Archive for the ‘electric power’ Category

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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Warming weather in California exposes vulnerabilities of wind power

Is it the first signs of a serious problem for wind power generation?

Data shows a significant drop-off of wind power sales in California due to warm weather, which caused a drop in wind velocities. Is it possible that wind farms that so many believe will help mitigate the warming of a changing climate will instead be impaired by that very same warming?

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IHS CERAWeek 2015, Day 4: Power ballad ending

Thursday is not the final day of IHS CERAWeek, but it is the final day focused on a particular commodity. It’s also Platts’ final day at CERAWeek this year. Thursday’s focus on electric power allows for a wide variety of topics, though, from coal to actual power generation to natural gas and everything in between.

We had two editors roaming the sessions Thursday, one to focus on coal and one to focus on electric power. Some of what we heard was shared from @PlattsPower, although @PlattsCoal, @PlattsGas and @PlattsOil also got some fodder from various officials sharing their plans. Just as a good power ballad has to come to an end, our coverage of this year’s CERAWeek is ending, and here are some thoughts from our editors about Thursday’s events.

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Oil and biofuels vehicles, check your mirror; the car behind you might be electric…

Time was when humanity seemed to take endless leaps forward in terms of technology. There was a sense that everyone was pushing forward at the same time and in the same direction. In today’s world, when investing in the next big tech, the great diaspora of ideas can be a challenge that divides investment funds, and has the ability to muddle that sense of direction, that notion of collective tech-progress.

Which brings us to cars. Combustion engines surely can’t go on for ever, that much is clear, but in that maelstrom of ideas, could the electric car now be attaining a critical mass? And could the two great energy and transport rivals — oil and biofuels — be developing a blind spot around their rise?

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