On behalf of the team at 5, I am pleased to forward our market letter for the first quarter of 2021. This letter focuses on the latest Black Swan event, Uri, the winter storm that hit Texas in mid-February. The storm caused a catastrophic loss of generation and triggered an extended period of extremely high energy prices. This letter provides: (i) a summary and chronology of the legal and regulatory proceedings that Uri has spawned; (ii) a snapshot of how the storm has impacted a variety of market participants including municipal utilities, wind farms, renewable purchasers, commercial and industrial buyers, and the natural gas market; and (iii) an overview of legislative efforts to address electric reliability in ERCOT.
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On behalf of the team at 5, I am pleased to forward our market letter for the fourth quarter of 2020. This issue revisits the 2020 election and discusses its potential impact on energy policy. Other topics covered include: (i) key energy provisions in the Stimulus Bill passed on December 29, 2020, (ii) green hydrogen, and (iii) the continued shift in generation from coal and nuclear to renewables. We conclude by noting the dramatic spike of LNG prices in Asia, a good reminder that, notwithstanding a long period of depressed pricing, electricity and natural gas remain volatile commodities that must be carefully managed.
Topics: Newsletters Education
8 min read
On behalf of the team at 5, I am pleased to forward our market letter for the third quarter of 2020. This letter focuses on the upcoming Presidential election, the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, and the potential impact of these events on energy policy. The election and a changing court will impact how energy policy is regulated both at the Federal and the state level. Notwithstanding the perceived impact of these changes in Washington, we caution against putting too much weight on political and judicial changes. In short, it is often the case that when it comes to energy policy, economics, not politics, often prevails.
7 min read
On behalf of the team at 5, I am pleased to forward our market letter for the second quarter of 2020. This letter updates our analysis of COVID-19 and its impact on energy demand. It also discusses the pandemic’s impact on state renewable goals, and how FERC’s position on several important energy policy decisions could shift depending on which party wins the 2020 presidential election.
6 min read
On behalf of the team at 5, I am pleased to forward our first market letter for 2020. Since the spread of COVID-19, our primary concerns have been the safety of our team and supporting our clients. I want to give special thanks to our technology team and its leader, Matt Shaw. Matt planned and executed our multi-year effort to develop an industry leading technology solution, Level5. While we did not build this system with a pandemic in mind, it has allowed us to support clients without interruption during these difficult months. Not surprisingly, this market letter is focused on COVID-19 and its broad and evolving impact on the energy market.
7 min read
On behalf of the team at 5, I am pleased to forward our market letter for the fourth quarter of 2019. Today energy deregulation is a tale of two markets. The Mid-Atlantic states (PJM), New England (NEISO) and New York (NYISO) are caught in a struggle between state regulators who seek to subsidize carbon-free generation and opponents who argue (for economic, policy, or political reasons) that these subsidies threaten the viability of a competitive market. The debate reached a crescendo last quarter when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an order that effectively undercuts current state subsidies of carbon-free power generators.
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Could eating seaweed save the climate?
Cows are a significant source of methane, which is a powerful greenhouse gas, primarily from belching as they digest grass and feed (with more coming out the cow’s back end). But recent research found that mixing in a tiny amount (0.5%) of a type of seaweed into their food greatly cuts methane output, with no negative impact on milk production.
3 min read
The biggest issue confronting the energy industry in New York today is decarbonization. That is, how to reliably meet the energy needs of the state’s residents and businesses while drastically reducing and eventually eliminating altogether greenhouse gas emissions - and do it without breaking the bank. The challenge is especially – well, challenging – for the electricity sector. Under the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act or CLCPA, enacted into law this summer, all the electricity needs of New York are to be met by carbon-free resources no later than 2040.
Topics: Newsletters Resiliency
3 min read
Elmer Fudd may never find that wascally wabbit by looking down a rabbit hole, but building owners and managers can find a chunk of energy and cost savings just by looking up at their ceilings.
T8 and T5 fluorescent lamps powered by electronic ballasts, the high-efficiency standards of the ’80s and ’90s, may now be easily replaced by light-emitting diode (LED) systems that cut wattage and carbon emissions by half or more while providing the same amount of light. In Con Ed territory, LEDs may pay for themselves in 2-4 years. That’s an ROI of 25%-50%, better than most cost-cutting options available to buildings. Toss in the near elimination of re-lamping (due to 15-20-year LED lifetimes), and no more lamp recycling (LEDs contain no mercury), and even Yosemite Sam will feel like he’s struck gold.
7 min read
On behalf of the team at 5, I am pleased to forward our market letter for the third quarter of 2019. This letter discusses: (i) electricity price spikes in Texas, (ii) new limits on natural gas usage in New York, and (iii) California’s continued struggle with the linkage between power lines and wildfires.