U.S. Energy Information Administration - EIA - Independent Statistics and Analysis
Today in Energy
Note: 2016 and 2017 values are estimates.
The first commercial U.S. offshore wind farm, Block Island, is scheduled to come online in late 2016. Located three miles off the southeastern coast of Rhode Island, Block Island consists of five wind turbines that will produce 30 megawatts (MW) of electricity. The electricity will be used on Block Island, where electricity is currently supplied by diesel-powered generators. The high cost of current electricity sources on Block Island helps to reduce the economic hurdles typically associated with power from offshore wind.
U.S. pipeline capacity for natural gas exports to Mexico has rapidly expanded in the past few years and currently stands at 7.3 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d). This existing cross-border capacity primarily supplies the Northeast and Central regions of Mexico. New capacity projected to be completed in the next several years will help to supply Mexico’s Central and Northwestern regions.
The sulfur content of transportation fuels has been declining for many years as a result of increasingly stringent regulations. In the United States, federal and state regulations limit the amount of sulfur present in motor gasoline, diesel fuel, and heating oil. New international regulations limiting sulfur in fuels for ocean-going vessels, set to take effect in 2020, have further implications for both refiners and vessel operators at a time of high uncertainty in future crude oil prices, which will be a major factor in their operational decisions.
U.S. pipeline exports of natural gas continued to grow in 2016, and they have doubled since 2009. Almost all of this growth is attributable to increasing exports to Mexico, which have accounted for more than half of all U.S. natural gas exports since April 2015. In August, the United States exported 4.2 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natural gas to Mexico via pipelines. U.S. daily pipeline exports to Mexico through August 2016 are at a yearly average of 3.6 Bcf/d, 25% above the year-ago level and 85% above the five-year (2011–15) average level.
Note: Reported data are for each wind plant’s predominant turbine manufacturer.
Republished November 29, 2016, 3:40 p.m., to correct an error in the graph.
EIA recently started collecting data on wind turbine manufacturers, turbine models, and other wind plant attributes in the Annual Electric Generator Report. As of the end of 2015, just three manufacturers— General Electric (GE), Vestas, and Siemens—accounted for 55 gigawatts (GW), or 76%, of installed wind generating capacity in the United States. Of the 8.2 GW of total wind capacity installed in 2015, these three companies’ combined share is even greater, representing more than 92% of new capacity in 2015.
Heading into the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, U.S. retail regular-grade gasoline averaged $2.16 per gallon (g), up just six cents per gallon from the same time last year. This is the second-lowest gasoline price since 2008, when the national regular gasoline price averaged $1.89/g on the Monday prior to Thanksgiving.
Note: Proposed capacity shown on the graph reflects only the projects discussed in this article. Other proposed projects in the area are smaller or have not yet progressed through the approval process.
A number of pipeline projects that have been approved, or are in various stages of the approval process, would increase capacity to transport natural gas from the Utica production region in Ohio to natural gas markets. Collectively, these projects could add up to 6.8 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of takeaway capacity out of the Utica region by the end of 2018.
EIA has updated its Southern California Daily Energy Report to provide additional information on key energy market indicators for the winter season. The dashboard includes information that EIA regularly compiles about energy operations and the management of natural gas and electricity systems in Southern California in the aftermath of a leak at the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility outside of Los Angeles. Although the leak has since been plugged, regulators have placed ongoing limitations on the use of that facility.
After declining for several months, the share of U.S. electricity fueled by coal is expected to slowly begin growing when compared to the same period last year. In contrast, the share of generation from natural gas is expected to experience year-over-year declines. Based on expected temperatures and market conditions, coal is expected to surpass natural gas as the most common electricity generating fuel in December, January, and February.
Residential heating oil and propane prices have started the winter heating season at levels similar to last winter’s levels, while inventories of both fuels are near or above five-year highs for this time of year. On average, prices for residential heating oil and propane during last winter (October 2015 through March 2016) were the lowest in at least a decade. The U.S. Energy Information Administration's State Heating Oil and Propane Program (SHOPP), which is a joint effort between EIA and state energy offices, collects state-level residential heating oil and propane price data in 38 states where residential use of heating oil and propane is common.