By - Jim Vess

Denmark, Germany and Spain move closer to 50 percent renewable electricity generation

Energize Weekly, January 15, 2020 In 2019, three European countries – Denmark, Germany and Spain ­–were all closing in on getting 50 percent of their electricity from renewable sources. Wind power provided more than 47 percent of the electricity in Denmark, and solar bumped the total from renewable sources to 50 percent, according to Energinet, the Danish national transmission system

By - Jim Vess

Average oil and natural gas prices were lower in 2019 than they were in 2018, EIA says

Energize Weekly, January 15, 2020 Average oil and natural gas prices in 2019 were lower than they were in 2018 by more than 8 percent, with natural gas posting its lowest average price since 2016, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). The lower oil prices led to lower gasoline prices as the average U.S. retail prices in 2019

By - Jim Vess

Wind turbine maker Vestas sets a goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030

Energize Weekly, January 15, 2020 Vestas, the world’s top wind turbine manufacturer, has set a target of becoming carbon neutral in its operations by 2030 and to push for carbon reduction across its supply chain. Aarhus, Denmark-based Vestas said that it will reduce its carbon footprint by 55 percent by 2025 and 100 percent by 2030. The company said that

By - Jim Vess

Tri-State, facing economic, political pressures, moves to close its last two coal-fired plants

Energize Weekly, January 15, 2020 Under pressure from market forces, dissatisfied members and environmental policies, the Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association announced it will close the last two coal-fired plants it operates and move to add more renewable energy. Tri-State said that it will close its Escalante Station, in Prewitt, N.M., by the end of 2020, and two units at

By - Jim Vess

U.S. greenhouse gas emissions fell in 2019, but face a future bump from oil and gas

Energize Weekly, January 15, 2020 The burgeoning U.S. oil and gas and petrochemical sectors are set to add greenhouse gas emissions over the next five years – even as they decline for the power sector, according to two analysis of the country’s emissions. In 2019, U.S. greenhouse gas emissions fell 2.1 percent, a decline almost entirely due to a record

By - Jim Vess

Global energy consumption set to rise 50 percent by 2050 led by rapid growth in Asia, EIA says

Energize Weekly, January 8, 2020 Global energy consumption is projected to grow 50 percent between 2018 and 2050, spurred by a rising demand for energy in Asia and a sharp growth in electricity as a key energy source, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). In its annual International Energy Outlook, the EIA projects energy consumption reaching more than

By - Jim Vess

Flaring on the rise in Permian Basin due to a lack of pipelines, Dallas Fed survey finds

Energize Weekly, January 8, 2020 Flaring of natural gas from wells in the Permian Basin, the largest shale field in the U.S., is on the rise, and industry executives say it is due to inadequate gathering line and pipeline capacity, according to a Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas survey. The Permian Basin, which straddles West Texas and eastern New Mexico,

By - Jim Vess

After a slow start, the pace of oil and gas M&A picked up in the second half of 2019

Energize Weekly, January 8, 2020 The pace of oil and gas mergers and acquisition (M&A) increased in the fourth quarter of 2019, after a strong third quarter, but the year still ended with deals far off the 10-year average when adjusted for one mega-merger. There were $96 billion in M&A activity for 2019, according to Enverus, an industrial analytics company.

By - Jim Vess

The Hartford to stop insuring and investing in coal and tar sands over climate concerns

Energize Weekly, January 8, 2020 The Hartford Financial Services Group said it will no longer insure or invest in companies mining or using coal or developing tar sands oil over concerns about risks linked to climate change. The company, based in Hartford, Conn., said it would not deal with companies that get 25 percent of their revenue from mining thermal

By - Jim Vess

IEA forecasts stable global coal demand despite sharp drops in the U.S. and Europe

Energize Weekly, January 8, 2020 Global coal demand in 2019 dropped, driven by coal-fired plant retirements in Europe and the U.S., but should be stable over the next five years due to growth in China and Asia, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). The outlook for coal in the U.S. over the next five years is of continued reductions

By - Jim Vess

U.S. onshore wind generating capacity hits 100 GW, a flurry of year-end projects underway

Energize Weekly, December 18, 2019 Onshore wind generating capacity in the U.S. reached 100 gigawatts (GW) at the end of September 2019, according to the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA). More than half the capacity has been installed since 2012. The oldest wind turbines still operating in the U.S. date back to 1975. Forty-one states had at least one installed

By - Jim Vess

Natural gas overtakes coal as a source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. and Europe

Energize Weekly, December 18, 2019 Natural gas – while helping to lower overall greenhouse gas releases – has overtaken coal as a source of carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. and the European Union, according to a report from the Global Carbon Project. While total fossil fuel emissions are projected to fall 1.7 percent in 2019, largely due to natural

By - Jim Vess

Oil and gas investments of $1.4 trillion by 2024 will lock in greenhouse gas emissions, report says

Energize Weekly, December 18, 2019 Worldwide investment in oil and gas production, estimated at $1.4 trillion over the next five years, will lock in carbon emissions that will make it impossible to meet the goals to limit global warming, according to a report by a coalition of environmental groups. “While capital expenditure (CapEx) on new oil and gas projects shrank

By - Jim Vess

Puget Sound Energy to sell Montana coal-fired plant share to NorthWestern Energy for $1

Energize Weekly, December 18, 2019 NorthWestern Energy is set to file an application with the Montana Public Service Commission to purchase Puget Sound Energy’s share of the Colstrip power plant for $1. The deal helps Bellevue, Washington-based Puget Sound Energy meet a Washington state law requiring utilities to stop using coal-fired power by 2025, and it provides Sioux Fall, S.D.-based

By - Jim Vess

U.S. shale oil production to remain strong, shale gas production cools due to weak prices

Energize Weekly, December 18, 2019 U.S. shale oil production will continue to grow over the next few years, despite weak investment and commodity prices, while increases in shale gas production will slow. That is the picture drawn by an analysis of shale oil by Rystad Energy, an Oslo-based energy consultant, and natural gas forecast by Enverus, an Austin, Texas-based industry

By - Jim Vess

Trump administration disputes claim solar tariffs led to slower job growth and investment

Energize Weekly, December 11, 2019 The Trump administration’s tariffs on solar cells has blunted the growth in jobs, investment and generating capacity, according to a report by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). The analysis calculated that the industry has forgone 62,000 jobs, $19 billion in lost investment and missed building 10.5 gigawatts of new capacity. The SEIA report was

By - Jim Vess

Employment picture cools in the Permian Basin, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas says

Energize Weekly, December 11, 2019 Employment in Texas’ Permian Basin – in a sign of cooling oil and gas activity – declined by 400 jobs through the first 10 months of 2019 after adding 16,700 jobs in 2018, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. For the year, employment for the oil and gas sector is down 4.7 percent

By - Jim Vess

NV Energy gets the green light for 1.2 GW of new solar with storage in Nevada

Energize Weekly, December 11,2019 NV Energy has received the go-ahead from Nevada state regulators for 1,190 megawatts (MW) of new solar renewable energy twinned with 590 MW of energy storage. The new capacity – solar and storage – will be in three projects located in southern Nevada and are set to be in operation by 2024, the company said. The

By - Jim Vess

Most costly coal-fired plants to run are prime targets for closure, EIA study finds

Energize Weekly, December 11, 2019 The U.S. has seen more than a fifth of its coal-fired generating capacity closed since 2011, and plants with higher operating costs were more vulnerable to closures, according to the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA). Between 2011 and the end of 2017, the total coal-fired generating capacity in the U.S. dropped to 257 gigwatts (GW)

By - Jim Vess

Companies join global effort to set science-based emission targets for their operations

Energize Weekly, December 11, 2019 Nearly 700 companies around the world are moving to adopt “science-based targets” for reducing their greenhouse gas emissions with 40 percent already having plans in place, according to the non-profit and governmental groups sponsoring the initiative. The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) – a collaboration among the charity CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, the

By - Jim Vess

Clean energy investment in the developing world dropped in 2018, led by China downturn

Energize Weekly, December 4, 2019 Clean energy investment in developing countries dropped by more than 20 percent in 2018 to $133 billion, while coal-fired generation surged, according to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) survey. “Both suggest that despite considerable recent progress, developing countries’ power sector CO2 emissions are rising rapidly,” BNEF’s annual Climatescope report said. A total of 107

By - Jim Vess

FERC approves three Texas LNG facilities despite climate and excess capacity concerns

Energize Weekly, December 4, 2019 The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved three new liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals in Texas at its November meeting over the objections of one commissioner, who said the decisions failed to take into account their impact on climate. The commission also rejected arguments from environmental groups that the approvals would create excess export terminal

By - Jim Vess

Boulder seeking to create a municipal utility offers Xcel $94 million for its wires and poles

Energize Weekly, December 4, 2019 In an effort to avoid a court condemnation proceeding, Boulder, Colo., which wants to create its own municipal utility, upped its offer for the purchase of Xcel Energy’s infrastructure to $94 million. It is the third offer the city has made to Xcel, which currently serves Boulder, and it is a 15 percent increase over

By - Jim Vess

Energy-related CO2 emissions in U.S. rise in 2018 for the first time in five years

Energize Weekly, December 4, 2019 Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from energy-related activities in 2018 rose in the U.S. for the first time in five years, posting a 2.7 percent annual increase to 5.27 billion metric tons, according to the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA). Driving the increase were higher emissions from natural gas-fired power generation, which was up as extreme

By - Jim Vess

International action has been insufficient to curb GHG, drastic action needed, the UN says

Energize Weekly, December 4, 2019 The gap between international efforts to curb greenhouse gases (GHG) and the growing emissions has grown so large that dramatic reductions over the next decade are needed to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, according to a United Nations (UN) report. Under the 2015 Paris Climate Accord, countries set their own emission GHG reductions

By - Jim Vess

New York City’s largest solar array will be built at JFK airport by SunPower

Energize Weekly, November 27, 2019 New York City’s biggest solar array will be built at the John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) – a 13-megawatt (MW) array with 7.5 MW of battery storage, the New York Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced Nov. 18. The project will also have a community solar component – making it the

By - Jim Vess

Distillate oil and propane prices begin winter heating season at lower prices than last year

Energize Weekly, November 27, 2019 Prices for home-heating oil and propane are starting this winter heating season at lower prices than a year ago, with heating oil 10 percent cheaper and propane down 22 percent, according to the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA). The winter heating season runs from October 1 to March 31, and home-heating oil prices averaged $2.89

By - Jim Vess

West’s biggest coal-fired power plant, the Navajo Generating Station, is shuttered

Energize Weekly, November 27, 2019 The biggest coal-fired power plant in the West – the Navajo Generating Station (NGS) – beset by uncompetitive economics, closed permanently on Nov. 18 after 45 years of operation. The 2,250-megawatt (MW) plant located on the Navajo Nation, east of Paige, Ariz., was once a prime source of electricity for the Southwest, including Phoenix and

By - Jim Vess

Bonds and credit instruments for green and sustainable projects reach $1 trillion in 2019

Energize Weekly, November 27, 2019 Debt instruments fostering sustainable projects and development reached $1 trillion in 2019 – with more than 30 percent of those loans coming this year, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). “Reaching the trillion dollar milestone is a key moment for the sustainable debt market – if this market wasn’t already on the radar of

By - Jim Vess

Wind speeds increased 7 percent in the last decade giving a boost to wind power, study says

Energize Weekly, November 27, 2019 Wind speeds in the mid-latitudes have increased 7 percent since 2010, a welcomed boost for the wind power business, according to an international team of researchers. Based on the increase in wind speed, the researchers calculated that a typical wind turbine receiving the global average increased winds would produce 17 percent more energy in 2017

By - Jim Vess

Cost for wind and solar generation continues to fall, but more slowly in 2019, Lazard says

Energize Weekly, November 20, 2019 The cost of wind and solar generation continues to fall, though at a slower rate, and they are becoming competitive even without subsidies under “certain circumstances,” according to the financial consultant Lazard’s annual costs analysis. The Lazard “levelized cost of energy” (LCOE) analysis covers eight types of renewable generation, as well as coal, natural gas

By - Jim Vess

Coal-fired generation set to grow over the next 10 years despite the rise in renewables

Energize Weekly, November 20, 2019 Coal – despite the rapid growth in renewable and natural gas generation – still accounts for the majority of the world’s electricity and is projected to increase at a compounded annual rate of 1.1 percent through 2030 to 2,345 gigawatts (GW), according to analytics consultant GlobalData. Even with strong opposition to coal-fired power, a prime

By - Jim Vess

New natural gas pipelines added in 2019 boost exports and sales to Eastern markets

Energize Weekly, November 20, 2019 New natural gas pipelines are projected to add between 16 billion cubic feet a day and 17 billion cubic feet a day of capacity in the U.S. in 2019, with most of that as takeaway capacity from supply basins, according to the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA). There are 134 active natural gas line projects

By - Jim Vess

A third of U.S. population lives in jurisdictions with 100 percent clean energy laws or goals

Energize Weekly, November 20, 2019 While federal clean energy policy has stalled, local governments are pushing forward, and more than a third of the U.S. population lives in jurisdictions – states, districts, territories, counties and cities – with 100 percent clean electricity goals. “A growing number of cities are choosing to transition to 100 percent clean energy – and dozens have

By - Jim Vess

Climate and energy policies around the world are falling short in meeting goals, IEA says

Energize Weekly, November 20, 2019 Even if all the commitments made by countries to cut carbon emissions and provide dependable energy were enacted, the world would still fall far short of having clean, reliable energy in 2040, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). The IEA placed all those emission and energy plans into a “Stated Policies Scenario” in its 2019 World

By - Jim Vess

Jet fuel demand projected to soar by 2050 with Asian markets leading the way, EIA says

Energize Weekly, November 13, 2019 Global demand for jet fuel will continue to be the fastest-growing transport fuel through 2050, with the biggest growth coming in China and Southeast Asia, according to the federal Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) International Energy Outlook. The EIA projects that jet fuel consumption will more than double to 29 quadrillion British thermal units (BTUs) in

By - Jim Vess

Calif. community power providers aim to add 30 MW of battery storage after blackouts

Energize Weekly, November 13, 2019 Local power providers in the San Francisco Bay area are looking to install 30 megawatts (MW) of residential and commercial battery storage in the wake of the widespread power outages made by Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E). The three community choice aggregators (CCA), local organizations created to buy cleaner and cheaper wholesale power, and the

By - Jim Vess

U.S. uranium production dives in Q3 as Trump administration punts on quotas

Energize Weekly, November 13, 2019 U.S. production of uranium concentrate plummeted 27 percent in the third quarter of 2019 to 32,211 pounds after the Trump administration balked at setting quotas for uranium imports. Production was down 94 percent when compared with the third quarter of 2018, according to the federal Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Domestic Uranium Production Report. Since 2014,

By - Jim Vess

Invenergy’s planned Rhode Island natural gas plant lost out to renewables and energy efficiency

Energize Weekly, November 13, 2019 Invenergy’s proposed, large-scale, natural gas-fired power plant in Rhode Island was undone by delays that enabled renewable power and market efficiencies to overtake the project, according to state regulators. In August, the Rhode Island Energy Siting Board voted to deny Invenergy a permit for the proposed 850-megawatt (MW) to 1,000-MW natural gas-fired plant. On Nov.

By - Jim Vess

Two of Tri-State’s biggest co-ops file complaints with the Colorado PUC seeking to leave

Energize Weekly, November 13, 2019 Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association continues to face pressure from some of its members as two of its largest electric cooperatives last week filed complaints with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) seeking reasonable exit fees from the association. Brighton, Colo.-based United Power, the largest of Tri-State members, and Durango-based La Plata Electric Association (LPEA),

By - Jim Vess

Lithium chemical glut may turn into a pinched market by 2025, Bloomberg analysis says

Energize Weekly, November 6, 2019 The battery demand for lithium chemicals – now in the doldrums – could reach 700,000 metric tons by 2025 and along with 300,000 metric tons for non-battery uses, making for a tight market, according to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) analysis. Lithium prices have been cut in half since the last quarter of 2017

By - Jim Vess

Natural gas exports doubled in the first half of 2019 aided by new terminals and pipelines

Energize Weekly, November 6, 2019 U.S. natural gas exports – bolstered by new terminals and pipelines – averaged 4.1 billion cubic feet a day for the first half of 2019, more than double the rate for 2018, according to the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA). In 2017, the U.S. became a net exporter of natural gas for the first time

By - Jim Vess

Global energy efficiency drops to lowest rate since the start of the decade in 2018, IEA says

Energize Weekly, November 6, 2019 Primary energy intensity, a key indicator of how much energy is being used by the global economy, was down 1.2 percent in 2018 – the slowest improvement since 2010, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). It marked the third year in a row of declining rates, with 2017 posting a 1.7 percent improvement. The

By - Jim Vess

Coal mine prospects in the Powder River Basin are on a poor trajectory, Moody’s says

Energize Weekly, November 6, 2019 A string of coal mining company bankruptcies in the Powder River Basin (PRB), straddling Wyoming and Montana, has changed the basin’s competitive landscape, but not its “poor overall long-term trajectory,” according to an analysis by Moody’s Investor Services. “All of the rated coal companies that produce PRB coal are now focusing on metallurgical coal production

By - Jim Vess

Equity and bond money for drillers dries up in Q3 as investors are wary

Energize Weekly, November 6, 2019 The stock and bond markets continued to cool for oil and gas drillers in the third quarter of 2019 with $495 million raised in equity, a 79 percent decline year-over-year, according to a report from Enverus, an industry analytics firm. Bond offerings for “upstream” drillers rose for the quarter to $14.6 million, a 70 percent

By - Jim Vess

Global renewable energy set to increase 50 percent in next five years led by solar

Energize Weekly, October 30, 2019 The world’s total renewable generation is set to grow by 50 percent or 1,200 gigawatts (GW) between 2019 and 2024 driven by solar installations, according to an International Energy Agency (IEA) market report. Photovoltaic (PV) solar is projected to account for 60 percent of the new capacity as a result of declining costs and government

By - Jim Vess

U.S. is exporting a record amount of oil to a record number of markets, EIA says

Energize Weekly, October 30, 2019 U.S. crude oil exports increased to an average 2.8 million barrels a day for first seven months of 2019, sending oil to as many as 31 different markets per month, according to the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA). The U.S. is now exporting oil to more markets than places from which it is importing oil,

By - Jim Vess

Indiana electric customers could save $12 billion with a ‘fast transition’ to renewables

Energize Weekly, October 30, 2019 Indiana electric customers could save $12 billion if the state’s utilities moved directly to renewable generation and skipped the strategy of using natural gas-fired plants as a bridge, according to a report to the task force developing a statewide energy plan. The report, done for the Indiana Citizens Action Coalition, was submitted to the bipartisan

By - Jim Vess

Utilities running inefficient coal plants in wholesale power markets cost ratepayers

Energize Weekly, October 30, 2019 Electric customers of regulated utilities in four of the biggest U.S. wholesale electric markets shouldered a $3.8 billion burden for inefficient coal plants between 2015 and 2017, according to a Sierra Club analysis. The Sierra Club report focused on the “shelf-scheduling” of coal plants by regulated utilities in markets run by the Midcontinent Independent System

By - Jim Vess

Dominion Energy wins approvals for first offshore wind project on the Virginia coast

Energize Weekly, October 23, 2019 Dominion Energy has received approvals from federal regulators for the design and installation of its 12-megawatt (MW) Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) development, making it the first U.S. project to receive these permits. The project is being developed in cooperation with Ørsted, Denmark’s largest energy company. Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy is building the project’s turbines.

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