New base 521 special 19 january 2014

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<ul><li><p>NewBase 19 January 2015 - Issue No. 521 Khaled Al Awadi </p><p>NewBase For discussion or further details on the news below you may contact us on +971504822502 , Dubai , UAE The path towards economic growth is powered by renewables The National + NewBase </p><p>Renewable energy last year became the No 1 source of electricity supply in Germany and accounted for 27.3 per cent of our consumption. At the same time, our economy grew by 1.4 per cent, while power consumption in total fell by almost 4 per cent. The use of renewable energy has avoided almost 150 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. </p><p>This development shows that we managed to decouple energy consumption from economic growth and that renewable energy is part of the expansion. </p><p>This would not have been possible without the fast-pace technological advances and cost savings in recent years particularly in wind and solar energy. Today we can generate electricity from new wind and large photovoltaic facilities at the same overall cost as newly built hard-coal or gas-fired power plants. </p><p>This drop in costs of renewables technology opens up major opportunities for all countries that are now investing in renewables. Using world market fuel prices as a reference, electricity from wind and solar power could be considerably cheaper for solar-rich countries such as the Arabian Gulf countries and others in the Middle East. </p><p>Another added benefit is the new jobs that are created in the power industry. Over just a few years, Germany created about 370,000 jobs in this field. The UAE and several other countries in the region have recognised the potential of renewables and have set themselves renewables targets. This gives them an opportunity to be at the vanguard of the development in their region. </p><p>Increasing the use of renewables has become one of the key pillars of the energy strategies for many countries. Nowhere is this better reflected than in the membership of Irena, the International Renewable Energy Agency based in Abu Dhabi. The organisation ensures its members have </p></li><li><p>access to best practices that have already been adopted by pioneering states as they reach their renewables targets. Germany and the UAE were among the first supporters of the agency. </p><p>There are a number of challenges ahead of us in Germany to transform our energy system. In future, the major portion of power supply will come from wind power and photovoltaics. These two technologies are capable of producing sufficient energy to meet our renewables targets in a cost-effective way. </p><p>Complementing sources are hydro power and bioenergy. As electricity fed in from wind and photovoltaic installations fluctuates depending on the weather and time of day, the entire system has to become more flexible. The most important step here is to expand the grid, both in Germany but also across borders within Europe. We also have to adjust our electricity market so that it provides energy security while also ensuring sufficient levels of investment for efficient new power plants based on fossil fuels. In addition, measures for flexibility are also needed on the demand side and include storage facilities. </p><p>The transition to renewable energy must not only develop into a success story for the environment, but also in economic terms. This is true for Germany and for other countries that have embraced renewables. </p><p>The potential for renewables in the Arab countries is vast, particularly for solar power. Some Arab countries have begun to use renewable energy. With the exception of a few lighthouse and pilot projects, especially in the UAE, there is still an immense untapped potential in the GCC countries. Recently the groundbreaking result of the bidding processes for a photovoltaic power plant in the emirate of Dubai was applauded. Germany and the UAE are linked by a strategic cooperation and have deepened their economic and political ties. We would like to build on this and share our experience in expanding the use of renewables with all interested partners in the UAE. </p><p>Rainer Baake is the German state secretary in the federal ministry of economy and energy, and the head of the German delegation to the World Future Energy Summit, which begins today </p></li><li><p>UAE beats renewables cost hurdle with worlds cheapest price for solar energy.( 5.98 US cents per kilowatt-hour) The National + NewBase </p><p>The UAE has another world record under its belt: the planets lowest prices for solar energy. It may not sound as glamorous as the tallest building or the longest gold chain, but it has the potential to be a game changer in more ways than one. </p><p>High costs had previously been a major obstacle prohibiting growth for the solar sector. But prices have fallen 75 per cent over the past five years and more projects are being developed, according to the Abu Dhabi-based International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena). </p><p>Evolution can happen in a burst, and solar powers sudden change is simlar to those that technological progress has ignited across the business world. Look at how much technology has evolved in day-to-day living. Reading books on tablets is the new normal so much so that Suzi LeVine was sworn in as the US ambassador to Switzerland using a Kindle in June. </p><p>Apples iPod was all the rage about seven years ago, enabling a new, smaller way to listen to music on the go. Already it has been replaced with </p><p>the all-inclusive services offered by smartphones. As for phones, the first mobile phone, Motorolas DynaTac 8000X, sold at just under US$4,000 in 1984. Fast-forward three decades, and nearly half of US households have wireless phones exclusively. </p><p>Taking a tighter focus, this is exactly what is happening in the solar photovoltaic (PV) sector. And it is happening right here at home. The recent bids submitted to Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) for the second phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum solar park indicate the competitiveness of solar PV technology. </p><p>Riyadh-based Acwa Power first bid 5.98 US cents per kilowatt-hour for the 100-megawatt tender, again trumping competing bidders that included Spains Fotowatio and Abu Dhabi-based Masdar. </p><p>In addition, Acwa went ahead and bid for the remainder of the plants planned 1,000MW at a total tariff of 5.4 cents under a 25-year power purchase agreement. The plant is targeted for completion in 2030. </p><p>Dewa announced last week that the Saudi-led consortium, which also includes Spains TSK, was awarded the contract to build and operate the next phase. While the Saudi company did not obtain the remainder of the solar park, it did win an increased tender of 200MW from the original 100MW. </p><p>But what stood out was the final price the never-before-seen 5.84 cents per kWh. </p><p>This means that the solar power generated from this phase will be sold to Dewa at a fixed rate of 5.84 cents over 25 years. The price of natural gas which generates 99 per cent of the UAEs </p></li><li><p>electricity stands at 9 cents. Solar energy is not only cost-competitive with conventional forms of power generation, but in the UAE it is even cheaper. </p><p>This is why Acwa was not awarded the entire solar park. Paddy Padmanathan, the Acwa chief executive, said that he did not expect Dewa to award the rest of the project, simply because solar prices are likely to continue to drop. With every doubling of cumulative installed capacity, solar PV module prices are expected to fall by 18 per cent to 22 per cent, according to a report released by Irena yesterday. </p><p>Irenas director general, Adnan Amin, concurred with Mr Padmanathan that the falling trend for solar prices was an incentive for governments to defer long-term commitments, as opposed to paying now at what is likely to be a higher price. </p><p>At times of fiscal austerity in many governments well, thats very unsustainable, he said. </p><p>Mr Amin went on to describe Acwas bid as a remarkable development that can be attributed to the change in financial structure for the renewables sector. </p><p>The UAE and others, through the auction mechanism, have begun to show a different tier for the future, which is rapid increase of renewable energy based on cost and feasiblity, Mr Amin said. </p></li><li><p>Iraq: Iraq oil output hits record 4m barrels per day Reuters + NewBase </p><p>Iraq produced a record of around 4 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil in December, Oil Minister Adel Abdel Mehdi announced on Sunday. "It is the first time Iraq has achieved this," Abdel Mehdi told a press conference alongside Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz. </p><p>Abdel Mehdi also revealed plans to export 375,000 bpd for the first three months of 2015 from around the northern city of Kirkuk and the Kurdistan region. He said those fields would increase production to 600,000 bpd as of April. </p><p>The previous monthly record for Iraqi production was 3.56 million bpd in 1979, according to an official from Iraq's State Oil Marketing Organization. Abdel Mehdi told reporters that Iraq had set the level of exports for Iraq's northern and Kurdish oilfields for the first three months of 2015 after the meeting with Yildiz. </p><p>"We have agreed to keep the level of exports at 375,000 bpd for the first three months of the year, and as of April, we will increase exports to 600,000 bpd," Abdel Mehdi said. The oil from Iraq's north is exported via a pipeline network from the Kurdistan region to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan. </p><p>The arrangement is the result of an interim deal reached between Baghdad and Iraqi Kurdistan in early December after years of acrimony between the two sides over oil rights. Under the deal, the sides agreed to ship 300,000 bpd of oil from Kirkuk and 250,000 bpd from Kurdistan via the Kurds' pipeline network. </p><p>Baghdad and the Kurdish region were prompted to set aside their differences by the jihadist group Islamic State's seizure of territory across large sections of northern Iraq. Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said around 450,000 barrels per day (bpd) of Iraqi oil were currently flowing into his country's Ceyhan port. "We have agreed with Baghdad to reach 550,000 barrels per day," Yildiz said in a press conference in Baghdad. </p></li><li><p>Regional refinery trends evolve to accommodate increased domestic crude oil productionSource: U.S. Energy Information Administration </p><p>Recent rapid growth in U.S. production of light tight oil has raised interest in understanding how U.S. refineries, many of which are configured to process heavier crude oil, might accommodate increased volumes of domestic light crude. The U.S. refinery fleet, which is distributed across Petroleum Administration for Defense Districts(PADDs), varies both within and across regions in capacity, quality of crude oil inputs, utilization rates, and sources of crude supply. </p><p>Stream day capacity is the maximum number of barrels of input a distillation facility can process within a 24-hour period when running at full capacity under optimal crude and product slate conditions with no allowance for downtime. The stream day capacity is typically about 6% higher than the calendar day capacity, which reflects usual operating conditions including both planned and unplanned maintenance. </p><p>More than 50% of the country's refinery capacity and most of the country's heavy crude processing capacity is located in the Gulf Coast (PADD 3). The region's 51 operating refineries with atmospheric crude distillation units (ACDU) have capacity totaling 9.7 million barrels per stream day (bbl/sd), 81% of which is located at facilities with coking capacity. Coking units can upgrade heavy crude oil into higher-valued lighter products, such as distillate and gasoline. </p><p>Recent expansions have increased ACDU and coking capacity by 625,000 bbl/sd and 160,000 bbl/sd, respectively, since 2010. Despite the expanded capacity, utilization has remained steady, and the region has recently set records for high levels of gross inputs. </p><p>Changes to crude oil supply patterns are most pronounced in the Gulf Coast. Net imports into the region have fallen by 2.3 million bbl/d, and light sweet crude imports have been largely replaced </p></li><li><p>by domestically produced light, tight oil. In addition, from 2010 to 2014, the average API gravity of crude inputs rose by 1 degree. API gravity is an inverse measure of the density of a petroleum liquid relative to water, meaning that the higher the API gravity, the lower the density of the petroleum liquid compared to water. An increase in API gravity indicates that average crude slates are becoming lighter. </p><p>Crude oil production in the Gulf Coast region has increased by 1.9 million barrels per day since 2010. Gulf Coast receipts of crude oil from the Midwest (PADD 2), including both U.S. and Canadian production, also have increased. With more Canadian and domestic barrels moving south from the Midwest to the Gulf Coast region and lower demand for crude shipments from the Gulf Coast to the Midwest, net receipts for the Gulf Coast were positive in October 2014 for the first time since December 1985. </p><p> This situation, with shipments and receipts of crude oil to and from other PADDs being roughly equal in the Gulf Coast region, is a change from the region's traditional role. The Gulf Coast has long been a source of crude supply for neighboring PADDs, both through the movement of domestic production and from imported crude oil coming into Gulf Coast ports. </p><p>With U.S. crude production in 2015 expected to average 9.3 million bbl/d, 700,000 bbl/d above the 2014 level, domestic refiners will continue to face changing supply and demand conditions, even as continued production growth in the first months of the year transitions to a more static production outlook as the effects of the recent sharp decline in oil prices are reflected in drilling decisions. </p><p>Changes to infrastructure, refinery capacity, crude oil price differentials based on quality, and policy decisions will also affect refinery operations in the coming year. Further discussion of these changing dynamics for each region of the country can be found in the January 7 This Week in Petroleum. </p></li><li><p>US: Gasoline dampens US inflation; mid-year rate hike in doubt Reuters+ NewBase </p><p>US consumer prices recorded their biggest drop in six years in December and a gauge of underlying inflation was flat, which could make the Federal Reserve more cautious about raising interest rates. </p><p>The Labour Department said its Consumer Price Index fell 0.4 per cent last month, the largest decline since December 2008, after sliding 0.3 per cent in November. In the 12 months through December, the CPI increased just 0.8 per cent, the weakest reading since October 2009 and a sharp deceleration from Novembers 1.3 per cent rise. </p><p>The odds of a rate hike in June are fading fast, said Michelle Girard, chief economist at RBS in Stamford, Connecticut.The recent data cannot leave the Fed feeling more confident that inflation will move higher. </p><p>While Fed officials have viewed the en...</p></li></ul>