The gas business and electric business have been joined at the hip for decades, despite numerous artificial barriers preventing an efficient coordination of resources. It’s past time to rethink the relationship.
New regulations from the EPA have created alarm in some corners of the electricity sector. A fair review of the state of the industry indicates that most stakeholders are well-positioned to comply without sacrificing reliability.
The explosion of public attention directed at hydraulic fracturing in 2011 has led to heightened regulatory scrutiny. This year will likely see a range of new regulations rolling out at the federal, state, and local levels. Will this new oversight help clean up the industry—or choke it off?
A mild winter and surging shale production have gas inventories at record highs. Absent major production cutbacks, the industry is facing the near-certain prospect of major amounts of gas being dumped on the market later this year.
Once primarily deployed for peaking and industrial use, gas-fired combustion engines are becoming an increasing part of the baseload fleet because of their flexibility and ease of operation. Wärtsilä’s latest engine offers a new level of power and efficiency that can compete with gas-fired combustion turbines in baseload operations.
The Lower Colorado River Authority (LRCA) is slated to replace an aging gas-fired thermal plant outside Austin with a modern combined cycle facility. It’s an upgrade sure to be welcomed as the Texas electric market faces an increasingly murky future.
A fast-growing population means skyrocketing electricity demand for the desert Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The government is trying to meet this demand head-on with a massive build-out of gas turbine generation capacity, but long-term success will hinge on its ability to produce reliable domestic supplies of natural gas—a problem for a country whose existence has long been tightly tethered to crude oil production.
However bright the future of gas-fired power may appear to be, the industry still needs good leadership to get there. It’s not clear we’re getting it, at least from Washington.
Rwanda’s Lake Kivu has a nickname: “Killer Lake.” The shimmering 1,040–square mile body of freshwater on the western branch of the Great East African Rift that straddles the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda has had a bloody history. Not only was it the site of atrocity during the 1994 Rwandan genocide, but scientists say that it is also one of three known “exploding lakes.”
For the past 15 years, Vietnam has enjoyed enviable gross domestic product increases, averaging 7% annually. That kind of economic growth increases power demand, but financing new capacity remains a challenge. Reaching its ambitious capacity growth goals will require Vietnam to expand its financing and vendor base, attract foreign investment, and ensure future fuel supplies in a region thick with competition for those resources.