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  • UKRENERGO REVIEW 15-22 JUNE 2018

    Among the constant flows of information, Ukrenergo will select for you only the most interesting news that will be useful for the true aesthetics of energy. 

    Take your 5-minute break and let us talk about the following. 1. French utility Engie sells coal generation in Thailand.

    French company Engie, one of the most influential participants in the world energy market, plans to receive about EUR 2.6 billion from the sale of its 69-percent share in Thai Glow Energy. At the same time, Engie states that due to this agreement they will also be able to reduce their net debt by EUR 3.3bn. Moreover, after the sale of Glow Energy, Engie will no longer exploit coal-fired power in the Asia-Pacific region and will reduce its total coal capacity by 14 percent. This result marks a significant step for this French company that seeks to reduce the share of traditional generation in its investment portfolio to achieve the global goal of emission reductions.

    Thai power giant PTT Pcl (PTT.BK) previously noted that it would buy Glow Energy Pcl. The total value of the deal is currently estimated at about USD 4 billion. PTT Pcl, in its turn, seeks to play a greater role in supplying energy to Thai industrial centers, and therefore the purchase of Glow Energy is a good step towards achieving its goals.

    Photo from connectnigeria.com

    2. General Electric will be excluded from the Dow Jones Industrial Index.

    Until recently, General Electric (GE) has remained one of the oldest members of the American Dow Jones Industrial Index. This index was launched in 1896, and GE was in it for more than 100 years – since 1907. However, this week the company was excluded from this prestigious indicator. Now Apple’s Walgreens Boots Alliance has taken its place. This decision is a new blow to General Electric, which has recently faced a number of problems.

    In the fall of 2017, the company’s new chief executive John L. Flannery warned that GE was planning to cut dividends. This happened only a second time after the Great Depression. Moreover, in January, GE astonished investors by taking a large loan of USD 15 billion with a payback period of seven years. These funds were required to cover the liabilities of GE Capital, a financial services company. In addition, over the past year, GE’s shares fell by 55 percent, compared to a 15-percent increase in the Dow Jones index itself. Prior to the exclusion from the equity index, GE’s shares closed at USD 12.95, which was the lowest indicator among the shares of all 30 companies included in the index. Undoubtedly, such a solution marks the end of the GE reign in the energy arena. We look forward to further developments and we want the legendary power company to recover from the financial turmoil.

    3. Europe received an unprecedentedly large internal market for electricity.

    Image from www.kth.se

    Europe launched the world’s largest intraday electricity market Cross-Border Intraday or XBID for trading in 14 countries. These include Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden. In 2019, other countries could join it.

    The new market successfully started its operation and ensured better access to energy resources for European traders. This project is the result of the cooperation of many energy exchanges and transmission system operators throughout Europe; the development and testing took several years.

    “In principle, trades can be made directly from Portugal to Norway, if transmission capacities are available,” said Statnett’s spokesman Henrik Glette, emphasizing that an increase in the market would increase trade volumes and improve access to resources. “The first days have shown positive results, and the system has performed well. This is a major step towards an integrated European power market,” Glette added. Today, XBID supports 31 system operators, including Statnett, as well as 15 energy exchanges.

    4. California argues about electricity grid management.

    A California Senate Panel has supported a new legislative proposal to create a full-fledged regional system for a single electricity market that involves the sharing and management of the grid with other states in the western part of the United States. The official position states that innovation is needed to simplify and reduce the cost of placing renewable energy sources in the western and neighboring states. The project was supported by influential people, including by the Democratic Party.

    However, this move caused a squall of criticism from opponents of joint management of electricity grids. Critics point out that California will jeopardize the development of renewable sources if it allows the sharing of power grids with states with prevailing coal and natural gas generation. Alternative energy is experiencing a real boom in the West of the US. At the same time, this creates new problems for grid operators in the context of supply and demand management, as weather conditions can create imbalances in the grid. Therefore, from time to time, there is an excess of solar energy that should be transferred to neighboring states.

    Proponents of the new regional power grid say that improved cooperation in the West will facilitate the use of renewable resources from other states to meet demand in California and vice versa. However, critics believe that the same infrastructure can be used to increase demand for natural gas or coal produced elsewhere. The issue is still open, and the debate is continuing.

    5. German energy companies are urging other industries to reduce their emissions.

    Image from actualidadhumanitaria.com

    The German power industry unanimously claims that other industries should do more to combat climate change. In particular, German power companies want the government to introduce carbon reductions from transportation and heat industries to help the country achieve its climatic goals. That was said by the managing director of industrial association BDEW. “The energy sector has reached its climate reduction targets for 2020, but we expect politicians to address the other sectors also,” said Stefan Kapferer during the annual congress of the group. According to him, the energy industry, which, unlike other major pollutants, is subject to mandatory trading in carbon emissions rights, will achieve 40 percent reduction of CO2 emissions by 2020.

    At the same time, the Cabinet of Ministers in Berlin stated in its climate report that Germany as a whole envisaged that the previous targets for the total amount of CO2 emissions reduction by 2020 would not be achieved. As reported by UBA, emissions from the transport sector increased by 2.3 percent last year since the rapid growth of the economy caused more heavy transport on the roads. The government wants to achieve 61 percent of CO2 emission reductions by 2030, which is why the next year they will pass a law on climate, which requires more efforts from all polluting industries, and not only from the power sector.

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