EDP mulls closing Soto de Ribera coal plant by 2022

  • : Electricity
  • 20/05/20

Portuguese utility EDP has been considering plans to shut down its 346MW Soto de Ribera 3 coal-fired plant in Spain by 2022 and only keep the 562MW Abono 2 coal unit in the country after that date.

In a market presentation this week, the company mentioned that 0.7GW of its 1.25GW Spanish coal-fired capacity is "to be shut down by 2022", implying that just 0.55GW would remain operational.

Apart from Abono 2 and Soto de Ribera 3, the company owns the 342MW Abono 1 unit in Spain. All units are located in the northwestern region of Asturias.

EDP had already confirmed plans to reconvert Abono 1 into a 181MW gas-fired plant by 2022 and revealed that it was studying potential renewable projects to replace its entire 2.4GW coal-fired power fleet in Iberia, which also includes the 1.18MW Sines plant in Portugal. But it had not previously disclosed any estimated closure dates for its remaining coal-fired plants, only saying that the whole fleet should be permanently shut down "well before 2030".

The company concluded retrofitting works at both Abono 2 and Soto de Ribera 3 in recent years so that the units could continue operating after June this year, when a new EU-wide emissions directive comes into force.

Several Spanish coal-fired plants that did not go through retrofitting investments will shut down by the middle of the year.

Queried by Argus, EDP said no official decision has been taken yet about the closure of Soto de Ribera 3.

"Current market conditions do not allow this unit to operate, with some alternatives being analysed for the future of the plant," it said.

In case Soto de Ribera 3 was to be shut down by 2022, only one other coal-fired unit would remain operational in mainland Spain apart from Abono 2: Spanish utility Viesgo's 570MW Los Barrios, located in Cadiz province in the southern region of Andalucia. This means that mainland Spain would have only 1.1GW of coal-fired capacity after 2022, down sharply from 9.2GW currently.

A combination of low European gas hub prices, higher EU emissions trading system allowance costs and accelerated renewable additions have made Spanish coal-fired plants uncompetitive since the second quarter of last year.

Major Spanish utilities Naturgy and Iberdrola are completely withdrawing from coal generation in the middle of this year, while competitor Endesa plans to shut down its final coal-fired plants in mainland Spain by the end of 2021 while keeping its Es Murterar coal-fired plant in the Balearic islands until 2025.


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24/05/22

UK general election set for 4 July

UK general election set for 4 July

London, 22 May (Argus) — A general election will take place in the UK on 4 July, prime minister Rishi Sunak said today. The announcement coincides with official data showing that UK inflation has fallen to its lowest level in nearly three years. Labour, the country's main opposition party led by Keir Starmer, has held a substantial lead in polls in recent months and performed well in local elections earlier this month. It won nearly 200 seats on local councils, as well as several regional mayoral contests, while the ruling Conservative Party lost almost 500 council seats. The Conservatives have been in power since 2010 and have fielded five prime ministers during that time. The two main parties are likely to release more detailed manifestos once the election campaign begins, but their current respective energy policies have many similarities. Both back a windfall tax on oil and gas producers and support nuclear power. They both also support offshore wind and solar power, although Labour has incrementally more ambitious targets for those renewables and has plans for more onshore wind. Labour also wants a zero-carbon power grid by 2030 , while the Conservatives are aiming for that in 2035. The Conservatives have rolled back some climate policy since Sunak became prime minister, while Labour in February backed down on its pledge to spend £28bn/yr ($35.6bn/yr) on the country's energy transition, if it wins the election. For a general election to take place in the UK, the prime minister must request permission from the British monarch — King Charles III — who then dissolves parliament. A general election must take place at least once every five years in the UK, although a prime minister can call one at any point. The UK's last general election was held on 12 December 2019 and Boris Johnson was elected prime minister. There have since then been two prime ministers — Liz Truss in September-October 2022 — and Sunak. Truss was selected by Conservative Party members and Sunak became prime minister in October 2022 after the only other candidate withdrew from the leadership contest. The Conservatives hold 344 seats out of 650 in the House of Commons, the UK's lower house of parliament. But 105 members of parliament have said that they will not run at the next election, 66 of whom are Conservatives. By Georgia Gratton Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Japan’s FEPC calls for clearer nuclear policy stance


24/05/20
24/05/20

Japan’s FEPC calls for clearer nuclear policy stance

Osaka, 20 May (Argus) — Japan's Federation of Electric Power Companies (FEPC) has called for a clarification of the country's nuclear power policy, to ensure stable electricity supply and alignment with its net zero emissions goal. The call comes as the government reviews its basic energy policy , which was formulated in 2021 and calls for the reduction of dependence on nuclear reactors as much as possible. But Japan's guidelines for green transformation, which was agreed in February 2023, states that Japan should make the most of existing nuclear reactors. Tokyo should clearly state in its new energy policy that it is necessary to not only restart existing nuclear reactors, but also build new reactors, said FEPC chairman Kingo Hayashi on 17 May. Hayashi is also the president of utility Chubu Electric Power. Hayashi emphasised that to utilise reactors, it would be necessary to have discussions regarding financial support, policy measures that would help ensure cost recovery, address back-end issues in the nuclear fuel cycle and conduct a review of nuclear damage compensation law. Japan's current basic energy policy is targeted for the April 2030-March 2031 fiscal year, when the country's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is forecast to fall by 46pc from 2013-14 levels. To achieve this, the power mix in the policy set the nuclear ratio at 20-22pc, as well as 36-38pc from renewables, 41pc from thermal fuels and 1pc from hydrogen and ammonia. Japan typically reviews the country's basic energy policy every three years. Nuclear, as well as renewables, would be necessary to reduce Japan's GHG emissions, although thermal power units would still play a key role in addressing power shortages. But Japan has faced challenges in restarting the country's reactors following safety concerns after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, with only 12 reactors currently operational. Japan's nuclear generation in 2023 totalled 77TWh, which accounted for just 9pc of total power output. Tokyo has made efforts to promote the use of reactors, after the current basic energy policy was introduced in 2021. The trade and industry ministry (Meti) has updated its nuclear policy, by allowing nuclear power operators to continue using reactors beyond their maximum lifespan of 60 years by excluding a safety scrutiny period in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. This could advance the discussion on Japan's nuclear stance, especially if the new basic energy policy includes more supportive regulations. The trade and industry ministry started discussions to review the energy policy on 15 May, aiming to revise it by the end of this fiscal year. It is still unclear what year it is targeting and what ratio will be set for each power source in the new policy. But the deliberation would form a key part of efforts to update the GHG emissions reduction goal, ahead of the submission of the country's new nationally determined contribution in 2025, with a timeframe for implementation until 2035. By Motoko Hasegawa Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Japan’s Jera to handle 35mn t/yr LNG until FY2035-36


24/05/17
24/05/17

Japan’s Jera to handle 35mn t/yr LNG until FY2035-36

Osaka, 17 May (Argus) — Japan's largest LNG importer Jera plans to maintain its LNG handling volumes at no less than 35mn t/yr until the April 2035-March 2036 fiscal year. Rising renewable power supplies and the possible return of more nuclear reactors are likely to pressure LNG demand from Japan's power sector. Jera consumed 23mn t of LNG in 2023-24, down by 3pc on the year, although it handled 35mn t through its global operations during the same year. But Jera needs to secure sufficient LNG supplies to adjust for imbalances in electricity supplies and ensure power security, through more flexible operations. It is also looking to further promote LNG along with renewable electricity in Asian countries, while helping to reduce their dependence on coal- and oil-fired power generators. The 2035 target for LNG is part of Jera's three pillars of strategic focus, along with renewables as well as hydrogen and ammonia , which was announced on 16 May to spur decarbonisation towards its 2050 net zero emissions goal. The company plans to invest ¥5 trillion ($32bn) for these three areas over 2024-36. Jera also aims to retire all supercritical or less efficient coal-fired units by 2030-31 . This would help achieve the company's target of cutting CO2 emissions from its domestic business by at least 60pc against 2013-14 levels by 2035-36. By Motoko Hasegawa Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Biomass start-ups lift Japan's Renova April power sales


24/05/17
24/05/17

Biomass start-ups lift Japan's Renova April power sales

Tokyo, 17 May (Argus) — Japanese renewable power developer Renova's electricity sales doubled on the year in April, following the start-up of three biomass power plants in the past six months. Renova sold 199,601MWh of electricity — including solar, biomass and geothermal — in April, double the 99,857MWh a year earlier, the company announced on 13 May. The 75MW Sendai Gamo plant in northeastern Miyagi prefecture started operations in November 2023 and produced 40,753MWh in April. The 74.8MW Tokushima Tsuda plant in western Tokushima prefecture, which was commissioned in December 2023, generated 10,870MWh in April. The 75MW Ishinomaki Hibarino plant in Miyagi began normal runs in March and supplied 49,495MWh in April. Renova plans to add 124.9MW biomass-fired capacity in the April 2024-March 2025 fiscal year, with the 75MW Omaezaki plant in central Shizuoka city scheduled to begin commercial operations in July, followed by the 49.9MW Karatsu plant in southern Saga city in December. Omaezaki is currently conducting trial runs and Karatsu is under construction. The additions will increase Renova's biomass-fired capacity to 445MW. By Takeshi Maeda Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Mexican power outages enter fourth day


24/05/10
24/05/10

Mexican power outages enter fourth day

Mexico City, 10 May (Argus) — Mexican power grid operator Cenace issued its fourth consecutive day of operating alerts amid the heatwave gripping the country. Net electricity demand reached 47,321MW early today, with deployed electricity capacity slightly below at 47,233 MW, according to Cenace. Since 7 May, Cenace has declared emergency operating alerts as demand exceeded generation capacity during peak evening hours, prompting the grid operator to preemptively cut electricity supply across different states to maintain grid integrity. Power outages have lasted up to several hours in Mexico City and in major industrial states as power demand has outstripped supply by up to 1,000MW. Peak demand this week hit 49,000MW, just below last year's historic peak of 53,000MW during atypical temperatures in June. "We are very concerned about the unprecedented outages detected across 21 states, a situation that affects the normal functioning of Mexican companies," national business chamber Coparmex said. Peak electricity demand typically rises in June-July but temperatures this week have risen as high as 48°C (118° F) across some states. Mexico City reported a record high of 34.3°C on 9 May and high temperatures are forecast to continue into next week, Mexico's national weather service said. The inability of Mexico's grid to respond to increased demand is because of insufficient power generation capacity, non-profit think-tank the Mexican institute for competitiveness (Imco) said this week. "Despite the energy ministry's forecast that 22,000MW of new power capacity would enter service by 2026, only 1,483MW had entered service as of 2022" since late 2018, Imco said. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's administration pledged to build new generation capacity, including five gas-fired, combined-cycle plants, but recognized this week that delays had contributed to the power outages. "We have an electricity generation deficit because some of the combined-cycle plants were delayed, but we are working on it and it will soon be resolved," Lopez Obrador said on 9 May. Lopez Obrador's government has also curtailed private sector power development during his administration. Mexico needs to upgrade and expand its transmission network, industry associations say. "In order to resolve this problem, we believe that a reopening of the electricity market to the private sector is imperative," Mexico's wind energy association, Amdee, said. Mexico has 87,130MW of installed capacity, with 39.5pc from combined-cycle gas-fired power plants and 31pc in renewable power, including wind, solar, hydroelectric, geothermal and biomass, according to the latest statistics from the energy ministry. By Rebecca Conan Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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