IEA: Renewables to overtake gas “after 2010”

Renewable energy will overtake natural gas to become the second largest source of power generation worldwide “after 2010”, according to the International Energy Agency.

Dr Fatih Birol, chief economist of the IEA, told Power Engineering International that electricity from renewable energy would be second only to that from coal in the overall global power generation mix before 2015.

He said: “This includes not only the so-called ‘new renewables’: wind, solar, biomass etc., but also large hydropower. Put together, renewables are going to take over natural gas to become the second largest source of power generation behind coal after 2010.”

Dr Birol was speaking at the launch of the IEA’s World Energy Outlook 2008, which states, “Renewables-based electricity generation is expected to grow substantially over the coming decades, benefiting from high fossil fuel prices, declining investment costs and government support.

“Before 2015, electricity from renewable energy sources is projected to overtake gas as the world’s second largest source of electricity behind coal, rising from 18 per cent in 2006 to 20 per cent in 2015 and 23 per cent in 2030.”

The IEA said in the period to 2015, most of the increase in renewable generation would come from hydropower and onshore wind farms.

Saudi Arabia launches $21bn power capacity plan

Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) is planning a SR79.6bn ($21bn) programme to award contracts for nine independent power projects (IPPs) between 2010 and 2017, adding 9360 MW to the kingdom’s power generating capacity.

Ali al-Barrak, chief executive officerof SEC, told MEED that it will mean the overall programme of IPPs planned by SEC will add almost 15 GW of capacity to the national grid, at a total cost of more than SR100bn.

The nine plants will start operations between 2014 and 2021 and will be located across the kingdom.

South Africa re-examining nuclear plans

South Africa’s plan to build its second nuclear plant to tackle energy shortages has to be revisited – and the project may be postponed.

France’s Areva and US-based Westinghouse Electric have bid for the contract, but Tseliso Maqubela, acting deputy director general at the Department of Minerals and Energy, said the large scale of the investment made the decision difficult, especially in the context of the global economic downturn.

A decision on the contract or whether to delay the plant altogether is envisaged by the end of this year.

Turkish power plants first to use GE’s newest technology

GE Energy has announced that ENKA Power, a leading utility company in Turkey, has become the first global customer to invest in GE’s newest fuel-saving technology for gas turbines.

The efficiency upgrades will be made at two of Turkey’s most important power plants: ENKA Power’s facilities in Adapazari and Izmir. The new upgrades are capable of helping ENKA meet the terms of Turkey’s new energy initiative to improve efficiency and productivity.

The project marks the global debut of GE’s newly developed cooling optimization package for 9FA gas turbines. The package increases gas turbine efficiency by more than one per cent, which is expected to provide ENKA with significant savings in fuel costs per kilowatt of electricity generated.

When completed, the upgrades will increase the total output of five combined-cycle blocks by approximately 35 MW, or enough power to serve an additional 150 000 Turkish households. GE’s fuel saving technology will help each gas turbine reduce the carbon release by one per cent per megawatt produced.

Wood Group unit wins Abu Dhabi clean energy deal

Abu Dhabi clean energy venture Masdar has awarded Houston-based Mustang Engineering (a unit of UK John Wood Group) an engineering and design contract for its carbon capture and storage project.

State-run Masdar did not give the value of the contract, but said in a statement the project is the first phase in a series of facilities capturing carbon dioxide emissions from the Gulf Arab emirate’s industrial and power generation plants.

The project will capture five million tonnes of carbon dioxide by the end of 2013. The initiative is aimed at developing innovative technologies in renewable, alternative and sustainable energy.

Kuwait to issue Al-Zour North tender

Kuwait’s Electricity & Water Ministry is expected to issue a new tender for the planned 3000 MW Al-Zour North power plant before the end of 2008, contractors in the country told MEED.

The plant will have capacity of 3000 MW.

A group of consisting of the US’ Washington Group International, South Korea’s Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction Company and Athens-based Consolidated Contractors International Company (CCC) was the sole bidder.

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Algeria: Algeria and Argentina have signed a nuclear energy research co-operation agreement. Argentina constructed a nuclear reactor in Algeria, located near the capital Algiers, in 1984. Algeria intensified its efforts to build a nuclear infrastructure last year and new laws will be introduced in 2009.

Azerbaijan: ABB has won a $34m order from Azerbaijan’s state power utility, AzerEnerji, to supply turnkey substations and power systems for the metal industry in Gyandja City. ABB will deliver air- and gas-insulated substations and two units of gas-insulated switchgear (GIS), as well as breakers, surge arresters, etc.

Bahrain: Areva has been awarded an $88.74m upgrade contract by Aluminium Bahrain (Alba), the largest aluminium producer in the Middle East. Under the deal, Areva will design, manufacture and commission ten transformer-rectifier groups each of 37 kA 1200 V for Alba.

Israel: Siemens will supply three SGT5-4000F gas turbines, three air-cooled generators, the exhaust stack and the air intake system for the Ramat Hovav, Hagit and Eskhol power stations. The order value is approximately $252m.

Nigeria: Sokoto State Government has signed a contract agreement for the establishment of a 30 MW independent power plant (IPP) with US-based energy company, Vulcan Capital Energy at the cost of N3.8bn ($32m).

Nigeria: Oyo State government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with South Africa’s ENTEC Power and Utilities for the establishment of 250 MW independent power project at the cost of $400m.

Qatar: Doha has launched a preliminary study to assess the viability of a nuclear power plant project. The study is being conducted to identify an appropriate site and find out if it can be linked to the grid.

Russia: Inter RAO UES has brought on-line the third hydroelectric power unit at the Sangtudinskaya GES-1 facility, located on the Vakhsh river, Tajikistan. The capacity of the unit is 167.5 MW. Once the fourth unit is on stream the capacity will be 670 MW.

Saudi Arabia: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has received an order from Spain’s Tecnicas Reunidas for two gas fired 150 MW M501F gas turbine and generators. It will be installed at a Saudi Aramco plant.