Bright outlook for gas fired generation: Frost & Sullivan

After hitting an all-time low in 2009–10, western Europe’s steam and gas turbines market will pick up from 2012 to 2014 and hit $2bn in revenue by 2017, finds new research from Frost & Sullivan.

Uncertainties over carbon trading, electricity sector legislation and imminent rises in commodity prices will not prevent a recovery in the medium-to-long term, said Frost & Sullivan industry analyst Pritil Gunjan.

“Electricity demand from both mature and emerging economies and decommissioning of not only old conventional thermal power plants, but also nuclear power facilities, are the key factors driving the western European gas and steam turbines market,” he said.

Orders placed with manufacturers in 2007–08 had sustained them during the difficult times. New orders are still low in number, but they are anticipated to increase from 2012.

Frost & Sullivan’s Western European Gas and Steam Turbines Market finds that the market earned revenues of $473m in 2010 and estimates that figure will rise to $2138m in 2017.

Deutsche Bank cuts carbon forecasts

Deutsche Bank has downgraded its forecast for European carbon prices for the short and long term, predicting a year-end price of €12 ($17)/tonne.

The move reflects a slump in market sentiment, sovereign debt issues, a court case from US airlines over the carbon price, and the assumption that EU economic growth will slump.

The bank has lowered its year-end 2011 forecast to €12/tonne from €17/tonne, and has also cut its predicted prices for year-end 2012 to €15/tonne from €19/tonne. Analyst Mark Lewis has also cut his forecast range for the longer term, with 2013 down to €19/tonne from €23/tonne, and 2014 to €22/tonne from €24/tonne.

Czech Republic plans for nuclear plants to meet 80 per cent of demand by 2060

The Czech Republic could build a string of new nuclear plants to generate as much as 80 per cent of its energy demands by 2060.

Martin Kocourek told Reuters that nuclear power was indispensable. An industry ministry draft policy examines a scenario for nuclear as installed capacity hits 18.69 GW by 2060, up from 3.78 GW now.

Poland shale gas production could start by 2014

Commercial production of Poland’s shale gas reserves, estimated at 5.3 trillion m³, may begin as soon as 2014, said its prime minister Donald Tusk on 18 September.

Poland is eager to break its heavy reliance on Russian gas and has awarded 90 exploration licences to firms such as Chevron and ExxonMobil for developing reserves that a study by the US Energy Information Administration identified as among Europe’s largest.

“With moderated optimism we think that in 2014 there will be commercial extraction, so really just around the corner,” said Tusk.

He added that by 2035, Poland, which relies almost entirely on gas from Russia, may be able to mainly use its own resources.

Poland’s government is working on a tax system for shale gas, with input expected from Canadian, Norwegian and local private-sector experts, according to the Polska Times. Three systems are under consideration: a 19 per cent corporate tax; an as-yet undecided royalty tax; or a flexible extraordinary profits tax.

Solar at grid parity by 2020, says EPIA

A report from the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) claims PV power generation will be grid competitive in parts of Europe by 2013 and across key European markets by the end of the decade.

Italy is forecast to be the first country where PV will become competitive with fossil fuels.

Ingmar Wilhelm, EPIA president, said that the cost of PV modules will fall about 50 per cent by 2020 because of economies of scale and improvements in technology. The report also predicts a rise in the cost of traditional power sources such as coal and gas over the same period.

GE to take on Siemens in the German market

GE is to announce its German management team along with an expansion of facilities and a German marketing campaign as it aims to grow in the German market.

GE has stated a goal of competing harder with Siemens, which generates a quarter of its $105bn annual revenue in the US, said the Wall Street Journal.

GE’s new management team in Germany has picked gas turbines, where Siemens has a 50 per cent market share, as a target.

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Estonia: Grid operator Elering has warned that the EU risks an unhealthy dependence on Russian electricity. Chief executive Taavi Veskimägi was speaking after the Baltic States experienced a 30 per cent power shortfall.

France: A consortium has been created for the €30.2m ($41.1m) Millener Smart Grid project for Corsica, Guadeloupe and La Reunion. Partners include BPL Global, Delta Dore, Edelia, Saft, Schneider Electric and Tenesol, with EDF as project manager.

Germany: Rising investment in renewable energy is pushing power prices for 2013 below those for next year, said Bloomberg Businessweek. Electricity for 2013 was 45 euro cents (61 dollar cents)/MWh cheaper than next year’s contract on 22 September.

Hungary: A new combined cooling, heat and power biogas power plant in Szarvas, generating 4.2 MW of electricity and an equal amount of heat with three Jenbacher J416 engines, is described as the country’s largest biomass plant.

Russia: RusHydro has contracted Voith Hydro St. Pölten to modernise Kaplan turbines at the Saratovskaya hydro power station, raising capacity from 60 to 68 MW per unit. Runner diameters of 10.3 metres makes the these turbines among the largest of their kind.

Russia: E.ON Russia has commissioned a 400 MW combined-cycle gas turbine unit at Yaivinskaya GRES power station. It is one of four 400 MW units built in a €2.8bn ($3.8bn) programme that also includes an 800 MW steam power unit at Berezovskaya GRES.

UK: The government has announced contracts worth £4.6bn ($7.4bn) to build a new wide-area network to support smart metering across the country by 2020.

UK: Electricity generated by wind power in the UK hit a record high of 3021 MW on 6 September, to supply 7.2 per cent of the grid’s electricity. The previous record for wind-generated electricity was set at 2800 MW in January.

Ukraine: Ukraine plans to announce the privatization of electricity generation facilities by the end of 2011, said First Vice Premier Andriy Kliuyev.

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