Posts Tagged ‘power generation’

SoCal Gas’ Aliso Canyon gas storage leak raises questions about California markets

The Southern California Gas Company is one of the biggest local distribution companies in the United States, covering much of Southern California, and is a regulated utility within Sempra Energy.  One of the wells at its Aliso Canyon storage site has been leaking gas for over three months now, and it’s not expected to be stopped for another month.

We’re not here to comment on the politics or social impact of this event, but we are tracking how this is impacting the California natural gas market. This has really shaken up expectations for the California gas market, as the future of the facility after the leak is repaired is unknown. So why is Aliso Canyon such an important storage facility?

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US Interior review will likely find ways to ‘fix’ federal coal

The US Interior Department announced January 15 that it is going to “review” the Bureau of Land Management’s leasing program of federal lands upon which an estimated 41% of all US coal is currently produced, and is putting a hold on all new lease applications while the three-year review is underway.

The announcement raised immediate suspicions in some quarters that the department was angling at more than a mere review of leasing procedures, a possible royalty fee hike and a benign moratorium on future leases. At the very least, the announcement was seen as a shot across the bow of coal production in the US.

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US natural gas is high, low, and looking to 2016

If I had to sum up the US natural gas industry of 2015 in four words, they would be: high production, low prices. This year has indeed been a year that some people — such as consumers — will want to remember, while others — namely, producers — will want to forget.

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Analysts, aluminum buyers mull impact of Chinese petcoke crackdown

China’s amended Air Pollution and Control Law includes a restriction on the import, sale or use of higher-sulfur petroleum coke, which is likely to tighten supply of anode-grade petcoke for the aluminum industry, according to analysts.

Petroleum coke is a byproduct of oil refining, and about 80% of global production is considered fuel-grade, used for generating electricity and in the cement industry. The remaining 20% is calcined, or further refined, and serves as a key ingredient in other manufacturing ─ in particular, aluminum production. Calcined pet coke (CPC) is used to make the anodes that provide the carbon for the electrolytic chemical reaction during aluminum smelting.

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A Texas tale of two winds

It was a curious stretch of time for wind power generation in Texas.

From mid-August to mid-September, the availability of wind generation in the most heavily-stocked market did a virtual U-turn.

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I’ve got a fever, and the only prescription is more wind generation

The projected big winner in the Environmental Protection Agency’s pursuit of reduced carbon dioxide emissions by the power sector is wind generation.

The EPA’s Clean Power Plan, whose rules were unveiled Monday, is expected to trigger a boom in wind installations that could amount to a 63% increase in wind generation by the year 2020 over 2013 wind capacity totals, and an increase of 211% by 2030.

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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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