of the 2,100 km Mehsana-Bhatinda-Jammu-Srinagar Pipeline (MBJSPL) project that passes through 29 districts in five states. The MBJSPL project has been initiated to cater to the growing demand for natural gas in India, which is the world’s third largest energy consuming country and accounts for nearly a third of the global consumption. GIGL was incorporated in 2011 as a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to build the pipeline, and is promoted by Gujarat State Petronet Ltd (GSPL) along with Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum. The Jalandhar-Amritsar section is among the three sections for which GIGL recently completed the tender evaluation process. Essar Projects has a proven track record of executing cross-country pipelines that carry oil & gas, water, as well as iron ore slurry through challenging geographies and tough terrains. Till date, the company has successfully executed over 5,500 km of cross-country pipelines in India and overseas, servicing clients like GAIL, GSPC, Indian Oil, Hindustan Petroleum, Bharat-Oman Refinery, Takreer, Gasco and Ambatovy Minerals.

Source: Business Standard


Indian govt plans to sell 10 percent in CIL by August 2017

February 14, 2017. The Indian government plans to divest up to 10% in the national coal mining company Coal India Ltd (CIL). The sale of a 10% stake would cut the state’s interest to 69% and would raise Rs 20,000 crore ($3 bn). The sale would also allow CIL to conform to holding regulations, under which public listed companies need to have at least 25% of their shares listed on stock exchanges. The company posted a 10% increase in coal production in 2015-2016 but will fail to reach a 2% growth in production and sales in 2016-2017.

Source: Enerdata

India cannot write-off coal-based energy so soon: WCA

February 14, 2017. Reacting to a report citing India will need no coal-based power plant after 2025, the World Coal Association (WCA) said it is not credible to suggest that the country can achieve universal energy access and develop its economy without coal in the next 10 years, regardless of the country’s investment in renewables. The Energy and Resource Institute (TERI) said that excess power generation capacity provides India an opportunity to shift completely to green energy. The study by TERI said if the country can halve storage technology prices by 2024 it can do without the need for new coal-based plants. TERI report is partially in line with a recent report by the Central Electricity Authority that said the country does not need new coal based power generation capacity till 2022. WCA said for a country like India, it’s not a choice between coal and renewables – both are needed and both will play a big role. Renewables have an important role to play but coal will remain the driving force behind electrification and industrialisation and according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), coal will continue to make the largest contribution to electricity generation in India through to 2040. WCA said although the competitiveness of renewables and gas-fired technology in India is likely to improve over time, coal is expected to remain the most affordable option through to 2035.

Source: The Economic Times



NTPC plans to add 2-2.5 GW per year of new power capacity in India

February 13, 2017. NTPC plans to add 2,000 to 2,500 MW of new power capacity every year over five to six-year period. The company currently has nearly 24 GW of power capacity under construction, which should be commissioned progressively until 2022. NTPC will look to replace 11,000 MW of ageing coal-fired capacities with new power plants. Where renewable energies are concerned, the group plans to add 500 MW by the end of March 2017 (260 MW solar plant in Rajasthan and 250 MW plant in Madhya Pradesh).

Source: Enerdata

Govt wants to privatise power firms: Congress

February 13, 2017. Opposition Congress in Chhattisgarh opposed the move to appoint four new directors in state power companies while saying that attempt is being made to privatise the firms. The party claimed that a proposal to appoint new directors had been made in 2016 but was shelved after it sparked a controversy. The Congress said that the government is trying to put additional burden on the power companies, which are already passing through difficult economic situation. Moreover, power tariff is going up every year. The Congress said that if the government wants to have new directors, the appointment should be through promotion process of senior engineers. The Congress said the government’s priority should be to streamline the functioning of power companies and improving their financial position without passing the burden on to consumers. The Congress said that the practise of retaining retired officers in power companies by giving them extension should be stopped.

Source: The Times of India

KSERC postpones power tariff revision again

February 13, 2017. The Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission (KSERC) has once again postponed the announcement of new power tariff rates. This time, the commission has cited a writ petition filed in the Kerala high court against the power tariff hike proposal as the reason for delaying it till February 28, 2017. The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB), which has to submit tariff petition every year did not seek an increase, nor has the government taken a stand favourable for a hike. If the commission fails to substantiate the rationale behind its decision to suo motu fix the power tariff rate, the board is likely to suffer a huge financial loss. Though the KSEB authorities claim that their fiscal condition is not healthy, political interference and eroding professionalism are preventing them from openly arguing for a decent increase in the power tariff rate, which was last revised in 2014. The board is not filing tariff petition, following difference of opinion with the commission on its decision to cut down the expenditure figures quoted by the board in its last tariff petition. Since the KSEB had challenged the same in court, a new tariff petition would weaken the board’s position in the case. However, it has expressed the wish for a decent tariff increase as a result of the proceedings initiated by the commission.

Source: The Economic Times

PFC third quarter net profit up 23 percent to Rs 19.5 bn

February 13, 2017. Power Finance Corp (PFC) posted 23 percent rise in net profit for the third quarter ended December 2016 to Rs 1,950 crore from Rs 1,582 crore in the corresponding period previous year. The company’s sanctions increased by 64 percent to Rs 32,027 crore. Disbursements in the third quarter increased by 13 percent to Rs 12,150 crore from Rs 10,755 crore in the same period a year ago.

Source: The Economic Times

MSEDCL disconnects 5k connections

February 11, 2017. The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL) has disconnected power supply to a total of 5,525 consumers in both Jalna and Aurangabad districts while managing to recover Rs 2.37 crore from 52,582 defaulters. The MSEDCL has launched a drive since February 1 to disconnect power supply of consumers who have not cleared their bills for the last three months. Out of 7,79,827 consumers in Aurangabad district as many as 50,970 consumers had failed to pay their dues and owed a total sum of Rs 115.77 crore to the MSEDCL. And out of 2,47,736 consumers, 967 had not paid a total sum of Rs 4.02 crore in Jalna district, prompting the MSEDCL to launch an aggressive campaign against the defaulters. The MSEDCL had disconnected power supply to the streetlights of Aurangabad, but restored it after high court’s intervention. The MSEDCL had served a 24-hour notice to the civic body recently saying that power supply to the water supply scheme would be snapped if it failed to pay the dues.

Source: The Economic Times

Adani gets CCI nod to buy Reliance Infra’s power transmission projects in Gujarat, Maharashtra

February 9, 2017. Adani Transmission Ltd (ATL) received Competition Commission of India (CCI)’s approval to buy Reliance Infrastructure Ltd’s western region power transmission projects in Gujarat and Maharashtra. ATL will acquire Reliance Infrastructure’s Western Region System Strengthening Scheme (WRSSS) power transmission assets of about 3,100 circuit km at an enterprise value of Rs 1,000 crore. Reliance Infrastructure owns India’s first private sector transmission projects—WRSSS B and WRSSS C—located in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka. In October, the two companies had signed a binding term sheet for Reliance Infrastructure’s three operational transmission projects —WRSSS B, WRSSS C and Parbati Koldam Transmission Co. Ltd (PKTCL). The CCI said that ATL, through the deal, will acquire 74% shareholding in PKTCL from Reliance Infrastructure.

Source: Livemint

210 mn LED bulbs distributed, to save Rs 110 bn: PM Modi

February 8, 2017. Under the government’s energy efficiency programme, 210 million light emitting diode (LED) bulbs were distributed in the country which resulted in saving of Rs 11,000 crore for the consumers, Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi said. He said his government had reduced the prices of LED bulbs, which were hovering over Rs 350 earlier, to ensure affordability of these less energy-consuming units. Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL), implementing the UJALA scheme for distributing LED bulbs to the consumer, has reduced the procurement price of these lights to Rs 38 per unit. According to the UJALA dashboard providing real-time information on the scheme, as many as 20.70 crore LEDs have been distributed so far which have the potential to save Rs 10,756 crore every year. The annual saving in electricity bills will be Rs 40,000 crore, considering an average tariff of Rs 4 per kWh.

Source: The Economic Times

Power producers meet Republic Day demand of distribution companies

February 8, 2017. Indian power producers supplied almost all the electricity demanded by distribution companies on January 26, falling short by 482 MW, which is one of the lowest levels in the four decades since such data has been compiled nationally. The deficit in the past two months has been about 500 MW on holidays and weekends, when demand is low. All states, except Jammu & Kashmir, reported zero deficit on holidays. On working days, the gap is about 1,000 MW. Data from the government show that the deficit during the weekend of February 4-5 was 582 MW and 524 MW, while the total reported demand was about 1,20,000 MW.

Source: The Economic Times

TPDDL to start first phase of smart meters installation by December 2018

February 8, 2017. Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd (TPDDL) expects to start installation of first phase of smart electricity meters by December next year. The company has tied up with Switzerland-based Landis+Gyr to build necessary communication platform for installation of smart meters. TPDDL will invest about Rs 200 crore for implementation of 2 lakh smart meters in the first phase. Installation of smart meters will help TPDDL that supplies power in north and north-western parts of Delhi, save cost of procurement of 25 MW peak-hour power requirement. TPDDL said that smart metering will help the utility in advanced monitoring and reducing commercial losses.

Source: The Economic Times

Jharkhand CM launches UJALA scheme for promoting energy efficiency

February 8, 2017. Jharkhand Chief Minister (CM) Raghubar Das launched energy efficient fans and light emitting diode (LED) tube lights under the ‘Unnat Jeevan by Affordable LEDs and Appliances for All’ (UJALA) scheme in the state. Das said a total 85 lakh LED bulbs have been distributed. He said that when he took charge two years ago, 30 lakh households out of 68 lakh did not have electricity, and since then seven lakh households have got it. The state government set a goal to electrify the rest 23 lakh households by March, 2019, he said. In Jharkhand, EESL plans to distribute more than 25 lakh LED tube lights and one lakh energy efficient fans to people on upfront payment. It is estimated that over 5.5 lakh consumers will benefit from the scheme. EESL would provide free of cost replacement of LED bulbs and tube lights for all technical faults for three years, as well as free of cost replacement of energy efficient fans for all technical faults for 2.5 years.

Source: The Economic Times


India, Norway experts discuss next steps in renewable energy cooperation

February 14, 2017. Experts from India and Norway recently took part in a workshop organised jointly by Innovation Norway, The Norwegian Embassy, The Research Council of Norway, Institute of Technology Delhi and the Department of Science of Technology which focussed on cooperation between India and Norway in the energy sector. The Indian government has set ambitious goals in the field of renewable energy, especially within solar. The plan is to reach 100 GW capacity by 2020. A joint call between the Research Council of Norway and Department of Science and Technology of India was launched. The call is for $1 million, targeting innovation projects in companies collaborating with research institutions in the field of renewable energy.

Source: The Economic Times

Solar tariffs to rise 10 percent if tax exemptions curtailed in GST roll out: CEEW

February 14, 2017. India’s emerging solar sector could see tariffs rise by nearly 10% if current tax exemptions were curtailed in the roll out of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), a study released by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) said. Multiple GST rates and their uncertain applicability to different equipment and services for solar projects is a growing concern from solar project developers and investors. GST could also impact the pace of the second phase of solar park development for additional 20,000 mw capacity announced in the recent budget, it said. CEEW study finds that GST could increase capital cost of a solar project by Rs 4.5 million per megawatt if current tax exemptions were curtailed, setting back the sector in terms of cost competitiveness by about 18 months. CEEW said GST will give a boost to the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative, improving competitiveness of Indian manufacturers of solar cells, panels and modules eliminate the cascading effect of the existing tax structure and introduce an input tax credit. Increased competitiveness of domestic solar manufacturers could create an additional 37,000 new jobs in the solar manufacturing sector by 2022. Solar project developers have approached the government with requests to ensure that the current tax exemptions applicable to the sector continue so as to not negatively impact the efforts to achieve grid parity. The government currently collects less than 0.1% of its total indirect tax collection from the solar sector. The recent Budget proposes to benefit domestic solar manufacturers with the reduction of basic customs duty to nil for tempered glass used in the manufacture of solar cells, panels and modules and the reduction of countervailing duty from 12.5% to 6% for parts used in the manufacture of tempered glass which is used in solar PV cells, modules, etc. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced that the GST may be implemented on 1 July 2017.

Source: The Economic Times

Suzlon Energy set to sell stake in 130 MW projects before March

February 13, 2017. Suzlon Energy has divested 49% stake in solar power projects totalling 210 MW and is in advanced talks to sell stake in another 130 MW projects in a deal that the company aims to close before March. The company had divested 49% in six projects totalling 210 MW to raise Rs 176 crore. Further stake sale could potentially fetch the company another Rs 110 crore. Suzlon announced its foray into the solar power sector in January 2016 by bagging orders worth 210 mw from state utilities in Telangana. Subsequently, the company built a portfolio of solar power projects totalling 515 MW. It has already signed power purchase agreements for 340 MW. Suzlon entered the sector with one of its existing subsidiary and acquired five other entities which has no operational assets at face value to execute solar power projects. The company’s average tariff is Rs 5.36 a unit for these solar projects. Suzlon sold 49% in its 50 MW-Prathmesh Solarfarms to Ostro Energy, and similar stakes in Vayudoot Solarfarms and Rudra Solarfarms of 15 MW each to Unisun Energy and AMP Solar, respectively. Canadian Solar has bought 49% stake in Amun Solarfarms and Avighna Solarfarms, both of 15 MW each. Suzlon has also won a 175 MW project in Jharkhand and is yet to sign a power purchase agreement for it.

Source: The Economic Times

Govt planning to compensate solar companies in case of back-down

February 13, 2017. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) is working on a set of guidelines to provide compensation to solar power generators in case they are asked to back-down capacity by distribution companies. MNRE secretary Rajeev Kapoor said the government is in the process of finalising guidelines on the solar power manufacturing and bidding and it includes a clause to compensate solar power companies. While he did not give details or the quantum of the compensation, he said the document should be finalised in a week’s time. Power distribution companies have often been blamed for arbitrarily cutting off solar and wind power or asking the power generators to back-down capacities which not only hurt the project developers but also investors. Backing-down usually happens when the power distribution companies have an option of buying cheaper power from some other sources. It can also happen if there is no proper evacuation or transmission infrastructure or if the grid does not have the power to buy more power. Also, poor financial health of power distribution companies leads to such situations. He said that while there is no provision of compensating wind power generation companies but the government is mulling a clause to compensate such companies as well.

Source: The Economic Times


Centre is all set to start stalled works of 2 GW Subansiri Lower Hydro project

February 13, 2017. The Centre is all set to start the construction works of the stalled 2000 MW Subansiri Lower Hydro Electric Project. The power ministry said that the Centre is targeting to complete the works of the project by mid of 2018. Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu said the Arunachal Pradesh government will sort out all the problems on implementation of the stalled hydroelectric project soon. Khandu said that he would hold talks with the Centre and his Assam counterpart Sarbananda Sonowal into the matter for an early sorting out the issue. Khandu said that, the state government losing around Rs 1.20 crore per day, which could have been accured from the 12% free power share. Meanwhile, the power ministry said that the stalled works of the hydroelectric project will be started soon. The construction work of the hydroelectric project has been stalled since December 2011 following amid protests by anti-dam groups from Assam including Krishak Mukti Sangram Samittee, All Assam Students Union, Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad. The anti-dam groups alleged that, the people residing in the downstream will be affected, if is any breach in the project. The initial cost of the project was estimated at Rs 6285 crore when construction begun in 2005, and now the revised cost estimate has escalated to Rs 17,435 crore, due to delay. On the other hand, the NHPC said that, around 55% construction works have been completed till date.

Source: New Kerala

MIT gets its third solar power plant

February 13, 2017. A 150 kilowatt capacity solar power plant has been set up at Marathwada Institute of Technology (MIT) with the institution leading by example in the matter of tapping renewable energy. The facility – third in series of such power plant – was inaugurated by Aurangabad municipal commissioner Omprakash Bakoria. The institution, having multiple constituents, would save 45% traditional power consumption by drawing energy from solar plants. The MIT has already employed other green measures such as use of light emitting diode (LED) bulbs for illumination and solar water heaters on hostels.

Source: The Economic Times


Rajasthan lags behind neighbouring states in solar power projects

February 13, 2017. Rajasthan has lagged behind neighbours like Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Gujarat in new and renewable energy despite holding a huge potential in the sector. According to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) data, Rajasthan has only 31 MW approved/sanctioned projects under Grid connected roof-top and small solar power plants programme. However, Madhya Pradesh has 115 MW projects followed by Gujarat (81.75 MW) and Haryana (75 MW). The MNRE has allocated Rs600 crore for the projects under the programme and released Rs 508.84 crore till January, 2017. The MNRE provides up to 30 percent financial assistance of benchmark cost in general category states and up to 70 percent in special category states, north-eastern states and Lakshadweep and Andaman & Nicobar islands to promote the programme. Residential, institutional and social sector are covered under central financial assistance.

Source: The Indian Express

Centre to extend emission control deadline for power plants

February 13, 2017. The Centre has decided to extend the December 2017 deadline for coal-fired thermal power projects to meet stricter emission norms and allow time to replace old plants with modern less-polluting units, Power, Coal, Renewable Energy and Mines Minister Piyush Goyal said. In December 2015, the environment ministry had laid down norms for thermal power plants to reduce emissions of particulate matter (PM10), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) in order to improve the air quality around the generating units. Goyal has already asked the NTPC to replace plants over 25 years old, with an aggregate capacity of 11,000 MW, at a cost of Rs 50,000 crore in the next three to four years. The company board has approved the plan. Goyal said the companies will only have a nominal impact on their capital expenditures if old power plants are replaced.

Source: Business Standard

Majuli aims to be India’s first carbon-neutral district

February 12, 2017. It’s the world’s biggest river island and the first such in India to be declared a district. Now plans are afoot to declare it the country’s first carbon-neutral district by 2020. It is by no means a mean task, but ambitious projects, with the help of locals, NGOs and corporate houses, are getting underway to achieve this. Launched by the Assam government as Sustainable Action for Climate-Resilient Development in Majuli, this project is part of the French Development Agency-assisted Assam Project on Forest and Biodiversity Conservation to combat climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As part of efforts to check fuel emissions, Pallav Jha, the District Commissioner of Majuli, said that LPG connections will be given to those who lack these. The District Commissioner said, public participation will be sought to raise ‘organic pockets’ for wood for fuel so that indiscriminate deforestation can be checked. Plantation drives in any case are already underway across the riverine island. In the absence of electricity, most people in Majuli — much like everywhere else in Assam or the rest of India — resort to use of kerosene lamps. To address this, a 5-10 MW project by the National Hydroelectric Power Corp (NHPC) will help electrify villages that are now bereft of power.

Source: Business Standard

Solar tariff reaches a historic low of Rs 2.9 a unit at Rewa bidding

February 11, 2017. In what could be termed as a historic event for the Indian solar sector, the first year tariff for the 750 MW Rewa solar park, achieved through reverse bidding, has gone to record low level of Rs 2.97 per unit. The lowest first year tariff for unit I of the solar power plant has been quoted by Mahindra Renewables at Rs 2.979 while for the second unit, Acme Solar has become the successful bidder with a tariff quote of Rs 2.970. For the third unit of the solar ultra mega power plant, Solenergi has won the bidding round with a first year tariff quote of Rs 2.974 a unit. According to Bridge to India, getting tariffs below Rs 3 is a revolutionary milestone for the sector. Rewa ulta mega solar, a 50:50 joint venture of Madhya Pradesh Urja Vikas Ltd and Solar Energy Corp of India will sell the electricity produced to Madhya Pradesh utilities and Delhi Metro Rail on an open access basis.

Source: The Economic Times

Kalpakkam to have two more prototype fast breeder reactors: Govt

February 9, 2017. The Department of Atomic Energy will construct two Prototype Fast Breeder Reactors (PFBR) of 600 MW each at Kalpakkam in Tamil Nadu, besides the present one of 500 MW capacity which is expected to go fully functional by October, the government said. The 500 MW PFBR, which is to be functional by October, will be the first PFBR in the world for commercial use. No other country has successfully able to execute this feat. As per the three-stage Indian nuclear energy programme, PFBR will be attaining the second stage

Source: The Times of India

Telangana mulls setting up solar power generation systems atop water bodies

February 8, 2017. Telangana government is planning to set up solar power generation system on water bodies, special chief secretary of the state energy department, Ajay Mishra said. He said the company is setting up a pilot project for Solar Power Plants on water bodies. He said the energy department will educate people and tie up with bankers. Approximately 1,070 MW solar power has been commissioned in the grid and by the end of this year another 2,000 MW too will be in the grid, Mishra said. He said if the industry association comes up with a concrete proposal the government will try to have one zone for solar equipment manufacturing units. He focussed on easing on various other approval processes.

Source: The Economic Times

Kudankulam’s second unit to start commercial operations this fiscal

February 9, 2017. The second 1,000 MW unit of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant is expected to start commercial operations this fiscal, government said. The plant, located in Tamil Nadu, currently has an installed capacity of 1,000 MW. The second unit of the project was made critical in July 2016 and connected to the grid in August. Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh said the unit power was raised in steps in line with the regulatory clearances and reached its full power of 1,000 MW on January 21 this year. The installed capacity of the project is 1,000 MW and since it has been connected to the grid, it has generated around 1,515 million units of electricity up to January 31 this year.

Source: The Economic Times

India looking at solar power storage technology from Belgium

February 8, 2017. India is looking at an innovative Belgian solar storage technology that promises to offer consumers a source of quality power as a green and reliable alternative to flickering supply from battery storage or diesel generators in distant or off-grid locations. NISE (National Institute of Solar Energy), an autonomous entity under the new and renewable energy ministry, and Tiger Power of Belgium, inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for validation of the technology that combines solar panels, normal lead-acid battery and hydrogen fuel cells to produce steady power. The MoU was signed as part of the ongoing visit of Belgian deputy PM Alexander De Croo.

Source: The Economic Times


Thai Oil targets 2017 refining rate at 100-103 percent of capacity

February 14, 2017. Thailand’s largest oil refiner Thai Oil said it aims to run its refinery at 100-103 percent of its 275,000 barrel per day (bpd) capacity in 2017, and has no plans for any maintenance shutdowns. The company expected Thailand’s gross domestic product (GDP) this year to grow 3.3 percent, which will support strong oil demand growth. The company’s investment budget for infrastructure for this year is around 5-6 billion baht ($143-171 million). Thai Oil has said it plans to expand its refining capacity to 400,000 bpd over the next five years.

Source: Reuters

Milestones on the oil market’s road to rebalancing

February 14, 2017. Crude oil stockpiles are expected to empty significantly during the third quarter as continued production restraint from OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) interacts with the seasonal increase in consumption. OPEC and non-OPEC countries are committed to reducing production by an average of nearly 1.8 million barrels per day in the first six months of 2017, with an option to extend cuts for a further six months. Production assessments by independent agencies suggest compliance with the agreement has so far been high from OPEC especially from Saudi Arabia and its allies. Further reductions from non-OPEC could be phased in over the next few months, with Russia in particular committed to increase its production cuts progressively during the compliance period.

Source: Reuters

Egypt nearing deal with Iraq in search for crude oil imports

February 14, 2017. Egypt is nearing a deal to import crude oil from Iraq and is looking to other countries to help secure supply, Egyptian General Petroleum Corp (EGPC) said. Cairo’s search for additional crude comes after Saudi Arabia’s state oil firm Saudi Aramco halted shipments of oil products to Egypt last year. The $23 billion Saudi aid deal had included 700,000 tonnes of refined oil products per month for five years. EGPC announced it was seeking up to 1.012 million tonnes of gasoil for delivery in February and March compared to around 200,000 tonnes of gasoil per month before the Aramco cutoff. Egypt has turned to Iraq in search of a longer term solution to make up for the shortfall, and is in talks to import 1 million barrels per month of crude oil from Baghdad, which would then be refined into petroleum products in Egypt.

Source: Reuters

Iraq to cut March Basra oil exports to lowest since August

February 13, 2017. Iraq plans to cut crude exports from its southern port of Basra to 3.013 million barrels per day (bpd) in March, the lowest since August, a loading program showed. Basra Light exports in March will drop to 2.207 million bpd and exports for Basra Heavy will fall slightly to 806,000 bpd, according to the program.

Source: Reuters

Saudi Aramco inks first ever crude oil contract with China’s Huajin

February 13, 2017. State oil giant Saudi Aramco has signed a contract with Chinese refiner North Huajin Chemical Industries Group Corp to supply crude in 2017. The contract, the first between Aramco and Huajin, comes after Russia overtook Saudi Arabia as the top crude supplier to China, the world’s second largest oil consumer. Saudi Aramco will supply Arab Extra Light crude to Huajin, providing a steady oil supply that will enable the Chinese state-controlled refiner to produce more naphtha for its petrochemical production.

Source: Reuters

Lundin discovers O&G in Filicudi prospect in Barents Sea

February 13, 2017. European oil company Aker BP has announced that its partners in PL 533, Lundin Norway and DEA Norge have discovered an oil and gas (O&G) reserve in the Filicudi prospect in the main well 7219/12-1 along the southern Barents Sea. The new discovery on the Filicudi prospect has an estimated gross resource in the range of 35-100 million barrels of oil equivalents. This is on trend with the discovery on the Johan Castberg prospect which, in similar reservoir intervals, has resources of nearly 500 million barrels of oil equivalents. As per Aker BP, the primary mission of the 7219/12-1 well was to prove oil presence in Jurassic and Triassic sandstone reservoirs.

Source: Energy Business Review

Polish refiner Lotos aims for long-term oil supply deal with Iran

February 12, 2017. Poland’s second-biggest oil refiner Lotos is interested in securing a long-term supply deal with Iran once it completes a new coking unit at its Gdansk refinery next year, its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Marcin Jastrzebski said. Lotos wants to diversify its imports of oil and gas away from Russia, its largest supplier. It signed an agreement last year with National Iranian Oil Company and the first tankers carrying 2 million barrels of Iranian oil arrived in Poland in mid-August. It is now in talks to receive another 2 million barrels. In 2016, 75 percent of oil processed at Lotos’s refinery came from Russia.

Source: Reuters

Venezuela falls behind on oil-for-loan deals with China, Russia

February 10, 2017. Venezuela’s state-run oil company, PDVSA, has fallen months behind on shipments of crude and fuel under oil-for-loan deals with China and Russia. The delayed shipments to such crucial political allies and trading partners – which together have extended Venezuela at least $55 billion in credit – provide new insight into PDVSA’s operational failures and their crippling impact on the country’s unraveling socialist economy. Because oil accounts for almost all of Venezuela’s export revenue, PDVSA’s crisis extends to a citizenry suffering through triple-digit inflation and food shortages reminiscent of the waning days of the Soviet Union. Now, PDVSA is struggling to make good on those promises. A total of 45 cargoes bound for Russian and Chinese companies are late for a variety of reasons, according to internal operational reports about shipments of crude and refined products.

Source: Reuters

OPEC figures show over 90 percent compliance with supply cut

February 10, 2017. OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) has delivered over 90 percent of pledged oil output curbs in January, according to figures the exporter group uses to monitor its supply, making a strong start in implementing its first production cut in eight years. OPEC is cutting its crude output by about 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) from Jan. 1 to prop up oil prices and reduce a supply glut. Supply from the 11 OPEC members with production targets under the deal in January has fallen to 29.921 million bpd, according to the average assessments of the six secondary sources OPEC uses to monitor its output. This amounts to 92 percent compliance, according to an OPEC calculation. Compliance of 92 percent comfortably exceeds the initial 60 percent achieved when OPEC’s previous deal to cut was implemented in 2009, and the OPEC figures add to indications that adherence so far has been high.

Source: Reuters

Record OPEC cut compliance helps oil market rebalance: IEA

February 10, 2017. Global oil output plunged in January as OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) and non-OPEC producers curbed supply to accelerate a market rebalancing following one of the largest oil gluts in a generation, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said. Oil supplies fell by around 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) last month, including by 1 million bpd for OPEC, leading to record initial compliance of 90 percent with a six-month output-cut deal reached in December by big producers to boost prices. The IEA said if the January level of compliance were maintained, the output reductions combined with strong demand growth should help ease the record stocks overhang in the next six months by around 600,000 bpd. Already in the fourth quarter of 2016, stocks in member countries of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development fell nearly 800,000 bpd, the largest drop in three years, the IEA said. The IEA said it had raised estimates of global oil demand growth in 2017 by 100,000 bpd to 1.4 million bpd.

Source: Reuters

Administrator sets bid deadline for Moroccan oil refiner Samir

February 8, 2017. The Moroccan court-appointed administrator for oil refiner Samir has set a deadline for prospective buyers to submit bids for the country’s only refinery. The 200,000 barrels a day plant was shut down in 2015, and a court ruling placed the company under administration. Restarting production will be a prerequisite for investors interested in buying the company but attempts to do so have been frustrated so far by difficulties in getting a supply of crude oil. The administrator said prospective investors have 30 days from today to submit an offer to buy the company’s entire assets. Samir, in which Saudi billionaire Mohammed al-Amoudi’s Corral Holdings had a 67.26 percent stake, has been battling creditors ranging from oil traders to banks. At just under 300,000 barrels per day, Morocco’s national petroleum consumption is Africa’s fifth largest, according to data from the US Energy Information Administration.

Source: Reuters


Shell, Pavilion Gas to start shipping LNG to Singapore in 2017

February 14, 2017. Shell Eastern Petroleum and Pavilion Gas will start supplying Singapore with liquefied natural gas (LNG) later in 2017 under contracts awarded last year, the city-state’s Trade Minister S Iswaran said. The two firms were awarded the right to supply LNG to Singapore last October, and will have exclusive franchises that last for three years, or until their shipments reach 1 million tonnes a year, whichever comes first. Singapore is planning to import more of the super-cooled fuel as contracts for natural gas supplied via pipelines from Malaysia and Indonesia are due to expire in the early 2020s. Pavilion Gas, a unit of privately held Singapore-based Pavilion Energy Pte Ltd, and Shell Eastern Petroleum, a unit of Royal Dutch Shell, join BG Singapore Gas Marketing as the country’s approved LNG importers. Singapore is planning to allow other parties to use spare storage capacity at its LNG terminal for storage and reload services. Singapore LNG Corp will call for proposals from companies interested to use its spare capacity later this year, the Minister said.

Source: Reuters

UK launches new technology center to boost North Sea O&G industry

February 13, 2017. The UK government has launched a new technology center in Aberdeen to help unlock the full oil and gas (O&G) potential the UK North Sea. The £180 mn Oil & Gas Technology Centre has been officially launched by the UK Government Minister for Scotland Lord Dunlop and Scottish Government Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy Paul Wheelhouse MSP. In collaboration with a wide range of partners, the Centre will undertake projects to accelerate the development and deployment of technologies in a bid to improve efficiency, increase productivity and lower costs for the oil and gas industry.

Source: Energy Business Review

NPD grants permit to expand Nyhamna gas facility

February 13, 2017. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) has granted permission to expand the capacity at Nyhamna gas facility in Møre og Romsdal County. The consent from the NPD will enable Ormen Lange field in the Norwegian Sea to increase production by 25-30 billion standard cubic meters of gas. The first part of Nyhamna expansion includes expansion of the gas plant with land-based compression of gas from Ormen Lange. Polarled compression and export are slated to begin in the autumn of 2018, while gas from the Dvalin field is expected to be produced in the autumn of 2020. The gas will also be transported through Polarled. According to NPD, the expansion will increase Nyhamna’s export capacity from 70 to 84 million standard cubic meters per day. The gas will be distributed through Sleipner A platform in the North Sea to the Easington gas terminal in northeast England.

Source: Energy Business Review

Argentina awards most of LNG tender to Trafigura

February 13, 2017. Argentina’s state-run energy company Enarsa awarded most of its liquefied natural gas (LNG) purchase tender for a portion of its 2017 needs to trading house Trafigura. Under the tender launched in January seeking 16 cargoes, Trafigura will supply 11, while rival trader Glencore and US producer Cheniere will provide three and two shipments, respectively. Supplies are for delivery between April and August.

Source: Rigzone

Sri Lanka launches tender to develop natural gas site in Mannar Basin

February 13, 2017. Sri Lanka has launched a tender to develop a gas block in the Mannar Basin off its northwest coast, vacated when Cairn India pulled out of an exploration project in 2015 as oil prices plunged. Sri Lanka produces no oil and is dependent on imports but Cairn India Ltd discovered gas in the area in 2011. The government claims seismic data shows the potential for more than 1 billion barrels of oil under the sea in a 30,000 sq km area of the Mannar Basin. It invited companies to undertake appraisal and development of gas discoveries and prospects in a 2,924 sq km offshore block in the basin, Petroleum Resource Development Secretariat said.

Source: Reuters

PetroChina aims for 7 percent boost in 2017 natural gas sales on year

February 11, 2017. PetroChina aims to achieve sales of 150 billion cubic meters of natural gas this year, up from about 140 billion in 2016. The target reflects strong domestic demand for the cleaner fuel as demand for oil and consumption of electricity ease. The country’s largest natural gas operator targeted sales of 180 cubic meters in natural gas sales each year by 2020.

Source: Reuters

Ukraine’s gas imports fell by 32 percent in 2016 with no imports from Russia

February 10, 2017. Ukraine’s state-owned gas company Naftogaz has released preliminary data on gas production, imports and consumption in 2016. In 2016, domestic production increased by 1% to 20.1 billion cubic meters (bcm), with the bulk produced by Naftogaz’s fully-owned subsidiary UGV (14.6 bcm, i.e. 73% of Ukraine’s production). This slight increase was not sufficient to offset the 32% fall in gas imports, from 16 bcm to 11.1 bcm, as Ukraine stopped importing gas from Russia (6.1 bcm in 2015). Gas consumption declined by 2% in 2016 to around 33 bcm, due to a 12% fall in industrial consumption, which was partly offset by a 5% increase in residential consumption.

Source: Enerdata

Some Gulf of Mexico infrastructure shuts after Phillips 66 pipeline fire

February 10, 2017. A gas transmission line and at least two production facilities in the Gulf of Mexico were curtailing operations or shutting following an onshore fire at Phillips 66’s Paradis Pipeline Station in southern Louisiana. Williams Cos Inc said in a notice that shippers on its Discovery Gas Transmission system were curtailed following the incident at the Phillips facility, which is near its Paradis fractionation plant. The notice said Williams did not know how long it will take to return the fractionation plant to service and said shippers would remain shut in, with no new nominations accepted until the issue was resolved. Meanwhile, Anadarko Petroleum shut its Lucius and Heidelberg production facilities in the United States Gulf due to the fire, according to the company. The Phillips 66 pipeline that connects to the Paradis Pipeline Station carries a natural gas liquids mixture known as y-grade from Venice to Paradis, Louisiana.

Source: Reuters


Australia probes coal spill near Great Barrier Reef

February 8, 2017. Coal has washed up in waters dangerously close to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, environmental authorities said, following an investigation into complaints of black dust on nearby beaches. Ship-loading facilities at the port of Hay Point, which ships tens of millions of tonnes of coal annually to export markets worldwide, are at the center of the investigation by authorities in the north-eastern state of Queensland. But it was too early to say if the Hay Point port was the source of the coal and fine dust that washed up on the nearby beaches of East Point and Louisa Creek, Environment Minister Steven Miles said. Hay Point is the largest of several coal ports located near the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and a flashpoint for environmentalists concerned over runoff contamination of the reef, a World Heritage site.

Source: Reuters


Turkmenistan ups power generation

February 13, 2017. Turkmenistan, a Central Asian country enjoying enormous natural reserves, has produced more than 2 billion kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity since January 2017. The Turkmen government reported 2.234 billion kWh of electricity was generated in the country since the beginning of 2017. Currently, Turkmenistan supplies electricity to Iran, Turkey, and Afghanistan that has been buying it at a reduced price for the past twenty years. Turkmenistan plans to increase its energy output to 27.4 billion kWh by 2020, and to 35.5 billion kWh by 2030.

Source: AzerNews

Bumi targets 94 MT coal production in 2017

February 13, 2017. PT Bumi Resources, the largest coal producer in Indonesia, plans to achieve a coal production of 93-94 million tonnes (MT) in 2017, a 9% increase on 2016 (86.5 MT). The company has secured 60% of its projected sales in 2017 and this level should reach 75% at the end of the first quarter of 2017, when annual contracts with Japan will be finalised.

Source: Enerdata

Russia considers 1.2 GW power interconnection with Armenia and Iran

February 13, 2017. The “System Operator of Unified Energy System” of Russia will work on a feasibility study for the “North-South” power interconnection project. The so-called North-South energy corridor would stretch from Russia to Iran through Georgia and Armenia and would enable to deliver up to 1,200 MW of electricity between the four countries. In April 2016, the four countries signed a roadmap for the development of the project, which would consist of 400-500 kV lines and would be commissioned in 2021.

Source: Enerdata

EEHC will study potential power interconnection to Europe

February 10, 2017. The Egyptian Electricity Holding Company (EEHC) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Euro Africa Company to start a feasibility study on a power interconnection project that would connect Egypt, Cyprus and Greece through the Crete island.

Source: Enerdata

CyanConnode wins smart metering contract in Bangladesh

February 9, 2017. CyanConnode, a provider of narrowband radio mesh networks, has secured a purchase order from a specialist in energy management systems for smart meters in Bangladesh, South Asia. The $5.4 million purchase order is for the supply of CyanConnode’s Advanced Metering Infrastructure solution for a 150,000 unit smart metering deployment. The energy management system company, based in Eastern Europe, will integrate CyanConnode’s hardware with its smart meters and shipment to their production facility will take place over the next 12-18 months.

Source: Energy Business Review


Nigeria declares pollution in southern city an emergency, closes plant

February 14, 2017. Nigeria declared an air pollution emergency in a major southern city and closed an asphalt plant there after residents complained about the fumes from its furnaces, in a country plagued by corruption and poor governance. Residents staged a protest in Port Harcourt, a harbor city in the oil-producing Niger Delta region, waving their hands in the air to show the soot stains from touching cars.

Source: Reuters

FRV to sell power from Lilyvale Solar Farm to Ergon Energy

February 14, 2017. Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV) has agreed to sell 100% of the power generated from its proposed 125 MW Lilyvale Solar Farm project in Australia to Ergon Energy. The Spanish solar developer has entered into a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) in this regard with the Queensland Government-owned electricity retailer. Ergon Energy will also buy all large scale renewable energy certificates produced by the Lilyvale Solar Farm along with the electricity. The PPA will come into effect once the solar facility becomes operational by end-2018.

Source: Energy Business Review

G20 urged to ditch fossil fuel subsidies by 2020, go green

February 14, 2017. Investors and insurers with more than $2.8 trillion in assets under management called on the Group of 20 (G20) economies to phase out fossil fuel subsidies by 2020 despite US (United States) doubts about climate change. G20 nations should work “to accelerate green investment and reduce climate risk”, they wrote on the eve of a two-day meeting of G20 foreign ministers in Germany to prepare a summit in Hamburg in July. The summit should set a clear timeline “for the full and equitable phase-out by all G20 members of all fossil fuel subsidies by 2020,” the 16 signatories wrote. They included Actiam, Aegon Asset Management, Aviva Investors, KBI Global Investors, La Francaise, Legal and General and Trillium Asset Management. All G20 nations signed up for a 2015 Paris Agreement aimed at phasing out greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels between 2050 and 2100 and shifting to cleaner energies to avert heat waves, floods, droughts and rising ocean levels. US President Donald Trump, however, has sometimes dismissed man-made climate change as a hoax and wants to favour the US fossil fuel industry.

Source: Reuters

China plans to build floating nuclear plants in South China Sea

February 14, 2017. China has said it will develop floating nuclear power plants on a priority basis in the South China Sea as it seeks to beef up electricity supply to the islands in the disputed maritime region. China will prioritise the development of a floating nuclear power platform in the coming five years, in an effort to provide stable power to offshore projects and promote ocean gas exploitation, Wang Yiren, vice director of the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence, said. Wang said that Chinese authorities have already carried out research on relevant core technologies as well as the standardisation of maritime nuclear power plants. The development of the facility is a crucial part of the country’s five-year economic development plan, running through 2020. The China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC) said China is expected to build 20 floating nuclear power stations in the future, which will significantly beef up the power and water supplies on the South China Sea islands. China currently has 23 nuclear power generating units in operation and 27 under construction, about one-third of the world’s unfinished nuclear units. The construction of new plants resumed after the Chinese government which put the brakes on nuclear power plant approvals following the Fukushima accident in Japan in 2011 permitted resumption after a safety review. Wang said the third-generation nuclear power technology has greatly promoted the safety of the reactors.

Source: NDTV

China, India account for half world’s pollution deaths in 2015

February 14, 2017. China and India accounted for more than half of the total number of global deaths attributable to air pollution in 2015, researchers said in a study. The United States-based Health Effects Institute (HEI) found that air pollution caused more than 4.2 million early deaths worldwide in 2015, making it the fifth highest cause of death, with about 2.2 million deaths in China and India. The institute’s study, the first of its kind, was based on the Global Burden of Disease project, a database backed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that tracks the role that behavioral, dietary and environmental factors play in deaths across 195 countries. China and India, the world’s two most populous countries, each accounted for 1.1 million deaths, but China is pushing ahead when it comes to taking action, HEI said. China’s environment ministry did not respond to a request to comment on whether the estimate of 1.1 million deaths was accurate.

Source: Reuters

Mid-Marshyangdi power generation drops to 30 MW

February 13, 2017. With the onset of the dry season, power generation from the 70 MW Middle Marshyangdi Hydropower Project has dipped by around 60 percent. The hydropower plant is now generating only around 30 MW of electricity on an average due to the significant drop in water level in the river basin. The electricity generation started to dip from the month of November with the drop in the water level in the river. At the end of December, the project was generating 40 MW of electricity which further dipped down by the end of January. The peaking run of the river project is generating 30 MW of electricity at the peak hour in the mornings and evenings, whereas it drops down to meagre 20 MW for the rest of the day. Despite a massive decline in the electricity generation from the Middle Marshyandi plant, the Nepal Electricity Authority has assured that Kathmandu Valley would remain free of power cuts in February. The country’s peak electricity demand hovers around 1,200 MW but there is the domestic output of around 450 MW. To bridge the gap, Nepal is currently importing around 365 MW of electricity from India through eight points.

Source: The Kathmandu Post

Spanish nuclear regulator approves Garoña nuclear plant restart

February 13, 2017. The Spanish nuclear regulator Nuclear Safety Council has given a conditional approval for the restart and continued operation of the 447 MW Garoña nuclear power plant, which has been shut down since December 2012. Garoña was commissioned in 1971 and was expected to stop operations in 2019.

Source: Enerdata

Global wind capacity reached 487 GW in 2016 with 54 GW added

February 13, 2017. According to the Global Wind Energy Council, global wind additions reached 54.6 GW in 2016, raising total capacity to nearly 487 GW. This capacity addition is lower than the record posted in 2015 (+63.6 GW) but 2017 should see significant installations too. Ten country accounted for 88% of total installations, with 47.9 GW installed. As in previous years, China was the largest installer in 2016 with nearly 43% of global installations. The country installed 23.3 GW in 2016 and reached 168.7 GW. This is twice the installed capacity in the United States (82.2 GW), where 8.2 GW were installed during the year (as in 2015). Canada (702 MW) and Mexico (454 MW) posted solid though modest gains. India set a new national record with 3.6 GW of new installations, becoming the 4th largest market with 28.7 GW.

Source: Enerdata

First wind, solar, diesel hybrid power plant commissioned in Sri Lanka

February 11, 2017. Sri Lanka has opened its first hybrid power plant with a capacity of 60 KW that will generate electricity using wind, solar and diesel. Minister of Power and Renewable Energy Ranjith Siyambalapitiya inaugurated the plant in Eluvathivu Island in Jaffna. It has been built with the financial assistance rendered by the Asian Development Bank and the Ceylon Electricity Board aiming the promotion of green energy at a cost of 187 million Sri Lankan rupees. One unit generated by this power plant will cost about 9.14 Sri Lankan rupees.

Source: The Economic Times

World Bank provides grants to support geothermal power generation in Indonesia

February 10, 2017. World Bank has offered $55.25 mn grant to Indonesia to support the development of geothermal power generation in the country. The grant will support the Geothermal Energy Upstream Development Project in the country which will help in attracting investment to the sector. First component of the grant includes contribution of $49 mn from the Clean Technology Fund for developing the infrastructure and exploration drilling. The second component of the World Bank grant is the Global Environment Facility’s $6.25 mn fund to help in meeting the required technical assistance for building capacity in geothermal exploration which also covers safeguards due diligence.

Source: Energy Business Review

Europe to invest in renewables despite Trump

February 10, 2017. European utilities will not reduce their investments in renewables if US (United States) President Donald Trump lowers US climate goals, encouraged by Chinese and EU political commitments to low carbon energy, electricity lobby Eurelectric said. Trump, who campaigned on a pledge to bolster the US oil, gas and coal industries, said during the campaign he would pull the US out of a global pact reached in Paris in 2015 to cut greenhouse gases, although he has not yet acted on that pledge. However, he said the falling cost of renewable sources such as wind and solar power and the needs of companies to spread their risk should lead to sustained investment in renewables.

Source: Reuters

European wind capacity overtook coal in 2016

February 10, 2017. According to European wind association WindEurope, a total of 12,490 MW of new wind capacity – 10,923 MW onshore and 1,567 MW offshore – were added in the European Union, raising the installed wind capacity in Europe to 153.7 GW. Investment in new onshore and offshore wind farms reached a record € 27.5 bn. Offshore wind investments rose 39% year on year to €18.2 bn, while onshore investments were down 29% at €9.3 bn, their first decrease in the last five years. In total, there were 10.3 GW of new wind capacity financed in 2016.

Source: Enerdata

Vestas leaps to top spot in US wind market

February 10, 2017. Danish wind turbine maker Vestas Wind Systems has leapt to the top of the United States (US) wind market, overtaking General Electric in new capacity installed last year, although slower demand growth and doubts over political support could threaten its position. Vestas supplied 43 percent of the 8.2 GW of wind power capacity connected to the US power grid last year, the American Wind Energy Association said.

Source: Reuters

First Solar wins module supply contract for Sun Metals Solar Farm in Australia

February 9, 2017. The United States based photovoltaic modules manufacturer First Solar has won a contract to supply modules for the 140 MW DC Sun Metals Solar Farm project in Australia. The DC Sun Metals Solar Farm will come up in North Queensland, 15 kms south of Townsville. Construction of the solar farm project is slated to begin in April. The solar farm project after fully commissioned is likely to help in the reduction of carbon emissions by 248,000 metric tons, an equivalent of having 66,000 cars off the road.

Source: Energy Business Review


Energy Scenario in South Asia



(% of South Asia Total)

CO2 emissions

(% of South Asia Total)

Energy use

(kg of oil equivalent per capita)

Electric power consumption (kWh per capita)
Afghanistan 1.8 0.9
Bangladesh 9.3 2.9 213 275.7
Bhutan 0.04 0.04
India 75.4 88.0 595 724.5
Sri Lanka 1.2 0.7 551 524.3
Maldives 0.02 0.05
Nepal 1.6 0.3 367 118.7
Pakistan 10.6 7.1 483 451.7
South Asia 1675 Million 2.29  Billion Tons 543 640.1

Energy Access in South Asia



Note: All the above statistics correspond to the year 2012.

Source: Energy Indicators, The World Bank

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

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