Netherlands 'taking steps' towards new nuclear plants

  • : Electricity, Hydrogen
  • 22/06/13

The Dutch government is "taking steps" towards the construction of two new nuclear power plants, according to a national energy system plan outlined last week.

According to the outline published on Friday, a scenario study is being conducted into the relationship between various types of CO2-free capacity and how nuclear energy can be integrated into the Dutch power mix. The study is also looking at the cost efficiency of nuclear energy at the system level and the potential benefits in terms of use of space and infrastructure investments. The outline also says the role that nuclear energy can play in the production of hydrogen will be explored.

The outline states that future domestic capacity will cover "approximately" the Netherlands' direct annual power demand and that given the variable nature of renewable generation, flexibility must increase. The required adjustable generation — which nuclear generation offers, the outline says — would also have to be CO2-free.

The government's coalition agreement at the end of 2021 stated that the country would aim to build two nuclear reactors after 2030 and extend the lifespan of the only active reactor, the 485MW Borssele plant. Nuclear output from Borssele has averaged just over 414MW in 2022, around the same as in 2021,when it averaged 412MW.

Onshore and offshore wind output has risen by an average of 177.29MW and 282.72MW, respectively, on the year in 2022. The government last week announced tenders for six new offshore wind farms totalling 10.7GW to be held in 2025-27, with the view to launching them in 2029-31.


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24/04/22

Colombia's electricity woes add to unrest against Petro

Colombia's electricity woes add to unrest against Petro

Bogota, 22 April (Argus) — Colombians took the streets of major cities and towns across the nation on Sunday to protest mainly against health, pension and labor changes, but potential power outages are also creating discontent. Authorities estimated that about 250,000 Colombians marched in widespread protests, sparked by changes in healthcare. Congress in April had rejected President Gustavo Petro's proposals in the sector, and the government the next day seized the two largest private-sector health insurers. Protesting healthcare workers say the government did this to implement changes through a back channel. "Regulatory noise and risk are likely to remain high amid announcements, proposals, and measures [that do not require congressional approval], aimed at changing the game's rules in strategic sectors," brokerage Credicorp Capital said. Colombians also protested being on the verge of electricity rationing like that in neighboring Ecuador as hydroelectric reservoirs remain at record-low levels. Several unions and other associations have long warned the Petro administration to take measures to offset the effects of the El Nino weather phenomenon. Electricity distributors last year called for allowing bills for energy purchased on the spot market to be deferred and for loosening price index rules, among other proposals. The national business council sent at least three letters to the president on the issue. At least nine separate letters calling for preparation to prevent blackouts were sent to the president and ministers. Several actions were only recently implemented . "There are no risk of electricity rationing in Colombia," former energy minister Irene Velez said in 2023. "We do not understand why some people are interested in generating panic." Government weather forecasts also overestimated rainfall expected for March, leading hydroelectric plants to use more water in the reservoirs than they otherwise would have, said director of the thermoelectric generation association (Andeg) Alejandro Castaneda. Reservoir levels stood at 29.5pc today, rising thanks to rains since 19 April, up from 28.75pc on 18 April. Electricity rationing is set to begin when reservoirs drop below 27pc, according to grid operator XM. By Diana Delgado Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Australia to launch 6GW renewables tender in May


24/04/22
24/04/22

Australia to launch 6GW renewables tender in May

Sydney, 22 April (Argus) — Australia's federal government plans to launch the country's largest ever tender for renewable energy in May, with more than a third of the capacity to be allocated to New South Wales (NSW) state. The first major tender under the federal government's expanded Capacity Investment Scheme (CIS) will offer support for 6GW of renewable generation capacity, with at least 2.2GW of the total set specifically to NSW, the federal and state governments said in a joint statement on 22 April. A market briefing outlining the tender process will be released in early May. A minimum of 300MW will also be exclusively allocated to projects in South Australia (SA), even though that is still subject to a final agreement between the federal and state governments. The remaining capacity will be allocated across the National Electricity Market, which apart from NSW and SA also includes Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory. Tenders will run every six months until 2026-27 under the expanded CIS, with up to 15 years of support for a total of 32GW . This will consist of 23GW of renewable capacity like solar, wind and hydro and 9GW of dispatchable capacity such as pumped hydro and grid-scale batteries with at least two hours of dispatch. The inclusion of generation projects in NSW in the first CIS tender will replace the state's scheduled long-term energy service agreements (LTESA) tender under its NSW Roadmap. NSW will proceed though with the LTESA tender for long-duration storage infrastructure in the second quarter of 2024, as well as processes to award access rights for its Central West Orana and South West Renewable Energy Zones. The federal government also said it plans to launch a separate tender in Western Australia in mid-2024 targeting 500MW of dispatchable capacity. By Juan Weik Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Japan's Jera shuts Chiba gas-fired power unit


24/04/22
24/04/22

Japan's Jera shuts Chiba gas-fired power unit

Tokyo, 22 April (Argus) — Japan's largest electricity producer by capacity Jera has shut the 360MW No.1-4 combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) units at its Chiba power complex because of a technical problem. Jera closed on 22 April the CCGT units at the 4.38GW Chiba complex in east Japan's Chiba prefecture, according to a notice by Japan Electric Power Exchange (Jepx). It is unclear when the units will be brought back on line. The unexpected shutdown is likely to have limited impact on Japan's power market as the country has experienced mild weather lately that has capped power consumption. Jera consumed 16.7mn t of LNG in April-December 2023, lower by 4.8pc compared with the same period a year earlier, according to the firm's latest financial results. Japan's total power demand averaged 83GW during 15-21 April, down by 3pc from the previous week, data show from nationwide transmission system operator the Organisation for Cross-regional Co-ordination of Transmission Operators. Japan plans to add 1.1GW of thermal capacity during the week to 28 April, with the addition of 11.5GW outstripping the closure of 10.4GW, according to Argus' survey based on a Jepx notice. The difference incorporates the net increase this week in gas-fired capacity of 2GW and the net drop in coal-fired capacity of 887MW. By Reina Maeda Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Australia's QPM to focus on gas, cut Tech battery spend


24/04/22
24/04/22

Australia's QPM to focus on gas, cut Tech battery spend

Sydney, 22 April (Argus) — Australian battery metals refiner Queensland Pacific Metals (QPM) will focus on energy markets via its Moranbah gas project (MGP) and limit further expenditure on its Townsville Energy Chemicals Hub (Tech) project. The firm will switch its prioritisation to its wholly-owned QPM Energy (QPME) business, with QPME's chief executive David Wrench to be appointed as QPM chief executive, the company said on 22 April. MGP's coal mine waste gas output from nearby the coal mining hub of Moranbah in Queensland's Bowen basin will be increased to 35 TJ/d (935,000 m³/d) by late 2024, up from October-December 2023's 28 TJ/d, with QPME to accelerate production and reserves to provide required peaking power for the national electricity market (NEM) via Thai-controlled energy firm Ratch Australia's 242MW Townsville Power Station. QPME aims to drill a further seven wells by the year's end, increase workovers and increase production from third-party supply of waste mine gas from regional coal mines. The company is also seeking to develop a portfolio of plants to supply up to 300MW of gas-fired power to the NEM, while compressed natural gas and micro-LNG facilities will also be developed in Townsville and Moranbah, QPME said. A surge in government support for renewable power generation in order to meet Australia's 2030 emissions target by retiring coal-fired power means more gas-peaking plants will likely be needed in the coming years to support variable generators. But Australia's domestic gas supply is forecast to experience shortfalls this decade, with predictions of a 76 PJ/yr gap in 2028. The Tech project which aims to produce 16,000 t/yr of nickel and 1,750 t/yr of cobalt sulphates from imported laterite ore saw its funding significantly reduced in February because of what QPM described as a "challenging investment environment" resulting from depressed nickel prices. By Tom Major Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Europe 2.6°C above pre-industrial temperature in 2023


24/04/22
24/04/22

Europe 2.6°C above pre-industrial temperature in 2023

London, 22 April (Argus) — Temperatures in Europe stood at 2.6°C above pre-industrial levels in 2023, data from the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) show. Europe last year experienced either its joint-warmest or second-warmest year on record, the WMO and EU earth-monitoring service Copernicus found today, in a joint report, European State of the Climate 2023 . The organisations use datasets covering different geographical domains for Europe. WMO includes Greenland, the South Caucasus and part of the Middle East in its dataset. Copernicus put the temperature in Europe last year at between 2.48–2.58°C above pre-industrial levels. The Paris climate agreement seeks to limit global warming to "well below" 2°C and preferably to 1.5°C. Europe is warming roughly twice as fast as the rest of the world. The global average temperature in 2023 was 1.45°C above the pre-industrial average, the WMO said earlier this year . It confirmed 2023 as the hottest on record. Climate scientists use the period 1850-1900 as the baseline for a pre-industrial average. Temperatures in Europe in 2023 were above average for 11 months of the year, and there was a record number of days with "extreme heat stress", the report found. The three warmest years on record for Europe have occurred since 2020, and the 10 warmest since 2007, it said. Electricity generation from renewables in Europe last year reached the highest proportion on record, at 43pc up from 36pc in 2022, the WMO and Copernicus said. Increased storm activity between October-December and above-average precipitation and river flow resulted in higher potential for wind power and run-of-river hydropower generation, respectively. Atmospheric concentrations of CO2 and methane — the greenhouse gases (GHGs) causing the most warming — continued to increase in 2023, "reaching record levels", the report found. It put CO2 concentrations at 419 parts per million (ppm) and methane at 1,902 parts per billion (ppb) on average last year. "Only around half of anthropogenic emissions of CO2 have been absorbed by land vegetation and oceans", the organisations said. GHGs from human activity are driving climate change, but the El Nino weather phenomenon also typically leads to higher temperatures. The El Nino weather pattern, which started in July 2023, peaked in December , the WMO said previously, but could still affect temperatures this year. There is a 60pc chance of La Nina conditions — which typically lead to lower temperatures — developing in June-August, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said earlier this month. By Georgia Gratton Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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