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NEI Energy Markets Report (November 27th - December 1st)

Here's a summary of what went on in the energy markets last week:

Electricity prices mostly increased throughout the country last week (see pages 1 & 2). Gas prices rose at the Henry Hub increasing $0.41 to $7.81 / MMBtu (see page 4).

From 2006-2010, the current capacities in the pipeline coming into operation are 51,442 MW for natural gas; 36,853 MW for coal; and 24,791 MW for wind (see page 8).

The Energy Information Administration released its reference case for their Annual Energy Outlook 2007 this week. According to the report, “total operable nuclear generating capacity will grow to 112.6 gigawatts in 2030, including 3 gigawatts of additional capacity uprates, and 12.5 gigawatts of new capacity stimulated in part by EPACT2005 tax credits and rising fossil fuel prices.”

For the podcast click here. For the report click here (pdf). It is also located on NEI's Nuclear Statistics webpage.

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Anonymous said…
This post is interesting, noting that EIA expects 24 GW of new wind capacity by 2010. But it's important to consider what the average capacity factor is for the 24 GW of new wind capacity that is expected to come on line, versus the coal and natural gas. The wind should be about 1/3 of the capacity factor of the coal and gas plants, so the actual amount of energy that this new wind capacity will create will be about 1/3 too. This makes the 24/3 = 8 GW of wind look pretty small compared to 51 GW of gas and 37 GW of coal expected to come on line by 2010.
Alex Brown said…
Your point about the wind having a much lower capacity factor than coal is valid, but the same is not true about the gas plants. Not knowing where and of what type they are it is hard to know exactly what their capacity factors will be. However, looking at the area I know about: the southeat, combined cycle natural gas plants had ~8% capacity factors and gas turbine plants had ~1% capacity factor. So in fact the gas plants could very well be producing MUCH LESS energy than the wind plants depending on how they are employed. Gas turbines are often run for only a few hours a day on the hottest days of the year. Comined cycle plants run more, but they still arent producing power at night or during the spring/fall when it isn't in high demand.

It also of course shows how alot more knowledge of the subject is needed in order to evaluate the economics of a power source. For example TVA just paid ~90 million for 1000 MW of gas turbine capacity. The same amount of power will be produce by Brown's Ferry 1, but that is costing 1.8 Billion. The fact that the nuke plant costs 20 times as much per megawatt is easily misrepresented as proving that nuke plants are too expensive. But those gas turbines will be producing power at a capacity factor 1/100th of the nuclear plant, so in fact the nuclear plant is much more economical (which of course is why it will run 24/7 while the gas plants havent run in 4 years).

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