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Friday Apr 3, 2020   
For those of us fortunate enough to  not be impacted health- or employment-wise by the COVID-19 crisis, it was a week to be very grateful for what we have.  To the people on the front line of this crisis, from heath care workers to the many workers providing essential service, EnergyGPS sends out heartfelt appreciation.  And, as this week ends, EnergyGPS also wants to give a shout out to the employees of the electric power grid--especially those that still report out to the plants, operations centers, and distribution lines—for making the grid hum without notice during this crisis.     With these positive thoughts in mind, we wanted to circle back to a recent energy policy decision that will significantly impact the California power grid in a ... » read more
Thursday Apr 2, 2020   
During any election, the news stations use the words 'swing state' as the ballots are being counted and the individuals running for office are all on pins and needles.  The reference is to any state that can go either way hence the political party member who wins the votes is one step closer to winning the overall election.  When it comes to the electricity sector, the swing states are Oregon, Washington, California, Texas and Oklahoma/Kanasas/Nebraska as they have the biggest influx of renewable resources such as hydro, solar and wind.  Prior to the integration of wind and solar, the Pacific Northwest was probably the most volatile true power supply stack as Mother Nature could deliver enough precipitation to push the hydro generation to heights beyond any power demand ... » read more
Wednesday Apr 1, 2020   
What a start to a new month, ERCOT's wind is expected to average over 16.7 GWa across the 24 hour period on Wednesday, April 1st.  If I would have written this type of information in the newsletter blog, say 10 years ago, you would have most likely attributed it to a funny April Fools joke as gas induced market was very protective of its own turf.  How times have changed as ERCOT continues to be the leader when it comes to installed capacity across all of North America. Figure 1 | ERCOT Daily Supply/Demand Breakout Table - Daily If you have been following the ERCOT market as of late, the grid saw above normal temperatures last week that shifted the overall power demand profile higher while the hourly wind generation profile saw the mid-afternoon period drop down to less ... » read more
Tuesday Mar 31, 2020   
Oil prices have been hit with a double edged sword in the last month. The failure of Russia and OPEC nations to come to a quota agreement has led to a glut of supply in the world market just as coronavirus effects sap the demand. Zerohedge posted a good article about how some of the oil basis points have now dropped to all time lows. Canadian oil prices have fallen from $50 to below $5 per barrel (C$8) as the signal is being sent for the industry to shut down production. Marginal costs for oil production in the Athabasca range from C$30-45 per barrel so this is well below the price needed to sustain volumes. The article posted yesterday had us thinking about the probable changes to natural gas balancing in Western Canada. ZeroHedge: Oil Price Article Figure 1 | Western Canada and ... » read more
Monday Mar 30, 2020   
The world has a lot going on right now as information overload is front and center when it comes to the Coronavirus and the inability for countries to get in front of it in a way that allows for people to go about their daily life.  We have China that has begun to dig itself out of what would be considered self-quarantine for the past couple of months, while Italy and Spain are still in the trenches fighting for their countries life as many close knit families live with other family members in high density apartments.  Then we have the United States, who joined the countries mentioned by instilling the stay-at-home mandates by state.  As it stands this weekend, compared to last weekend, we have more cases across many more highly populated areas including Detroit, Chicago ... » read more
Friday Mar 27, 2020   
The good people over at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBL) have recently published a report on the state of batteries in US electricity markets. LBL has partnered with the Electric Power Research Institute and Clean Kilowatts to write “Motivations and options for deploying hybrid generator-plus-battery projects within the bulk power system.” (see link below) Like most LBL electricity papers, it is well researched, relies on publicly available data, and is clearly written. While those who already perform detailed battery analysis may find the analytics to be overly simplified, it provides a good overview of battery costs, batteries in the interconnection queues, and comparative value of stand-alone versus paired with solar versus paired with wind. Figure 1 | Resource ... » read more
Thursday Mar 26, 2020   
Over the past few weeks the world has been turned upside down in a way that countries are in full lockdown mode, individuals are asked to cozy up in their small apartments/flats and every news station is finding it hard to stay on top of the information surrounding the coronavirus.  During this time high officials across the world have thrown out the words 'pandemic', 'stay-in-place' and 'social distancing' as they get their arms around what is happening on a daily basis.  The word 'pandemic' is similar to the words widespread, pervasive or rampant and in its noun form is defiined as an outbreak of an pandemic disease.  Figure 1 | Pandemic Alert The 'stay-in-place' is being used by government officials/top business owners who have made the decision to mandate ... » read more
Wednesday Mar 25, 2020   
The Corona Virus (CV) and the related illness COVID-19 (C19) has unsettled and upended the world as we know it. People are socially distancing, businesses are closing, people are losing jobs, those with jobs are working from home, people are getting sick, and people are dying. This is like nothing we’ve ever seen before. In addition to the horrible personal toll this is taking on people’s health, lifestyle, and livelihoods, the CV and the measures taken to limit the spread of the CV and C19 are having tremendous impacts on markets. The US equity markets are down about 30% from the highs in February. Oil prices have fallen by more than 50%. Other energy markets are under pressure due to little change in supply and sharp reductions in demand. It is difficult to handicap what ... » read more
Tuesday Mar 24, 2020   
The last couple of weeks have been a disaster for energy prices. The two edged sword of quarantine efforts as well as the break down of oil quota talks has slashed near term natural gas prices. But there is a silver lining to the recent price action. The futures prices beyond this immediate summer strip have been well supported. Since the first week of the month when both issues started to gain steam, the Q3 2020 NYMEX HH contract has risen 19 cents to $2.61 while the Q2 2020 has fallen 7 cents to $1.68. Each of the two major event is contributing to the widening of the spreads. Figure 1 | Q2 2020, Q3 2020 and Q1 2021 NYMEX HH Natural Gas Futures Settles First, the news that Saudi Arabia is sending 24 MM barrels of crude oil to US shores has producers in a panic. This is an attempt ... » read more
Monday Mar 23, 2020   
It is so easy to lose track of what day it is as they all get co-mingled into one lump sum now that working from home is being mandated by the stay-in-place orders sent down from either the state's governor or the city's mayor.  No matter who it is issuing the mandate, our country is working dilegently to stop the spread of the coronavirus that has taken over the world.  On our daily walk around the neighborhood, the streeets are now being used as a walkway for social distancing as there are few cars on the road.  As we passed the local public golf course on Saturday, I found myself staring at the putting green as there was a line of folks standing there (6 feet aprt) as five golfers were on the green putting their balls to their own exclusive hole.  Under normal ... » read more
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