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FuturENERGY Dec.19 - Jan. 2020

The start of 2019 heralded good news for industrial consumers of gas with the publication of Royal Decree 1/2019, which effectively transferred the competencies of the gas and electricity regulations to the CNMC (the Spanish National Commission on Markets and Competition). This has followed repeated calls from Europe for the independent body to be the entity that establishes the energy remuneration and tolls, thereby constituting a new regulatory framework… By Verónica Rivière Managing Director of GasINDUSTRIAL.

 

The European ECO-GATE Consortium, co-financed by the European Union and led by Nedgia, the gas distributor of the Naturgy group, has initiated test injection and distribution of the renewable gas generated at the Butarque wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) in the Nedgia distribution network. Butarque’s renewable gas project has the collaboration of Enagás, Canal de Isabel II, Naturgy and the Community of Madrid.

This is a milestone in the distribution of natural gas in Spain, since it will be the first time that renewable gas has been injected into the distribution network that will serve to develop the system of certificates of origin for renewable gas in Spain to advance in the compliance with the environmental decarbonization objectives proposed by Europe in 2030.

At the Butarque WWTP, which is managed by Canal de Isabel II, Nedgia has installed a biomethane (renewable gas) production module that purifies the biogas recovered from the wastewater treatment plant (upgrading process) and another to inject the biomethane produced into its natural gas distribution network. In addition, powered by the Nedgia distribution network at that point, the project also includes a compressed natural gas (CNG) refuelling pump for vehicles, managed by Naturgy. For it’s part, Enagás will analyze the gas quality of this experience of using biomethane for mobility.

With the development of this innovative project at the WWTP in Butarque, the European ECO-GATE consortium has four objectives:

  • The production of biomethane from a biogas generated from waste recovery.
  • The injection of biomethane produced into the natural gas distribution network owned by NEDGIA, for distribution to the point of final consumption.
  • Market development of certificates of origin of renewable gas in Spain.
  • Demonstration of efficient and ecological use of renewable gas in land mobility applications.

Same applications as natural gas

Biomethane, as a renewable gas, is a CO2 emissions-neutral fuel generated through the degradation processes of organic matter. In this way, urban, agricultural, livestock and forest waste, wastewater, etc. are treated and transformed into a green gas, an energy that is completely interchangeable with natural gas, so it can be distributed through the most of 87,000 km of the gas infrastructure that exists in Spain and used with the same energy applications in homes, industries, and shops, as well as for fuel in the transport sector. This does not require investments (neither public nor private) to be made to transform network infrastructures or user consumption equipment.

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Rolls-Royce and VPower Group have strengthened their strategic relationship by signing a landmark deal for the supply of state-of-the-art, high-efficiency gas power generation equipment of the MTU brand.
According to the final agreement recently inked in Hong Kong, China, Rolls-Royce will supply over 200 MTU Series 4000 natural gas gensets with a total power output of 430 MW, starting October 2019. The fleet will be deployed to support VPower Group’s key business streams of LNG-to-power, flexible generation, distributed and other fast track power solutions globally.

The relationship between Rolls-Royce and VPower Group dates back to 2008 and has continued to grow over the years. Today, VPower Group is the world’s largest owner and operator of MTU power generation systems, with a wide range of applications in China and other countries. The ever-growing strategic partnership between Rolls-Royce and VPower Group demonstrates both companies’ commitment to providing the most efficient and reliable power generation solutions optimised to meet customer needs and to address the energy and environmental challenges faced by the world today and tomorrow.

Since 2014, VPower Group has been using MTU gas gensets from Rolls-Royce to strengthen its leadership in Myanmar’s fast track power segment. This has led to VPower’s recent winning of a mega sized LNG-to-power tender issued by Electric Power Generation Enterprise (EPGE), Ministry of Electricity and Energy of the Government of Myanmar. Together with China National Technology Import and Export Corporation (CNTIC), VPower Group’s long-term EPC partner as consortium party, the consortium will deliver the much-needed power supply to millions of households in Myanmar before the summer peaks of 2020 using MTU gensets running on clean gas fuel.

Source: Rolls Royce

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AleaSoft reviews the news about the European electricity markets and the factors that most influenced their prices and those that were most commented in the news of the sector, along with other topics such as PPAs.

The CO2 emission rights price has carried the bad reputation earned during 2018 over into 2019, when its tremendous upward race tripled its price in a few months and dragged along with it the price of electricity markets across Europe. So far in 2019, the price of CO2 has continued at very high levels, exceeding even the levels reached is September last year, but at least its explosive upward race has slowed down. Even so, the CO2 and the trading of emission rights continued to be present in the news of the sector. This is due to the close relationship that the emission rights keep with the fight for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and against climate change.

In January, the Royal Decree that was already preparing the ground for the fourth phase of the European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) for CO2 and other greenhouse gases as of 2021 was published. Already then, AleaSoft mentioned that, although emission rights are an essential tool for the decarbonisation of the electricity generation, the impact it has on the competitiveness of the electrointensive industry compared to other countries outside the EU ETS, known as the carbon leakage, should not be underestimated.

The electrointensive industry also occupied many headlines these months, especially after the latest results of interruptible power allocation auctions. According to the Association of Companies with Great Energy Consumption (AEGE, for its acronym in Spanish), these results, which have been the worst in the history of the auctions, aggravate the loss of competitiveness of the companies with large electricity consumption, so they asked the government to take urgent measures to resolve this competitive disadvantage.

Another aspect that also concerns the electrointensive industry is another of the highlighted headlines’ topics, especially during April: the return of the 7% tax on electricity generation. This is how the IVPEE, the Tax on the Value of Electric Energy Production, is popularly known. This tax, levied with 7% the energy sold in the market, was reintroduced as of April 1 after a temporary six-month suspension. According to AleaSoft’s estimations at that time, the price of the electricity market could increase between 2% and 5% at first.

In addition to the electrointensive industry, the reintroduction of the tax on generation also affected the competitiveness of Spanish combined cycle power plants and thermal power plants compared to its Portuguese and French competitors that do not have this additional tax burden and, thanks to international interconnections, they can sell their most competitive energy in the Spanish electricity market.

Regarding the capacity of international interconnections, on March 26, the European Parliament definitively approved the reform of the European electricity market, which already had the approval of the European Union Council and the Parliament permanent representatives. This reform classifies as urgent the need to increase the capacity of these interconnections and that this capacity should be available to the wholesale markets, in order to adequately integrate the increase in renewable production and advance towards the decarbonisation of the electricity system.

It also made the news in this 2019 the confirmation of the trend of the volatility decrease of the price in the electricity markets thanks, among others, to the increase in the capacity of international interconnections, especially with France. The interconnections act as a shock absorber for prices, increasing the flow of imports or exports when prices between two markets tend to separate.
On the other hand, the gas and coal fuels prices for electricity generation were the protagonists, but for the opposite case of the price of CO2: to go down. During 2018 the price of TTF gas and API 2 coal, the reference in the European continent, rose in tandem with the price of CO2 emission rights and peaked in September. Since then, and throughout the first half of 2019, the prices of these two fuels have not stopped falling, reaching minimum values of several years.

Also during this first part of the year the shutdown calendar of the Spanish nuclear power plants, after fifty years of the commissioning of the first power plant was announced. This calendar, agreed between the shareholders of the power plants and Enresa, places the closure of the last power plant in 2035. If the calendar is finally met, the nuclear energy will have been present in the Spanish electricity mix for almost seventy years.

This agreement to put an end to nuclear power in Spain has led to the questioning of emission reduction targets for 2030, given that nuclear energy represents a virtually constant electricity production and without CO2 emissions. Its disappearance from the generation mix will give more prominence to gas combined cycles as a backup for non-dispatchable renewable energies which, while less polluting than coal-fired plants, are CO2 emitters.

The total shutdown or a decrease of nuclear power is planned in several countries such as Germany, France, Belgium and Sweden in their plans to achieve the environmental objectives of 2030. However there are other countries, such as Finland, which plan to increase their nuclear capacity or, like Poland, to start using it in the next twenty years.

But the shutdown of nuclear power plants will not only impact CO2 emissions. The disappearance of a stable base production that makes market offers at zero price will have an undeniable impact on the electricity market price. The closure of each nuclear reactor will lead to an increase in the electricity market price. The magnitude of this increase will depend on the state of renewable power implementation at that time. Once again, uncertain and potentially catastrophic forecasts for the electricity consumers appear.

Faced with these uncertainties, it is essential to properly manage the market price risk. For a large energy consumer to manage that risk and assess their options between buying in the spot market, futures markets and a PPA, he must now have a clear answer to the question: what is the probability that the average market price in 2030 will be above 50 €/MWh?

Source: Aleasoft

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Rolls-Royce and the energy provider GETEC signed a cooperation agreement at the beginning of July 2019 and will thus intensify their collaboration on the design concept, construction and operation of decentralised energy supply systems in Europe. Both companies see great potential in their close cooperation.

 

Companies within the GETEC Group offer a wide range of energy-related services and system-based total solutions in contracting, from the basic concept and financing to the construction of the plant and down to operation and servicing. As the technology partner, Rolls-Royce contributes a large product portfolio of energy system solutions through its MTU Onsite Energy brand – plants for the generation of emergency standby and continuous power, in addition to CHP plants and microgrids. These include diesel and gas gensets, control systems and battery containers.

The aim of the collaboration is to supply and operate efficient and environmentally friendly decentralised energy systems, such as CHP plants, on and off-grid microgrid solutions, in addition to further energy-related services and energy-efficient solutions in contracting. Both partners will also jointly develop new solutions for the supply of energy to industrial companies, customers from the property sector and other areas that are tailored in each case to the specific need.

In the course of the last few months, the successful collaboration between Rolls-Royce and GETEC has already been demonstrated with the design concept and commissioning of a new microgrid for the German automotive components supplier Winkelmann in Ahlen. A total of six CHP modules and an instrumentation and control system from MTU Onsite Energy have been integrated into the plant. To compensate for production-related load variations of up to 1.5 MW in a matter of seconds, the experts from GETEC and Rolls-Royce have additionally connected two flywheel storage systems and a battery storage system to the system. In total, over 9 MW of electrical power and just under 10 MW of thermal output are available for the operation of the industrial company. This has enabled Winkelmann Powertrain Components GmbH to disconnect itself completely from the public grid and operate its own efficient energy system.

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The technology group Wärtsilä has been chosen to provide a flexible power generation solution based on three natural gas fueled Wärtsilä 34SG engines to ensure operational flexibility in the power generation system of Michigan State University’s (MSU) East Lansing campus in USA. The solution will help the university to achieve its energy modernisation plans and support the growing need for efficient energy on the campus.

The Engineered Equipment Delivery (EEQ) has been awarded by The Christman Company (TCC), the main contractor for a project to modernise the campus’ power generation system. The Wärtsilä 34SG engines, operating on natural gas have a total power output of 28 MW. The order with Wärtsilä was booked in March 2019.

MSU operates its own power plant to self-generate its electricity supply. The flexibility and efficiency of the medium-speed Wärtsilä34SG engines will help to modernise the campus generation system and increase its overall efficiency. This addition also accommodates the growing demand for electricity on campus. Furthermore, the fast-starting capability of the Wärtsilä engines will provide the balancing support needed to aid in the integration of intermittent solar energy into the system.

The Wärtsilä engines will provide considerable benefits to the modernisation project including improved overall efficiency and reliability while lowering environmental impact and operational costs of the plant.

The Wärtsilä equipment is scheduled for delivery in the beginning of 2020, and the plant is expected to be fully operational by the end of that year.

Building a sustainable future for the energy industry is the basis of Wärtsilä’s Smart Energy vision, which foresees ultimately 100 percent of power generation coming from renewable energy sources. This is enabled by integrating flexible energy generating assets together with intermittent renewables, such as solar and wind. Wärtsilä engines provide the required operational flexibility to make this possible.

Source: Wärtsilä

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Rolls-Royce and ABB have announced a global partnership on microgrid technology and advanced automation. Together the two companies will offer an innovative, energy-efficient microgrid solution for utilities, commercial and industrial entities. A microgrid is a small scale electric grid that combines power from distributed energy generation sources such as combined heat and power plants, diesel- and gas-powered gensets and renewable sources with batteries. The microgrid provides the overall control to coordinate these resources to meet the requirements of industrial, residential or consumer loads. Microgrids can either function off-grid, or connected to the main power grid. The ability of microgrids to seamlessly separate themselves from the main grid, in the event of a potential grid fault or emergency, is an in-creasingly important feature.

Reliable power supply – even during harsh weather conditions and times of peak consumption – is critical for economic growth. Integrating renewable energy is a sustainable solution to support uninterrupted power as well as encourage clean energy use. Microgrid solutions benefit utilities, industries and commercial sites that are looking for reliable power supply as well as cost and carbon emission reduction.

Microgrids enable resilient power supply even with high penetration of intermittent renewable energy sources like wind and solar. Digital automation and control systems intelligently coordinate distributed energy resources and loads for the microgrid to function efficiently.

Rolls-Royce offers the MTU Onsite Energy brand power system solutions: from mission critical, standby and continuous power to combined generation of heat and power, and microgrids. “Due to the transformation towards decarbonization, customers need to pursue sustainable power options that also deliver utmost profitability. For this, we rely primarily on microgrids, which are autonomous energy supply systems that are efficient, reliable, and environmentally friendly,” said Andreas Schell, CEO, Rolls-Royce Power Systems.“Combining our integrated MTU diesel and gas genset system technology and our control solutions, with ABB’s modular microgrid solution, control capability and remote service, will offer customers the combined strengths of the two world leaders in technology.

ABB Ability™ e-mesh™ can ensure a stable power grid, even with a high share of renewable energy from various sources, working smoothly together with already installed gas or diesel engines,” said Massimo Danieli, head of ABB’s grid automation business line within the company’s Power Grids business. “ABB has a vast number of microgrid installations globally and through our partnership with Rolls-Royce Power Systems, we will further support the growing interest for microgrid solutions globally.

The ABB Ability™ e-mesh™ solution will provide power generation asset owners a vertically integrated, unified view of their distributed energy resources and renewable power generation that is quick to deploy and that reduce operational costs. Cloud operations, site and fleet optimization, weather and load forecast and machine learning algorithms offer infinite insights for decision-making, such as knowing where to increase investments on maintenance or how to increase revenue streams to operate assets more profitable.

Source: ABB y Rolls-Royce

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    RENEWABLE ENERGIES

    IZHARIA INGENIERIA is an Engineering and Consultancy company specialising in the electricity sector. The high quality standards of the company’s products has resulted in their registration with Repro, ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. A leader in Renewable Energy, Izharia has undertaken the largest PV plant in Spain with 500 MW. It provides service to both the renewable energy sector and to the conventional power generation, transmission and electricity distribution sectors. Izharia collaborates with the leading Spanish utilities, performing engineering works for gas and electricity networks as well as for wind farms. Its offices in Spain and Panama support the company’s activities on all continents. Among others, it has undertaken projects in Australia, Jordan, Panama and Uruguay, among others.

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    In the new MethQuest project, which is being funded by the German Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), technologies are to be developed that will support Germany’s energy transition using methane-based fuels from renewables. The focus will also be on sector coupling, i.e. connecting up the energy and transport sectors.

    A total of 27 scientific, industrial and business partners are to collaborate on research and development work over a period of three years in six joint projects. The go-ahead was given by the Federal Government’s coordinator for the maritime industry, Norbert Brackmann, at the kick-off meeting held on 14 September in Friedrichshafen. Responsibility for the joint project coordination has been assigned to Rolls-Royce Power Systems and the DVGW Research Centre at Engler-Bunte-Institute (EBI) of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).

    In the MethQuest project, technologies are to be developed and analysed that will enable methane-based fuels from renewables to be used in mobile and stationary applications and subsequently launched on the market. While the use of gas is widespread, particularly for heating purposes, its potential for passenger, freight and maritime transport has hardly been developed to date. Its use in cogeneration plants to provide a flexible means of generating heat and power has also been stagnating for many years, in spite of the fact that cogeneration plants are seen as a key element of the energy transition.

    Taking the Port of Karlsruhe as a case study, the interfaces and synergies of sector coupling will be examined and simulated. Specifically, the purpose of the study is to determine how electricity, gas and heat can be produced locally as required and supplied to the end users. These will include the local port infrastructure, in addition to the city’s bus fleet and barges. Storage possibilities will also be considered that would enable the local grid to be operated independently.

    As Norbert Brackmann explained: “For a successful energy transition, it is absolutely essential that the energy and transport sectors are coupled and looked at as a whole. At the same time, methane-based fuels produced using electric power that is generated from renewable energy sources (”power-to-gas“) will be an important factor. They will enable greenhouse gas emissions to be significantly reduced, which will help is to achieve our climate protection goals. The further development of technologies that will make possible the energy-efficient use of these fuels is an integral part of the MethQuest lead project.

    The project has a total value of 32 million euros, with financing provided by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) amounting to a total of 19 million euros. Andreas Schell, CEO of Rolls-Royce Power Systems, and Dr. Frank Graf, Director, Gas Technology at the DVGW Research Centre at Engler-Bunte-Institute of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), accepted the official grant approval on behalf of the 27 project partners.

    Source: Rolls Royce Power Systems

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    Rolls-Royce will deliver two MTU Onsite Energy natural gas-fueled combined cooling, heating and power (CCHP) trigeneration systems to Richmond University Medical Center, a Level I trauma center in Staten Island, New York (USA).

    The trigeneration project is being managed by Innovative Energy Strategies (IES) and is part of a multi-million dollar facility expansion adding a substantial increase in the center  capacity. As one of two Level I trauma centers on Staten Island, Richmond University Medical Center recognized the importance of alternative power supply solutions, especially after experiencing the devastation of Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

    Stewart & Stevenson Power Products – Atlantic Division, an authorized MTU Onsite Energy distributor (part of Rolls-Royce Power Systems) , won a competitive bid to customize, supply, and deliver the two-natural gasfueled CCHP trigeneration systems.

    “After we evaluated the equipment, installation and maintenance requirements for the project, IES selected MTU because of the fuel conversion efficiency and the extended maintenance periods that significantly reduce the total cost of ownership,” said Marty

    Borruso, principal at IES. “Another major factor was the ability of the MTU engines to operate on low pressure gas, this feature is desirable in densely populated urban areas like New York City.”

    Rated at 1,500 kWe each and guaranteeing performance under high ambient conditions, the CCHP units will provide clean and efficient continuous power to the 114-year-old trauma center. The two 50,000-pound units will be housed in a former laundry facility adjacent to the hospital, which has been renovated to comply with sound attenuation rules and regulations. The units will quietly blend into the background sounds of what is a highly concentrated residential area and will be protected inside the structure from external conditions.

    “MTU Onsite Energy is a long-time partner to critical care facilities like the Richmond University Medical Center,” said Christian Mueller, senior sales engineer at MTU Onsite Energy. “These kinds of facilities have a year-round, 24/7 uptime obligation to patients, and we keep that top-of-mind when developing cogeneration solutions. MTU Onsite Energy is proud to offer peace of mind with the promise of cooling, heating and power to trauma centers when they need it most.”

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