Transition Is Enveloping U.S. Electricity Sector

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Wall Street Journal:The rapid rise of wind and natural gas as sources of electricity is roiling U.S. power markets, forcing more companies to close older generating plants.Wholesale electricity prices are falling near historic lows in parts of the country with competitive power markets, as demand for electricity remains stagnant while newer, less-expensive generating facilities continue to come online.The changing American electricity landscape is pressuring power companies to shed unprofitable plants and reshape their portfolios to favor the new winners. Texas provides a clear example.Citing low gas prices and the proliferation of renewables such as wind and solar, Vistra Energy Corp., a vestige of the former Energy Future Holdings Corp., said it would retire three coal-fired facilities in Texas by early next year and that it plans to merge with independent power producer Dynegy Inc. Exelon Corp., the country’s largest owner of nuclear power plants, placed its Texas subsidiary under bankruptcy protection earlier this month, saying that “historically low power prices within Texas have created challenging market conditions for all power generators.”The average wholesale power price was less than $25 per megawatt hour last year on the grid that coordinates electricity distribution across most of Texas, according to the operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. A decade ago, it was $55.Prices have fallen a similar amount on the PJM Interconnection LLC, the power grid that serves some or all of 13 states, including Pennsylvania and Ohio. A megawatt hour there traded for $29.23 last year, the lowest level since 1999, as far back as the grid’s independent market monitor tracks prices.The price drop at PJM reflects the construction of dozens of new gas-burning power plants, spurred by the abundance of the fuel due to the shale drilling boom. In 2006, 8% of the electricity in PJM was generated by natural gas. In 2016, it was 27%.Weak demand for electricity also has played a role, as Americans purchase more energy-efficient appliances and companies shave power consumption to cut costs. Last year, power demand in PJM grew 0.3% after falling the two previous years.In competitive regions in places like California, wholesale electricity is sold through daily auctions that favor the least-expensive sources of power. The resulting competition—by more power plants to buyers of roughly the same number of megawatts—has most-acutely impacted older coal and nuclear plants, which are struggling to provide competitively priced power. It has even begun to affect older natural-gas-fired facilities that have higher costs.An analysis by investment bank Lazard shows that on an unsubsidized basis and over the lifetime of a facility in North America, it costs about $60 to generate a megawatt hour of electricity using a combined-cycle natural-gas plant, compared with $102 burning coal and nearly $150 using nuclear. By that criteria, Lazard estimates electricity from utility-scale solar and wind facilities is now even cheaper than gas.A megawatt hour of electricity from utility-scale crystalline solar comes in at $49.50 and wind at $45. That metric carries an important caveat, however: It doesn’t factor in that wind and solar are more intermittent producers of power than conventional generation sources, since the sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow.“It’s too late,” David Schlissel, a director at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, said of the Trump administration’s proposals. “The lesson is if you don’t put your thumb on the scale then gas and renewables will out-compete coal.”More: Electricity Prices Plummet as Gas, Wind Gain Traction and Demand Stalls Transition Is Enveloping U.S. Electricity Sectorlast_img read more

Super Eagles to unveil new Nike jersey in Portugal

first_imgRelatedPosts Super Eagles soar on FIFA ranking FIFA ranking: Nigeria moves up by two spots, now world 29th Omeruo welcomes second child Nigeria’s Super Eagles will don the new Nike jersey when they play international friendlies later this month in Portugal.The Nigeria Football Federation said the football house has concluded arrangements with global kit outfit, Nike, to wow the world with another set of beautiful designs for all Nigeria national teams. Rising from their virtual meeting on August 31, 2020, chaired by the President, Amaju Pinnick, the NFF chieftains agreed that the Super Eagles would launch the new wears during the FIFA window for international friendlies in the month.In July, Pinnick had disclosed that the NFF are already making plans for the Eagles to play two friendlies in Portugal during the FIFA window in September, while another match is earmarked to hold in October.The games are likely to be against teams from South America and Africa, according to the NFF boss.The Eagles’ last competitive match was against Lesotho in November 2019, a 2021 AFCON qualifier, which the Nigerian team won 4-2 in Maseru, while their last international friendly was a 1-1 draw with Brazil in October 2019.Qualifiers for the African Cup of Nations and World Cup have both been put on hold until 2021 due to the unrelenting effects of coronavirus. American sportswear giant, NIKE, received three million orders for the Super Eagles’ 2018 FIFA World Cup kit prior to the release of the jerseys into the market on May 29, 2018.Tags: Amaju PinnickNFFNike jerseySuper Eagleslast_img read more