U.S. Electricity Use on Wane

January 3, 2013 14:16 by Bill Conway in Energy, Energy Efficiency  //  Tags: , ,   //   Comments (0)
The good news for utilities is that consumers are plugging more things in. The bad news is energy efficiency and overall consumption patterns are driving electricity consumption down. The ability to deploy capital into regulated areas, specifically transmission assets is a bright spot for investor owned utilities. However, the impact on dividends has yet to be felt. [More]

City of Boulder, CO + Municipalization Efforts

December 10, 2012 11:22 by Bill Conway in Energy, Engineering & Construction, Financing  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)
The outcome of these discussions could have a ripple effect on the age old “municipalization discussions” across the country.  Such transactions are complex undertakings, and require examination from multiple angles, but are perplexing considering the highest and best use of a municipalities limited resources.    To read the full story, click here.

Coal Transportation Rates to the Electric Power Sector

December 6, 2012 13:57 by Bill Conway in Cooperatives, Energy, Regulation  //  Tags: , ,   //   Comments (0)
The transportation cost for coal from mines to generation facilities via rail  increased 46% from 2001-2010, or 4.3% annually, with the largest annual rate of increase in the southern Appalachian region.  However, increases in commodity costs outpaced transportation cost increases.  To read more, click here.  

Lakeside Energy Agrees to Acquire Two Combined-Cycle Power Plants from WPS Empire State

November 5, 2012 15:29 by Bill Conway in Cooperatives, Energy, M&A  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)
Lakeside Energy LLC, an owner and operator of power generation facilities in North America, has agreed to acquire two combined-cycle power plants from WPS Empire State, a subsidiary of Integrys Energy Services, Inc. The plants are located in Solvay and Beaver Falls, New York and sell energy and capacity into the New York market.  To read the full press release, click here.    

Natural Gas Pumps Up Electricity Generation

September 18, 2012 11:29 by Bill Conway in Energy, Energy Efficiency  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)
Consumers should celebrate the fact that natural gas is becoming the fuel of choice for many electric generators, as it’s a cleaner burning option and is currently a more economically attractive alternative to coal.  Considering electricity production has been the fastest growing segment for natural gas for the past decade, consumers should stop and savor this domestic resource, but also wonder about its long-term sustainability.  This is why we need a comprehensive energy policy that emphasizes using multiple fuel sources to keep up with electricity demand.   Read more in the Albuquerque Journal article here.  

Electric Cooperative Opens Solar Farm

August 21, 2012 10:12 by Bill Conway in Cooperatives, Energy  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)
Duck River Membership Cooperative opens a solar farm facility, allowing its members to purchase ownership units in return for an energy credit on their monthly bill.  The development of this facility is unique considering it allows the Duck River members to participate in the development of solar energy without the significant capital cost associated with the development of individual systems.   Read more...    

Renewable Energy Projects + Master Limited Partnerships = a New Twist in Energy Financing

August 7, 2012 09:16 by Bill Conway in Energy  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)
The recent introduction of a bill to allow MLPs to own renewable energy projects has the potential to reshape the renewable energy marketplace, especially considering the uncertainty of the tax credit programs and the expiration of the 1603 Grant program.  The MLP structure will help in leveling the playing field in comparing renewable vs. fossil fuel generation, and give the renewable industry the ability to grow.  However, despite a potentially more attractive financing path, renewable energy projects need to continue to focus on providing attractively priced power for electric consumers.   

Ethanol Mandates Debated as Corn Reaches Record Prices

August 6, 2012 14:23 by Stephanie Siders in Agriculture, Energy, Renewables  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)
The Renewable Fuel Standard mandates that ethanol make up 9 percent of the U.S. gasoline supply in 2012, which would use nearly 40 percent of the nation’s corn production.  In the face of record corn prices due to lower than expected corn production, livestock groups went to the EPA asking that the mandate be curbed or suspended.  Likewise, Cargill CEO Gregory Page publicly pled for changes to the Standard last week. Livestock producers argue that if the mandate is waived, more corn will be available for feed which would keep meat prices down for consumers. 

Energy Information Administration released its Residential Energy Consumption Survey

August 1, 2012 16:18 by David Patterson in Energy  //  Tags: , ,   //   Comments (0)
June 6 “Total United States energy consumption in homes has remained relatively stable for many years as increased energy efficiency has offset the increase in the number and average size of housing units, according to the newly released data from the Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS). The average household consumed 90 million British thermal units (Btu) in 2009 based on RECS. This continues the downward trend in average residential energy consumption of the last 30 years. Despite increases in the number and the average size of homes plus increased use of electronics, improvements in efficiency for space heating, air conditioning, and major appliances have all led to decreased consumption per household. Newer homes also tend to feature better insulation and other characteristics, such as double-pane windows, that improve the building envelope.”  Read more

Deloitte survey shows energy habits changing

August 1, 2012 16:02 by David Patterson in Energy  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)
Christopher Kolomitz, euci.com | May 2012 “Researchers at the Deloitte Center for Energy Solutions say a new era of energy frugality is taking hold in the United States with businesses and residential consumers changing energy habits as a direct result of the recent economic downturn.”  Read more… Links to Deloitte “resources 2012” studies can be found here and here.

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