Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Coal Price Surge Justified by China's Dynamics: Russell

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Lidian Neeleman)

How much of the current surge in thermal coal prices in Asia is because of a fundamental shift in the supply-demand balance, and how much is down to speculative froth? This is a question often asked when a commodity experiences a strong gain - or drop - in price, especially when the fundamentals don't appear to have shifted that much, at least on a casual view. Virtually everybody in the coal industry can agree that the strong performance in seaborne thermal coal this year is being driven by market dynamics in top importer China.

Siemens Gamesa to Cut 600 Jobs in Denmark

File Image: Siemens

Wind power group Siemens Gamesa said on Friday it plans to cut 600 staff at a wind blade factory near Aalborg in northern Denmark. The move comes in order for Siemens Gamesa to "remain competitive" amid increasing demands from customers to produce locally and bring down costs, company spokesman Jan Kristensen said. Siemens Gamesa has 2,100 employees at the factory.   Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen

ZephIR Lidar Expands Engineering Team

Inside the Wind Lidar Production Facility (Photo: ZephIR)

ZephIR Lidar has announced the expansion of its Engineering and Supply Chain Team as part of a larger strategy to increase production and meet the growing demand for more accurate wind measurements within the wind energy industry. ZephIR Lidar has invested its own resources and has also applied for and received government-backed ‘Innovate UK’ funding in support of expanding the engineering function for production and manufacturing, as well as creating new jobs in the rural location of Ledbury, UK, where the Company is based.

GMG Secures Cable Contract for Rampion Offshore Wind Farm

CS Recorder – a dynamically positioned, cable installation vessel, capable of simultaneous lay and burial utilizing plough systems and the Q1000 jet trenching ROV.(Photo courtesy of GMG)

Global Marine Group (GMG) announced that it has been awarded a contract from E.ON to install a fibre optic cable at the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm, under construction 13km off the coast of Sussex, UK. Upon completion the cable will run from the shore to an offshore substation, providing a vital communications link for this major wind farm. The installation is expected to be completed later this month. CWind, which is part of the GMG and is responsible for delivering the Company’s power capabilities…

Vestas Shares Drop as Price Pressure Increases

File Image: A Vestas Wind turbine (Vestas)

Danish wind turbine maker Vestas posted weaker than expected earnings on Thursday and warned of growing price pressures, sending its shares down more than 7 percent. Governments from Europe to Latin America are replacing guaranteed set payments from green power sources, known as feed-in tariffs, with competitive tenders, putting downward pressure on prices throughout the supply chain. "We definitely see a very competitive market ... driven by the fact that the market is transforming to market-based auctions and competitive tendering," Vestas Chief Executive Anders Runevad told Reuters.

Germany Awards Licences for Onshore Wind Capacity

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) jjava)

Germany will increase its onshore wind energy capacity by more than 1 gigawatt, equal to that of a nuclear plant, under new licences awarded on Tuesday, its network regulator said. The regulator introduced an auction system this year to award licences, aiming to intensify competition among project developers in order to lower costs and wean renewable energy away from subsidies. In the second auction under the new system, the Bundesnetzagentur (BnetzA) said it accepted 67 applications, mostly from citizens' cooperatives, for a combined volume of 1,013 megawatt (MW).

Sierra Club sues US Energy Department

Environmental group the Sierra Club sued the U.S. Energy Department on Monday in hopes of forcing it to reveal the groups it has consulted in conducting an eagerly awaited study on the electricity grid. It was the latest push-back on the department’s study from backers of renewable energy such as wind and solar power who fear it could be used by the Trump administration to form policies that could slow growth in the industry. Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who commissioned the 60-day study in April…

Dogger Bank Ownership Structure Announced

SSE and Statoil will take three of the 1.2 GW Dogger Bank projects while innogy will have one 1.2GW project. (Photo: Forewind)

The ownership arrangements for the four consented Dogger Bank offshore wind projects have been agreed and signed by the three Forewind shareholders, innogy, SSE and Statoil. Offshore wind consortium Forewind was awarded consents for 4.8 gigawatt (GW) of offshore wind development at Dogger Bank in the North Sea in 2015. The consents comprised four individual 1.2GW projects. SSE and Statoil together will each own 50 percent of the three projects: Dogger Bank Creyke Beck A, Dogger Bank Creyke Beck B and Dogger Bank Teesside A.

Peterhead Port Secures Offshore Wind Contract

(Photo: Peterhead Port Authority)

Peterhead Port Authority is set to support the start of offshore construction work for the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) after signing an agreement to harbor the suction bucket jacket foundations for the 11-turbine scheme. The contract will see the port moor one of the world’s largest floating cranes, with a maximum lifting capacity of 5,000 metric tons, and up to six barges that will transport the 11 foundations - the heaviest of which weighs around 1,800 metric tons and is about 77 meters high.

Hurricane Franklin Makes Landfall in Veracruz, Mexico

Hurricane Franklin made landfall on the eastern coast of Mexico in the state of Veracruz, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said early Thursday.   Franklin, a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale, is located about 70 miles (115 km) north-northwest of Veracruz with maximum sustained winds of 85 miles per hour (140 kmh), the NHC said.   The hurricane is expected to weaken rapidly as it moves farther inland during the next several hours, the Miami-based weather forecaster said.   Reporting by Apeksha Nair  

DONG Energy Beats Forecasts

File Image (CREDIT: Siemens)

Denmark's DONG Energy beat second-quarter profit forecasts on Thursday and said the start-up of more projects and a fall in construction costs would generate more cash, possibly making way for higher shareholder returns in coming years. DONG, the world's largest owner of offshore wind power, has a strategy of farming down, or selling off, large stakes in wind farms in order to invest the capital into new projects. In the next couple of years more projects will start producing, raising revenue and making it less reliant on such stake sales.

Siemens Gamesa Installs Asia's Tallest Wind Turbines

(Photo: Siemens Gamesa)

Wind power group Siemens Gamesa has installed Asia's tallest wind turbines, with a total height of 210 metres (230 yards), in Thailand, it said on Tuesday. The 33 turbines, with 153 metre-high towers and 56 metre blades, have been installed in the Sarahnlom wind farm in central Thailand, where commissioning is scheduled for later this year. Wind farm operators are betting on a new generation of colossal turbines as they seek to remain profitable after European and other countries phase out subsidies that have defined the renewables industry since the 1990s.

UK Greenlights 1.2 GW Offshore Wind Farm

ScottishPower Renewables, part of Spanish utility Iberdrola, has received planning approval from the British government for a 1.2-gigawatt offshore wind farm off the coast of Norfolk, the firm said on Monday. The so-called East Anglia THREE offshore wind farm will need 172 wind turbines and deliver enough power to meet the annual demand of almost one million homes, the company said. Britain's regulatory framework requires that offshore wind developers enter qualified projects into a renewable support scheme…

Big MHI Vestas Test Wind Turbine on Fire

A test version of MHI Vestas' V164, the world's most powerful windturbine, has caught fire at a test centre in the west of Denmark.   "Our technicians and experts will look into what has caused the fire," a Vestas spokesman told Reuters, declining to comment further.   The V164 model is MHI Vestas' top model designed to challenge Siemens Gamesa, the market leader in the growing offshore market.   MHI Vestas is a joint venture of Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Denmark's Vestas. (Reporting by Teis Jensen; Editing by Richard Balmforth)

DNV GL Performs Offshore Drone Survey

(Photo: DNV GL)

Classification society DNV GL said its surveyors have carried the group’s first offshore drone survey on the semisubmersible vessel Safe Scandinavia in the North Sea. The 25,383 GT tender support vessel (TSV) Safe Scandinavia is owned and operated by Prosafe, supporting Statoil’s drilling operations off the coast of Norway. Using camera-equipped drones, DNV GL’s drone pilots checked the TSV’s fairleads and their connection with the vessel’s two columns as part of the intermediate survey.

Siemens Wins Tender for Turkish Wind Power Project

Turkey picked Germany's Siemens as the winning bidder for a $1 billion wind power project on Thursday, a sign Ankara wants to keep business separate from the widening diplomatic row between the NATO allies. Relations have deteriorated amid the crackdown that followed the failed coup in Turkey last year. The arrest last month of 10 rights activists, including a German, prompted Berlin to say it would review arms deals with Turkey. Ankara has sought to reassure German investors, saying their business in Turkey is not at risk.

GMG Completes Cable Burial Work off the Netherlands

CS Recorder (Photo: Global Marine Group)

Global Marine Group (GMG), a provider of offshore engineering services to the renewables, telecommunications and oil and gas industries, said it has completed a remedial cable burial project for Prinses Amaliawindpark (PAWP), a wind farm off the Netherlands’ West Coast. PAWP covers an area of around 14km2 and comprises of 60 wind turbines that are connected by eight in-field cable strings that converge at the central offshore high voltage station. The project, operated by Eneco…

Turkey Touts Siemens Wind Power Deal

File Image (CREDIT: Siemens)

The awarding of a Turkish wind power project to German firm Siemens will contribute to ties between the two countries, Turkish Energy Mininster Berat Albayrak said on Thursday.   Albayrak also said the turbines part of the project were due to come online by 2019. A consortium led by Siemens won the project's by beating out eight other bidders with a bid of $3.48 cents per kilowatt-hour.   Reporting by Ercan Gurses 

Crowley Supports Platform Tow-out, Installation in US Gulf

(Photo: Crowley)

Crowley Maritime Corp.’s ocean class tugboats and 455-series high-deck strength barges recently played an integral role in the tow-out and installation of Hess’ Stampede tension-leg platform (TLP) in the deep waters of the U.S. Gulf. Demonstrating both nearshore and offshore capabilities, six Crowley vessels worked together alongside other third-party assets to deliver the oversized, overweight platform, tendons and other equipment from the Kiewit facility in Ingleside, Texas, to the site of the Stampede floating production facility, about 150 miles offshore in 3,400 feet of water.

Germany's Long Goodbye to Coal Despite Merkel's Green Push

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Snap Happy)

Coal needed for power supply security for decades. Burning coal for power looks set to remain the backbone of Germany's energy supply for decades yet, an apparent contrast to Chancellor Angela Merkel's ambitions for Europe's biggest economy to be a role model in tackling climate change. Merkel is avoiding the sensitive subject of phasing out coal, which could hit tens of thousands of jobs, in the campaign for the Sept. 24 election, in which she hopes to win a fourth term.

European Oil Majors Enter U.S. Offshore Wind Markets

File Image: CREDIT CWind

Statoil, Shell, DONG Energy turn to U.S. offshore wind; oil firms bring big budgets, offshore tech and risk experience. Some European oil majors have made inroads into the emerging U.S. offshore wind energy market, aiming to leverage their experience of deepwater development and the crowded offshore wind arena at home. Late entrants to the offshore wind game in Europe, which began with a project off Denmark 25 years ago and is now approaching maturity, they are looking across the Atlantic at what they view as a huge and potentially lucrative new market.

Shell Plans 400 Job Cuts in the Netherlands

Royal Dutch Shell Plc plans to cut more than 400 jobs in the Netherlands, mainly at its major projects and energy technology operations, as the oil giant shifts its business model in response to lower oil prices, according to an internal document seen by Reuters. The world's second-largest oil company by market capitalisation said in a statement responding to questions from Reuters that "approximately 400 (staff) are potentially at risk of redundancy during the last quarter of 2017/first half of 2018".

Ecosse Subsea Delivers on Wind Farm Contract

Ecosse Subsea Systems (ESS) has successfully designed, built and delivered a 700Te carousel to a major international infrastructure group. The 700Te carousel designed with the capacity to be upgraded to 1700Te will be used for the storage of cables required for UK offshore wind farm projects. The design and project management phases were conducted at ESS headquarters in Banchory near Aberdeen, with partial manufacture undertaken at ESS subsidiary firm MASfab in County Durham.

BOURBON Completes Mooring Installation at FLOATGEN

Photo: BOURBON

Earlier this month, BOURBON completed the mooring installation of the first floating wind turbine in France for Ecole Centrale de Nantes (ECN) as part of the European project FLOATGEN* at the SEM-REV experimental test site, off Le Croisic. The innovative mooring system using synthetic mooring lines was designed and developed by Ideol team. Significant resources, including an Anchor Handling Tug Supply (AHTS) vessel with a WROV, were required for its installation conditioned by high tensions.

Roxtec Bags $1.7 Bln Rampion Wind Farm Deal

Photo: Roxtec

International cable seal manufacturer Roxtec has delivered a sealing solution to support a new £1.3 billion ($1.7 billion) offshore wind farm in the English Channel. Roxtec designed and supplied all cable seals involved in the Rampion Offshore wind farm, located 13km off the coast of Sussex. In April, the topside for the Rampion substation departed Rosyth for the project site and the first of 116 wind turbines began to be installed. A process which will continue throughout 2017. The site has a target capacity of 400 MW and is expected to be completed in 2018.

Nacelle-mounted ZephIR Lidar Passes DNV-GL Verification

Photo: ZephIR

An independent performance verification of a nacelle-mounted ZephIR Lidar has been undertaken by DNV GL on the test site in Janneby, Germany which demonstrates the product is compliant with best-practice guidelines developed in the EUDP UniTTe programs – widely regarded and accepted as industry benchmarks for installations of turbine-mounted Remote Sensing Devices (RSDs). In the verification, the ZephIR DM nacelle-mounted lidar was mounted horizontally on a raised platform…

Germany: 900 MW of New Offshore Wind in 2017

File Image: Credit CWind

Industry groups want higher long-term expansion targets; say latest auctions prove costs coming down. Germany connected 626 megawatts (MW) of newly built offshore wind capacity to power grids in the first six months of this year and expects to see total installations of 900 MW in the full year, five industry groups said in a joint statement on Thursday. The installed total is now 4,729 MW and if 900 MW were achieved, it would exceed the 818 MW added in 2016. The rate of expansion could mean the industry will beat government targets of 6,500 MW for 2020, they said.

Subsea Industries Introduces Ecolast Coating

Photo courtesy of Subsea Industries

Subsea Industries has launched Ecolast, the latest member in its range of coating systems. This product is UltraViolet (UV) resistant and preserves its color while at the same time offering the corrosion and abrasion protection. Regular coatings will quickly lose their original color when exposed to the ultraviolet radiation present in sunlight, Subsea Industries said, noting that this is especially problematic when colorfastness is required, as  is the case for offshore wind farms, for example. The bottom part of the tower of wind turbines are all coated in the same regulated yellow.

Scottish $2.6 Bln Offshore Wind Project Green Lighted

© Joe Gough / Adobe Stock

The developer of a 2 billion pound ($2.6 billion) Scottish offshore wind power project said on Wednesday it had won a two-year court battle with a bird charity over plans for the site. Scottish ministers in 2014 approved plans to build the 450-megawatt Neart na Gaoithe wind farm, off Scotland’s east coast. The project had been held up, however, by a legal challenge from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), which said it could cause the death of hundreds of native birds.

LiDAR Technology for Wind Measurement

Photo: LiDAR

Wind measurement experts gathered in London claimed that LiDARs have been replacing met masts to become the sole wind measurement tool used for offshore resource assessment and power curve verification purposes. These experts stated that LiDAR technology had over the years fully proven its ability to provide wind measurements as reliably as met masts. They also claimed that LiDARs are faster, easier and much cheaper to deploy, enabling significant development and operational cost reductions.

Wind, Solar Do Not Harm Power Grid Reliability -Draft US Study

© chungking / Adobe Stock

The growth of renewable power, including wind and solar, has not harmed the reliability of the U.S. electricity grid, according to a draft U.S. Department of Energy study, echoing the findings of grid operators across the country. The conclusion of the draft, dated July and viewed by Reuters, could ease fears in the renewable energy industry that the widely anticipated study would be used by President Donald Trump's administration to form policies supporting coal plants at the expense of wind and solar.

Saudis Curb U.S. Oil Shipments

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Leelutung)

Saudi Arabia is trying to support oil prices by reducing its crude shipments to the United States in a bid to cut the amount of oil in commercial storage. U.S. crude imports from Saudi Arabia averaged less than 900,000 barrels per day (bpd) in the four weeks ending on July 7, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. U.S. imports from Saudi Arabia are running at the slowest rate since 2015, and the slowest for the time of year for over five years (http://tmsnrt.rs/2tM4mAO and http://tmsnrt.rs/2thOpza).

Virgina Offshore Wind Project Moves Forward

One of DONG Energy's turbines in the U.K. (Photo: DONG Energy)

An offshore wind project in the U.S. mid-Atlantic is moving forward, as project owner Dominion Energy Virginia has signed an agreement and strategic partnership with DONG Energy to build two 6-megawatt turbines 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach. The two companies will now begin refining agreements for engineering, procurement and construction. Dominion Energy remains the sole owner of the project. Engineering and development work on the newly named Coastal Virginia…

Vattenfall to Save $356 Mln a Year after Sweden Tax Phase Out

Swedish state-owned power utility Vattenfall will save about 3 billion Swedish crowns ($356 million) a year after the country's nuclear tax has been phased out and will use the savings to extend the life of its reactors, its CEO told Reuters. On July 1, in a long expected move, Sweden started a two-year phasing out of its tax on nuclear power production, which many nuclear energy producers, including Vattenfall , said had created losses and halted investments. "The tax reduction will be 3 billion crowns per year ...

Buffett Bets Big on Energy with $9 Bln Oncor Buy

Warren Buffett's move to spend $9 billion on his largest energy sector acquisition reflects his long-standing drive to diversify his Berkshire Hathaway Inc and deepens his commitment to electricity as a means to boost profit. Berkshire said on Friday that its Berkshire Hathaway Energy unit will buy a reorganized Energy Future Holdings Corp to get access to Oncor Electric Delivery Co, Texas' largest electricity transmission company. The all-cash purchase reflects a bet by Buffett…

French Wind Power Sector to Consolidate Further -EDF

France's wind power generation sector will consolidate further, the head EDF's renewables unit Antoine Cahuzac said on Wednesday as the company moves to complete the takeover of wind energy developer Futuren . The renewables subsidiary of the French state-controlled utility has acquired 67.2 percent of Futuren, and will on Thursday launch a public offer for the remaining shares in a deal worth 320 million euros ($363 million). "The consolidation will not end here," Cahuzac, Chief Executive of EDF Energies Nouvelles, told reporters.

Google to Start Getting Norwegian Wind Power by September

© vicnick08 / Adobe Stock

Alphabet Inc's Google unit expects to receive its first wind power from Norway by early September, the company told Reuters on Wednesday. Tellenes wind farm, a 50-turbine strong wind farm of 160-megawatt (MW) capacity that is currently under development, will become Norway's largest wind farm and Google's biggest in Europe. "We'll purchase power as soon as the wind farm becomes fully operational, which we expect will take place in early September 2017," a Google spokesman told Reuters. Google last year signed a 12-year deal to buy 100 percent of the plant's output.

Indian Renewable Firms Plan $2.5 Bln in Offshore Dollar Bond Issues

© Sergiy Serdyuk / Adobe Stock

Four Indian renewable power producers are planning to raise up to $2.5 billion via dollar bonds offshore because of caution among domestic lenders, banking sources said. In addition to the four solar and wind power firms, a fifth company that invests in renewable projects, Adani Group, has raised $250 million via a loan but has yet to publicly announce the borrowing, the sources told Reuters. A source working with one of the bond issues said foreign borrowing was attractive because state banks were reluctant to lend due to existing bad loans to the power sector…

DONG, CWind Extend Crew Transfer Vessel Contract

Photo: CWind

CWind, a provider of services to the offshore wind industry, informs that DONG Energy, one of the key energy groups in Northern Europe, has granted CWind a two-year extension to its existing three-year Crew Transfer Vessel contract at the West of Duddon Sands Offshore Wind Farm in the Irish Sea. CWind, the offshore power focused business of Global Marine Group (GMG), will provide vessels for Operations & Maintenance (O&M) to the 108-turbine West of Duddon Sands site, including a summer campaign to ensure the site remains operating at peak performance throughout the busier summer months.

Kenya: Major Wind Power Line to Be Ready in 3 Months

A power line linking a 310 megawatt (MW) wind power plant to Kenya's national grid, delayed by landowners' compensation demands among other issues, is expected to be ready in the next three months, the energy minister said on Thursday. Kenya relies heavily on geothermal and hydro power for its electricity, providing the bulk of the country's total 2,341 MW output. Wind power provides about 25 MW. The construction of the 266-mile (428-km), 400-kilovolt power line from the Lake Turkana Wind Power project…

Europe to be Natural Gas Kingmaker

File Image: CREDIT MISC

It's probably not quite here yet, but the trend is unmistakeable; the world is moving to a globally-linked natural gas market and the rise of liquefied natural gas (LNG) is the key driver. Much of the increase in LNG capacity is because of the rapid boost to plants in Australia and the United States, as both countries take advantage of abundant local reserves of natural gas to muscle in on a market that until recently had been dominated by a few established producers and buyers.

ESS Completes Beatrice Wind Farm Clearance

Photo: ESS

Ecosse Subsea Systems (ESS) has completed a 14-day seabed clearance project on the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd project, located approximately 13km off the Caithness coast. ESS deployed its SCAR2 Seabed System from the Siem Ruby vessel on behalf of client Siem Offshore Contractors. Several hundred boulders were removed over a 15km route in water depths of between 38-60 metres, over terrain which was predominantly sand and gravel overlying stiff clay. Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm will consist of 84 turbines and is expected to power approximately 450,000 homes on completion in 2019.

'Bring On More Renewables,' US Regulator Says

© Jonathan Weiss / Adobe Stock

Wind and solar power does not make the U.S. electricity grid less stable, an outgoing federal regulator said on Tuesday, as the Trump administration readies a study that will examine whether renewable energy has had a harmful effect. Colette Honorable, a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, said at a conference that renewables have different attributes than base load power, which includes coal and nuclear energy, and that those difference need to be overcome.

Wind Power's Big Bet: Colossal Turbines

File photo: DONG Energy

Wind farm operators are betting on a new generation of colossal turbines, which will dwarf many skyscrapers, as they seek to remain profitable after European countries phase out subsidies that have defined the green industry since the 1990s. The world's three leading offshore wind operators - DONG Energy, EnBW and Vattenfall - all told Reuters they were looking to these megaturbines to help adapt to the upcoming reality with dwindling government handouts. According to interviews with turbine makers and engineers…

Hurricane Dora Forms Off Mexico's Pacific Coast

Image: U.S. National Hurricane Center

Hurricane Dora formed off the western coast of Mexico in the Pacific Ocean on Monday, but it was expected to slow and remain offshore, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said. Dora, the first hurricane to form in the Pacific so far this year, was carrying maximum sustained winds of about 80 miles per hour (130 km per hour) as it whirled about 170 miles (275 km) south-southwest of the port of Manzanillo, the center said. Dora was slowing and was likely to see some strengthening on Monday before weakening on Tuesday, the NHC said.

Coal Isn't Dead (Yet): Russell

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Carolyn Franks)

Here's a question for the anti-coal lobby. If coal is dying, how come there is an increasingly heated bidding war going on for Rio Tinto's coal mines in Australia? Here's another question, this time for the pro-coal lobby. If coal still has a viable long-term future as an energy source, how come the world's biggest planned new mine is now hostage to whether the Australian government decides to loan it money? Reconciling these two questions may seem like a challenge but both…

DNV GL, Goldwind in Wind Power Pact

Photo: DNV GL

Goldwind International and DNV GL has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for optimizing offshore and onshore wind projects. DNV GL to be preferred independent third-party advisor for performance optimization of offshore and onshore wind projects. DNV GL, the world’s largest resource of independent energy experts and certification body,  said in a statement that it has signed MoU with Goldwind International during the Norway-China Partnership for Low Carbon Energy Transition seminar organized by the Beijing Energy Club.

Rapid Nuclear Decommissioning Threatens Climate Targets, says IEA

Decommissioning nuclear plants in Europe and North America from 2020 threatens global plans to cut carbon emissions unless governments build new nuclear plants or expand the use of renewables, a top International Energy Agency official said. Nuclear is now the largest low-carbon power source in Europe and the United States, about three times bigger than wind and solar combined, according to IEA data. But most reactors were built in the 1970s and early 80s, and will reach the end of their life around 2020.

Tropical Storm Cindy Rolls in on US Gulf Coast

Image: NOAA National Hurricane Center

Tropical Storm Cindy is likely to hit the Gulf Coast near the Texas-Louisiana border on Wednesday night, threatening to bring flash floods from Texas to Florida, according to the National Hurricane Center. Cindy was located about 165 miles (265 km) south of Morgan City, Louisiana, early on Wednesday with maximum sustained winds of 60 miles (95 km) per hour, the NHC said. The storm was moving northwest at nearly 8 miles (13 km) per hour, and forecasters said they expected this motion to continue until it hits the coast.

Oil Traders Brace for US Gulf Coast Storm

Oil traders from Texas to Louisiana braced on Tuesday for supply disruptions as Tropical Storm Cindy, formed in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, threatened to hit refining and production centers with wind and rain later this week. Cindy was located about 265 miles (430 km) south of Morgan City, Louisiana with maximum sustained winds of 45 miles (75 km) per hour. It is expected to approach the coast of southwest Louisiana late Wednesday or Wednesday night, and move inland over western Louisiana and eastern Texas on Thursday, the NHC said.

Wind, Solar Energy No Threat to Grid: Industry Study

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) JJAVA)

With the Trump administration expected to publish an analysis that could undermine the U.S. wind and solar industries, two renewable energy lobbying groups on Tuesday released their own study saying new energy sources pose no threat to the country's power grid. Wind and solar advocates have said the government study's outcome appeared to be pre-determined to favor fossil fuel industries. The new report, commissioned by the American Wind Energy Association and Advanced Energy Economy, says cheap natural gas is behind most of the decline in the numbers of U.S.

Innovators Toil to Revive Canada Oil Sands

In the boreal forests and on the remote prairies of Alberta, a handful of firms are running pilot projects they hope will end a two-decade drought in innovation and stem the exodus of top global energy firms from Canada's oil sands. They are searching for a breakthrough that will cut the cost of pumping the tar-like oil from the country's vast underground bitumen reservoirs and better compete with the booming shale industry in the United States. If they fail, a bigger chunk of the world's third-largest oil reserves will stay in the ground.

Statkraft to Sell its Stakes in Two UK Wind Farms

Norway's power firm Statkraft will launch the sale of its entire stakes in two wind farms offshore Britain, Sheringham Shoal and Dudgeon, in coming weeks, a spokesman for the company said on Tuesday. The state-owned company aims to conclude the sale of its 40 percent and 30 percent stakes in the Statoil-operated wind farms before the end of 2017, and potentially to close in the beginning of 2018, he added.   (Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis)

BV Approvals Help Propel Floating Offshore Wind Sector

Floating Offshore Wind Turbines © DCNS Energies - GE

Bureau Veritas has issued a Preliminary Design Approval for a Floating Offshore Wind Turbine (FOWT) foundation designed by DCNS Energies. The floating foundation is based on a semi-submersible floater, designed to be competitive, adapted to mass production, easily towable, connectable and dis-connectable, and adaptable to site conditions and local industrial environments. This approval was provided as part of the General Electric (ex-Alstom) and DCNS Energies Sea Reed project, a FOWT product development initiative supported by ADEME, the French Environment and Energy Management Agency.

U.S. Shale Exposed to Falling Prices as Hedges Expire

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Shamtor)

Cash-strapped U.S. shale firms scaled back their hedging programs in the first quarter, leaving them more vulnerable to tumbling spot market prices just after OPEC reached a landmark deal to curb global supply. The pullback in hedging was driven by rising service costs and expectations that prices would continue to rally after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries extended those cuts in May, analysts said. However, rising U.S. production has stymied OPEC's efforts to rebalance markets.

Statoil Eyes Japan, US for Floating Wind Projects

Norwegian oil company Statoil is targeting Japan and the U.S. states of California and Hawaii to expand its floating offshore wind turbine business, the head of its New Energy Solutions business told Reuters. Statoil will later this year open the world's first floating wind turbine park off the coast of Scotland, a technology that allows wind energy to be harnessed further out at sea where wind speeds are typically higher. Statoil's floating wind turbines are anchored in place…

Sub-Saharan Africa's Biggest Wind Farm Delayed

The biggest wind farm in sub-Saharan Africa is ready for launch but will remain idle until next year as Kenya's government has not yet installed the transmission lines needed to get the clean power to customers, the provider of the turbines said. Danish wind turbine maker Vestas Wind Systems installed 365 turbines at Lake Turkana in the hot desert north of the east African country in March, completing construction in less than a year and two months ahead of schedule. The project…

Nations, Industry Pledge EU Offshore Wind Expansion

© philipbird123  / Adobe Stock

Germany, Denmark and Belgium joined with 25 companies on Tuesday to back a pledge to increase Europe's offshore wind capacity almost fivefold in the next decade. The joint declaration, signed by energy ministers for the three countries and firms including Dong Energy and Siemens Gamesa, said the countries and companies would work together to deliver 60 gigawatts (GW), or at least 4 GW a year of offshore wind capacity in Europe in the 2020s. "With this Joint Statement, leading…

Norway Approves Construction of 80 MW Wind Farm

Norway has approved an application to construct a new wind farm with the capacity to produce 80 megawatts (MW) of electricity on the coast of western Norway, the oil and energy ministry said on Tuesday. The application, which was initially rejected in December 2015 on environmental concerns, received approval after an appeal was lodged, the ministry said in a statement. Norway's total installed wind power production capacity in 2016 was 838 MW, data from the European Wind Energy Association showed.     (Reporting by Lefteris Karagiannopoulos)

F2i buys Seven Wind Farms in Green Drive

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) JJAVA)

F2i, the largest infrastructure fund operating in Italy, said on Tuesday it will strengthen its position in green energy by buying seven wind farms in the south of the country. The fund, which is around 14 percent owned by state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, said it had bought the wind plants on the island of Sicily and in Calabria from Italy's Veronagest. It did not disclose the price for the 282 megawatt wind power portfolio, but in a joint statement with Veronagest it said the deal is expected to be wrapped up by the end of June.