Is it time to follow the coal phase out with a gas phase out target? WWF’s Gareth Redmond-King argues that when you look at the UK’s current energy infrastructure trends there is no need to respond to the coal phase out with a new ‘dash for gas’ Coal has been a major player in the United Kingdom’s history. However much harm burning it has done, and however strongly we make the case for stopping its use now to arrest that damage, there’s no point pretending that it hasn’t been hugely important to our development as a nation. WWF, with Sandbag, calculate that we can phase out coal without another (and I really hate this phrase…) ‘dash for gas’. In fact, we’re pretty sure that we don’t need any new large-scale gas to smooth the way to a clean future for UK power. Why? Well, mainly because most of the existing coal generation that needs to be replaced has already been replaced – 14GW across seven power stations. Enough capacity to cover five of those plants has already been contracted for – half with flexible supply (demand management, storage, interconnectors), and half with a mix of smaller, flexible fossil fuel generation and lifespan-extensions in the existing gas fleet. That leaves just short of 3GW to replace – which looks likely to be covered on a similar basis.
Business Green 14th May 2018 read more »
The UK has no need to build new large gas-fired power stations to replace the coal plants that the government has pledged to switch off by 2025, the World Wide Fund for Nature has argued. The gap can instead be filled by renewables, battery storage and flexible technologies, allowing the UK to go from “coal to clean” and skip new gas completely, according to a report by the environmental group. The analysis challenges the orthodoxy that phasing out coal will require large new gas plants. Amber Rudd, when energy secretary in 2015, said: “In the next 10 years, it’s imperative that we get new gas-fired power stations built.” Big energy firms including Drax and Germany’s RWE want to build large-scale gas plants on the sites of former power stations in Yorkshire and Essex, respectively. Almost half of the gas industry’s hopes for new power stations for Europe are slated for the UK but developers have failed to win subsidy contracts through the main route to market, the government’s capacity market. The government is planning to launch a review of the scheme later this year, which renewables proponents fear could tilt the balance. Gareth Redmond-King, the WWF’s head of climate and energy, urged ministers to ensure the review does not open the door to gas. He said: “If we don’t need large-scale gas, if it can’t compete with renewables and there’s no need for it, why would you need a route to market for it?
Guardian 13th May 2018 read more »
Nick Butler: Why has the price of natural gas risen so much in Asia this year? The Japanese import price is at a three-year high, having increased almost 15 per cent year on year. Was there not supposed to be a glut? That raises the question of whether we are at the beginning of a new super cycle that sees the price rising even higher. The gas market far exceeds that of oil in complexity. It is still predominantly regional, and there are three distinct trading areas: the US, Europe and Asia. The first two are dominated by pipeline gas, much of which is supplied on a long-term contract basis, and some is still priced on a formula linked to oil. But the scene is changing fast. Trade in liquefied natural gas, which can be transported by ship, has doubled in the past 10 years, establishing a partial equalising factor between the regions.
FT 14th May 2018 read more »