Turning his back on former President Obama’s clean energy aspirations, the new FERC chairman Neil Chatterjee calls for coal to be “properly compensated” for baseload power and “recognized as an essential part of the fuel mix.” Asserting his commitment to the “resilience and reliability” of the US electric system, he said in a podcast released by FERC this week that ensuring security of supply would merit keeping even uneconomic coal and nuclear power plants operational. “These are essential to national security,” he claimed.
ComEd, a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corp, has turned to ABB’s latest distribution and outage management systems in order to minimize the impact of outages for its customers across northern Illinois. ABB Ability, an integrated software platform, allows for real-time monitoring, network analysis and outage management.
Excess growth in global LNG supply, notably through the ramp-up of US LNG through 2018 and into 2019, will make European gas prices “move through the coal floor [price]”. Fuel-switching in the Western European power market, according to Societe Generale, will ultimately be determined by short-term gas prices hinging at the variable cost of shipping a US LNG cargo to Europe.
Aug 15 – The United States’ status as a net exporter is expected to continue for the rest of this year and past 2018 because of growing U.S. natural gas exports to Mexico, declining pipeline imports from Canada, and increasing LNG exports the US Energy Administration (EIA) forecasts.
Unabated growth in energy consumption prevails in Texas: The Lone Star State has consumed the most energy in every year since 1960, the earliest year for which EIA has data. By year-end it is estimated to exceed 12,998 trillion Btu. California ranked second, consuming about 8% of U.S. total energy use.
Natural gas-fuelled power generation in the United States reached its highest daily level at 41 Bcf/day on July 20 – just a tick lower than the 2016 peak of 42 Bcf/d seen on August 11 last year. Higher gas prices relative to last summer explain part of the decrease; but PointLogic Energy analysts stressed that “although power burn in 2017 is lower than in 2016, it is still relatively high compared with the previous five-year average for that period.”
Demand from the industrial sector becomes the main engine of gas consumption growth, replacing power generation, where gas is being squeezed by growing renewables and competition from coal, the International Energy Agency (IEA) says in its latest five-year forecast Gas 2017. Global gas demand is forecast to rise from 3,630 bcm today to nearly 4,000 billion cubic meters (bcm) by 2022.
Capacity-weighted average construction costs for many generator types have fallen in recent years throughout the United States. The average cost of natural gas generators installed in 2015 was $696/kW, a 28% decline from 2013. Nearly 75% of the natural gas capacity installed was combined-cycle units, which had an average installed cost of $614/kW.
July 6 - Consumption of natural gas has risen in 9 of the past 10 years, according to EIA figures. As recently as 2006, the United States consumed more coal than natural gas (in energy-equivalent terms), but as gas use has increased—particularly in the electric power sector, where gas-burn in 2016 was about twice that of coal.
Exports of natural gas from the United States have reached a record-high level, surging 30% to 2,315 Bcf in 2016. Pipeline exports to Mexico more than doubled since 2013 and are set to rise further, according to EIA projections, once the pipeline projects currently under construction are completed and demand from new natural gas-fuelled plants in Mexico ramps up.