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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
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
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