By - Jim Vess

U.S. wind and solar generation set to soar in 2021, as coal-fired and nuclear plants close

Energize Weekly, January 27, 2021 The U.S. electricity generation fleet will continue its transformation in 2021 with wind and solar dominating new installations and nuclear and coal-fired plants steadily being retired, according to the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA). Power plant developers and utilities are planning for 39.7 gigawatts (GW) of new generating capacity in 2021, with wind and solar

By - Jim Vess

Oil and gas merger activity rebounds in Q4, but a pandemic hangover lingers

Energize Weekly, January 20, 2021 After being hobbled by an economy and commodity prices weakened by the novel coronavirus pandemic, merger activity among oil and gas production companies rebounded in the second half of 2020, according to Enverus, an industry analytics firm. Total activity for 2020 was $52 billion, powered by $27 billion in activity in the fourth quarter –

By - Jim Vess

Oil and gas activity rebounds in the Permian Basin but economic pressure persists

Energize Weekly, January 13, 2021 After a punishing year, oil and gas activity in a swatch of oil county from Louisiana through Texas to New Mexico rebounded in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to a survey by Dallas Federal Reserve Bank. The bank queried oil company executives in its region and calculated that its business activity index had swung

By - Jim Vess

Gas flaring is a problem from Texas’ Permian Basin to Russia’s Siberian oil fields

Energize Weekly, January 6, 2021 The U.S set a record for flaring of gas at well sites in 2019 and was part of a global pollution problem created by a handful of oil-producing countries, according to two energy agencies. An average of 1.48 billion cubic feet of gas was vented or flared daily in the U.S., 1.3 percent of gross

By - Jim Vess

After two bad years, global coal demand is set for a 2021 rebound, IEA says

Energize Weekly, December 30, 2020 Coal demand slipped an estimated 5 percent in 2020 – the largest annual decline since the Second World War – but the fuel is projected to rebound in 2021 on demand from China and Asia, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). The 2020 decline follows a 1.8 percent drop in coal demand in 2019,

By - Jim Vess

U.S solar rebounds from pandemic decline, renewable investment remains strong worldwide

Energize Weekly, December 23, 2020 The U.S. solar industry – led by utility-scale projects – rebounded in the third quarter from its midyear pandemic doldrums, according to an industry market report by consultant Wood Mackenzie and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). Solar’s performance is part of a broader trend showing the strong performance of renewable generation in the face

By - Jim Vess

Global energy efficiency gains slow in 2020, hobbled by coronavirus pandemic

Energize Weekly, December 16, 2020 Energy efficiency gains slowed to their lowest level in a decade in 2020, and feeling the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic, energy efficiency investment is projected to be down 9 percent year-on-year to $227 billion in 2020, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). Energy intensity, a measure of efficiency, is projected to improve

By - Jim Vess

Coal continues its decline in the U.S. and Europe and its rise in Southeast Asia and India

Energize Weekly, December 9, 2020 Coal mining and coal-fired electricity generation in the U.S. and Europe continues to decline, but in Asia, coal-fired demand is projected to increase through 2030 thanks to national policies and Chinese financing. In the U.S., coal mine production capacity fell in 2019 to 590 million short tons – a 28 percent decline from the peak

By - Jim Vess

Colorado adopts sweeping oil and gas rules, banning flaring, creating a 2,000-foot setback

Energize Weekly, December 2, 2020 Colorado has adopted the strongest oil and gas regulations in the country and reoriented its oversight agency from “fostering” oil and gas development to “regulating” the industry to protect public health, safety, the environment and wildlife. After more than a year of hearings and negotiations, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) adopted the

By - Jim Vess

UN rules to reduce carbon emissions from ocean vessels draw fire for being ineffective

Energize Weekly, November 25, 2020 New regulations to cut carbon emission from ocean cargo ships adopted last week by the United Nation’s maritime organization drew immediate fire from environmentalist and analysts who said they will do little to curb pollution. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) approved rules requiring short-term technical and operational actions – such as reducing engine power and

By - Jim Vess

Renewable energy has a strong showing in 2020 despite a pandemic-hobbled economy

Energize Weekly, November 18, 2020 The novel coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll on the global economy and the energy industry, but renewable energy generation set records in 2020, according to two analyses. The International Energy Agency (IEA) reported that new, installed renewable generation worldwide set a record, as did the amount of renewable electricity generate and auctioned renewable capacity.

By - Jim Vess

Voters weigh in on local and state energy issues from renewable energy to oil and gas taxes

Energize Weekly, November 11, 2020 Election returns on state and local energy issues were both literally and figuratively all over the map last week on issues ranging from renewable energy to oil and gas taxes. Voters in Alaska rejected a tax on oil operations while the industry was denied a tax break in Louisiana. Columbus, Ohio, voters backed a plan

By - Jim Vess

Weak oil and gas markets forcing mergers and bankruptcies among shale operators

Energize Weekly, November 4, 2020 After weak third quarter in 2020 for oil and gas industry mergers and acquisition, one of the worst in 10 years, the fourth quarter opened with a string of big deals – a sign that the sector remains under pressure to consolidate, according to analysts. “There is a broad consensus that consolidation is a net

By - Jim Vess

A Biden plan would speed a clean energy transition, but have limited impact on oil

Energize Weekly, October 28, 2020 As Election Day nears, analysts are starting to focus on what the administration of front-running Joe Biden will mean for energy and find it could accelerate the decline of coal, stabilize near-term oil markets, as well as boost renewables and new jobs. A Biden administration, despite its avowed aim of banning new oil development on

By - Jim Vess

Fossil fuel demand drops in 2020 with a limited rebound in 2021, IEA says

Energize Weekly, October 21, 2020 The global pandemic will cut worldwide energy demand 5 percent in 2020 and result in an 18 percent decline in energy investment, according to International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts. If the novel coronavirus is brought under control in 2021, energy demand will return to its pre-crisis level by the end of the year – if

By - Jim Vess

Corporate solar had another banner year in 2019 with 1.2 GW of new installations

Energize Weekly, October 14, 2020 Corporate solar generating capacity continued its rapid growth in 2019 with nearly 1.2 gigawatts (GW) of new capacity – a 10 percent year-on-year increase, according to a survey by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). There is now a total of 8.3 GW of corporate solar capacity at 38,000 sites in 43 states, with 50

By - Jim Vess

Pandemic and weak prices drive shale oil companies back into the red and debt

Energize Weekly, October 7, 2020 After trying to cut spending and debt, shale drillers are seeing a wave of red ink and increasing liability in 2020 as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic and the weak oil and gas prices it has spawned, according to two financial analyses. In 2019, 39 oil-focused exploration and production (E&P) companies evaluated by

By - Jim Vess

Utilities are pledging zero-carbon emissions, but “the math doesn’t yet add up”

Energize Weekly, September 30, 2020 A growing number of investor-owned utilities (IOUs) have pledged to sharply reduce their carbon emissions or even cut them to zero, but two studies have found a gap between the pledges and those utilities’ performance. Forty-three of the country’s 55 IOUs have emission-reduction targets, and 22 have net-zero or carbon-free electricity goals, according to a

By - Jim Vess

Oil demand has peaked and won’t recover from the pandemic, BP and DNV GL say

Energize Weekly, September 23, 2020 One casualty of the novel coronavirus pandemic – which will not recover – is the global oil market, according to analyses by oil major BP and consultant DNV GL. BP in its 2020 Energy Outlook projects that the market hit its peak in 2019 and “does not fully recover” from the COVID-19 pandemic. The International

By - Jim Vess

Two FERC decisions pose problems for renewable energy generation

Energize Weekly, September 16, 2020 In a pair of September rulings, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has undercut the development of clean energy projects, according to environmentalists and a dissenting commissioner. A Sept. 1, FERC decision limited the flexibility of small, renewable energy projects to get certification that assures their electricity will be bought at favorable rates under the

By - Jim Vess

Could a Biden presidency be a boost to both the power sector and the oil and gas industry?

Energize Weekly, September 9, 2020 Joe Biden becoming president of the U.S. could be a boost for clean energy and perhaps somewhat ironically, for oil and gas – at least in the short run. That was the conclusion of energy industry consultants Wood Mackenzie and Rystad Energy in separate analyses. While Wood Mackenzie looked at Biden’s clean power plans and

By - Jim Vess

U.S. wind investment hits $13 billion in 2019, generating capacity grows across the country

Energize Weekly, September 2, 2020 More than nine gigawatts (GW) of wind generating capacity – a $13 billion investment – was installed in the U.S. in 2019 as wind power output rose to 7 percent of the nation’s total electricity supply, according to a market report by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Renewable energy investment globally – led by a

By - Jim Vess

Rural communities to get $865 million in infrastructure aid from USDA programs

Energize Weekly, August 26, 2020 The Trump administration, in the last three weeks, has announced $865 million in loans and grants to upgrade rural infrastructure – electric grids, water systems and broadband internet. The two largest programs are for water and wastewater systems – $462 million – and rural electrification – $371 million. The largest loans are in the rural

By - Jim Vess

The ongoing pandemic and weak economy led to across-the-board energy production cuts

Energize Weekly, August 19, 2020 Projections for U.S. energy production in 2020 – from oil to natural gas to coal – continued to fall as the novel coronavirus pandemic and global recession depress economies. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has lowered its estimate for domestic crude oil production by another 370,000 barrels a day (b/d) to 11.3 million b/d

By - Jim Vess

Technologies to bring economies to zero carbon emissions still lacking, IEA says

Energize Weekly, August 12, 2020 Many countries have announced ambitious climate goals to bring their economies to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, but the technologies needed to cut emissions in areas like shipping and steelmaking don’t exist and may take decades to bring to market, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). The IEA report on clean energy innovation found

By - Jim Vess

Nearly all U.S. coal-fired power plants will be more expensive than wind and solar by 2025

Energize Weekly, August 5, 2020 The economic pressure on coal-fired power plants in the U.S. continues to grow with virtually the entire fleet out of the money compared to wind and solar generation by 2025, according to an analysis by Energy Innovation, a clean energy think tank. The study, done in conjunction with Vibrant Clean Energy, found that by 2018,

By - Jim Vess

New York State moves forward with big programs on renewable energy and EVs

Energize Weekly, July 29, 2020 New York State announced two big clean energy initiatives in July – the largest in the nation solicitation for 4 gigawatts (GW) of renewable generation and a plan to build 110,000 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. The New York Public Service Commission approved a plan on July 16 to allow six electric utilities in the

By - Jim Vess

Transition costs to a zero-emissions transport system drop with falling battery prices

Energize Weekly, July 22, 2020 The cost of a transitioning to zero-carbon transportation is plummeting – thanks to a drop in battery prices – and may not need much in the way of direct government investment to speed the adoption of zero-emission vehicles, according to an analysis by University of California, Davis researchers. In 2016, the UC Davis Institute of

By - Jim Vess

U.S. coal production drops to a 57-year low, renewables overtake coal-fired generation

Energize Weekly, July 15, 2020 U.S. coal production is projected to plummet to its lowest level in more than half a century in 2020 as coal-fired electricity generation slips behind renewable generation, according to the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA). In its July short-term energy outlook, the EIA cut its previous 2020 coal production estimate by 5.4 percent to 501.3

By - Jim Vess

Coronavirus continues to twist and warp energy demand in the U.S., studies find

Energize Weekly, July 8, 2020 The novel coronavirus pandemic continues to torque and warp energy demand and markets in the U.S. from shifts in electricity demand to filling commercial oil storage to record levels. Electricity demand is projected by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) to be the lowest since 2009 – 998 billion kilowatt-hours – and 5 percent below

By - Jim Vess

Almost a third of shale drillers at risk of bankruptcy or acquisition at current oil prices

Energize Weekly, July 1, 2020 The picture remains grim for shale oil and gas companies as nearly a third risk bankruptcy or acquisition at current oil prices. A survey of industry executives finds that most don’t expect a rebound until 2021 – if ever. The problems for the sector have been growing for years, according to an analysis by the

By - Jim Vess

Coronavirus pandemic leads to massive job loss in energy, from oil and gas to renewables

Energize Weekly, June 24, 2020 Energy jobs – from oil and gas rigs to rooftop solar installations – continue to plummet under the weight of low oil prices and the novel coronavirus pandemic. In May, 27,000 additional clean energy workers filed unemployment claims, bringing the total job loss in the sector to 621,000 since March, according to an analysis done

By - Jim Vess

Wind and solar deployment continue apace in 2020, could supply 90 percent of the grid by 2035

Energize Weekly, June 17, 2020 Renewable power’s continuing decline in prices is spurring near-term expansion, even in the face of the novel coronavirus pandemic and, according to a new report, could power 90 percent of the U.S. electric grid by 2035 while reducing wholesale electricity prices. The analysis by the University of California, Berkeley and GridLab, a non-profit promoting clean

By - Jim Vess

Global prices for renewables fell across the board in 2018, IRENA says

Energize Weekly, June 10, 2020 Global prices for new renewable energy fell in 2018 for eight major types of electric generation, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Costs between 2017 and 2018 dropped from as much as 26 percent for concentrating solar power (CSP) to 1 percent for geothermal and offshore wind. “Cost declines across the board in

By - Jim Vess

Global energy investment plunges, another victim of the coronavirus pandemic, IEA says

Energize Weekly, June 3, 2020 Energy investment across the world has suffered an unparalleled 20 percent decline, equal to $400 billion, in 2020, as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). The IEA had projected an increase of 2 percent in global energy investment for the year, which would have been the biggest

By - Jim Vess

Global EV sales hit a coronavirus speed bump, but how big a bump is a question

Energize Weekly, May 27, 2020 Electric vehicle (EV) sales are hitting a pandemic speed bump in 2020, but whether it’s a small bump, a big bump or a huge pothole depends on who is doing the forecasting. The projections for the year range from a modest 4.5 percent increase in sales over last year to a 43 percent drop in

By - Jim Vess

Renewable electricity generation set to surpass coal, which continues to decline, in 2020

Energize Weekly, May 20, 2020 Renewable electricity generation is set to surpass coal-fired generation in 2020, as coal continues to slide, having hit a 42-year low in 2019, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). The EIA is projecting a 25 percent drop in coal-fired generation in 2020 and an 11 percent increase in renewable generation, leading to renewables

By - Jim Vess

Tri-State and United Power fighting in court and before state and federal regulators

Energize Weekly, May 13, 2020 A new front was opened last week in the battle between Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association and some of its electric cooperatives, as United Power, its largest member, filed a complaint in a Colorado district court charging subterfuge and breach of contract. Meanwhile on May 18, hearings will open at the Colorado Public Utilities Commission

By - Jim Vess

Utilities and state regulators delay rate increases, disconnections to deal with COVID-19

Energize Weekly, May 6, 2020 In the face of the novel coronavirus pandemic, utilities and utility regulators are moving to postpone rate increases and guard against service shutdowns for customers as most states continue to impose stay-at-home orders for their residents. The moves are also creating some financial risk and uncertainties for utilities, according to industry analysts. Regulatory commissions in

By - Jim Vess

Wind power, a growing source of electricity in the U.S., faces an uncertain future

Energize Weekly, April 29, 2020 Wind power led in electricity generation installations in 2019, and this year is showing signs of becoming a bigger source of energy, according to several studies. Still, uncertainty about the economy and supply chains as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic is making the sector’s future uncertain. In 2019, the electric power sector installed 23

By - Jim Vess

Coronavirus pandemic rattles energy markets from oil to wind to energy storage

Energize Weekly, April 22, 2020 Pandemic and recession are rippling through almost every corner of the energy sector from oil companies to wind, solar and energy storage manufacturers. “Over half the world’s population is now under lockdown, as demand for power drops and the risk of global recession grows,” according energy consultant Wood Mackenzie. “A ‘return to normal’ will be

By - Jim Vess

COVID-19 drives down electricity demand, puts renewable projects and balance sheets at risk

Energize Weekly, April 15, 2020 The impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic on electricity demand in the U.S. and on the utility industry is becoming clearer with lower loads, changing peak demands, more emphasis on renewable generation and emerging financial risks. U.S. power usage is set to drop more steeply in 2020 than in any year at least over the

By - Jim Vess

NRC to grant waivers for work-hour limits at nuclear units to meet pandemic staffing needs

Energize Weekly, April 8, 2020 Faced with the risk of not being able to meet the rigorous staffing requirement for operating nuclear power plants during the ongoing pandemic, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said it is prepared to grant exemptions from work-hour controls. The NRC in a March 28 letter to the industry trade group, the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI),

By - Jim Vess

Electricity demand drops as utilities enact plans to keep lights on during the pandemic

Energize Weekly, April 1, 2020 The closing of businesses and sheltering-in-place of millions of citizens to tamp down the novel coronavirus pandemic is dampening demand for electricity, even as utilities across the country put in place emergency plans to keep electrons flowing through the grid. Between March 14 and March 24, daily peak demand was down between 2.2 percent to

By - Jim Vess

Solar industry catches a bad case of the coronavirus as supply and demand both fall

Energize Weekly, March 25, 2020 The solar industry has caught a case of the coronavirus ­with the symptoms being a supply chain slowdown and a drop in demand for solar projects. With China manufacturing 70 percent of the world’s solar panels, the emergence of the disease there and the aggressive steps to shut down social interactions including factory work was

By - Jim Vess

Hedges will help U.S. drillers survive Russian-Saudi price war and coronavirus

Energize Weekly, March 18, 2020 The oil market is set for a long price war, falling consumption, a shake-out among U.S. shale drillers and a missed opportunity for Asian economies, according to industry analysts. Yet even as depressed prices lead to fewer drilling rigs and a slowing in U.S. production, some operators may be in a better position to ride

By - Jim Vess

U.S. crude oil and natural gas production, as well as gas consumption, hit records in 2019

Energize Weekly, March 11, 2020 Annual U.S. crude oil and natural gas production hit records in 2019, as did domestic natural gas consumption, according to data from the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA). Crude oil production was up 11 percent over 2018 to an average of 12.23 million barrels per day (b/d), with output reaching 12.86 million b/d in November

By - Jim Vess

Xcel Energy proposes TOU rates for all Colorado residential customers

Energize Weekly, March 4, 2020 Time-of-use electricity rates are increasingly being seen as a valuable tool in reducing peak demand and managing renewable energy generation – but concerns are being voiced over their impact on low-income and elderly customers. Xcel Energy is seeking to shift all of its 1.2 million Colorado residential customers to summer time-of-use rates and the move

By - Jim Vess

Energy a big focus for Virginia legislature which passes sweeping clean energy bill

Energize Weekly, February 26, 2020 The Virginia legislature, on a pair of razor-thin votes, has passed a sweeping energy bill that will bolster renewable generation, energy storage and efforts to set a carbon dioxide cap and trade program. While the Clean Economy Act was the most far-reaching and visible piece of energy legislation at the state legislature this session it

By - Jim Vess

Global carbon emissions flat in 2019 as the U.S. leads the way in CO2 cuts

Energize Weekly, February 19, 2020 Global carbon emissions slowed in 2019 after two years of growth as increases in developing nations were offset by a sharp drop in power sector emissions in developed countries led by the U.S., according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). The worldwide emissions of carbon dioxide in 2019 were 33 gigatons, a 1.3 percent drop

By clicking Accept or closing this message, you consent to our cookies on this device in accordance with our cookie policy unless you have disabled them. more information

By clicking Accept or closing this message, you consent to our cookies on this device in accordance with our cookie policy unless you have disabled them. You can change your cookie settings at any time but parts of our site will not function correctly without them. We use cookies during the registration process and to remember member settings.

Close