Latest World Energy Outlook focuses on emerging Asian giants

The International Energy Agency (IEA) recently released its latest World Energy Outlook (WEO). This year’s edition focuses on China and India, the world’s emerging economic giants, identifying and quantifying the factors that will drive their energy balances, as well as seeking to answer the question: How will their energy choices affect the world as a whole?

As in previous WEOs, a scenario approach was adopted to examine future energy developments. There are three scenarios that cover the period 2005-2030. The base projections are derived from a ‘Reference Scenario’ – current underlying trends in energy demand and supply remain. The ‘Alternative Policy Scenario’ – the impact of a package of additional measures currently under consideration that address energy security and climate change. The final scenario is the ‘High Growth Scenario’ – incorporates a significantly higher rates of economic growth in China and India compared to those in the Reference Scenario.

The findings specific to India and China include: (1) The world’s primary energy demand in the Reference Scenario is projected to grow by more than 50 per cent between 2005 and 2030, with developing countries contributing 74 per cent of this increase – China and India alone accounting for 45 per cent of this increase; (2) The resurgence of coal is primarily by a booming power sector demand in both China and India; (3) Soon after 2010, China will overtake the USA as the world’s largest energy consumer in the Reference Scenario; (4) China needs to add more than 1300 GW to its electricity generating capacity; (5) In the Alternative Scenario, a set of policies the government is currently considering would cut China’s primary energy use in 2030 by 15 percent compared to the Reference Scenario; (6) In the Reference Scenario, India’s primary energy demand more than doubles by 2030, with power generation accounting for the majority of this increase; and (7) In the Alternative Policy Scenario, India’s primary energy demand is 17 per cent lower than in the Reference Scenario.

Vietnam power plan faces difficulties

The Vietnamese government has approved a new ‘Electricity Development Plan’, but there are concerns that the ambitious schedule detailing development to 2015 and beyond would face fundamental challenges.

One challenge will be to build 4120 MW of new capacity by 2011, given that the lead time for new projects is five years. In addition, the country must import part of the coal needed to fuel its power plants, but with prices expected to rise sharply by 2010, Vietnam is finding it difficult to secure long term supply contracts.

Experts have suggested that the government should allow EVN, the national electricity utility, to assign EPC contracts for urgent projects.

Bangladesh plans new coal power plants

Bangladesh is planning to build two new coal fired power plants close to ports at Chittagong and Mongla in order to supply power across the country. It is intended that the plants will be fuelled with coal imported from Australian and Indonesia.

Capacity of the two new plants is yet to be decided. They are required to supply power from coal to replace generation from the country’s dwindling gas reserves.

Providing fuel supply deals can be struck, this will represent the first time the country has imported coal from either Australia or Indonesia.

Investment for Mekong River development

The Finnish government has agreed to provide €2m ($2.9m) over four years to support development of a hydropower programme for the Mekong River basin.

As part of this assistance, part of the new funds will be used for a manpower capacity building project. This will enable 40 professional from the Mekong River nations, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, to train and work at the MRC.

China’s renewable development accelerates

China is expected to invest $10bn in renewable energy capacity in 2007, according to a report from the Worldwatch Institute. This will be the second highest national investment after Germany, the report says.

The report suggests the country is on target to achieve its goal of providing 15 per cent of energy from renewable sources by 2020.

Ultra-supercritical plant completes trial run

A 600 MW ultra-supercritical coal-fired power plant generating unit has completed a trial run of 168 hours at the Huaneng Qinbei Power plant in China. The trial of Unit 3 at the plant, in which Huaneng Power International holds a 60 per cent stake, was completed late November 2007.

Huaneng Power International owns 17 power plants in China, has controlling interests in 12 plants and has minority interests in a further five plants. Based on its equity stakes, the company owns 30 747 MW of generating capacity.

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Australia: Suzlon Energy Australia has won two orders for wind turbines with a total generating capacity of 204 MW. One order is for 63 units of 2.1 MW each for a wind farm north of Canberra, to be built by Renewable Power Ventures. A second order, from AGL Energy, involves supply of 34 units for a wind farm in South Australia.

China: AEA Technology has been appointed to run the first 18-month phase of a UK-China Near Zero Emissions Coal initiative, which aims to demonstrate coal fired power generation with carbon capture and storage in China. The project is expected to culminate with construction of a demonstration project to be commissioned by 2014.

China: Automation systems for two supercritical coal fired power plants in China are to be supplied by Metso Automation in a deal worth $2m. The two 600 MW units, at the Ma An Shan plant are being built by Shanghai Boiler Works.

India: Boilers and generating equipment for two 1200 MW power plants being built by Essar Group in India will be supplied by the Chinese company Harbin. The two plants are located in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. Essar is investing $3.8bn in three new 1200 MW plants.

Pakistan: The Pakistan-China Joint Investment Company is planning to take an equity stake in a coal mine and power generation project in Sindh province. A company to develop the scheme is due to be established in the near future.

Philippines: AES Power Corp has announced plans to double the capacity of the Masinioc coal fired power plant. The company acquired the 600 MW plant in July 2007 following an auction by the Philippines government.

Philippines: Korean Electric Power Corp has opened exploratory talks with the Philippines government about bring into service the mothballed Bataan nuclear power plant. The plant was completed in 1984 but has never generated any power.

Sri Lanka: The Daytang Power Group has put forward a proposal to build a 300 MW thermal power plant in Sri Lanka’s Southern Province. The proposal follows a meeting between delegates of the company and the Enterprise Development and Investment minister of the Sri Lankan government.