Skip to main content

NEI's Energy Markets Report - February 4-February 8, 2008

Here's a summary of what went on in the energy markets last week:
Electricity peak prices fell $0.09-$7/MWh at the Entergy, NEPOOL, PJM West and SP 15 hubs. The ERCOT and Palo Verde hubs increased $4-7/MWh. EIA projects summer weather will be milder, resulting in about 10 percent lower cooling-degree-days and less power demand for air conditioning. This is expected to lower the growth in residential electricity sales (EIA STEO, see pages 1, 2, 3 and 5).

Gas prices at the Henry Hub decreased $0.06 to $7.89/MMBtu. The Henry Hub spot price is expected to average $8.18 per mcf during the first quarter of 2008 compared to $7.41 during the corresponding period in 2007. Total natural gas consumption is expected to increase by 0.9 percent in 2008 and by 1.0 percent in 2009 (EIA STEO, see pages 1, 2, 3 and 5).

Estimated nuclear plant availability fell to 89 percent last week. Two units began refueling outages, Hatch 1 and La Salle 1, and Clinton completed its refueling outage. D.C. Cook 1 was manually tripped due to high vibrations on turbine bearings. Diablo Canyon 2 was down for a planned maintenance outage. Davis-Besse was ramping up to full power from a refueling outage when it had to shut down to rebalance the plant’s generator. Peach Bottom 3 shut down to repair a safety relief valve (Platts and NRC, see pages 2 and 4).

Crude oil prices increased $1.73 from the previous week to $91.41/barrel. Over the next two years, higher production outside of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and planned additions to OPEC capacity should more than offset expected moderate world oil demand growth and relieve some of the tightness in the market. The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) price, which averaged $72 per barrel in 2007, is expected to average about $86 per barrel in 2008 and $82 in 2009 (EIA STEO, see pages 1 and 3).

By 2012, the following amounts of new generating capacity are expected to come online: 42,000 MW of coal; 57,000 MW of natural gas; and 40,000 MW of wind (see page 5).
For the report click here. It is also located on NEI's Financial Center webpage.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior communications advisor at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

From the batteries in our cell phones to the clothes on our backs, "nanomaterials" that are designed molecule by molecule are working their way into our economy and our lives. Now there’s some promising work on new materials for nuclear reactors.

Reactors are a tough environment. The sub atomic particles that sustain the chain reaction, neutrons, are great for splitting additional uranium atoms, but not all of them hit a uranium atom; some of them end up in various metal components of the reactor. The metal is usually a crystalline structure, meaning it is as orderly as a ladder or a sheet of graph paper, but the neutrons rearrange the atoms, leaving some infinitesimal voids in the structure and some areas of extra density. The components literally grow, getting longer and thicker. The phenomenon is well understood and designers compensate for it with a …

Why America Needs the MOX Facility

If Isaiah had been a nuclear engineer, he’d have loved this project. And the Trump Administration should too, despite the proposal to eliminate it in the FY 2018 budget.

The project is a massive factory near Aiken, S.C., that will take plutonium from the government’s arsenal and turn it into fuel for civilian power reactors. The plutonium, made by the United States during the Cold War in a competition with the Soviet Union, is now surplus, and the United States and the Russian Federation jointly agreed to reduce their stocks, to reduce the chance of its use in weapons. Over two thousand construction workers, technicians and engineers are at work to enable the transformation.

Carrying Isaiah’s “swords into plowshares” vision into the nuclear field did not originate with plutonium. In 1993, the United States and Russia began a 20-year program to take weapons-grade uranium out of the Russian inventory, dilute it to levels appropriate for civilian power plants, and then use it to produce…

Nuclear Is a Long-Term Investment for Ohio that Will Pay Big

With 50 different state legislative calendars, more than half of them adjourn by June, and those still in session throughout the year usually take a recess in the summer. So springtime is prime time for state legislative activity. In the next few weeks, legislatures are hosting hearings and calling for votes on bills that have been battered back and forth in the capital halls.

On Tuesday, The Ohio Public Utilities Committee hosted its third round of hearings on the Zero Emissions Nuclear Resources Program, House Bill 178, and NEI’s Maria Korsnick testified before a jam-packed room of legislators.


Washingtonians parachuting into state debates can be a tricky platform, but in this case, Maria’s remarks provided national perspective that put the Ohio conundrum into context. At the heart of this debate is the impact nuclear plants have on local jobs and the local economy, and that nuclear assets should be viewed as “long-term investments” for the state. Of course, clean air and electrons …