MonitorsPublished on Nov 25, 2022
Energy News Monitor | Volume XIX, Issue 25
Monthly News Commentary: NON-FOSSIL FUELS

Large Investments Required to achieve Renewable Energy Targets


RE Policy and Market Trends

Inaugurating the first solar energy run smart bus station with multiple facilities, UP (Uttar Pradesh) urban development minister A K Sharma said that the smart bus station, set up as per the vision of Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi, will not only boost transport infrastructure of Varanasi city but will also provide many smart services to people accessing buses on this route. Sharma said that the PM had suggested the concept and Chief Minister (CM) Yogi Adityanath ensured to follow it and set up this bus station under the smart city project. It was constructed under the corporate social responsibility (CSR) by Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) in line with the Varanasi Smart City program being run by the municipal corporation. A team of professionals and urban development department worked on the project for last four months.

Enviro India, a facilities management company based in Gurugram, has installed 1098 solar panels to date across its commercial and residential properties across Delhi-NCR. The initiative has contributed significantly to mitigating energy consumption costs by producing 4,941 kilowatt peak (kWp) units of energy per day. Enviro India has invested over INR 50 million (mn) in various projects located at different cities in India. The firm has plans to source the latest technology in batteries and panels from countries like Germany and Taiwan. As the world moves towards sustainable energy sources, solar energy is a viable way to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and achieve self-reliance. This initiative by Enviro India will prove greatly effective as India strives to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy in the perceivable future.

India will need additional investment of around US$300 billion (bn) to complete the 500 gigawatt (GW) renewable energy capacity target by 2030, according to Arthur D Little (ADL) report. With 165 GW generation capacity already in place, the country is on the right trajectory to meet its goal of having 50 percent of energy needs through the renewable portfolio, the report said. To further accelerate adoption, according to the ADL perspective, India should focus on developing solar and wind generation capacities. As the big conglomerates foray into green hydrogen and other renewable energy generation, associated industries such as transmission and distribution also need significant transformation. While government initiatives such as rooftop solar program, national hydrogen mission and PM KUSUM have laid a strong foundation for transitioning towards renewables, India is still a long way from realizing the targeted benefits of these schemes. The involvement of consumers with planned awareness campaigns along with leveraging global alliances to boost FDI and technology collaboration could be key focus areas. India is all set to be a big player in green energy generation and aspires to not only attain its energy security but to also start supplying power to neighbouring nations.

With 6,200 megawatt (MW) installed solar-power capacity, Tamil Nadu (TN) got fourth place in a national ranking prepared as of 30 September. The first three spots went to Rajasthan, Karnataka, and Gujarat, in that order. To achieve its “zero carbon” target by 2070, TN was encouraging green power generation. Between 31 March 2019 and 31 March 2022, TN’s solar-power capacity rose from 2,575 MW to 4.986.01 MW. After TANGEDCO (Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited) boosted the installation of rooftop solar panels, the State’s total installed capacity crossed 6,200 MW. TN hopes to reach the top position among southern States by implementing new solar projects. TANGEDCO had set a target of 9,000 MW installed solar energy capacity by 2023. If this target is met, TN would have the largest solar energy capacity among southern States. On the future of solar power generation in Tamil Nadu, TANGEDCO has planned solar parks in every district, with a combined capacity of 4,000 MW. For this, all Collectors had been requested to identify land.

Goa Power Minister Ramkrishna Sudin Dhavalikar said that he expects Germany to bring in technical expertise and investment for renewable energy projects in the state, which is aiming for 100 percent renewable energy by 2045 in all sectors. Goa is in the forefront to encourage solar energy and other non-conventional renewable energy to cut carbon emissions to zero, he said at the Indo-German core partnering meet on sustainable energy and environmental technologies held recently. The Minister asked private sector companies from Goa to explore opportunities for implementation of sustainable energy and technology projects in Goa.

According to the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the state government must fast-track the PM Kusum scheme and sign power purchase agreements with landowners who are keen to set up solar plants on uncultivable land.  CII said many local companies are ready to set up large solar plants on waste mines. CII Goa has recommended that instead of incurring high capital expenditure to set up solar power plants atop government buildings, the Goa government should ink long-term power purchase agreements with renewable energy service companies. CII asked the government to consider offering incentives to industries that install large scale rooftop solar plants. CII Goa is confident that if the government offers rates in the vicinity of INR4.5 per unit there would be sufficient interested parties that would meet Goa’s future renewable energy purchase obligation targets.

Goa Energy Development Agency (GEDA) will install a concentrated solar cooking system with patented solar grade mirror technology, AGNi 69, at the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) camp at Latur in Maharashtra. GEDA will install three concentric solar systems on a trial basis, which will be used to cook food for about 1,000 people. Like a sunflower, AGNi69 automatically tracks the sun from sunrise to sunset to catch maximum sunlight. Each dish reflects the solar radiation onto a receiver that is placed at its focal area. GEDA will need 90 working days to test the system by studying the local solar radiation.

Punjab will soon come up with an energy action plan aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions by adopting new and innovative clean energy technologies. Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA) said the state-owned agency is striving hard to achieve the target of 2,500 MW renewable energy capacity in Punjab and the energy action plan will facilitate all stakeholder departments to implement energy efficiency and renewable energy in their institution at the state level.

Roof Top /Distributed Solar Projects

Tata Power Solar Systems announced the launch of cost-efficient solar off-grid solutions in West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand. Tata Power Solar Systems Limited (TPSSL) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Power Renewable Energy Ltd (TPREL). The off-grid solutions provide a combination of high-efficient solar modules, inverters and batteries and are available in 11 variants ranging from 1 – 10 Kw with 5-year warranty. These solar off-grid solutions are charged during the day time and enable consumers access sustainable electricity by reducing their reliance on costly and polluting alternatives like diesel generators during night time and outages.

Utility Scale Solar Projects

Tata Power Company subsidiary Tata Power Renewable Energy has received a letter of award to set up a 150 MW solar project in Solapur, Maharashtra, from Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Corporation. The letter of award (LoA) was won through tariff-based competitive bidding followed by an e-reverse auction. The project will be commissioned within 18 months from the purchasing power agreement (PPA) execution date. With this, the total renewables capacity of Tata Power Renewable Energy has reached 5,786 MW, with an installed capacity of 3,877 MW (Solar – 2,949 MW & Wind – 928 MW) and 1,909 MW under various stages of implementation.

SJVN, the state-run power player, will commission a 75 MW solar project at Kalpi in UP by month-end. SJVN’s renewable portfolio stands at 4007.5 MW out of which 179.5 MW is under operation, 1370 MW is under construction and 2458 MW are at different stages of implementation. With the commissioning of this 75 MW Solar project, cumulative operational capacity will increase from 2016.5 MW to 2091.5 MW. The company has aligned its Shared Vision of 5000 MW by 2023, 25000 MW by 2030 & 50000 MW capacity by 2040 with that of Government of India’s target of achieving 50 percent energy from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030.

Hydro Power

The Meghalaya government signed an agreement with the North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Limited (NEEPCO) for commissioning of three hydroelectric projects with a total generation capacity of 235 MW. The NEEPCO under the agreement would set up the Umiam stage 1, stage 2 and stage 3 hydro power plants. The Umiam stage 3 is in the final stage and NEEPCO is expected to start the implementation process soon. Both Stage-I and Stage-II would cost around INR17.50 bn with 70 percent loan.

Rest of the World

North & South America

Mexico has pledged to deploy a further 30 GW in renewable energy capacity by 2030, the nation’s foreign ministry said, as America’s third-biggest greenhouse gas emitter works with the United States (US) to meet new climate goals. The new solar, geothermal, wind and hydroelectric capacity would double Mexico’s renewable capabilities, from its installed capacity of around 30 GW at the end of 2021, and bring solar and wind capacities to 40 GW. The new goals would also see Mexico, a major car manufacturing hub, sell 50 percent zero-emissions vehicles by 2030. The US welcomed the plan and would work closely with Mexico by helping incentivize investments and support plans to cut methane emissions. Mexico has earmarked US$2 bn to eliminate routine flaring at state oil firm Pemex. The US – the world’s No.2 greenhouse gas emitter – is in talks with Mexico over tighter state control of its energy sector, which the United States argues unfairly hinders private renewable projects.

California regulators revised their proposal for rooftop solar systems credits, a contentious matter as the state tries to expand renewable energy and respond to critics who want more equitable distribution of incentives. The proposal will not affect current home solar owners and will maintain their current compensation, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) said. It withdrew a previous proposal from December last year that would have charged Californians with new solar installations a hefty US$8 per kilowatt per month to cover the cost of maintaining the grid. However, the proposal would also reduce export rates, or credits customers receive for feeding their surplus solar power back into utilities.

Alphabet Inc’s Google said it would buy about three-quarters of the renewable power from SB Energy Global’s Texas facilities, as it aims to operate data centers on carbon-free energy by 2030. Companies are rapidly shifting toward clean energy and transportation as they look to meet environmental and sustainability goals. The US$430 bn Inflation Reduction Act signed by President Joe Biden signed in August also seeks to incentivise a shift to clean energy, by providing tax credits. Google will use the energy from the SoftBank Group Corp-backed company, which will have a capacity of about 3 GW by early next year, to power data centers in Texas, Alphabet said. SB Energy’s Orion 1, 2 and 3 and Eiffel solar projects which total nearly 1.2 GW of capacity are expected to be ready to supply power by mid-2024.

Canada will provide C$970 mn (US$708 mn) in financing to develop a grid-scale small modular reactor (SMR), a new nuclear technology touted as a key part of the country’s plans to reduce emissions, Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said. The project, which is being developed by utility Ontario Power Generation (OPG) in Darlington, Ontario, will be the first commercial grid-scale SMR in the Group of Seven wealthy nations (G7), according to the Minister. Canada, like the rest of the G7, is targeting net-zero emissions by 2050. The government has an intermediate goal to cut emissions 40 percent to 45 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. About 15 percent of Canada’s electricity comes from nuclear power, according to the World Nuclear Association.


Poland’s first nuclear power station, which will be built by US firm Westinghouse Electric Co, will cost around US$20 bn, Prime Minister (PM) Mateusz Morawiecki said. Poland chose Westinghouse Electric Co for the project in a bid to reduce the country’s carbon emissions and phase out coal. Under the government’s nuclear program six reactors with up to 9 GW of capacity will be built in two locations. A partnership between Korea Hydro Nuclear Power (KHNP), Poland’s top utility PGE SA, ZE PAK aims for additional 3 reactors, Climate Minister Anna Moskwa said. Poland’s maximum potential is as much as 15 GW of nuclear capacity, Moskwa said.

Seoul and Warsaw signed outline agreements to develop nuclear power in Poland, as Poland strives to phase out coal and lower its carbon emissions and South Korea seeks to revive its nuclear industry. Poland’s ZE PAK and PGE) and Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) will assess the viability of building four 1,400 MW nuclear reactors in Patnow, central Poland, using South Korean technology, the South Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said. Since the election this year of President Yoon Suk-yeol, who pledged to revive the country’s nuclear power industry, South Korea has stepped up efforts to win nuclear power plant export orders.

Africa & Middle East

Ivory Coast has started construction on its first biomass-fired power generation plant, a 46 megawatt (MW) project backed by France’s EDF. Ivory Coast’s power capacity is about 2,369 MW, mainly from oil and gas, and the country hopes to increase that to 4,000 MW by 2025. Ivory Coast also exports power to several of its West African neighbours.

Asia Pacific

Singapore’s energy regulator will be introducing new emissions standards for new and repowered fossil fuel-fired power generation units in 2023, Low Yen Ling, the minister of state for the ministry of trade and industry, said. The Energy Market Authority (EMA) will consult with the industry in the coming months and will release details on the standards subsequently, the minister said. The new rules are part of the implementation of a law the city-state passed last year that allowed the EMA to set greenhouse gas emissions standards. The measure also follows Singapore announcing plans to reduce its emissions target for 2030 to 60 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2).

Australia announced plans to build renewable energy zones, wind projects and underwater electricity interconnectors, as it looks to build its renewable power capabilities and bring more clean energy into its national grid. The state of Victoria, which will have an election next month, will get A$1.5 bn (US$947.85 mn) of concessional financing for Renewable Energy Zones (REZ) and offshore wind development projects, the government said. The government announced a US$1 bn loan for Tasmania’s Tarraleah Power Station redevelopment and Lake Cethana Pumped Hydro project.

News Highlights: 16 – 22 November 2022

National: Oil

SHV Energy expands LPG terminal capacity by 30,000 metric tonne at Tamil Nadu plant

17 November: SHV Energy Pvt Ltd, a subsidiary of Dutch multinational SHV Energy N V, has expanded its LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) terminal capacity by 30,000 metric tonne in Tamil Nadu at an outlay of about INR5 bn. The facility in Tuticorin would be ramped up from 8,500 metric tonne to 38,500 metric tonne, representing an investment of about INR5 bn, the company said. SHV Energy Pvt Ltd set up in 1996 under the brand name SUPERGAS has seven import terminals, 20 filling plants. LPG would help accelerate India’s long term energy needs and would support the country’s transition away from more polluting fuels, such as coal and oil.

National: Gas

India’s GAIL, former Gazprom unit should resolve gas supply issue: Puri

16 November: India’s Oil Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that he hoped an issue of gas supply disruption between the country’s largest distributor GAIL (India) Ltd and a former unit of Russian energy major Gazprom would be resolved. GAIL had agreed a 20-year deal with Gazprom Marketing and Singapore (GMTS) in 2012 for annual purchases of an average of 2.5 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG). The unit failed to deliver LNG cargoes to GAIL, affecting its gas sales which hurt the company’s profit in the July-September quarter.

National: Coal

NTPC starts coal dispatches via rakes from Talaipalli mines

22 November: NTPC Ltd said it has begun dispatching coal through rakes from its Talaipalli mines to Lara Super Thermal Power Project (LSTPP) in Chhattisgarh. The track length from Talaipalli to Lara is 65 kilometres. The public sector undertaking has dispatched its first coal rake from NTPC Talaipalli coal mines to NTPC Lara Super Thermal Power Project in Chhattisgarh, it said.

Government to prepare ‘coking coal mission’ to expand raw material sources

22 November: The government is trying to make the country less dependent on other countries for coking coal, Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said. Scindia said that the government is on a ‘coking coal project’ to diversify the sources of iron ore and talked about the government’s plan to increase the availability of the primary material in the country. Recently, in July, Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved a pact between India and Russia regarding cooperation on coking coal. Scindia said the government aims to establish a coal gasification plant with an annual capacity of 100 million tonnes (MT). India currently imports coking coal from countries like Australia, South Africa, Canada and the United States for coking coal.

Jharkhand Central University and CCL sign pact for centre on clean coal mining

22 November: The Central University of Jharkhand (CUJ) and the Central Coalfields Ltd (CCL) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to form a research and development centre on clean coal mining. The R&D centre would deal with various aspects of technological research and its application to increase coal production while reducing its carbon footprint.

Coal India targets 50 MT sales through e-auction in second half of FY23

16 November: Coal India Ltd is targeting 50 million tonnes (MT) sales through the e-auction route in the second half of the current fiscal, the company said. The coal behemoth had sold around 30 MT via e-auction in the first six months of the 2022-23 financial year. Coal India’s e-auction sales were at 108 MT in 2021-22. In the July-September quarter of the current fiscal, the miner had sold 10.36 MT of coal via e-auction, and the average realisation was INR6,061 per tonne. The Maharatna PSU sold 141 MT of the dry fuel through the fuel supply agreement in the three months that ended on 30 September 2022 with an average realisation of INR1,413 per tonne.

National: Power

Tripura to invest INR19.5 bn for uninterrupted supply of power

18 November: The state government has embarked on a plan to bring fresh investments of nearly INR19.5 bn to ensure uninterrupted power supply in the state besides upgrading infrastructure. Brijesh Pandey, secretary of the state power department, said the government has already brought investments worth INR20 bn in the last five years to strengthen the transmission and distribution system in the power sector, which has helped substantially reduce transmission loss. Pandey said the Asian Development Bank is implementing a project of INR11.5 bn to revamp the state’s power sector infrastructure. At least 140 kilometre (km) of underground cables are targeted to be laid and as many as 1.2 lakh smart meters will be installed under the project.

Madras HC restrains Puducherry power privatisation bid

18 November: The Puducherry government’s bid to privatise electricity distribution in the union territory suffered a setback with Madras HC (high court) restraining the administration from finalising the tender. The court passed the order on a plea moved by Electricity Department Certificate Holders (ITI) Welfare Union, Puducherry and six others. According to the petitioners, they are representing about 1,500 engineers and workers employed in the Puducherry electricity department which includes Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam. The Puducherry government has unilaterally decided to privatise power distribution in the union territory, which is a profit-making service for the government. The electricity department which undertakes power distribution is a government department and not a company to sell its shares.

Haryana has done remarkable work in power sector: CM

18 November: Haryana Chief Minister (CM) Manohar Lal Khattar flayed the concept of free electricity supply like sops in the state. The CM said that in the last 8 years, Haryana has done remarkable work in the power sector, which has paved the way for Haryana to become one of the leading states in the country in terms of providing electricity. He said that with the objective of providing 24-hour electricity to the villages, the state government initiated ‘Mhara Gaon-Jagmag Gaon Yojana’ from Kurukshetra in 2016. He said that the state government has taken stringent steps to check non-payment of electricity bills. He said that the government started an initiative and appealed to the citizens across the state to pay the bills, which garnered public cooperation and Haryana is setting up new dimensions in the power sector. He said that in order to strengthen the power sector, the state government provided relief to the consumers by waiving off the overcharge. He said that the state government has not increased the electricity rates in the last 8 years, and has instead brought relief to the people by reducing the power tariffs. He said that the Fuel Surcharge Adjustment (FSA) was 37 paise, which was abolished.

Tamil Nadu power utility commences linking Aadhar cards with consumer numbers

17 November: The Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Ltd (TANGEDCO) has commenced linking the Aadhar cards of consumers with their consumer numbers. The central government has directed all the Discoms to link the Aadhar card of customers to the electricity consumer numbers so that subsidies are directly transferred to their accounts. The central government has also directed that only those power utilities that complete the Aadhar linking of consumers would be provided with support for new power projects. TANGEDCO has already given guidelines to the consumers to link the Aadhar number to the consumer number by visiting the website of Tangedcco and then registering using a one-time password.

National: Non-Fossil Fuels/ Climate Change Trends

Government wants solar manufacturers to bid for US$2.4 bn in aid

22 November: India is looking for takers for US$2.4 billion in government aid it’s offering to stimulate domestic manufacturing of solar power equipment. The state-run Solar Energy Corporation of India is seeking bids from solar manufacturers for INR195 billion of financial incentives. The government is seeking to grow the country’s module-making capacity to as much as 90 gigawatt (GW), enough to meet its own requirements and serve export markets. Reliance Industries Ltd and Adani Group were winners in a previous round of solar manufacturing incentives and are eligible to apply again for building additional capacity, the bid documents show.

Punjab government announces to install 300 MW solar power projects

21 November: The Punjab government has decided to install solar power photovoltaic (PV) projects with a total capacity of 300 megawatt (MW) in the state. These projects include 200 MW canal-top solar PV power projects and 100 MW floating solar PV power projects on the reservoirs and lakes. The proposed 200 MW canal-top solar project would be installed in a phased manner, under which 50 MW would be installed in the first phase, while projects of remaining capacity would be installed in subsequent phases, Punjab New and Renewable Energy Sources Minister Aman Arora said. These projects will be executed in build, operate and own (BOO) mode by the Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA), he said. The canal-top solar power projects will be installed on small distributaries having less width, which will involve less civil work.

Karnataka has highest grid-interactive renewable power capacity

20 November: Karnataka came at the top position while comparing the total installed capacity of grid-interactive renewable power of all the states of the country. The state had a total installed capacity of 15,463 megawatt (MW), according to an RBI (Reserve Bank of India) publication. Tamil Nadu, with 15,225 MW, came at the second; Gujarat, with 13,153 MW, was at third position while Maharashtra, with 10,267 MW, was at the fourth, according to Handbook of Statistics on Indian States 2021-22, which was the seventh edition of its statistical publication, released by the RBI. Data for the calculation of state-wise total installed capacity of grid interactive renewable power had been sourced through Energy Statistics from the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation and the states’ figures of installed capacity was till the end of March 2021. Maharashtra was followed by Rajasthan (10,205 MW), Andhra Pradesh (8,969 MW), Madhya Pradesh (5,206 MW), Telangana (4,378 MW), Uttar Pradesh (3,879 MW), Punjab (1,617 MW) and Himachal Pradesh (988 MW) and Uttarakhand (713 MW) in that order. According to the RBI, renewable power includes power from various sources namely bio-power, solar power, small hydro power, waste to energy and wind power.

Uttar Pradesh aims to generate 22 GW solar power in next 5 years

17 November: Uttar Pradesh (UP) aims to generate 22,000 MW solar power over the next five years under the state government’s Solar Policy-2022. This will include 14,000 MW through establishment of solar parks, 4,500 MW through rooftop solar projects in residential areas, 1,500 MW through non-residential rooftop projects and 2,000 MW through the PM Kusum Yojana. The UP Solar Policy-2022 will be applicable for five years. In addition to financial aid from the Centre, state government contribution of INR15,000 per kW (kilowatt), up to a maximum of INR30,000 per consumer has been approved. Government buildings and all educational institutes have been allowed to set up rooftop solar systems on the net metering system. For the solarisation of separate agricultural feeder Kusum C-2, the policy has a provision of viability gap funding of INR50 lakh per MW.

India’s call for phase-down of all fossil fuels gets EU support

17 November: India’s Call for a phase-down of all fossil fuels, and not just coal which was singled out in the decisions of the Glasgow conference last year, is getting support from some key quarters, including from European Union (EU), for inclusion in the main decisions that will be agreed. India had proposed that the countries at the COP27 agree to a phase-down of all fossil fuels. It also called out the duplicity of the developed countries, arguing that selective labelling of some energy sources as ‘green’ had no basis in science. The argument was clearly aimed at a recent decision of the European Parliament to classify some uses of gas as ‘green’. At the Glasgow climate conference, India had been caught on the wrong foot when the final draft decisions included a mention of ‘phase-out’ of coal. India continues to rely heavily on coal-based power plants, which generate about 55 percent of the country’s electricity right now, and is often criticized for this. In the final moments of Glasgow meeting, India, with the support of a few more countries, was able to get the ‘phase-out’ reference amended to a ‘phase down’. However, in a bid to neutralise some of the negative attention it attracts on its use of coal, this year India decided to push for the phase-down of all fossil fuels, something that no country can in principle disagree with. The Indian proposal had received support from some other countries as well, mainly from the developing world and the small island states. The first draft of the decision text is expected to make its appearance.

International: Oil

US to issue more guidance on Russian oil price cap in coming days

18 November: The US (United States) government plans to issue guidance in coming days on a Russian oil price cap taking effect on 5 December and is ready for some “hiccups” in its implementation. The government was in close touch with industry and international partners about the oil price cap, and was approaching it with a “spirit of flexibility.” The unprecedented price cap aims to block Russia from profiting from a jump in oil prices since its 24 February invasion of Ukraine while ensuring that Russian oil continues flowing to global markets after a European Union ban on Russian oil imports takes effect next month. The plan calls for participating countries to deny Western-dominated oil transport services like insurance, finance, brokering and navigation to oil cargoes priced above the cap.

International: Gas

Norway’s Equinor and partners to invest US$1.44 bn in Arctic gas field

22 November: Norway’s Equinor and its partners said they would invest 14.8 billion Norwegian crowns (US$1.44 billion) in developing the Irpa gas discovery in the Norwegian Sea. The subsea project aims to produce around 20 billion cubic meters of natural gas for export to Europe via the Aasta Hansteen platform some 80 kilometre (50 miles) east of Irpa, the partnership’s development plan showed. Production is expected to start in the final quarter of 2026 and last until 2039, the development plan showed. It was not immediately clear how much gas could be pumped each day at peak production.

Qatar seals 27-year LNG deal with China as competition heats up

21 November: QatarEnergy has signed a 27-year deal to supply China’s Sinopec with liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the longest such LNG agreement to date as volatility drives buyers to seek long-term supplies. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, competition for LNG has become intense, with Europe in particular needing vast amounts to help replace Russian pipeline gas that used to make up almost 40 percent of the continent’s imports. European companies looking to buy LNG needed to look at how Asian buyers were approaching their own negotiations and were willing to lock into long-term deals, QatarEnergy chief Saad al-Kaabi said. QatarEnergy signed five deals for North Field East (NFE), the first and larger of the two-phase North Field expansion plan, which includes six LNG trains that will ramp up Qatar’s liquefaction capacity to 126 million tonnes per year by 2027 from 77 million. Qatar is already the world’s top LNG exporter and its North Field expansion project will boost that position and help guarantee long-term supplies of gas to Europe as the continent seeks alternatives to Russian flows.

US New England set to get first LNG cargo since summer

21 November: New England could get a load of much needed liquefied natural gas (LNG) for the winter heating season in coming days from a vessel full of the super-cooled fuel that is sitting in Boston Harbor. New England depends on LNG and oil to fuel some power plants on the coldest days when most of the region’s pipeline gas is used to heat homes and businesses. About half of the power generated in New England comes from gas-fired plants. The Cadiz Knutsen is sitting in Boston Harbor outside US (United States) energy company Constellation Energy Corp’s Everett LNG import terminal in Massachusetts with a cargo of LNG from Trinidad and Tobago. When US energy company Exelon Corp owned the Everett LNG facility, Exelon said it used the terminal to import fuel for its Mystic power plant. Exelon also said it sold some LNG to utilities throughout New England to help them meet their peak demand needs.

Mexico’s Pemex sees deepwater Gulf natural gas project boosting output

21 November: Mexican state oil company Pemex expects a key offshore natural gas field located in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico will add significant output after inking a service contract, part of a push to grow local output while reducing imports. Pemex announced in a statement that the deepwater Lakach field will pump 300 million cubic feet of gas per day over a 10-year horizon, after the state-run firm signed a service contract with US liquefied natural gas (LNG) company New Fortress Energy. Mexico’s oil regulator approved a plan for developing the once-abandoned natural gas project. Lakach is believed to hold up to 937 billion cubic feet of gas reserves, but cost pressures put development on hold for six years. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has sought to prioritize energy self-sufficiency during his term, even as Mexico for decades has met most of its gasoline and natural gas demand through imported supplies, mostly from US producers. Gas production at Lakach is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2024, following initial investments of US$1.4 billion by Pemex and US$1.5 million by New Fortress Energy.

EEX sees EU plans for gas price cap as threat to supply security

21 November: European Commission plans to propose a cap on natural gas prices after 24 November may pose major risks to financial stability and supply security in the region’s energy markets, the European Energy Exchange (EEX) said. The European Union (EU) has been struggling to contain soaring energy prices due to a drop in Russian gas supplies following the Ukraine crisis.

International: Coal

High energy prices lead to coal revival in Czech Republic

18 November: In this part of northeastern Czech Republic, huge piles of coal are stacked up ready to sell to eager buyers and smoke belches from coal-fired plants that are ramping up instead of winding down. Demand for brown coal — the cheapest and most energy inefficient form — used by Czech households jumped by almost 35 percent in the first nine months of 2022 over a year earlier. The region is part of the Upper Silesian Coal Basin, a large industrialized area straddling the Czech-Polish border with rich deposits of coal and factories producing steel, power and the type of coal used for steel-making that date to the 19th century.

International: Power

Bangladesh hikes bulk electricity price by 19.92 percent

21 November: Bangladesh has decided to hike the electricity price by 19.92 percent at the wholesale level from next month. The increase was approved by the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) and the decision was announced by its chairman Abdul Jalil. The new tariff will come into effect from 1 December 2022, Jalil said. According to the announcement, the retail power tariff has been increased from 5.17 taka to 6.20 taka per kilowatt-hour unit at the wholesale level. BERC said it made the decision in responding to a review petition filed by the Bangladesh Power Development Board (PDB) to increase the electricity price at the wholesale level. The BERC chairman said the new price will be effective only for power distribution companies and some other bulk consumers.

Moody’s sees European power prices staying high

16 November: European power prices are likely to remain high in the medium term, Moody’s Investors Service said in a report on Wednesday, citing technical problems at French nuclear plants, low water levels after droughts and risks to gas supplies. In France, average power prices have been at a 23 percent premium to the German benchmark since January 2022 due to the problems at operator EDF’s nuclear plants. France and Germany account for two-thirds of western Europe’s power consumption in an interconnected market.

International: Non-Fossil Fuels/ Climate Change Trends

Germany mulls state guarantees for renewable energy production

21 November: Germany is examining introducing state guarantees for investments in renewable energy, Economy Minister Robert Habeck said, as Berlin attempts to become more independent in scaling up renewables capacity. Europe’s biggest economy aims to produce 80 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2030 but it is heavily-dependent on imported components, mainly from Asia. The state support could include purchase guarantees for renewable energy production, Habeck said. Supporting renewable energy production in Europe has become even more urgent with the United States introducing its Inflation Reduction Act which could push industry out of Europe, Habeck said. The law provides a tax credit of 30 percent of the cost of new or upgraded factories that build renewable energy components and gives tax credit for each eligible component produced in a US (United States) factory and then sold.

China’s COemissions down since 2021 but still not at peak

21 November: China’s greenhouse gas emissions have been in decline since last year but have not yet reached their peak, with the country’s policies still not fully aligned with long-term goals to limit temperature increases, a research report said. China is expected to meet its own 2030 peak emissions target with relative ease, but experts worry the overall volume could still rise significantly over the decade as Beijing builds new coal plants and other carbon-intensive infrastructure to address concerns about energy security and economic stability.

Brazil to keep 10 percent biodiesel mandate until March: CNPE

21 November: Brazil’s National Energy Policy Council (CNPE) decided the mandatory blend of biodiesel in diesel will be kept at 10 percent until 31 March 2023, the Mines and Energy Ministry said. From April on, the mix requirement will be increased to 15 percent. The ministry said that Brazil’s next government which takes office in January could change the decision. Brazil’s oil, gas and biofuel regulator ANP would first have to approve the biodiesel used in the blend. Around 70 percent of the country’s biodiesel is produced from soy oil, which is obtained after grain crushers process the beans. With a 15 percent mandate being adopted as of April, the total soybean demanded for biodiesel would rise to about 30 million tonnes (MT) in 2023.

Egypt close to deals on 1GW of solar and wind projects

16 November: COP27 host Egypt is close to signing final agreements to build two wind and solar projects with combined capacity of a gigawatt (GW) to boost the country’s lagging renewable power development. High levels of solar irradiation, strong winds and expanses of desert in which to construct plants mean Egypt has vast renewable potential, industry players said. The government has brought forward a goal of producing 42 percent of its power generation from renewables to 2030 from 2035, but missed a target of 20 percent for this year.

Note: Quick notes section will resume in 2023.

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