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 - Jim Vess

New York States seeks to develop another 1 GW to 2.5 GW of new offshore wind power

Energize Weekly, February 12, 2020 New York State energy officials have filed a petition with state regulators to begin the process to develop 1 gigawatt (GW) to 2.5 GW of new offshore wind projects. This follows on the award in July 2019 of two contracts for 1.7 GW in offshore project – Equinor Wind’s 816-megawatt Empire Wind Project and the

By - Jim Vess

New York Mayor de Blasio seeks to end the use of oil and gas in large buildings

Energize Weekly, February 12, 2020 New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is taking aim at fossil fuels seeking to end the use of natural gas and oil in large buildings and banning the development of oil and gas infrastructure in the city. Other initiatives include switching the municipal feet to electric vehicles and increasing rooftop solar in the city.

By - Jim Vess

Renewables poised to overtake coal and nuclear power in 2021, natural gas in 2045

Energize Weekly, February 12, 2020 Renewables are set to overtake both coal-fired and nuclear generation by 2021 and natural gas-fired generation by 2045, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Wind and solar are leading the surge in renewable generation, which EIA says will account for 21 percent of the total electricity in 2021, while nuclear makes up 19

By - Jim Vess

Evergy sets goal of 80 percent reduction in carbon emissions and an increase in wind power

Energize Weekly, February 12, 2020 Evergy Inc., which serves Kansas and Missouri, has set a goal of reducing its carbon emissions by 80 percent from 2005 levels by 2050 and announced plans to add 660 megawatts (MW) of wind power. The company said that it will reach a 40 percent reduction in emissions from the 2005 benchmark by 2020 and

By - Jim Vess

Last coal-fired plant in New York to close, New England plants not far behind, EIA says

Energize Weekly, February 12, 2020 New York State’s last coal-fired power plant is set to close as early as mid-March and coal-fired power is headed in the same direction in New England, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). “As many of the coal-fired power plants in New England and New York have either retired or switched fuels, the

By - Jim Vess

U.S. posts a record for wind installations in Q4 2019 led by Texas and Iowa projects

Energize Weekly, February 5, 2020 The U.S. wind industry finished 2019 in a flurry with the busiest fourth quarter on record as 5,476 megawatts (MW) of capacity were installed, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). The late push made 2019 the third busiest year for wind turbine installations – 9,143 MW. There were 35 projects in 16 states

By - Jim Vess

EIA forecasts growth in U.S. crude oil output to slow in 2021 with a drop in drill rigs

Energize Weekly, February 5, 2020 While U.S crude oil production is set to grow by 9 percent in 2020 to 13.3 million barrels a day, production growth will slow in 2021 due to a decline in active drill rigs, according to a federal Energy Information Administration (EIA). EIA is projecting a 3 percent increase in production in 2021 over 2020

By - Jim Vess

Corporate clean energy purchases soared in 2019 to a record 19.5 GW, Bloomberg says

Energize Weekly, February 5, 2020 Corporations purchased a record 19.5 gigawatts (GW) of clean energy contracts in 2019, a 40 percent increase over 2019, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). Contracts, primarily power purchase agreements (PPAs), were signed by more than 100 companies in 23 different countries, marking a three-fold increase from 2017. “Corporations have purchased over 50 GW

By - Jim Vess

New York State pension plan looks at divesting from coal mining companies in its portfolio

Energize Weekly, February 5, 2020 The New York State Common Retirement Fund – the third largest public pension plan in the country – said it may divest from any of the 27 thermal coal companies in its portfolio which it deems are not taking steps to “transition to a sustainable business model.” “Investors who fail to face the risks and

By - Jim Vess

U.S. coal plants pinched between economic pressures and inefficient cycling of the units

Energize Weekly, February 5, 2020 U.S. coal-fired power plants – facing economic and operational pressures – are running with more shutdowns and startups, which are less economical and more wearing on equipment, according to a study by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC). The study said increases in “cycling” of coal plants as well as faster changes in

By - Jim Vess

India moves into top spot for clean energy investment among emerging markets, BNEF says

Energize Weekly, January 29, 2020 India is moving to the top as an emerging-market destination for clean energy investment, followed by Chile and Brazil, while China, long the biggest market, slips to fourth, according to an analysis by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). Bloomberg’s Climatescope evaluated countries based on market and policy fundamentals, experience with green investment and opportunities. India

By - Jim Vess

EIA forecasts declines in both oil and natural gas prices in 2020

Energize Weekly, January 29, 2020 Spot prices for oil and natural gas are expected to trend downward in 2020 as geopolitical risks abate for oil and U.S. natural gas production grows, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). In 2019, Brent crude spot oil prices were spurred upward by events in the Middle East, including attacks on oil tankers

By - Jim Vess

Climate change threatens profitability of investor-owned utilities, Moody’s says

Energize Weekly, January 29, 2020 From heat to humidity to severe storms investor-owned utilities across the U.S. will face particular regional climate change hazards, according to an analysis by Moody’s Investors Services. A utility in the Southeast, such as Duke Energy, could face risk from heavier storms, floods and storm surges that could threaten plant operations and coal ash piles.

By - Jim Vess

Oil companies need to investment more in the global energy transition, IEA says

Energize Weekly, January 29, 2020 The oil and gas industry needs to be major player in the global transition to cleaner energy, in part to maintain its social license to operate, but barely 1 percent of its capital investment is going to alternative technologies, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). “The transformation of the energy sector can happen without

By - Jim Vess

Investments in U.S. offshore wind could outstrip offshore oil by mid-2020s, Rystad says

Energize Weekly, January 29, 2020 Annual investment in U.S. offshore wind – based on projects in the pipeline – could reach $15 billion by the mid-2020s, surpassing offshore oil and gas capital expenditures, according to Rystad Energy. Rystad Energy, an Oslo-based energy consultant, called the trend “a truly remarkable development.” There are 6.4 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind projects that

By - Jim Vess

U.S. sets a renewable investment record as global investment stalls, BNEF says

Energize Weekly, January 22, 2020 U.S. renewable energy investment surged in 2019 to a record $55.5 billion, a 28 percent year-on-year increase, helping global renewable energy investment post a modest 1 percent rise to $282.2 billion, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). Investment in China, the world’s largest renewable energy market, was down 8 percent to $83.4 billion, the

By - Jim Vess

Natural gas-fired generation to cool in 2020 as the pace for renewables picks up, EIA says

Energize Weekly, January 22, 2020 After robust growth in the last few years, natural gas-fired electricity generation and new natural gas-fired capacity growth will be modest in 2020, according to an Energy Information Administration (EIA) analysis. The EIA projects generation from natural gas-fired plants will grow by 1.3 percent in 2020, the slowest rate since 2017. At the same time,

By - Jim Vess

Tri-State clean energy plan includes 1 GW of utility-scale solar, more local co-op projects

Energize Weekly, January 22, 2020 Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, the wholesale power provider for 43 Western electric cooperatives, said it will add 1 gigawatt (GW) of solar generation and open the way for its co-ops to add more of their own renewables. Under Tri-State’s “Responsible Energy Plan,” the association aims to reach 50 percent renewable energy generation by 2024,

By - Jim Vess

Aging grid challenged by shift to renewable and natural gas generation, ScottMadden says

Energize Weekly, January 22, 2020 The aging U.S. electrical grid is facing challenges from just-in-time natural gas plant fueling and a growing demand for renewable generation, which it will not be able to meet without new investment and policies, according to a study by business consultant ScottMadden Inc. “The grid is undergoing a shift in its generation mix,” the report,

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

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