Archive for the ‘electric power’ Category

Banks see second quarter revenue dip from commodities

Pinning down the financial performance of energy commodity trading at top financial institutions is complicated by the manner in which banks segment their operations and lump together certain revenue numbers.

While differences exist from bank to bank, for the most part the big banks place commodity trading within their fixed-income unit of their investment bank division. Low commodity prices, less volatility, and thus lower volumes traded, have all had an impact.

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Burn, baby, burn: North American natural gas gets ahead in generation

All over the news last week, media outlets highlighted a June US Energy Information Administration report that showed that for the first time ever, the US generated more electricity from natural gas than from coal in April. EIA data said the US generated 92.5 TWh from natural gas and 88.8 TWh from coal. This is the first time ever that any fuel source produced more electricity than coal. Although this might be a temporary blip (winter demand will send coal’s numbers past natural gas), it is still a huge deal.

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Natural gas becalmed as wind blows ahead in European power

Roll over Chicago, welcome to Europe: the Windy Continent.

In just 10 years’ time, wind is forecast to overtake natural gas as the biggest single power generation source by installed capacity in Europe.

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US power landscape prepares for markets, demand to heat up with summer

Summer for the power markets typically means volatility as demand shoots up with hot weather and prices bounce around as generators and traders try to provide the energy where it is needed.

Before each summer, grid operators across the United States gear up for the season by letting the stakeholders know how they are preparing in their summer outlooks. The outlooks share what the grid operators are expecting for peak loads and how much generation capacity will be available to meet the demand. For the power markets, preparing for the season means getting a handle on these outlooks and where prices are ahead of summer.

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California’s renewable power saga is just beginning

In the first quarter of this year, with unseasonably warm dry weather tamping down wind flows in California, the amount of power generated by the state’s 44 wind farms fell off by around 35% compared to the first quarter of 2014, according to data filed with the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Energy Information Administration compiled by Platts.

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Oh US gas demand, where art thou?

In the United States, natural gas is having quite a year. Year-to-date, Platts unit Bentek Energy data shows natural gas production has averaged 72.4 Bcf/d, a 5.2 Bcf/d, or almost an 8% increase, from a year ago. This growth is impressive itself, but what makes it even more impressive is the growth has come while prices have been depressed and demand has lagged.

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UK utilities higher charges for pre-payment meters is not the ‘smart’ option

I’d like to draw a positive parallel between pre-payment meters and smart meters.

That sounds facetious and in some ways it is. Rightly or wrongly, it seems pre-payment meters have become symbolic in the UK of poor families and intransigent tenants on Benefits Street.

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How could a ‘Brexit’ affect the European energy market?

The UK’s premier business lobbying organization, the CBI, has called on the business world to “turn up the volume” in the debate about the country’s relationship with Europe. A referendum is expected by 2017 to decide whether or not there should be a British exit (or “Brexit”) from the European Union. But how could this impact the electricity and gas market?

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Holy Carbon: Does the Pope’s view matter in the fight against climate change?

Pope Francis is set to weigh in on the climate change debate in what has already caused a considerable buzz in the media, by equal measure prompting cheers from the green lobby and irritation among climate skeptics, even before the message has been released.

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Could El Niño boost European gas demand this winter?

The strongest year for European gas demand since the 2008 financial crisis was 2010, a year impacted by the El Niño weather phenomenon. With international weather agencies now identifying the signs of the first El Niño conditions since 2010, could this be a sign of a cold winter ahead, and strong gas demand to come? 

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