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Tag Archives: electric power

Energy and commodities highlights: US gas prices, OPEC meeting, Chinese LNG investment

Moving into high summer, US energy markets were taking stock of trends in power generation amid low gas prices. The US Henry Hub gas benchmark recently traded at historic lows, and with forward prices suggesting little upside, the fuel is likely to see increased demand from power plants this summer. According to S&P Global Platts Analytics, even average seasonal temperatures in July and August could lift demand for power burn as much as 2-3 Bcf/d over last summer, assuming gas prices...

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As Texas temperatures rise, will ERCOT electricity prices boil over?

When record-setting heat swept across Texas in mid-July 2018, ERCOT only narrowly avoided a blowout in power prices with the help of unusually low outages and the fortuitous arrival of a weekend. This summer may be unlikely to get as hot as last year, but shrinking reserve margins continue to emphasize the possibility of surging summer prices. Taking into account increasingly tight reserve margins, upside under ERCOT’s recently revised shortage pricing formula, and higher dependence on wind...

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Exchange’s IT malfunction sends jitters through European spot power markets

One week ago, European spot power exchange EPEX Spot was hit with an issue any financial platform would want to avoid. Technical problems led to a series of server crashes, forcing the exchange to launch back-up auction procedures. This resulted in Belgian power prices spiking to over Eur2,000/MWh. During EPEX Spot’s preliminary auction at mid-day London time on June 7, the Belgian day-ahead baseload power contract reached EUR2,233.39/MWh. The auction was then cancelled due to the technical...

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Forward spark spreads suggest rising profitability of US renewables as sector matures

Ahead of the S&P Global Platts Global Power Markets conference in Las Vegas, April 8-10, 2019, The Barrel presents a series of articles on the global and US electricity sectors. In this last post of the series, Steve Piper analyzes S&P Global Market Intelligence data to show that renewables are increasingly able to compete with conventional generation. Wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) electric facilities only account for an estimated 11% of US generation, but they are fast closing...

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Batteries included: US poised for expansion of grid-connected power storage

Ahead of the S&P Global Platts Global Power Markets conference in Las Vegas, April 8-10, 2019, The Barrel presents a series of articles on the global and US electricity sectors. Here, Felix Maire and Jared Anderson look at the prospects for battery storage across the US. Battery energy storage deployment in the US has rapidly increased in recent years and appears set for further growth, assuming costs continue decreasing and pending market rule changes increase opportunities for...

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US power policy grapples with renewables growth, capacity gaps

Ahead of the S&P Global Platts Global Power Markets conference in Las Vegas, April 8-10, 2019, The Barrel presents a series of articles on the global and US electricity sectors. Platts’ US generating fuels news team report on policies at state and federal level that will have consequences for energy security and the transition to renewables. As the US power industry contends with reliability concerns due to low electricity prices, rapid renewables growth and baseload generation...

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Tracking global power capacity: Renewables growth outpaces fossil fuels

Ahead of the S&P Global Platts Global Power Markets conference in Las Vegas, April 8-10, 2019, The Barrel presents a series of articles on the global and US electricity sectors. Here, Bruno Brunetti and Lin Fan analyze world power capacity additions in 2018 and look at factors that will drive developments this year. Global investment in renewable power capacity continues to outstrip that in fossil fuels and nuclear, but growth has softened recently as a result of policy U-turns – with...

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Big oil’s electric dreams could create new energy cartels

Oil companies want to become power utilities to meet rising demand from electricity in transport and from growing populations. The strategy makes sense, but would also bring risks for regulators and consumers if it were to create a new breed of gigantic energy-controlling monopolies. On one hand, watchdogs in developed markets such as the UK should welcome the introduction of relatively new players like Shell and BP to challenge the Big Six conventional utilities. On the other,...

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Insight from Brussels: Renewables win in new EU power market design

Renewables are the big winners in the European Union’s new power market rules, which are designed to help the grid cope with ever increasing shares of variable sources such as wind and solar. This is part of the EU’s long-term push to cut its greenhouse gas emissions and reduce fossil fuel imports. At the end of 2018 it adopted a binding target to source at least 32% of its final energy demand, including heating and transport, from renewables by 2030. That translates into sourcing more than...

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UK electricity links to Europe multiply, even as Brexit looms

This week marks the start of a new phase in London-Brussels relations. But it has nothing to do with Brexit, and it won’t be political power returning to Westminster as a result of the UK’s departure from the European Union. Instead, the power flowing across the English Channel will be of the electrical variety, as the Nemo electricity interconnector – the first direct connection between the UK and Belgium – begins commercial operations on 31st January. The 1 GW link...

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