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Today in Energy

Dec 1, 2021

California hydroelectric facilities continue to respond to prices despite drought

average hourly California hydroelectric generation and day-ahead Northern Calfornia electricity price
Source: Graph by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on data from the California Independent System Operator (CAISO).

Despite widespread, intense drought conditions, hydroelectric power plants in the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), the grid operator for most of the state, provided a significant amount of generation from April to September 2021. Although drought conditions reduced the water supply in California, hydroelectric generation during this period still increased in response to the higher average hourly electricity prices in the late afternoon.

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Nov 30, 2021

Warehouses were the most common U.S. commercial building type as of 2018

number of buildings and total square footage
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS)

As of 2018, warehouse and storage buildings were the most common type of commercial building in the country, according to our most recent Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS). Our most recent CBECS was released in September 2021 and was based on buildings characteristics as of 2018. We estimate that the United States had just over 1 million warehouse and storage buildings as of 2018 and a total floorspace of 17.4 billion square feet. This survey marks the first time since CBECS was released in 1979 that warehouse and storage buildings were the most common building type, ranked by both number of buildings and by total square footage.

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Nov 29, 2021

Recent legislation would reduce the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve

Strategic Petroleum Reserve inventories and planned sales
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Petroleum Supply Monthly and Congressional legislation

Reposted at 10:30 a.m. on November 30, 2021 to include an exchange agreement after Hurricane Ida in 2021.

On Tuesday, November 23, the White House announced plans to make 50 million barrels of crude oil available to the market through a combination of exchanges and accelerating previously announced sales. With these sales and several other legislated drawdowns, SPR inventories could decline from 618 million barrels (as of October 1, 2021) to about 314 million barrels by the start of the 2032 fiscal year, the lowest level since March 1983. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, passed earlier this month, includes a provision to draw down 87.6 million barrels of crude oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) in fiscal years (FY) 2028 through 2031.

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Nov 24, 2021

Average U.S. gasoline prices are higher this Thanksgiving than any since 2012

weekly U.S. average regular gasoline retail prices
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Gasoline and Diesel Fuel Update

The average price that consumers paid at the pump for U.S. regular gasoline on the Monday before Thanksgiving this year was $3.40 per gallon (gal). This price is $1.29/gal (62%) higher than last year and is the highest pre-Thanksgiving price since 2012 (in nominal terms), according to our latest Gasoline and Diesel Fuel Update. U.S. gasoline prices are 82 cents/gal (32%) higher than at the same time in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic. October 2021 had the largest recorded year-over-year increase in gasoline prices, at $1.13/gal, since we began collecting gasoline prices in 1990.

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Nov 23, 2021

Major U.S. utilities spending more on electricity delivery, less on power production

major U.S. utilities annual spending
Source: Graph by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on data from Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Financial Reports, as accessed by Ventyx Velocity Suite

Over the past decade, major utilities in the United States have been spending more on delivering electricity to customers and less on producing that electricity.

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Nov 22, 2021

Most planned U.S. natural gas-fired plants are near Appalachia and in Florida and Texas

planned U.S. natural gas-fired capacity additions and select shale plays
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Monthly Electric Generator Inventory

Between 2022 and 2025, 27.3 gigawatts (GW) of new natural gas-fired capacity is scheduled to come online in the United States, according to our latest Monthly Electric Generator Inventory. This added capacity would increase current capacity (489.1 GW as of August 2021) by 6%. Many of the planned natural gas-fired capacity additions are located close to major shale plays in the Appalachia region and Texas and in Florida.

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Nov 19, 2021

EIA expands data coverage of biofuels in our Monthly Energy Review

U.S. monthly biofuel production
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Monthly Energy Review

In October 2021, we began publishing expanded data on biofuels other than ethanol in our Monthly Energy Review (MER), including production, imports, feedstocks, and consumption. The expanded biofuels data provide a more detailed look at fuels previously grouped under renewable fuels except ethanol, which is now split into biodiesel, renewable diesel, and other biofuels.

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Nov 18, 2021

EIA forecasts crude oil prices will decline during 2022

monthly crude oil spot prices
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), November 2021

Since the third quarter of 2020, global consumption of crude oil and petroleum products has increased faster than production, which has caused lower inventory levels and higher crude oil prices. In our November Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), we forecast that rising production from OPEC+ countries and the United States will lead to global liquid fuels inventories increasing and crude oil prices falling in 2022.

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Nov 17, 2021

New natural gas pipeline capacity expands access to export and Northeast markets

Gulf Coast natural gas pipelines and related infrastructure
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Natural Gas Pipeline Projects Tracker

Reposted at 12:00 p.m. on November 17, 2021 to change the company associated with the Whistler pipeline.

In our recently updated Natural Gas Pipeline Projects Tracker, we estimate over 4 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of new natural gas pipeline capacity entered service in the third quarter of 2021, primarily supplying Gulf Coast and Northeast demand markets.

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Nov 16, 2021

Solar generation was 3% of U.S. electricity in 2020, but we project it will be 20% by 2050

annual U.S. electricity net generation from all sectors
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Monthly Energy Review, Electric Power Annual, Short-Term Energy Outlook, and Annual Energy Outlook

According to our Electric Power Annual, solar power accounted for 3% of U.S. electricity generation from all sources in 2020. In our Short-Term Energy Outlook, we forecast that solar will account for 4% of U.S. electricity generation in 2021 and 5% in 2022. In our Annual Energy Outlook 2021 (AEO2021) Reference case, which assumes no change in current laws and regulations, we project that solar generation will make up 14% of the U.S. total in 2035 and 20% in 2050. These data include electricity generated from both utility-scale (those of 1 megawatt or more generating capacity) and small-scale (less than 1 megawatt) solar facilities in the electric power, residential, commercial, and industrial sectors.

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