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Wednesday May 12, 2021   
The AESO market has featured some unprecedented price strength and volatility this spring, largely due to an enormous amount of gas-fired generation capacity on outage.  However, those outages are winding down, which should take some of the steam out of the Alberta Power Pool pricing until summer kicks in. AESO daily flat average power prices this April and May have been their strongest for those months in at least six years.   While loads are showing a modest recovery to last year, they have not yet outpaced 2019 or 2018 levels.  Wind generation for both April and this month-to-date has been in line with previous years.  Yet, daily and hourly wind output has remained highly volatile.  When it drops, the burden of serving load shifts to AESO's thermal ... » read more
Tuesday May 11, 2021   
It has been one year since the pandemic hit. Lives across the world have been in an arrested state as school closures, work from home orders and travel restrictions hit our continent. By and large these measures are lifted across the country but has daily behavior and the economy recovered? At EnergyGPS we get the privilege to talk to market participants all over the continent and one of the central themes over the past year is the impact of the restrictions on daily life and of course energy fundamentals of the immediate region. By looking at some of the temperature regressed power demand the conclusion is that the impacts are a mixed bag. Some areas of the continent have made more than a full recovery and some, due to ongoing societal restrictions are yet to see demand ... » read more
Monday May 10, 2021   
Depending on your age, there are several places that the saying 'Game On, Game Off' come into play. In my case, it goes all the way back to the Wayne' World where an intense version of one-on-one street hockey took place only to be disrupted by honking cars.  Wayne and Garth would ultimately grab the hockey net and move it to the side of the street as they watch the car go by (Game Off), only to drag it back into the middle of the residential street and yell 'Game On' to which the 'match' continued only to be disrupted my many other things over a period of time. Figure 1 | Game On, Game Off If you are a football fan, specifically a Baltimore Ravens or San Francisco 49ers loyalist, you can recall the 2013 Super Bowl where the two Harbraugh brothers (John and Jim) coached against each ... » read more
Friday May 7, 2021   
ERCOT forward pricing has always been a 'tale of two curves'. As anyone who tracks the ERCOT market knows, forward prices in the prompt year or two are based on expectations of marginal cost combined and scarcity. After the first couple of years, the forward curve rapidly declines, often reaching low levels in the out years. Figure 1 depicts the forward ERCOT North Peak (blue) and Off Peak (orange) curves as of January of each year. That is, the top pane shows forward curves as of January 2018 where the y-axis shows price in $ per MWh and the x-axis shows future years, the next pane shows curves as of January 2019, and so on. The pattern is consistent. The front of the curve is high and the back of the curve is much lower, regardless of the overall price level.   The front of the ... » read more
Thursday May 6, 2021   
Since the start of the year, the market conditions in California have been such that the Diablo Canyon Unit 2 facility was sitting on the sidelines most of Q1 and then the refueling period occurred as we rolled into Q2-2021 as well as the fact that the lack of hydro generation was being formed by Mother Nature.  Both of these took what we know as baseload energy off the grid that was essentially a price taker when it comes to putting megawatts on the grid each and every hour.  The nuclear output is pretty consistent at 1.15 GWa while the hydro hourly profile has flexibility where the midday period is the low point while the evening ramp kicks into the highest gear the operators have as they try to capture the higher priced hours as the sun is setting. Figure 1 | ... » read more
Wednesday May 5, 2021   
Mexico is hot again, both literally and figuratively.  Daily exports to Mexico have been repeatedly topping 6 Bcfd, lifting month-to-date levels about 0.9 Bcfd above last year, including many recent days of new record highs.  With another early-season heat wave currently hitting the country, chances exist for another round of record-breaking border flows.  In addition to the Mexican summer – the country’s peak gas demand season – approaching, there are a handful of structural influences that will contribute to driving year-on-year export growth.  This is putting Mexico back atop the list of big market discussions this summer, a notable return from the past couple of years when interest in Mexico seemed to taper.  Political changes in the country ... » read more
Tuesday May 4, 2021   
It was just over a year ago when the world was hit with a pandemic which caused the shut down of society. You could no longer go to a restaurant or the movies or even to work. The economy ground to a standstill as most were forced to survive at home. This drop in economic activity was most evident in the electric demand. Control area loads fell by as much as 15% in major cities. But that is starting to end. Florida, Texas and parts of the Midwest are opening and you can see the gains reflected back in the Lower 48 power loads during the month of April 2021 compared to the same time period in 2020.  It should be noted that the graphs in Figures 1 & 2 have an y-axis that is negative and descending from top to bottom as it is the best way to illustrate the consumption of ... » read more
Monday May 3, 2021   
A few weeks ago, the EnergyGPS webinar titled 'The Magical Mid-c' covered some of the key components that make the Pacific Northwest a one of a kind market with its own contributing components.  The one key component that sticks out is the hydro system as Mother Nature reshuffles her cards each year sometime around October, puts her initial fingerprints on it prior the New Year.  Once we roll the calendar, the magic begins as February and March have the most volatility when it comes to the snow water equivalent percentage of normal levels. Stated another way, these two months can swing a Water Year from having huge snowpack levels to that of almost nothing at different elevations throughout.  The first quarter also guides us in to the areas that carry the snowpack as it ... » read more
Friday Apr 30, 2021   
A key measure in an energy analyst’s toolbox for thinking about price and renewable curtailments is net load.  Net load is a measure designed to capture the leftover demand needing to be satisfied after deducting the output from renewable resources such as wind, solar and soon to be batteries.  Generally speaking, the lower the net load numbers the higher likelihood of lower prices.  Over the years, we have discussed in-depth the levels to which real-time prices end up settling in negative territory as the net load numbers are locked in at at its lowest level (must run units have to stay on to support the grid) and there is too much renewable output; hence curtailments are in order. The standard net load definition takes an hourly power demand profile less ... » read more
Thursday Apr 29, 2021   
At times, it is hard to believe we are already at the end of April as it seems like it was yesterday that we were celebrating the New Year by sitting in our living rooms watching a movie or some sort of virtual celebration putting the chaotic 2020 calendar year behind us.  Under this scenario, it seems like time is flying by with no time to look in the rearview mirror.  When it comes to the electricity markets, there is one region that feels like things are moving at warp speed but at the same time it has been talked about so much here at EnergyGPS, in the news and capturing the attention of the press that time seems to be standing still or going nowhere.  In fact, there are times the movie Groundhog Day comes to mind as we wake up, look at the market fundamentals and take ... » read more
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