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MARKET TREND ANALYSIS

Weekly Energy Market Updates by Region


Issue week: September 17th, 2020  (Wk 38)

 

POWER MARKETS

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WEST Prices have moderated over the past week, Day Ahead prices averaging $31.33/MWh and $25.95/MWh in SP15 and Mid-C, respec-tively. So far, the wildfires have had relatively little effect on the region-al grid. Over the next week, temperatures are expected to fall and bring demand and spot prices down with them.

ERCOT  Except the super-peak hours on September 12, real-time prices have settled in the high $10s/MWh over the past week. Basis is negligible for all zones but the South, where it is averaging $5.50/MWh for the month. Term prices are down in the front of the curve, mainly because of retracement in the gas curve for CY21. The ORDC adder for the month is averaging nearly $3.00/MWh, well below the $13/MWh of last September.

EAST The Northeast market has been unexciting this week, prices printing only in the mid-to-high $10s/MWh. Real Time prices, on aver-age, have printed marginally below Day Ahead across the main trading hubs. The largest DART spread has been $2.34/MWh in ISO-NE’s Mass Hub.

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WESTERN WILDFIRES REIGNITE DEBATE OVER U.S. ENERGY FUTURE

The wildfires raging across the western United States have again imperiled the energy industry on multiple fronts. Most immediately, large solar installa-tions and their accompanying battery storage facilities, often situated in re-mote areas, are physically vulnerable. Utilities, out of caution, have also deactivated power lines to avoid causing additional fires in case they are downed. On the demand side, as all of the smoke blanketing the region has lowered average temperatures, electricity usage has fallen. Another big outcome of the fires is the renewed call from the governors of the Pacific states to combat climate change through the usual environmen-tally minded overhauls. Although lack of both forest management and other fire mitigation measures has also been proposed as a credible cause of the fires, the ferocity of this wildfire season will likely help restore whatever po-tency the usual climate-change talking points might have lost during last month’s return of rolling blackouts in California amid a drop in investment in energy innovation. Policymakers need to offer more than the usual rhetorical broadsides in these trying times, especially because, by now, they should be quite familiar with the long-term vulnerabilities of the system, which will persist without a sufficient long-term game plan. After all, the energy industry is clearly not averse to renewable energy; the accompanying graphs from the U.S. Ener-gy Information Administration show that the amount of domestic renewable energy supply has increased in each of the last four years and is projected to keep growing. Nonetheless, as things stand, the grid can still be over-whelmed without proactive advancements. The International Energy Agency recently encouraged fighting emissions from current generation assets while cultivating early adoption of new green technologies. As simple as such a solution sounds, the fight against fossil fuels has been long and tedious because of their historical cost advantages and undeniable reliability. Officials have tried not only to make these prob-lematic technologies artificially more cost-prohibitive but also to offer eco-nomic incentives to energy producers and consumers to accelerate chang-es to the energy infrastructure. The result is a gauntlet of costs and credits that Calpine Energy Solutions is always ready to help its customers navi-gate to suit their renewable and financial needs.

 

 

 

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