Today in Energy

Jan 30, 2015

Upcoming Super Bowl will be first to be lit with energy-efficient LED lights

image of LED lighting, as explained in the article text
Source: Ephesus Lighting Inc., used with permission

Before the start of the 2014 NFL regular season, University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona, home to Super Bowl XLIX, retrofitted 312 high-performance light-emitting diode (LED) stadium light fixtures. The LED fixtures replaced more than 780 metal halide high-intensity discharge (HID) fixtures and will illuminate the field during the Super Bowl on February 1.

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Tags: lighting


Jan 29, 2015

Growing U.S. HGL production spurs petrochemical industry investment

graph of existing and planned U.S. petrochemical industry throughput, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration
Note: Includes only announced projects. Some high-risk projects excluded based on feasibility questions.

Between 2014 and 2018, U.S. petrochemical capacity expansion projects are projected to increase domestic demand for ethane by nearly 600,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) and propane by nearly 200,000 bbl/d. This growing demand is in response to growing domestic hydrocarbon gas liquids (HGL) supply and favorable petrochemical feedstock prices in the United States relative to the international market.

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Jan 28, 2015

Natural gas prices drop following strong production growth

graph of day-ahead Henry Hub natural gas spot prices and U.S. total marketed natural gas production, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Short-Term Energy Outlook, January 2015

Following a short-lived price increase in November, natural gas prices have dropped to their lowest levels since September 2012, reflecting strong domestic production and inventory builds.

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Jan 27, 2015

Hawaii’s electric system is changing with rooftop solar growth and new utility ownership

graph of residential and commercial net-metered solar PV capacity in Hawaii; average residential solar system size, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, EIA-861 and EIA-826
Note: Average residential solar photovoltaic (PV) system size calculated by dividing total installed capacity by number of meters. HECO, MECO, and HELCO are subsidiaries of Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc.; KIUC is an independent electric cooperative.

In December, NextEra Energy Inc. announced an agreement to acquire Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc., owner of three electric utilities that together supply power to 95% of Hawaii's population. NextEra is one of the largest developers of renewable energy in the United States through its subsidiary NextEra Energy Resources and is also the owner of Florida Power & Light (FPL). While FPL does not rely heavily on solar photovoltaics (PV) and other forms of renewable energy to serve its Florida customers, solar PV already plays a large role in Hawaii, and that role is expected to grow significantly over time. The Hawaiian Electric utilities' solar PV programs continue to evolve as the utilities handle ever-larger amounts of customer-sited solar capacity on their small and isolated island grids.

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Jan 26, 2015

Lower 48 oil production outlook stable despite expected near-term reduction in rig count

graph of monthly oil production and rig count in the lower 48 states, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, January Short-Term Energy Outlook
Note: Graph does not include production from Alaska and the Federal Gulf of Mexico.

The sharp decline in oil prices over the last quarter of 2014, which has continued in January, is already having a significant effect on drilling activity in the United States, as shown by the 16% decline in the number of active onshore drilling rigs in the Lower 48 states between the weeks ending on October 31, 2014 and January 23, 2015, according to data from Baker-Hughes.

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Jan 23, 2015

Currency depreciation against the dollar affects oil importers and exporters differently

graph of daily Brent futures price, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on Bloomberg

Widely traded futures contracts for North Sea Brent crude oil in global financial markets are typically priced in U.S. dollars (USD). The appreciation, or increase in value, of USD against most other currencies since last summer can either mitigate or exacerbate the effects of the recent sharp decline in USD-denominated crude oil prices, depending on whether a particular country is a net importer or a net exporter of crude oil.

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Jan 22, 2015

Northern Maine considers options to gain direct access to New England electric grid

map of generating capacity in northern Maine, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Form EIA-860; Maine Office of GIS

Republished January 22, 2015, 2:45 p.m. to correct an error in the text.

Northern Maine is a unique power market: unlike any other part of the Lower 48 states, this region is connected to one of the three main power grids serving the United States and Canada only via transmission lines that run through Canada. Currently, grid operators are considering transmission options to give northern Maine direct links to the rest of New England in an effort to enhance reliability and expand access to electricity markets.

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Jan 21, 2015

EIA updates Eagle Ford maps to provide greater geologic detail

map of Eagle Ford Play, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, DrillingInfo, Inc., Texas Natural Resources Information, U.S. Geological Survey, University of Texas Bureau of Economic Geology

Recent updates to the Energy Information Administration's maps and geologic information for the Eagle Ford tight oil and shale gas play in Texas help to characterize the formation's structure, thickness, and surface area, as well as the gas-to-oil ratio of its producing wells from January 2000 to June 2014. This information provides a better understanding of recent production within the context of key geologic parameters. The updates can be seen in the following four tabs. The first tab provides additional information on the mix of oil and natural gas hydrocarbons produced by well location. Tabs 2 through 4 provide updated geological information.

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Jan 20, 2015

NERC assessment examines winter power system reliability, fuel diversity

electricity generating capacity and reserve margins in select regions, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on NERC 2014-15 Winter Reliability Assessment

The North American Electric Reliability Corporation's (NERC) recently released 2014-15 Winter Reliability Assessment finds that all assessment areas have enough capacity resources to meet normal winter peak electricity demand. However, NERC highlights lower levels of reserves (spare capacity) in specific regions under an extreme winter scenario where the combination of demand increases and supply outages may stress electricity grids. NERC also discusses concerns about fuel diversity, specifically highlighting high dependence on natural gas-fired generation in certain regions.

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Jan 16, 2015

Regional differences in China’s vehicle adoption reflect differences in income

Maps of vehicle density and disposable income in China, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on the 2013 China Statistical Yearbook
Note: Vehicle density covers private vehicles, including passenger vehicles, trucks, and other.

Oil demand and imports in China have increased significantly as private passenger vehicle sales and use have increased. Sales of private passenger vehicles have grown by 29% annually over the past 13 years, which has increased gasoline consumption in China. China is currently the world's second-largest oil consumer, behind the United States. Increased sales have mainly been focused in China's wealthier, eastern provinces, where some provinces have now instituted policies to limit vehicle ownership. In other parts of the nation, the central government has encouraged policies to increase incomes, which will likely lead to increased vehicle use and energy consumption.

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