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News and Analysis

In 2019, U.S. Energy Production Exceeded Consumption for First Time in 62 Years

May 1, 2020

In 2019, for the first time since 1957, America’s energy production exceeded energy consumption on an annual basis, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Domestic energy production has grown substantially during the past decade due mostly to increased crude oil and natural gas production from hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. Meanwhile, due to the COVID-19 shutdown, U.S. fracking activity in April was poised to suffer its largest-ever monthly drop, according to reports. 4/29/2020

How Oil Prices Went Sub-Zero

April 24, 2020

Oil prices fell into negative territory for the first time in history this week, leaving oil producers to effectively pay others to store their crude. With the sudden reduction in the demand for fuel, some experts say a second wave of negative pricing could emerge. has created this infographic to tell the story of what led to this week’s oil price crash. 4/21/2020

U.S. Coal Production Expected to Fall 22% rom 2019

April 17, 2020

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts that U.S. coal production will be down 22% from 2019 and that energy-related CO2 emissions will decrease by 7.5% in 2020. It also predicts that the U.S. will again be a net importer of crude oil and petroleum as domestic oil production continues to decline due to low energy prices. 4/13/2020

Renewable Energy Sector Hit Hard in March

April 17, 2020

The coronavirus outbreak has dealt a blow to more than just traditional energy producers. More than 106,000 jobs in the clean energy sector were lost in March, according to a new study conducted by BW Research Partnership for the E2 advocacy group. The analysis showed losses in several areas of the clean energy sector, including energy efficiency, renewable power generation and alternative transportation. 4/15/2020

Analysts: Retail Gasoline Prices Could Fall Below $1

April 10, 2020

Reports circulated this week that gasoline prices at distributors around the country are falling fast as the supply grows and demand has been cut in half due to stay-at-home orders in most states.

Analysts have said gasoline prices at the pump could fall to under $1 in more parts of the country, with some wholesale prices under 20 cents a gallon and as low as 10 cents a gallon in some parts of the Midwest. 4/9/2020

Capacity Market Prices Not Expected to Increase Due to FERC’s MOPR Ruling

April 10, 2020

The Independent Market Monitor recently studied how the change in the Minimum Offer Price Rule (MOPR) by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will impact PJM capacity market prices.

The study concludes that the change should not increase PJM capacity market prices due to exemptions for various existing resource types (e.g. demand response and renewable energy), as well as little change in the handling of new natural gas power plants. Another reason cited by the study: existing state-subsidized nuclear plants outside Ohio being able to bid at competitive prices, lower than the minimum offer prices, through the resource specific exemption. 4/9/2020

What’s Happening in the Energy Markets?

April 3, 2020

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has several data tools that offer a glimpse at current energy markets, all of which are feeling the effects of COVID-19. You can investigate regional electricity use, petroleum supplies, gasoline and diesel fuel prices, natural gas storage, and much more. 3/31/2020

Electricity Demand Falls Across PJM’s Territory

March 20, 2020

Electric demand across regional transmission organization PJM‘s 13-state footprint — which includes all of Ohio — has declined this week as consumers hunker down due to the spread of the coronavirus. As businesses and public entities take steps to protect employees, PJM says such actions are bound to translate into further changes in the demand needs of its 65 million customers. 3/18/2020

PJM Capacity Market Timeline Proposed

March 20, 2020

This week, PJM filed tariff changes at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in response to its landmark order — issued in December to protect competitive wholesale electricity markets against unfair competition from subsidized actors.

The changes to the Minimum Offer Price Rule (MOPR) will potentially affect revenue for Ohio’s two nuclear power plants, OVEC’s coal-fired power plants, select large-scale solar projects, and the Sammis coal-fired power plant. All of these power plants are eligible to receive direct subsidies from Ohio ratepayers as a result of last year’s House Bill 6, or are receiving indirect subsidies in the case of Sammis.

PJM has recommended a 35-day comment period, and a six-and-a-half-month lead time from FERC’s acceptance of its tariff changes to when it would hold the next capacity auction. PJM’s capacity auction, already a year behind, may not occur until late 2020. 3/19/2020

Pennsylvania to Join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative as EnergyHarbor Rescinds Nuclear Plant Closure

March 20, 2020

Pennsylvania’s nuclear and renewable energy power plants may continue to receive PJM capacity revenue — while Ohio’s may not. Here’s why:

It has been reported that EnergyHarbor, the company formerly known as FirstEnergy Solutions (FES), has rescinded its closure of the Beaver Valley nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania. Not that long ago, FES had argued to the Pennsylvania General Assembly that the plant was uneconomical, but it failed to win approval of state subsidies — the opposite of what happened in Ohio. Now Pennsylvania intends to join the multi-state carbon market known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), prompting the reversal of Beaver Valley’s closure. RGGI’s compensation to nuclear power plants for no-carbon power is unlikely to be qualified as a state subsidy. 3/19/2020