CES Spotlight Blog
Coal Use Plummets For Power Generation
The use of coal as a fuel for generating electricity dipped dramatically in April of this year. Coal was used to generate about 32% of all electricity produced in the US in April. This is the lowest level of coal use in the power sector since the Energy Information Administration (EIA) started tracking in January 1973.
New Hampshire Adds Thermal to Renewable Portfolio Standard
Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) are common across the US. In 29 states and Washington DC, there are minimum requirements on the percentage of electrical generation that must come from renewable resources. To-date, these standards have focused on the sources for the generation of electricity.
On June 25th, New Hampshire became the first state to fully integrate renewable thermal energy into its RPS program. The law defines “Useful Thermal Energy” as “renewable energy delivered from class I sources that can be metered and that is delivered in New Hampshire to an end user in the form of direct heat, steam, hot water, or other thermal form that is used for heating, cooling, humidity control, process use, or other valid thermal end use energy requirements and for which fuel or electricity would otherwise be consumed.” In general, thermal sources must come online after January 1, 2013 to be eligible for Class I status.
US Crude Oil Benchmarks
When crude oil is discussed, the conversation centers on two primary benchmarks: 1) the US benchmark, West Texas Intermediate (WTI), and 2) the European Benchmark, Brent.
WTI is delivered to Cushing Oklahogma and is the physical commodity traded in futures contracts on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX). WTI is a light (low viscosity) and sweet (low sulfur) crude grade, and the most watched crude oil price in North America by far. There are, of course, many other crude oil grades with unique prices. Prices vary depending on the location of extraction, transportation costs to market, and the characteristics of the oil.
Is Texas Facing a Summer Of Power Shortages?
Everyone knows that everything is bigger in Texas, and electricity consumption is no exception. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) – the organization responsible for operating the bulk electricity grid in Texas - is forecasting a peak summer demand of 67,492 MW this summer. To put this in perspective, the Independent System Operator of New England (ISO-NE) is forecasting a peak demand of 27,440 MW for the five New England States.