ISO New England report outlines power-gas concern from last winter
5/21/13 | Generation Hub
The lack of natural gas supply for power generation at certain points in the winter of 2012-2013 is a cause for concern in the ISO New England region, according to a May 20 report on first-quarter 2013 results from the ISO's Internal Market Monitor (IMM).
A combination of cold temperatures, severe weather, and high natural gas prices during two periods in the reporting period created unusual operating conditions. The IMM concluded that the system operated as expected and the markets were competitive during these extreme weather events.
PJM Interconnection expects to have enough power to meet summer demand
5/15/13 | Power Engineering
PJM Interconnection expects to have sufficient power this summer when power use can get as high as 155,553 MW, according to Electric Light & Power magazine. This compares to PJM's all-time peak demand of 163,848 MW. PJM serves 60 million people in 13 states and the District of Columbia.
To meet demand, PJM has available 186,884 MW of installed power generation capacity and 11,175 MW of demand response and energy efficiency. Demand response means there are customers who are paid to reduce their energy use at peak time periods on request and energy efficiency pays customers who modify their buildings to save electricity.
ISO-NE: Possible Summer Nat. Gas Constraints, but Supply Will Be Reliable
5/8/13 | Power Magazine
Natural gas pipeline maintenance this summer could affect natural gas supplies to some power plants in the New England region, but forecasts suggest that summer electricity supplies will adequately meet consumer demand under normal weather conditions.
ISO-NE said that under normal summer weather conditions of about 90F, demand for electricity could peak at 26,690 MW. Demand could rise to 28,985 MW if an extended heat wave of about 95F occurs.
April Electricity Demand at 3 Year Low
5/7/13 | Power Engineering
Power demand is typically low in April as it is not hot enough to need air conditioners but not cold or dark enough to need evening lights and space heating. But this past April's electricity demand was the lowest monthly demand the US has seen in three years as April temperatures trended warmer for the East and West Coast while a core of well-below-average temperatures lingered in the Upper Midwest.
Year over year, April 2013 was much cooler than 2012 when cooling load was already ramping up across the South and Central US on well above average temperatures. Demand was down 8% from March and 1% from the same month in 2012. Year to date demand is now up just 1% from last year.
ISO New England says region has enough power to meet summer peak demands
5/1/13 | Power Engineering
The six-state New England power grid is expected to carry enough electricity to meet consumer demand under normal weather conditions this summer, according to a release from ISO New England Inc., the operator of the region's bulk power system and wholesale electricity market.
According to the company, consumer demand is highest in New England during the summer, largely because of the use of air conditioners. Under normal conditions, the company expects the demand for electricity in the region this summer to peak at 26,690 MW, but that number could rise to 28,985 MW during an extended heat wave.
The total generating capacity of all power plants in New England is about 31,760 MW if all plants were running at maximum output.
More than 2,800 power outages reported in the U.S. in 2012
4/29/13 | Power Engineering
California tops the list of states with the most power outages in 2012 for the fourth year in a row, according to Eaton's 2012 Blackout Tracker Annual Report.
In total, 2,808 reported outages occurred in 2012, down from 3,071 reported outages in 2011. The amount of people affected decreased from 41.8 million in 2011 to 25 million last year. However, the data shows an upward trend of reported outages affecting 50,000 or more people, with 42 in 2009; 52 in 2010; 109 in 2011 and 65 in 2012.
US Smart Grid Cybersecurity Spending to Reach $7.25B by 2020
4/22/13 | Greentech Media
By 2020, U.S. utilities will spend $7.25 billion on cybersecurity technology to protect the smart grid, Zpryme reported.
The majority of funds will support industrial control systems and SCADA networks that control grid assets.
California Power Facing Biggest Test Since Enron
4/22/13 | Bloomberg
The California Independent System Operator Corp. said last month that managing the state grid, especially in parts of Southern California, will prove "difficult" because the system will be operating without Edison International (EIX)'s San Onofre nuclear power plant and two natural gas-fired units, while hydroelectric output will be at a three-year low. The nuclear plant, California's single largest source of baseload power, accounts for 3.7 percent of the state's capacity.
Drop in Nuclear generation in the Northeast
4/17/13 | Bloomberg
Nuclear generation in the Northeast, which includes plants from New Hampshire to Washington, fell by 23 megawatts from yesterday to 18,907 megawatts, the lowest level since Nov. 19, according to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Plants across the region were operating at 76 percent of capacity.
Entergy shut its 685-megawatt Pilgrim 1 reactor, in Plymouth, MA, yesterday for refueling. The drop in nuclear production is spurring demand for natural gas in the region.
Coal-fired plants to remain largest source of U.S. power generation through 2040.
4/17/13 | Power Engineering
Despite a growing focus on building new natural gas-fired power plants in the U.S., coal-fired plants will remain the largest source of power generation in the country through 2040, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
According to an expanded section of the Annual Energy Outlook 2013 released Monday, coal-fired energy will provide 35 percent of power generation in 2040, which is a decrease from providing 42 percent of power generation in 2011. Over that time, the EIA states about 15 percent of coal-fired capacity active in 2011 to retire, while only 4 percent of new generation capacity added will be coal-fired.
Although natural gas will provide less generation than coal, the EIA states total natural gas-fired generation will increase by an average of 1.6 percent per year from 2011 to 2040. In 2040, natural gas will provide 30 percent of power generation, an increase from 24 percent in 2011.
Coal-fired power generation up 21% in March
4/10/13 | Power Engineering
Coal-fired power generation rose 21 percent in March 2013 compared to March 2012, according to a recent report released from Genscape's Generation Fuel Monitoring Service. The report links the rise of coal-fired generation to rising prices for natural gas.
The increase of coal-fired power generation made up for a loss in generation from natural gas and renewable energy, the report states. Natural gas-fired power generation dropped 11 percent from March 2012 levels, while renewable energy generation decreased 14 percent in March 2013 as compared to March 2012.
New Data Reveals U.S. Coal Use Rising Again
4/3/13 | Energy Tribune
Most recent data from EIA shows that natural gas prices for the power sector have increased by more than 50 percent since April 2012. Over the long-term, EIA expects that natural gas prices for the power sector will increase by about 3.4 percent each year from 2012 through 2040. On top of these price increases, electricity demand is expected to grow by 28 percent by 2040. EIA projects an increase in both natural-gas fired generation (30 percent), as well as coal-fired generation (18 percent) between now and 2040 to meet this demand. Without additional regulations, these trends are poised to increase U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
EIA: US economy and electricity demand linked, but relationship is changing
4/1/13 | Penn Energy
A country's economy and its energy use, particularly electricity use, are linked. Short-term changes in electricity use are often positively correlated with changes in economic output (measured by gross domestic product (GDP)). However, the underlying long-term trends in the two indicators may differ. All else equal, a growing economy leads to greater energy and electricity use. However, in developed countries like the United States, the relationship has been changing for some time, as economic growth now outpaces electricity growth.
The factors driving this trend include slowing population growth, market saturation of major electricity-using appliances, improving efficiency of several equipment and appliance types in response to standards and technological change, and a shift in the economy toward less energy intensive industry.
DOE launches Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative
3/27/13 | Power Engineering
The initiative will work to increase funding for clean energy manufacturing research and development that will accelerate the U.S.-based manufacturing of clean energy technologies from wind, solar, geothermal, batteries and biofuels. DOE on March 26 awarded more than $23 million in innovative R&D projects. DOE also released a $15 million funding opportunity to reduce manufacturing costs of solar energy technology, including photovoltaics and concentrated solar power, and also plans to issue a new funding opportunity that supports a new manufacturing innovation institute.
EEI expects transmission investments to top $15bn in 2013
3/6/13 | Power Engineering
The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) projects year-over-year total transmission investment from EEI members to continue rising until 2013, reaching a peak of around $15.1 billion, according to a report released this month. EEI highlighted more than 150 transmission projects in the report with a total investment of around $51.1 billion through 2023.
Of the projects highlighted in the report, 76 percent support the integration of renewable resource generation, comprising about $38.7 billion of the total investment through 2023. These projects will involve the addition of upgrade of 13,300 miles of transmission, according to the report.
Texas electric supply will be 'very tight,' grid operator says
3/4/13 | Fuel Fix
Balancing supply and demand for electricity in Texas will be a delicate balancing act again this summer.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which operates the power grid for 85 percent of the state, said Friday that it expects sufficient electricity to be available through the spring but predicts "very tight" conditions over the summer.
Power demands are highest in the summer, when home and business use soars because of air conditioning.
POLL: Americans' support for nuclear power remains strong
2/20/13 | Power Engineering
In the national telephone survey of 1,000 U.S. adults, 68 percent of respondents reported being in favor of nuclear energy, up three points from a poll taken in September 2012. More than 80 percent of those surveyed cited reliability, affordability, and clean air as the most important considerations in energy production, and three-fifths strongly associated nuclear energy with those considerations. Additionally, a full seventy-three percent of respondents reported believing that nuclear plants in the U.S. are safe and secure.
Suppliers Want Long-Term Fixed Price Default Service for New York
1/30/13 | Energy Choice Matters
A coalition of competitive suppliers has told the New York PSC that a long-term Price to Compare should be introduced into the retail market.
Specifically, the Independent Power Producers of New York told the PSC that the ommission's current Retail Market Review, "should create an effective forward-looking price-to-compare that captures at least a 6-12 month period to allow consumers to evaluate fully their purchasing options as compared to a backward-looking mechanism."
EIA reports increase in coal-fired generation in most recent data
1/30/13 | EIA
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released a report showing a 6.2 percent increase in coal-fired generation in November 2012 compared to November 2011 in the United States. According to the agency, the increase marks the first year-over-year increase incoal-fired generation since a 0.5 percent increase from December 2009 to December 2010.
Coal Generation to Rise
1/9/13 | EIA
EIA expects the coal share of total electricity generation to rise from 37.6 percent in 2012 to 39.0 percent in 2013 and 39.6 percent in 2014, as natural gas prices rise relative to coal prices. Lower-than-projected natural gas prices along with the industry's response to future environmental regulations could cause the coal share of total generation to fall below this forecast
Eastern U.S. May Warm Up Next Week, Cutting Energy Demand
1/2/13 | Bloomberg
Temperatures are expected to rise above normal across the eastern U.S. next week and may cut energy demand and melt snow in the region. Temperatures may increase 8 to 14 degrees Fahrenheit (4.4 to 7.8 Celsius) above normal Jan. 7 to Jan. 11 from the Midwest to the Middle Atlantic, according to a forecast from MDA Weather Services in Gaithersburg, Maryland. In New York and New England, temperatures may rise to 5 to 7 degrees above average. Energy traders look to long-range forecasts to gauge potential fuel use. Abovenormal temperatures in the large cities of the Midwest and Northeast may decrease demand for energy to warm homes and businesses, suppressing natural gas and heating oil prices.
Pa. at top for electricity suppliers
12/19/12 | Philly.com
Pennsylvania has more retail electricity suppliers than any other state, according to an industry organization that assesses competitive power markets. The Annual Baseline Assessment of Choice in Canada and the United States counted 47 retail suppliers in Pennsylvania, and ranked the state second overall behind Texas, the most active market in the country. The report commended the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission for constructing market rules that encourage competition.he Midwest and Northeast may decrease demand for energy to warm homes and businesses, suppressing natural gas and heating oil prices.
New England Winter Grid Outlook: ISO-NE Forecasts Sufficient Capacity to Meet Demand
12/5/12 | ISO-NE
New England should have sufficient resources to meet consumer demand for electricity during the 2012-2013 winter season, according to ISO New England Inc., the operator of the region's high-voltage power grid and wholesale electricity markets. However, the region's reliance on natural gas as a fuel to produce electricity could create operational challenges if natural gas supplies become tight this winter. If this occurs, ISO New England will rely on oil- and coal-fired generation to lessen any operational risks to the region's power system.
Coal transportation costs jump 50% in last decade
12/5/12 | EIA
The average cost of shipping coal by railroad to power plants increased almost 50% from 2001 to 2010, with rail transport accounting for more than 70% of U.S. coal destined to the electric power sector, said a new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Renewables to Rival Coal for Power Generation in 2035
12/5/12 | Businessweek
Renewable energy is set to rival coal as the main generator of the world's electricity by 2035 as the costs of technology fall and subsidies rise, the International Energy Agency said. Wind farms, solar parks and hydroelectric dams are forecast to become the second biggest power generator in 2015 and rise to almost a third of all generation in 2035, a level approaching that of coal, the Paris-based agency that advises 28 nations on energy policy said today in its annual outlook.