Daily Energy News
Policy & Regulatory
The French Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) has ruled on the conditions for the continued operation of EDF's 900 MWe nuclear reactors beyond 40 years. The regulator has issued a resolution prescribing the implementation of the major safety improvements planned by EDF, along with additional measures necessary to achieve the objectives of the safety review. Each reactor will subsequently enter a specific review phase, which will run until 2031. EDF operates a fleet of 32 reactors rated 900 MWe, which entered commercial operations between 1977 and 1988.
The Brazilian president has delivered a provisional measure to Congress, which allows the national development bank BNDES to start the privatisation process of the state-owned power utility Eletrobras. Brazil directly controls 42.57% of Eletrobras’s total capital. In addition, 10.23% are owned by the federal government through BNESPAR, 5.92% through BNDES and 2.97% through government funds, raising the total state-owned interest to 61.69%.
The United States and Canada have agreed to work towards achieving net zero emissions by 2050, also reaffirming their shared commitment to cutting oil and gas methane emissions. The United States, which has just re-entered the Paris agreement on climate change after having officially withdrawn in November 2020, aims to achieve a net-zero carbon pollution free power sector by 2035, while Canada reaffirmed its goal to achieve 90% non-emitting electricity by 2030.
Energy & Climate Markets
According to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), the offshore wind industry installed just over 6 GW of new capacity globally in 2020, nearly the same levels as the previous year. China added nearly 3.1 GW of offshore wind capacity in 2020, accounting for 50% of the total, followed by the Netherlands (1.5 GW, 25%), Belgium (703 MW, 12%), the United Kingdom (483 MW, 8%) and Germany (237 MW, 4%). Smaller capacities were installed in South Korea (60 MW), the United States (12 MW) and Portugal (17 MW of floating capacity).
Shenergy Group, a state-owned energy group owned by the Shanghai government (China), has signed a 15-year LNG sales and purchase agreement with the Russian oil and gas producer Novatek for more than 3 Mt/year of LNG from the Arctic LNG 2 project in Russia.
Infrastructure & Investments
The UK energy group Drax has scrapped plans to develop the 3,600 MW Drax CCGT power plant project in Selby, North Yorkshire (United Kingdom), due to fierce opposition from environmental groups and despite a January 2021 ruling by the Court of Appeal that confirmed the UK’s government approval of the plant.
The government of the Arad county, in the region of Crișana in western Romania, has launched a public consultation on a 700 MW solar power project proposed by West Power Investment. The plant would require a €700m investment. Solar accounts for 7% of Romania's installed capacity, with 1.4 GW at the end of 2019. Another large scale solar PV project (310 MW) is under development at the CE Oltenia coal-fired power plant.
The Indian renewable energy company ReNew Power has entered into an agreement to merge with RMG Acquisition Corporation II. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021. The merged entity, which is valued at US$8bn, will be listed on the NASDAQ. Founded in 2011, ReNew has an aggregate capacity of close to 10 GW (including capacity already won in competitive bids), with a portfolio of more than 100 operational wind and solar energy projects spread across 9 Indian states (over 5 GW).