FRANKFURT, March 3 (Reuters) – Germany’s energy regulator has opened a third round of bidding for coal-fired power plant operators to compete for compensation to cover their capacity, part of the country’s shift towards carbon-free power.
Germany has decided to abandon coal in 2038 and achieve a carbon-free energy system by 2050.
A spokesman for the Bonn Bundesnetzagentur-based regulator said a bid had to be submitted by April 30 to cover the 2,481 megawatt (MW) capacity that would go offline by the end of 2022.
The regulator’s website shows the maximum price per megawatt of closed capacity will be € 155,000 ($ 186,883).
In the auction, operators announce the price they will be prepared to close their factories in exchange for funds to cover some of their financial losses.
The winner is determined not only by price but also by the relationship between the costs expected to result in a CO2 reduction.
The second round, which opens on January 4 to deactivate capacity of 1,500 MW and which also sets a maximum price of 155,000 euros / MW, has concluded with results due in the coming weeks, the spokesman said.
Following the first round of bidding, which opened in September, regulators closed 4,788 MW of coal-fired power generation capacity on January 1.
The average pay to operators in the round was set at 66,259 euros / MW after bidding ranged from 6,047 euros / MW and 150,000 euros / MW.
The auction will continue in the coming years, but after 2027, coal-fired power plants can be ordered to close without compensation.
$ 1 = 0.8294 euros Reported by Vera Eckert; Edited by Edmund Blair
* Power generation from German wind turbines is expected to fall 1.8 gigawatts (GW) day-on-day to 13.4 GW, while solar generation is expected to drop 2.2 GW to 3.6 GW, Refinitiv data show.
* “We expect wind power output to fall in the first half of the day, and increase in the latter half of tomorrow,” Refinitiv analysts said.
* French wind power supply is expected to increase by 1 GW to 3.6 GW, data show.
* Refinitiv forecast shows the average daily German wind power supply will fall to around 3 GW early next week before rising to 8 GW next Friday.
* France’s nuclear capacity reaches 75% of the total installed.
* More than half of EDF’s nuclear reactors could be operational for a decade longer than planned after maintenance work was carried out, French nuclear security watchdog ASN said on Thursday.
* French electricity demand on Friday is expected to rise 700 megawatts (MW) to 56.9 GW and fall in Germany by 390 MW to 64.2 GW, Refinitiv data show.
* Further along the curve, German Cal ’22 baseload power edged up 0.1% to 53.20 euros / MWh, following higher fuel prices.
* France 2022 contract added 0.2% to 54.25 euros / MWh.
* European CO2 allowances expiring December 2021 edged down 0.1% to 39.10 euros per tonne.
* Coal for northern European delivery in 2022 rose 0.9% to $ 69.1 a tonne, after hitting the highest level since February 1 at $ 69.20 earlier in the session. (Reporting by Forrest Crellin; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)
FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Germany is gearing up to take the first steps in using carbon-free hydrogen fuel in the transportation sector, by gradually incorporating new energy sources as a boost to efforts to meet its climate targets.
The government is expected to pass a bill on the issue at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
The meeting agenda and the bill, both seen by Reuters, suggest the initial focus is on shifting existing pipelines carrying hydrogen made from fossil fuels to “green” hydrogen, which is made from wind and solar energy via electrolysis, and building a new green hydrogen pipeline.
It does not regulate the direct absorption of green hydrogen into the existing natural gas network, which is regulated by local monopolies.
Some operators of Germany’s 550,000 km long gas transport network have pushed for faster system integration, arguing this would increase green hydrogen use and help refinance their green hydrogen investment through network usage fees.
The draft explicitly calls the law a “provisional arrangement” that will allow a step-by-step approach to putting the country’s 9 billion euro ($ 10.89 billion) hydrogen strategy into practice.
The final integration of the gas and hydrogen network remains “a problem for many years,” he said.
The law must be passed by parliament as part of a series of energy initiatives the government wants to finalize before the summer holidays and general elections in September.
The government has prioritized green hydrogen which is relatively expensive for industries that are difficult to electrify, such as steel making and chemicals.
German industry consumes about 55 terawatt hour (TWh) of “gray” hydrogen made from fossil fuels each year, while all sectors, including home heating, use up to 1,000 TWh of natural gas.
Heating and transportation can get electricity faster, for example through geothermal pumps and private passenger cars that run on batteries.
Reporting by Markus Wacket and Vera Eckert, editing by Kirsten Donovan
(Opinions expressed here are those of the author, a columnist for Reuters.)
LAUNCESTON, Australia (Reuters) – India’s coal imports have risen in recent months to near pre-pandemic levels, but the market share of cargo supplying countries has shifted, mainly due to China’s dispute with Australia.
India imported 17.56 million tonnes of thermal and coking coal in January, according to ship and port tracking data compiled by Refinitiv.
This was down slightly from December’s 17.74 million tonnes and 18.02 million in October, but slightly above November’s 17.54 million.
Overall, the past four months have shown that India’s desire to import coal has returned, having taken a hit in the middle of last year when the government locked down the South Asian country as part of efforts to combat the spread of the new coronavirus.
India’s imports in January were also only 2.6% lower than 18.02 million tonnes from the same month in 2020, while December was 2.1% below December 2019 levels.
The economic blow caused by the lockdown, imposed last March, began to show in coal imports in May, when only 10.3 million tonnes were released, which fell further to 8.81 million in June, the lowest since Refinitiv. started tracking in January. 2015.
However, in October, imports were almost at pre-pandemic levels, as demand for electricity rose as the economy restarted and demand for steel also recovered as construction and infrastructure spending recovered.
India is the second largest coal importer in the world after China, and China’s influence is felt in the Indian coal market.
China has imposed an effective ban on imports from Australia, the world’s largest exporter of coking coal used to make steel, and the second-largest shipper of thermal coal used in power generation.
China is unhappy with Australia over a range of issues, including Australia’s call for an international investigation into the origins of the coronavirus and China’s response to the initial outbreak.
This has led to a series of trade actions by China against Australia, including bans or tariffs on coal, barley, meat, wine and tourism, among other goods.
Ironically, China is spending more than ever on imports from Australia, given its reliance on iron ore and liquefied natural gas, two commodities that demand high prices and Australia is the world’s biggest exporter.
But while Australian coal exporters have closed out of China, they have made inroads in India, with imports from Australia hitting a record high of 6.75 million tonnes in January, according to Refinitiv.
This is up from 6.32 million tonnes in December, 5.06 million in November and 5.49 million in October.
Cumulatively, the past four months have been the strongest for Australian coal imports from India since Refinitiv began its assessment in January 2015.
January imports were also up 81% from 3.72 million tonnes recorded in the same month in 2020, and about 301% above the 2020 low of 1.68 million in June.
India traditionally buys coking coal from Australia given its limited domestic reserves with these higher energy levels, but in recent months India has started buying thermal coal in increasing volumes.
Australian thermal coal exports to India totaled 1.87 million tonnes in December 2020, up 450% from 340,000 tonnes in December 2019, according to data from commodity price reporting agency Argus.
INDONESIA TOP SPOT IS LOST
While Australia is gaining market share in India, the loser is Indonesia, which has given up its status as the biggest supplier to India.
India imported 5.42 million tonnes from Indonesia in January, down from 5.74 million in December, 5.82 million in November and 6.75 million in October.
Imports from Indonesia have recovered from a pandemic lows of 3.51 million tonnes in June, but are still well below historical levels, with January 2020 being 26.5% below 7.37 million tonnes from the same month a year earlier .
However, Indonesian exporters may not be overly concerned as they have largely filled the void in China caused by restrictions on imports from Australia.
Another factor to note is that India is effectively importing more energy in the form of coal, given that Australia usually supplies more energy coal than Indonesia.
This means that Indian coal imports are more or less stable in terms of volume, but the more cargo is sourced from Australia, the total amount of energy imported will likely increase.
It is also likely that what the market is going through is more of a permanent change in dynamics, as there is no sign that China will relax its ban on Australian coal, and even if it does, trade relations could break down to the point where it is. hard to fix.
(Reuters) – China’s aluminum sector will have to cover a dedicated power capacity equivalent to more than Germany’s entire coal fleet over the next decade to keep Beijing on track to fulfill its carbon pledge, said climate think-tank Ember.
China accounts for more than half of global aluminum production, producing 37 million tonnes by 2020. President Xi Jinping has promised that China will achieve peak emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060.
Ember, in a report to be published on Monday, said last year’s record aluminum output emitted more CO2 than several countries, including Indonesia and Brazil.
China will need to close around 47 gigawatts of inefficient subcritical coal power capacity dedicated to aluminum over the next 10 years or more if it is to become carbon neutral by mid-century, report author Muyi Yang told Reuters.
The total German coal power capacity is 42 GW.
Chinese aluminum makers have long relied on off-grid captive power plants for energy-intensive smelting processes, with generating units alone accounting for about 65% of the electricity they use, according to Yang.
But they are being pushed by the government to use cleaner sources of electricity and join China’s long-awaited emissions trading scheme in the low-carbon aluminum drive.
Recent years have seen a significant migration of aluminum capacity to China’s southwestern Yunnan province, which has abundant hydropower resources.
But “further action is still needed,” said Yang, a senior electricity policy analyst at Ember. “The magnitude of the challenge is enormous.”
Smelters should use cleaner electricity when available but can also improve production efficiency and do better recycling of aluminum, he said, adding China should encourage more efficient use of aluminum throughout its economy.
More than 45% of China’s inefficient captive coal capacity is at the heart of the Shandong province’s smelter, said Ember, with more than a third, or 17 GW, owned by China’s leading private sector producer Hongqiao Group.
Hongqiao, one of the smelters that has moved capacity to Yunnan, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.