The Mismatch of Power Supply and Demand


SOURCE:  US EIA The Mismatch of Supply and Demand. Many North American power markets (both ISO and non-ISO) have what might be described as too much of too many good things in plentiful power supply and low natural gas fuel prices.  What’s missing is demand growth to put all that generation potential to productive use. This mismatch of supply and demand presents itself as excess generation capacity from the lingering effect of slow economic growth and flat utility demand growth as customers …Continue Reading »

Shale Gas Supply Growth Shakes Up Everything

EIA World Shale Resources

SOURCE:  US EIA Data and Reuters graphic The shale revolution is a full reversal of energy fortunes in the United States.  It might have similar potential in other parts of the world if as projected global LNG prices decline over the decade ahead and indexing gas prices to oil erodes from competitive pressures on existing oil-indexed LNG suppliers. Large volumes of global gas supplies are expected come to market at prices below oil price parity (assuming oil prices at or above $90/bbl). …Continue Reading »

Light Sweet Crude Displacement


I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and despite its well-deserved ‘tree hugger’ image the inland part of the Bay is home to a concentration of refineries essential to California’s economic vitality.  These refineries produce the boutique blend of gasoline not available anywhere else.  The EPA’s insistence on these unique regional gasoline blends is one reason fuel prices are higher here in California than elsewhere in the country.  When one of our California refineries burps or has …Continue Reading »

Power Shift @ Work


SOURCE:  US EIA There is a profound process of change underway in the regulated utility business.  It is brought about by a combination of good forces of healthy competition, low natural gas prices, the growing sense of environmental awareness and a hard to describe but easy to feel sense of vulnerability by customers. The shape of this power shift is also being driven by Federal and State regulatory agendas wrapped around environmental policy objectives.  There is broad public support for a …Continue Reading »

Getting to Solar Energy Sustainability


The search for market equilibrium is an elusive quest in the solar energy industry.  But the addiction to subsidies, carve-outs and other political favors has done little to improve the success potential for solar.  Quite the reverse, by creating the conditions that made possible and induced China to expand its aggressive export strategy of market dominance and deploy its zero sum game of taking market share from regional players the solar industry and its political patrons has effectively …Continue Reading »

Jason McMahan: A Life Well Visualized

Capacity Required to Meet RPS Targets

Jason McMahan was 43 years old when he died suddenly of a heart attack in April, 2012.  A colleague from our days together at Global Energy Decisions, Jason was the founder of EnerMAP one of the companies acquired by Global Energy and a skilled cartographer by profession. It is always hard to explain why someone in the prime of their life would have that life suddenly cut short.  It is even harder to find words of condolence that seem in any way adequately to comfort stunned parents Jane and …Continue Reading »