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Friday Jan 3, 2020   
I’ve been in the electricity business since 1992. Since 1996 I’ve been in Portland, Oregon observing what’s going on in western US markets. This is the third time I’ve experienced the dawn of a new decade in this business. It’s as good a time as any to reflect on where we’ve been, take stock of where things stand, and imagine what things might look like 10 years from now. Remember the hype building up to Y2K? There were bona fide fears that outdated software which ran the grid would hiccup and cause blackouts. We managed to survive New Year’s Eve of 2000. At that time, few people suspected that lying just below the surface of westerner energy markets was a very tight supply situation and an impending crisis. At the core of the crisis was bad ... » read more
Thursday Jan 2, 2020   
Now that the New Year celebrations have come and gone, the start of a new decade is upon us and if this last decade is any indication, the next 10 years in the power and natural gas sectors is going to be quite interesting to say the least.  Before we start to lay the foundation for the years to come, each power grid is going to be transitioning from the holiday spirit to that of a normal business day.  The first step to some normalcy is to start with taking down the Christmas tree and all the ornaments and ligths associated it.  Finding the bozes to store them in for another year is always an issue but when it is all said and done this is the move that symbolizes the holiday season has come to an end. Figure 1 | Christmas Tree Lights The next step is to find some nice ... » read more
Tuesday Dec 31, 2019   
After the Christmas holiday I gathered the family and traveled down to New Orleans for some well deserved rest and relaxation. Prior to the trip I checked with the meteorology services and found that I would have some unseasonable warm dry weather. What we got was a surprise even to our high expectations. After arriving at the airport and stepping out of the terminal we noticed that the air temperature was much warmer outside than it was in the baggage service area. We quickly determined that the actual temperatures were coming in well abve the outlook. Off came the jackets and on went the shorts and t-shirts as we headed out for our first taste of gumbo, which did not disappoint. Over the past four days we spent most of our time eating outdoors enjoying the weather and of course the ... » read more
Monday Dec 30, 2019   
When people talk about the 'Day of Reckoning', they are alluding to a day or time in the future when one will be forced to deal with an unpleasant situation which they have avoided until now.  This phrase has been used several times over, for example I was watching a documentary over the weekend on the Mortgage Crisis back the late 2000's and hindsight showed you that there was going to be a 'Day of Reckoning' as the madness around sub-prime loans was not sustainable.  Another example of such a day is the 24 hours after the National Football League season is over, which so happened to be yesterday, and the owners of each non-playoff team does a gut check and either fires the head coach and/or general manager or comes out and states the coaching staff is safe for ... » read more
Friday Dec 27, 2019   
Growing up in the Midwest, I recall the local cafe workers always stating to the local group of patrons that a bottom-less cup of coffee was always served.  If you were in a booth next to the main table, you knew exactly what it meant as some of the indviduals would sit there gossiping about nothing for hours and drink anywhere from 3-5 cups of coffee at one sitting.  This was made possible by the person behind the counter making one of the biggest pots of coffee you can image as the Folders grounds were placed in this big metal top with a filter pad. The water inside the massive container started to perculate to a point that the 'freshness' of the grounds started to take over the space.  When it was all said and done, the cafe was primed and ready for anyone or anybody to ... » read more
Thursday Dec 26, 2019   
We hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season. The days off are always a welcome break to reconnect with family and friends before the start of the New Year. Most of the country caught some favorable weather over the past few days which allowed a rare opportunity to spend some time outdoors. Most of the Midcontinent, Midwest and Mid Atlantic saw daytime highs run up to the low 60's which was perfect for the rare round of December golf. But that is coming to a rapid end. In the coming days the average temperatures will drop by 20+ degrees bringing the HDD count back to normal. More important, this will reignite the winter natural gas demand.     Figure 1 | Lower 48 HDD's for Nov-Dec (2018-2020) The holiday slumber will be over just as the calendar page turns. January ... » read more
Tuesday Dec 24, 2019   
December is not just the time to be with family to celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, and the solstice, but also to make “best of” lists to help memorialize the impending  year’s end.  In that spirit, EnergyGPS wants to revisit energy podcasts (last reviewed in 2017) and present its 2019 Best Energy Podcast list. When it comes to finding interesting energy policy and market content in the pod-o-sphere, there are more choices than ever.  Before getting into recommended content, here are a couple of related tips on finding and streaming interesting content: Google search now transcribes audio content, so if you want to find a podcast on  a topic, try simply searching for it. Make sure "podcast" is in your search.  With a great number of energy-related ... » read more
Monday Dec 23, 2019   
The weather across the country has been quite interesting over the past couple of months as the end of October/early November chill was short-lived as warmer weather moved in across the Midwest and Eastern portion of the country.  The Pacific region has maintained some chill to the daily temperatures but nothing crazy.  This past week saw a couple of days where temperatures dropped in the Midwest and East to a point that the natural gas cash markets needed to price themselves high enough to makes rue the molecules were being consumed for heating demand and not power burns. Figure 1 | Daily ConUS HDD Forecast Compared to Normal, Last Year and Previous Run As we left for the weekend, the 11-15 day period was showing some signs of colder weather returning to the grid, hence why ... » read more
Friday Dec 20, 2019   
Today, one MWh of electricity costs $28.50/MWh. How much will it cost tomorrow? If you were asked to answer this question, you might want to know things like what region this is referring to, and what time of day and year. Lacking any other information, you might simply assume that the price tomorrow will be the same as the price today—a reasonable short-term method known as persistence forecasting. It’s unlikely that tomorrow, at the same location and time of day, the price will have jumped to $1000/MWh. But could it go as high as $40? As low as $5? And, much more importantly for energy projects that can often span decades, what’s the price likely to be 10 years from now? EGPS uses Monte Carlo modeling as one tool to explore this question. Monte Carlo simulations are ... » read more
Thursday Dec 19, 2019   
It is definitely short-lived but to see how the bilateral cash and day-ahead market in the East markets unfolded was somewhat exciting considering the December month to date volatility had been pretty dormat. This was due to above normal temperatures hitting the grid and plenty of natural gas on the grid.  In fact, after the initial cold snap in early November, the citizens of the Big Apple and Boston were enjoying the fall-like weather pattern. That was until this week when temperatures dropped drastically where both power load and heating demand shifted up.  This brought the battle of the molecule to the forefront of the ongoing conversation  As stated, up until this points, the grid needed to find a home for all the swirling natural gas and the method of choice was ... » read more
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