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Thursday Jan 16, 2020   
A couple of weeks ago, one of our Newsletter blogs promoted the seminar titled 'Renewables and Wholesale Electricity Markets - Managing Risk, Maximizing Value' which will be led by EnergyGPS's own Tim Belden and Alan Comnes.  The two-day event will be held at the Magnolia Hotel in Houston  on the 23rd/24th of January.  Since that is only a week away, I would like to spend this blog highlighting once again what will be covered at the conference as the panel is full of expertise and knowledge of how the market will shape up in the coming years. Below is a list of topics on the agenda: Wholesale market structure and how renewables fit within that structure | the evolution of renewables is here to stay with California being the pioneer of state mandates and solar ... » read more
Wednesday Jan 15, 2020   
Growing up with Footloose as one of the top movies, it is hard to pass on anything tied to Kevin Bacon.  In fact, most of us have been in a conversation around the '6 Degrees from Kevin Bacon' or stated another way '6 Degrees of Separation'. The sayings are tied to the myth where any two people on Earth are connected by six or less aqcuantances at any given time.  In the Hollywood circle, it is where people try to take an actor/actress and connect the dots to Kevin Bacon as he has started in several fancy free movies over the years such as 'Hollow Man', 'A Few Good Men', Apollo 13', 'The River Wild' and the infamous 'Animal House' Figure 1 | Kevin Bacon Movie List The '6 Degrees of Separation' theme is common in the energy industry as two people seem to always figure out a way ... » read more
Tuesday Jan 14, 2020   
Just two years ago the total LNG sendout from United States shores was limited to 2.8 BCF. In those past 24 months there has been a prolific growth in liquefaction trains.  Multi billion dollar investments at Sabine Pass, Corpus Christi, Cameron, Freeport and Cove Point have now propelled the export volume to over 8.4 BCF. Almost all of that is on the US Gulf Coast. There is still more on the way. Kinder Morgan has put the finishing touches on the Elba Island Facility turning it from an import to export terminal. When fully completed it will take the liquefaction capacity up to 9 BCF per day.   Figure 1 | Total Lower 48 LNG Demand This large increase in LNG supply has had a big effect on spot LNG prices. Comparing the United Kingdom's Balancing Pool spot price to ... » read more
Monday Jan 13, 2020   
if you are a sports fan, you are privy to Las Vegas betting when it comes to the point spread (better known as the 'line on the game').  As with Oregon and many other states, the betting on professional games is now legal and many are active participants as they can stay at home, sit on the couch and place their bets as they see fit.  In the Pacific Northwest, there were a lot fo Seattle Seahawk fans that liked their chance in Green Bay on Sunday night, especially with Las Vegas giving them 4 points.  The 4 points were the betting line spread Vegas put on Packer-Seahawks game to see who would play the San Francisco 49ers next week to see who goes to the Super Bowl.  The 4 points spread basically stated that you could place a bet on either team, if you chose the Packers ... » read more
Friday Jan 10, 2020   
On December 19, FERC issued its long-awaited order on PJM’s capacity market addressing capacity resources in receipt of state-level subsidies.  In short, FERC’s republican-majority voted 2-1 for an existing-generator-friendly order to expand the minimum offer price rule (MOPR) under PJM's Reliability Pricing Model (RPM, aka Capacity Market).   Compared to PJM’s more nuanced filing made back in October 2018, FERC: Rejected PJM’s resource-specific carve out (RCO) for new and existing resources Eliminated exemptions from the MOPR for several resource types: small units, units that could claim a minimal subsidy (materiality threshold), energy efficiency, and smaller resource category types such as landfill gas Allowed for unit-specific MOPRs. Individual ... » read more
Thursday Jan 9, 2020   
With the two day cold weather pattern almost over in the East and parts of the Midwest, the natural gas physical landscape is going to get ugly so as they say in the tree trimming business - 'Watch out below!!!'  The true meaning of this saying is for people to look out for something in their way.  In the case of the weather, it is Mother Nature who you have to be leery of as she continues to sprinkle the above normal temperature dust across the Lower 48 and Canada. Figure 1 | Falling Debris - Watch out below If you are a bull in this market, your patience is running thin as you have been dodging the falling debris for some time as we have seen the prompt month natural gas contract move down from the beginning of December 2019 mark of $2.44 to yesterday's settle of ... » read more
Wednesday Jan 8, 2020   
If you have been following the weather model runs or live in the Midwest/East Coast you are aware of the two days of 'colder' weather today and tomorrow. I put a single quote around the word colder as the accumulated HDDs are still not above normal for this time of year but chillier than the past two days.  Once we get to Friday and the weekend, Mother Nature is sprnkling the warm weather dust across the major winter demand areas as New York City is looking at daytime highs up around 57 degrees. Figure 1 | New York City Temperatures - Actual vs. Forecast   Over in the Midwest, I admit to be watching the weather forecast for Green Bay, WI as the Packers host the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday afternoon as part of the National Football League's Divisional playoff game.  The ... » read more
Tuesday Jan 7, 2020   
Since the beginning of December the climate over most of North America has taken a warm turn. There have only been 8 days where the heating degree day total has posted over climatology. This is due to a prevailing negative Pacific-North America phase (-PNA). The pattern has characteristics where a high pressure system dominates the Northern Pacific keeping cold air limited to the upper latitudes. At the same time another high pressure system sits right over the Southeast part of the Untied States. Sandwiched between the trough and ridge is a southwesterly flow of warm, wet air that funnels right over the Gulf, Midcontinent and Midwest. This has obvious implications for space heating but there is also another effect from such a pattern. The funnel is pushing winds right over the heart ... » read more
Monday Jan 6, 2020   
The New Year is upon us which also symbolizes a new decade beginning.  In our latest EnergyGPS Newsletter Monthly Report, titled The Learning Curve, we took a look back at some of the key learning moments between 2010-2019 and discussed how the experiences can serve as a foundation for the future. One aspect we touched on in the report was how the last decade introduced the renewable penetration across the entire country, not just California and its Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) implementation. To illustrate this point, we can take a look at the ERCOT market as it stands today given it has become the front runner when it comes to wind penetration within its footprint.  The chart below breaksdown the ERCOT wind generation numbers by month where the bottom pane represents ... » read more
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
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