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Today in Energy

Oct 23, 2020

Utility-scale battery storage costs decreased nearly 70% between 2015 and 2018

U.S. average installed utility-scale battery storage cost
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Annual Electric Generator Report
Note: Only includes capacity with available cost data. Puerto Rico is excluded.

The average energy capacity cost of utility-scale battery storage in the United States has rapidly decreased from $2,152 per kilowatthour (kWh) in 2015 to $625/kWh in 2018. Battery storage systems store electricity produced by generators or pulled directly from the electric power grid and redistribute the power later as needed. At the end of 2018, the United States had 869 megawatts (MW) of installed battery power capacity (the maximum amount of power a battery can provide at a given moment) and 1,236 megawatthours (MWh) of battery energy capacity (the total amount of energy that can be stored by a battery).

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Oct 22, 2020

U.S. natural gas exports to Mexico have increased in the first nine months of 2020

Mexico monthly natural gas balance
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on Genscape, Inc. (a Wood Mackenzie company)
Note: Other represents a balancing item to reconcile monthly supply and consumption.

U.S. exports of natural gas to Mexico, almost all of which are transported by pipeline, have continued to increase in 2020. These increases have more than offset declines in Mexico’s imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and relatively smaller declines in Mexico’s domestic natural gas production.

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Oct 21, 2020

EIA forecasts slightly higher U.S. propane consumption this winter season

U.S. monthly propane consumption by sector
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Monthly Energy Review and Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), October 2020

The U.S. propane market is highly seasonal: about two-thirds of the propane consumed last year was consumed in the winter months (October through March). In the United States, most propane is consumed in homes during the winter; about 5% of U.S. homes use propane as their main heating fuel. In its latest Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects 5% more U.S. propane consumption this winter compared with last winter, largely because a cooler winter forecast means more demand for residential space heating.

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Oct 20, 2020

EIA expects relatively high distillate inventories to decrease through the winter

monthly U.S. distillate inventories by region
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Petroleum Supply Monthly and Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), October 2020

U.S. distillate fuel oil inventories remained high through summer 2020 because production outpaced demand. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects that increased demand for distillate fuel oil in the agriculture and residential sectors in the coming winter will help to draw down high U.S. distillate inventories. These initially relatively high inventories, along with lower crude oil prices, will continue putting downward pressure on distillate fuel oil prices through the 2020–21 winter season.

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Oct 19, 2020

The United States consumed a record amount of renewable energy in 2019

U.S. primary renewable energy consumption by source and sector
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Monthly Energy Review
Note: Click for full U.S. renewable energy chart.

In 2019, consumption of renewable energy in the United States grew for the fourth year in a row, reaching a record 11.5 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu), or 11% of total U.S. energy consumption. The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) new U.S. renewable energy consumption by source and sector chart published in the Monthly Energy Review shows how much renewable energy by source is consumed in each sector.

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Oct 16, 2020

Natural gas generators make up largest share of U.S. electricity generation capacity

operating natural-gas fired electric generating capacity by online year
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Annual Electric Generator Inventory

Based on the U.S. Energy Information Administration's (EIA) annual survey of electric generators, natural gas-fired generators accounted for 43% of operating U.S. electricity generating capacity in 2019. These natural gas-fired generators provided 39% of electricity generation in 2019, more than any other source. Most of the natural gas-fired capacity added in recent decades uses combined-cycle technology, which surpassed coal-fired generators in 2018 to become the technology with the most electricity generating capacity in the United States.

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Oct 15, 2020

Wind is a growing part of the electricity mix in Texas

share of Texas electricity generation from wind
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Electric Power Monthly, Annual Electric Generator Inventory

In 2019, wind-powered generation contributed 84.4 thousand gigawatthours (GWh) of electricity in Texas, an 11% increase from the 75.7 thousand GWh generated in 2018. Substantial growth in wind capacity in the state was the primary reason for this increase. Texas wind capacity rose almost 17% in 2019, from 24.1 gigawatts (GW) in 2018 to 28.1 GW in 2019. Wind power accounted for 18% of the electricity generated in Texas in 2019, compared with 6% in 2010.

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Oct 14, 2020

EIA’s International Energy Outlook analyzes electricity markets in India, Africa, and Asia

global energy consumption for power generation, IEO2020 reference case
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, International Energy Outlook 2020 (IEO2020)
Note: OECD=Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Countries that are not members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Asia, including China and India, and in Africa are home to more than two-thirds of the world population. These regions accounted for 44% of primary energy consumed by the electric sector in 2019, and the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projected they will reach 56% by 2050 in the Reference case in the International Energy Outlook 2019 (IEO2019). Changes in these economies significantly affect global energy markets.

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Oct 13, 2020

Global liquid fuels production outages have increased in 2020

monthly unplanned liquid fuels production outages
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, October 2020 Short-Term Energy Outlook
Note: Non-OPEC production outages include crude oil and condensate. OPEC production outages are for crude oil only.

Disruptions to crude oil and condensate production from members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC countries have risen considerably since last year. These outages have contributed to reduced liquid fuel supply and, along with crude oil production declines agreed to among OPEC and partner countries (OPEC+), have contributed to global liquid fuels inventory draws since June.

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Oct 9, 2020

Solar photovoltaic generators receive higher electricity prices than other technologies

U.S. average wholesale electricity prices by generating technology
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Power Operations Report

In 2019, the average U.S. wholesale price for electricity generated by solar photovoltaic (PV) technology was significantly higher than average wholesale prices for electricity from other technologies. The weighted average wholesale price for solar PV-generated electricity was $83 per megawatthour (MWh) in 2019, more than double the price paid to producers for electricity generated by wind, fossil fuels, or nuclear. The higher average wholesale price for solar PV relative to other technologies is partly driven by geography and timing.

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