U.S. Energy Information Administration - EIA - Independent Statistics and Analysis
Today in Energy
The United States has slightly more than 20,000 megawatts (MW) of solar generating capacity, which includes utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal installations, as well as distributed generation solar PV systems, also known as rooftop solar.
Several factors have played a part in pushing U.S. crude oil prices below $30 per barrel (b), including high inventory levels of crude oil, uncertainty about global economic growth, volatility in equity and nonenergy commodity markets, and the potential for additional crude oil supply to enter the market. Crude oil and petroleum product inventories, both domestically and internationally, have been growing since mid-2014 and are above five-year averages for this date.
Based on data collected in EIA's latest Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS), the number of computers in education buildings across the United States is continuing to grow rapidly. On average, education buildings have nearly twice as many computers per million square feet as all commercial buildings. Among commercial building categories, only office buildings have more computers per square foot.
Electricity generated from utility-scale renewable plants is expected to grow by 9% in 2016, based on projections in the latest Short-Term Energy Outlook. Much of the growth comes from new installations of wind and solar plants and increases in hydroelectric generation after a relatively dry 2015. In 2016, electricity from utility-scale renewable sources is expected to account for 14% of the total electricity generated in the United States, with wind and solar contributing 5.2% and 0.8%, respectively.
Republished February 1, 2:00 p.m. to correct an error in the graphic. A previous version had misrepresented the uncertainty in the leakage rate. The text of the article remains unchanged.
On October 23, 2015, Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) detected a major leak at Aliso Canyon, an underground natural gas storage facility located 30 miles northwest of Los Angeles. The Aliso Canyon storage facility, which has 115 wells, is the second-largest natural gas storage field in the western United States. The 86 billion cubic feet of working natural gas capacity at Aliso Canyon accounts for two-thirds of SoCalGas' natural gas storage capacity, according to EIA data. Additionally, Aliso Canyon has the largest daily deliverability of all the storage facilities west of the Rockies, estimated at 1.9 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d).
The severe winter storm that began Friday, January 22, and continued through Saturday, January 23, affected energy infrastructure throughout much of the eastern United States. Heavy snowfall, high winds, and ice knocked out power to more than one million customers in states from Arkansas to Massachusetts. According to the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Assurance Daily from the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, power had been restored to almost all customers as of midafternoon January 27.
Note: Capacity in 2015 reflects a combination of existing and planned or under-construction projects. Capacity in 2016 reflects only planned projects.
A number of recently completed and upcoming natural gas infrastructure projects are expected to increase the reach of natural gas produced in the Marcellus and Utica regions of the Northeastern United States (see map). These projects are intended to transport natural gas from production centers to consuming markets or export terminals.
Natural gas spot prices around the United States are often compared to prices at the Henry Hub in Louisiana. At trading points in and around the Marcellus and Utica shale plays in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio, natural gas prices consistently trade below the Henry Hub national benchmark price. However, the difference between these pricing points and the Henry Hub has narrowed in recent months as new pipeline projects have come online.
A change to the North Sea Brent crude oil futures contract will alter the way prices for Brent futures are compared to futures prices for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil. Beginning January 29, the Brent contract will expire, or rollover to the next month, approximately two to three weeks before expiration of the WTI contract for delivery in the same month. Prior to the change, the Brent contract rollover was only five to seven days ahead of the WTI rollover.
The average natural gas spot price at the benchmark Henry Hub for December 2015 of $1.93 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) was the lowest monthly average since March 1999. EIA's latest Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) expects natural gas prices to rise, averaging $2.65/MMBtu in 2016 and $3.22/MMBtu in 2017. Expected price increases reflect consumption growth, mainly from the industrial sector, that outpaces near-term production growth.