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Wednesday Mar 31, 2021   
As a kid, one of the enjoyments of rummaging through the Sunday newspaper was to get to the comic section where one of the frames on the front page was dedicated to two images that on first glance looked identical but then the caption read 'can you find the x differences in the two images provided?'  This is where the competitive nature in me kicked in at an early age as I sat there and stared at both until the little nuances were found and discussed amongst other family members.  At times, there was a distinct competition to who could find the differences fast where the reward was to have the other person do one's chores the upcoming week. Figure 1 | Spot the Differences? In the energy space, a snapshot picture of market conditions changes from day to day so the pertinent ... » read more
Tuesday Mar 30, 2021   
Outside of two weeks in February the Eastern United States has kept the above normal trend intact and this past weekend was no exception. It was the warmest three day stretch since October of last year with many cities posting daytime highs in the mid 70's. The warm weather has also brought a season low for residential and commercial heating load across the region forcing many pipelines to start the storage refill process a few weeks earlier than normal. Caverns all over the Midwest, Eastern Canada and Northeast injected volumes for the first time this year. As a result of the low demand conditions cash prices at delivery hubs also fell to season lows.   Figure 1 | EIA East HDD Count for Nov 1 - Apr 15 Transco Z6, TETCO M3, Algonquin and Dominion South all fell to ... » read more
Monday Mar 29, 2021   
Now that we are over a full year into the Pandemic lockdown situation, the day of week or time of day gets lost in the shuffle as one's routine is to work out of a home office and look at a calendar that is full of conference calls with clients and internal meetings.  In the old days, the former would be balanced with in-person trips or conferences where golf or some other activity would be interwoven with a nice meal and guest speakers on certain topics in the power and natural gas space.  The latter would be tied to a conference room meeting or a Friday lunch where everyone would get together and discuss what the weekend plans looked like as well as picking a topic of conversation around the energy space that would educate the younger analysts dipping their feet in their ... » read more
Friday Mar 26, 2021   
The beginning of 2021 has been a volatile time for renewables across the country.  A mild end to 2020 and beginning to the New Year gave way to frigid temperatures and copious snowfall in the form of Winter Storm Uri in mid February.  Snowfall from the storm reached over 70% of the US mainland, impacting energy markets from both a demand and supply perspective.  The effect on renewables was considerable: blades from wind turbines iced over, snow blanketed solar panels, and storm clouds kept the sun’s rays from reaching the earth.  The storm’s impact was felt most severely in ERCOT in Texas, but made itself known throughout much of the nation.  Every storm must end, however, and as Uri melted away it brought more change for renewables.  Just ... » read more
Thursday Mar 25, 2021   
The renewable landscape tied to wind generation in SPP and ERCOT this month has been quite impressive from a potential capacity perspective as both have seen record numbers consistently throughout.  The definition of potential capacity mentioned is the summation of the actual generation from a renewable resource and the curtailed amount that occurs as the grid operators have to balance on a system and local level.  Over the years, we have migrated from the cumulative generation capacity to that of potential capacity as the should season can get a bit tricky and deceive market participants of what is to come during the months when there is enough power demand to find a home for all the renewable resources.  We discussed the curtailment situation in SPP, ERCOT and CAISO in ... » read more
Wednesday Mar 24, 2021   
It may not feel like it to Albertans with snow still covering large swaths of the province, but summer - from a gas market perspective - is just about here.  The AECO gas market is poised to flip to steady net injections over the next couple of weeks, and the current cash premium over near-term futures is likely to invert.  Near-term daily fundamentals point to a weakening of provincial gas demand and exports. Longer-range, this is the time of year the AECO market gets longer as provincial production does not start backing down for spring breakup until the end of April/early May, but demand and exports wane with seasonality. This can be seen in Figure 1, where the top row shows how production holds fairly constant until the end of April. The next three rows show demand in the ... » read more
Tuesday Mar 23, 2021   
It has been another mild winter for the state of California. Much like last year the departures were above normal for most of the withdrawal season which has led to both PG&E and SoCal Gas having an abundance of inventory heading into this injection season. The past three weeks the state saw late season cold but that is coming to an end this weekend. This cold fortunately led to a delay in the refill activity which typically starts during the middle of March. Currently total PG&E storage inventory stands at 142 BCF which leaves only 70 BCF of injection room over the next seven months. SoCal Gas is in an even more difficult situation. The caverns currently have 52 BCF leaving 30 BCF available for injections. Both inventory totals are near historical highs for this time of the ... » read more
Monday Mar 22, 2021   
Last week's special report titled 'The Curtailment Conversation -2021' dove into the details around the CAISO, SPP and ERCOT renewable curtailments and the key factors that have this March escalating the year on year cumulative volume in each market.  We followed the report up with a briefing on each market via the EnergyGPS webinar that highlighted the report's content (the video recording and pdf slides can be found on the EnergyGPS homepage).  In both the report and webinar, the foundation is set to where the market fundamentals present more than ever in each market now that we are coming out of the winter season and headed into the spring.  The California market has been picking up momentum over the past few weeks as the power demand numbers are moderating and ... » read more
Friday Mar 19, 2021   
It’s been thoroughly rehashed by now that a failure of wind energy to produce when expected was not among the causes of the disaster in ERCOT during the mid-February storm. As we and others have pointed out, wind wasn’t expected to produce much at that time, so it wasn’t devastating to the grid when it didn’t. Little attention has been paid, however, to the performance of wind before and after the storm. In order to explore this in more depth, and in order to contrast the wind performance during the event with the conditions in the rest of the month, we’ve divided the month of February into three distinct periods: before, during, and after the event. Each period is so different they almost behave like individual months. Defining “the event” is ... » read more
Thursday Mar 18, 2021   
The recent events across the middle third of the United States have brought the weather forecasting conversation to the forefront as several vendors have promoted themselves as have the tool that is able to predict what Mother Nature has in mind in the near-term and longer-term outlooks.  If you have been in the energy industry long enough, you quickly realize how volatile this process can be as there can be a whip-saw effect where one day the 1-15 day period is showing nothing but bearishness only to give way to a weather formation in northern portion of North America that gets the bulls riled up in a short period of time.  The one thing we are certain of, if this last year is any indication of what is to come, volatility and uncertainty is in order as we move out of the winter ... » read more
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