The 250 megawatt (MW) Eurus windfarm was jointly developed by CEMEX and ACCIONA and has 167 wind turbines with 1.5 MW of capacity each built with ACCIONA Windpower technology. The wind farm represents an investment of US$550 million.
Part of the energy generated by EURUS will supply approximately 25% of CEMEX’s energy needs in its Mexican cement plants. ACCIONA financed, constructed and now manages the wind farm.
CEMEX is a global building materials company that provides high-quality products and reliable service to customers and communities in more than 50 countries throughout the world.
Despite a crippling recession and tight credit markets, the American wind power industry grew at a blistering pace in 2009, adding 39 percent more capacity. The country is close to the point where 2 percent of its electricity will come from wind turbines.
The American Wind Energy Association, in its annual report to be released on Tuesday, said the amount of capacity added last year, 9,900 megawatts, was the largest on record, and was 18 percent above the capacity added in 2008, also a banner year.
The group said the growth of wind power was helped by the federal stimulus package that passed a year ago, which extended a tax credit and provided other investment incentives for the industry. Together, new wind and natural gas projects accounted for about 80 percent of all new generating capacity added in the country.
See the New York Times, 26th Jan 2010 for the full article.
THE Government should listen to industry and fix the collapsing price of renewable energy credits, which is threatening major renewable energy projects, Opposition energy spokesman Nick Minchin has demanded.
It was revealed in The Age late last year that AGL has threatened to stop the giant Macarthur wind farm project, along with seven others, because of the collapse in certificate value.
The certificates have fallen from a peak of about $60 last year to $33.25 on Monday, mainly because of thousands of credits, handed out by the Rudd Government for solar hot water systems, heat pumps and household solar panels, flooding the market.
See The Age, 21st January for the full article.
The NSW power privatisation process is nowhere near completion, but most observers think Origin Energy is best placed to buy the largest, Energy Australia. AGL has said it will face competition hurdles in buying the gas customers of Energy Australia.
Merrill Lynch therefore thinks AGL will most likely buy Integral Energy, Country Energy or both plus gentrader. The broker estimates that if AGL acquired all of the above the most capital intensive purchase would cost less than $2 billion.
A joint venture hydrogen power plant and a linked carbon capture and storage (CCS) project in the UAE should be completed in 2014 even though terms have yet to be agreed, senior executives at the venture said on Monday.
The $2.2 billion Hydrogen Power project could be the world’s first large-scale CCS project, in a race with a clutch of projects around the world. It is a joint venture between the United Arab Emirate’s renewable energy initiative Masdar and oil major BP.
The plant would split natural gas into hydrogen and the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2). The hydrogen would fire a 500 megawatt power plant, while the CO2 would be injected into oilfields. The plant itself would consume around 100 MW, leaving 400 MW to be sold into the UAE’s power grid.
The injection of the gas under an oilfield would at the same time store the greenhouse gas and help boost oil output by maintaining underground pressure.
Preliminary engineering and design was completed by Foster Wheeler (FWLT.O) last year, and Hydrogen Power is expected to tender engineering and construction contracts and look for finance this year.
Source - BU DHABI, Jan 18 (Reuters)
French energy giant GDF Suez has made a takeover approach to London-listed energy group International Power, according to a London newspaper report on Sunday 17th Jan 2010.
The Sunday Times, which did not cite its source, said takeover talks had intensified in the run-up to Christmas, with phonecalls between GDF Suez boss Gerard Mestrallet and International Power chief executive Philip Cox. Both companies refused to comment on the report when questioned by AFP on Sunday.
International Power has a stock market capitalization of about 5.0 billion pounds (5.6 billion euros, 8.1 billion dollars). It has interests in 45 power stations around the world and owns half a dozen power plants in Britain.
The Sunday Times added that state-controlled GDF Suez had appointed BNP Paribas, Goldman Sachs and Rothschild to help work on a possible cash-and-shares bid. The share price of International Power has soared by around 30 percent since bid speculation first emerged last November.
Switch to gas helps NSW cut carbon output temporarily.
Greenhouse gas emissions from energy production declined across eastern Australia last year because less coal was burnt, and NSW cut back more than the other states, research has shown.
The result reflects the first tangible hints of a switch to natural gas and away from coal as a source of baseload power. Wind and solar energy made little impact on the energy grid last year, and still contribute just a sliver of the state’s power mix.
Despite a rising population and economic growth, the state’s emissions dropped 3.1 per cent compared with 2008. But they are still 24 per cent above greenhouse levels in 1990, the baseline year used to calculate carbon cuts under the Kyoto Protocol.
Other factors that assisted this decline are the fact that economic growth in NSW slowed to 0.2 per cent last year because of the global economic crisis, but it is expected to grow faster this year. Also NSW imported more energy last year which, in turn, spread some of its emissions among Queensland energy generators.
The drop in emissions is mainly due to less surplus energy being produced by coal-fired plants and, in NSW, the commissioning of three small gas-powered plants at Colongra on the Central Coast, Uranquity near Wagga Wagga and Tallawarra in the Illawarra. Gas is a fossil fuel that releases greenhouse gases, but emissions from gas are generally only 40 per cent of those from coal.
See the SMH 18th Jan 2010, for the full article.
SOME of Australia’s big green energy players have called on the Federal Government to remove solar hot water heaters from a scheme that entices investment in renewable power.
After last month’s failure at Copenhagen to secure a binding global accord on cutting carbon, the companies have taken aim at Australia’s renewable energy target (RET).
The target requires 20 per cent of Australia’s power to be renewable by 2020. But the scheme came under fire after a $1600 solar hot water subsidy flooded the market with renewable energy certificates from domestic water heaters, causing the certificates’ value almost to halve.
In a submission to a Council of Australian Governments inquiry, companies including AGL, Pacific Hydro and wind turbine makers Vestas and Suzlon call for hot water heaters to be removed from the scheme.
Industry estimates put the total value of RET-driven investment at up to $30 billion. The group called for state-based energy efficiency schemes to be joined in a single national scheme.
The Clean Energy Council, an industry group that also includes large gas companies, said in its submission that financing big renewable projects was impossible while certificate prices remained low. “The principle objective of developing a competitive, world-class clean energy industry in Australia will not proceed until this [certificate] price recovers,” it said.
The calls come amid claims that solar hot-water installers are extracting windfall profits from the scheme.
See The Age 18th Jan 2010, for the full article.
Bright Food Group, a Chinese company, has offered to buy the sugar and renewable energy unit of CSR for cash, sending shares of the Australian firm sharply higher. Bright Food values the unit at $1.5 billion, Bright Food said today.
Cashed-up Chinese companies have been on a spending spree worldwide, snapping up assets ranging from real estate to car makers. Chinese interest in Australia has mainly centred on the mining sector and agribusiness.
Adding to the allure of CSR is the fact that sugar prices have surged. Sugar futures in New York more than doubled in 2009 after excess rains in Brazil and a weak monsoon in India hurt output in the world’s two biggest cane growing countries.
CSR is the second largest ethanol supplier in Australia with total capacity 60 million litres per year with 38 million litres of fuel grade ethanol capacity. It is also Australia’s largest renewable energy generator from biomass with 175MW of generation from 7 mills, exporting capacity around 100MW.
Engineering firm WorleyParsons Ltd has downgraded its profit guidance for the 2010 financial year, citing decreased demand for its power operations and services to the petrochemicals industries in the United States.
WorleyParsons said the recently-announced acquisitions of local infrastructure services company Evans & Peck and Brazilian services group CNEC Engenharia would not contribute significantly to the company’s second half result.
WorleyParsons is apportioning blame for its Wednesday profit downgrade to a sudden halt coal power generation capacity upgrades in the US. WorleyParsons did mention that a restructure of its US power operations, enabling it to concentrate on the renewable and nuclear markets, was well-advanced.
See The Age 14th Jan 2010, forthe full article.