Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted September 30, 2020
The wild thing about the electricity grid is that you can see when the laws of man succumb to the laws of physics.
California provided a case study in late August. The state’s first rolling blackouts in nearly two decades spotlighted its mandates for how much electricity certain technologies can provide. There was lots of blame to go around and, while there is no single culprit behind the blackouts, what happened showed just how vital natural gas generation is to maintain a fully functioning grid, because of its reliability and unique operating characteristics.
Posted September 24, 2020
Four observations about California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s executive order requiring that by 2035 all new cars sold in the state must be zero-emission vehicles – as well as his push for halting fracking in the state:
1. The governor's executive order could seriously impact middle-class Californians.
2. Seriously, a zero-emissions mandate in a state that has struggled to keep the lights on?
3. There's rhetoric and there's reality.
4. State natural gas and oil production is being targeted.
Posted August 20, 2020
Natural gas as the essential partner for renewables such as wind and solar is something we’ve talked about a lot (see here, here and here). Californians have been schooled on this point recently, with millions suffering under rolling blackouts during soaring temperatures because electrical utilities couldn’t keep pace with skyrocketing demand.
The state’s renewables mandate has played a role in their misery. By requiring that 60% of California’s electricity must come from renewables by 2030 and through green energy subsidies, the state has seen the competitive balance tilt away from other, more flexible power sources, including cleaner natural gas.
Posted July 26, 2018
Californians are facing blisteringly hot weather conditions this week as the result of a “heat dome” centered across much of the state. To make matters worse, many have found themselves without power just as the temperatures reach dangerous highs. Now California’s power grid operator says it can’t produce enough electricity to meet demand, risking rolling blackouts and jeopardizing residents – an outcome they were explicitly warned of months ago.
Posted September 12, 2016
Last month we noted new research showing that because the sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow, the use of renewables by utilities in generating electricity needs a big assist from natural gas. We also pointed out how a rise in electricity generation from renewables this year has been accompanied by record-setting use of natural gas in the power sector. There’s an essential relationship between the two – one that fits with our view that an all-of-the-above approach is the best way to ensure the U.S. economy and American households are well-supplied with energy. A new analysis from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows how this is working in California, a big state with big electricity needs.
Posted September 1, 2016
California is the country’s third-largest oil producer, delivering more than 201 million barrels of oil in 2015, behind only Texas and North Dakota. At the same time, the state ranks third in oil refining capacity from its 18 operating refineries. Bottom line: California plays a major role in meeting its own energy and fuel needs, as well as those of the West Coast and beyond.
Posted July 10, 2015
Our series highlighting the economic and jobs impact of energy in each of the 50 states continues today with California. We started our focus on the state level with Virginia on June 29 and continued this week with Missouri, Indiana, North Carolina and West Virginia. The energy impacts of the states individually combine to form energy’s national economic and jobs picture: 9.8 million jobs supported and $1.2 trillion in value added.
Information covered in this series can be found online here, arranged on an interactive map of the United States. State-specific information will be populated on this map as the series continues.
Posted June 3, 2015
The Hill: House Republicans have found reasons to agree with some parts of the Obama administration’s energy infrastructure proposal.
GOP leaders in the House Energy and Commerce Committee told Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz that they are largely in agreement on the need to improve pipelines, electric transmission lines, energy storage and other pieces of infrastructure.
Moniz testified at the hearing to promote the Quadrennial Energy Review, which the administration released in April to call for comprehensive infrastructure improvements worth billions of dollars.
“Many people are even asking — not surprisingly — is there enough common ground between our efforts and the Obama administration to enact meaningful energy legislation,” Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.), chairman of the energy and power subcommittee, said at the Tuesday hearing.
Posted May 19, 2015
Oil and Gas Investor: The technology that fueled the U.S. shale revolution could breathe new life into old oil fields outside of North America.
More than 170 mature oil plays worldwide have the potential from horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing to produce as much as 141 billion barrels (Bbbl) of oil, according to an IHS report on May 13.
Of the estimated 141 Bbbl of potentially recoverable oil using unconventional techniques, 135 Bbbl exist in plays that would likely require hydraulic fracture stimulation to produce. Roughly 6 Bbbl sit in plays that may not require hydraulic fracturing.
Posted October 23, 2014
On Jan. 1, California is scheduled to include gasoline, diesel and propane in its three-year-old, first-in-the-nation program that requires companies to buy carbon permits to cover their emissions of greenhouse gases. Yet a new report warns that design flaws in the cap-and-trade program could negatively impact markets that serve consumers.
Authored by Jean-Philippe Brisson, a carbon markets expert with the Latham and Watkins law firm in New York, the report commissioned by the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) cautions that design flaws “can result – and have resulted – in catastrophic implications for environmental markets around the globe.”