Skip to main content

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.

Technorati tags: , , , , , ,


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).

Popular posts from this blog

A Billion Miles Under Nuclear Energy (Updated)

And the winner is…Cassini-Huygens, in triple overtime.

The spaceship conceived in 1982 and launched fifteen years later, will crash into Saturn on September 15, after a mission of 19 years and 355 days, powered by the audacity and technical prowess of scientists and engineers from 17 different countries, and 72 pounds of plutonium.

The mission was so successful that it was extended three times; it was intended to last only until 2008.

Since April, the ship has been continuing to orbit Saturn, swinging through the 1,500-mile gap between the planet and its rings, an area not previously explored. This is a good maneuver for a spaceship nearing the end of its mission, since colliding with a rock could end things early.

Cassini will dive a little deeper and plunge toward Saturn’s surface, where it will transmit data until it burns up in the planet’s atmosphere. The radio signal will arrive here early Friday morning, Eastern time. A NASA video explains.

In the years since Cassini has launc…

Missing the Point about Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants

A group that includes oil and gas companies in Pennsylvania released a study on Monday that argues that twenty years ago, planners underestimated the value of nuclear plants in the electricity market. According to the group, that means the state should now let the plants close.


The question confronting the state now isn’t what the companies that owned the reactors at the time of de-regulation got or didn’t get. It’s not a question of whether they were profitable in the '80s, '90s and '00s. It’s about now. Business works by looking at the present and making projections about the future.

Is losing the nuclear plants what’s best for the state going forward?

Pennsylvania needs clean air. It needs jobs. And it needs protection against over-reliance on a single fuel source.

What the reactors need is recognition of all the value they provide. The electricity market is depressed, and if electricity is treated as a simple commodity, with no regard for its benefit to clean air o…

Why Nuclear Plant Closures Are a Crisis for Small Town USA

Nuclear plants occupy an unusual spot in the towns where they operate: integral but so much in the background that they may seem almost invisible. But when they close, it can be like the earth shifting underfoot., the Gannett newspaper that covers the Lower Hudson Valley in New York, took a look around at the experience of towns where reactors have closed, because the Indian Point reactors in Buchanan are scheduled to be shut down under an agreement with Gov. Mario Cuomo.

From sea to shining sea, it was dismal. It wasn’t just the plant employees who were hurt. The losses of hundreds of jobs, tens of millions of dollars in payrolls and millions in property taxes depressed whole towns and surrounding areas. For example:

Vernon, Vermont, home to Vermont Yankee for more than 40 years, had to cut its municipal budget in half. The town closed its police department and let the county take over; the youth sports teams lost their volunteer coaches, and Vernon Elementary School lost th…