Monday, July 30, 2012

America's Energy Revolution Has Brought Lower Real Prices for Both Natural Gas and Electricity

One of the economic benefits of the shale gas revolution is the moderating effect that abundant, cheap shale gas has had on the price of electricity in the U.S. for all end-users: residential, commercial and industrial customers.  The indirect cost savings for electricity customers from cheap shale gas are in addition to the significant and direct cost savings from inflation-adjusted gas prices for residential, commercial, industrial customers and electric utilities that are the lowest in a decade, and have saved natural gas users $250 billion over just the last three years.   

The chart above shows average, annual, inflation-adjusted retail prices of electricity from 2001-2012 based on EIA data with the following results:

1. Residential consumers are paying an average price in 2012 (11.73 cents per kilowatt-hour) that is the lowest since 2007 (see blue line in chart). 

2. Commercial customers are paying an average price of 9.93 cents per kilowatt-hour of electricity this year, which is the lowest commercial price since 2004, and a price that is slightly lower than in 2001, 2002, and 2003 (see red line in chart).  

3. Industrial users are paying the lowest inflation-adjusted price for electricity this year (6.50 cents) than in any year since 2004, and the same real price as in 2001 (6.50 cents), 12 years ago.   

MP: The shale revolution gets at least part of the credit for bringing inflation-adjusted electricity prices down over the last several years, which have likely generated millions, if not billions, of dollars of savings for households, businesses and industry.  The American energy sector continues to be one of the brightest spots in the U.S. economy, and the shale revolution is at the forefront of that energy-driven stimulus to the economy.  America's energy revolution has brought thousands of new high-paying jobs in the oil and gas industry, stimulated thousands of indirect jobs in energy support industries like fracking sand, and generated billions of dollars of savings for customers from lowering prices of natural gas and electricity.    

28 Comments:

At 7/30/2012 9:43 PM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

What utility is the biggest producer of natural gas fired electrical gneration in the U.S.?

Calpine, based in Texas.

Almost all new electrical generation capacity to come(85%), will be produced from burning nat gas.

Frack, baby, frack.

 
At 7/31/2012 2:21 AM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Methanol can be made from natural gas. At about $1.35 a gallon. Methanol performs like ethanol--indeed, Indy cars used to run on methanol, before ethanol was used (for PR reasons).

So why does the US government subsidize ethanol production (through corn subsidies) and then mandate its use (at 10 percent of gasoline, nationally) by federal diktat, its use?

Is this not the galloping socialism predicted by Goldwater?

Yes, it is socialism, it is even fascism.

 
At 7/31/2012 3:23 AM, Blogger Benjamin said...

BTW, looks like tracking will get more and more productive.....

http://newenergyandfuel.com/

Using a propane gel instead of water to frack...

 
At 7/31/2012 6:20 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

Richard Muller: Get rid of coal power to halt global warming

Muller was previously a climate change skeptic. But after years of researching the topic, he is now convinced the phenomenon is both real and caused by humans.

 
At 7/31/2012 8:05 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

MP: The shale revolution gets at least part of the credit for bringing inflation-adjusted electricity prices down over the last several years, which have likely generated millions, if not billions, of dollars of savings for households, businesses and industry. The American energy sector continues to be one of the brightest spots in the U.S. economy, and the shale revolution is at the forefront of that energy-driven stimulus to the economy. America's energy revolution has brought thousands of new high-paying jobs in the oil and gas industry, stimulated thousands of indirect jobs in energy support industries like fracking sand, and generated billions of dollars of savings for customers from lowering prices of natural gas and electricity.

As I have pointed out, we are about to see some big write-downs by the major companies who got shale gas story so wrong. As the asset side of the balance sheet gets weaker the shareholder equity will take a hit and getting loans to fund drilling in shale formations will become much more difficult and more expensive. And as the SEC noose tightens around Chesapeake we will see other companies follow suit. The pace of hiring has already slowed in the sector and the drill rig demand has weakened. As the last of the drilled wells is fracked and completed the lack of new shale gas wells will mean a steady decline that will make it difficult for utilities to count on cheap gas for much longer. And as the very economic coal plants are closed the much more expensive natural gas plants will put pressures to the upside. Before someone starts to throw figures around about the cost of nat gas plants please account for the total costs over the useful life. By this I mean that we have to account for the fact that the full depreciation requires a source of fuel that will be in much shorter supply than coal and will become much more expensive than coal over the long run. Given the cost differences it may be required that many of the new facilities have to be depreciated over a much shorter period of time and closed much sooner than would be prudent if the source of fuel were available.

 
At 7/31/2012 8:22 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

Muller was previously a climate change skeptic.

No he wasn't. He meant that he was a skeptic as a scientist. But the record shows that he was always an activist type.

But after years of researching the topic, he is now convinced the phenomenon is both real and caused by humans.

In his MSNBC interview Muller did not rule out a problem with the data adjustment or siting issues. And his research has yet to be published because it could not pass the peer review process. Muller is using op ed pages to make an argument that he cannot defend with science. If he were a first year science student his professor would fail him for forgetting about errors and uncertainty. A typical thermometer or sensor used by HCN probably has an error of 0.1C. Put that sensor in the field where we have known maintenance and calibration problems and that sensor or thermometer has an error of more than 0.3C. The siting adds to the error another 1C or so as sensors wind up next to parking lots, airport runways, barbecue pits, A/C units, on top of roofs, etc. Add up all those and account for the fact that large parts of the earth are not covered with official sensors and you get a number that is higher than the claimed warming since the end of the Little Ice Age. But what does Muller claim as the error. Zero. Zip. Nada.

Add to that the poor standard used and you just have pseudoscience used for propaganda purposes. Remember the search for Higgs? To ensure that the results were not due to random efects physicists chose a high hurdle. The certainty that the observed effects are not due to noise was really 99.9999999999%. That is very typical when dealing with particle physics research and any paper that cannot clear that hurdle is rejected. (That does not mean that some methodological error could not take place so getting the result is only the first step.) Compare this to Muller who uses a 95% confidence level with data that is not independent and is certainly massaged and cherry picked and you don't have anything scientifically worthwhile to talk about.

 
At 7/31/2012 9:23 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

man made global warming is made by bad measurement and deliberate fudging of the data.

yet another set of proof:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/07/29/press-release-2/

if you look at the raw data from the us sites that actually meet the noaa's own guidelines, 1/2 the temperature gain since 1979 goes away and us temps are well below those from the 30's and 40's.

note that the PDO (one of the most important climate features on earth) entered the warm mode in 1976 and is just in the process of turning cold now (though the ADO is still warm).

that was the predominant source of the warming, not man.

the world remains in a 3000 year cooling trend. the medieval period was warmer than now, the roman warmer still, the minoan even warmer, and we are way, way off the holocene climate optimum which lasted for 3000 years.

in fact, that whole time, we were in an ice age and still are. in only 10% of the last 500 million years (the entire period in which multi-cellular life has existed on earth) has it been cold enough for there to be ice at both poles.

this whole global warming mania is just a fluke of technology.

thermometers happened to become widespread in the mid 1800's. that also happened to be a wildly cold period (coldest in the last 9000 years) called the little ice age that is thought to have been driven by low solar activity (maunder minimum etc). recovery from that cold and harsh period to the previous trend look like a lot of warming if you start the line in 1850.

start it in 1350 and you see we are still in a downtrend.

the vikings grew wine on newfoundland. the romans grew wine in london.

try that today.

calling the warming from 1850 important but ignoring the dramatic cooling right before is the cherry pick upon which the whole agw movement is based and why liars like the now discredited mann and his hockey stick were so desperate to "get rid of the medeival warm period" and why they refuse to release their data.


has the world warmed in the last 150 years? yes. absolutely.

has it warmed in the last 700? no.

if you just snip the little ice age out of the record, it's all downtrend for 300 years. civilization flourished at 1-3 degrees warmer than today.

at 1-2 degrees colder, it suffered horribly. the civilizational optimums coincide with warmer times. the dark ages and the famines of the 1700-1800's with cold.

for agw to be a real issue, 3 things need to be true:

1. the world must be warming

2. man must be causing it

3. that must be a bad thing

not a single one of those is proven on any kind of longer timeframe.

point 2 is deeply suspect as the AGW models predict tropospheric warming as a "CO2 fingerprint" that has definitively not occurred. that right there ought to be enough to put an end to thins nonsense.

point 3 is so ludicrously wrong it's difficult to know where to start. warm is good. humans and polar bears alike thrived in much warmer periods.

there appears to be this deep knee jerk religious need to believe in AGW as a secular substitute for the biblical story of the fall (the world was a garden, man grabs knowledge and wrecks it, now we must atone), but to call it science is pure farce.

 
At 7/31/2012 10:33 AM, Blogger bart said...

If one also adjusts actual average take home income by CPI, one finds that the benefits of lower CPI adjusted electricity prices disappear.

 
At 7/31/2012 10:54 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

"A typical thermometer or sensor used by HCN probably has an error of 0.1C. Put that sensor in the field where we have known maintenance and calibration problems and that sensor or thermometer has an error of more than 0.3C. The siting adds to the error another 1C or so as sensors wind up next to parking lots, airport runways, barbecue pits, A/C units, on top of roofs, etc"

oh, it's worse than that.

keep in mind that daily temp is not an actual avg for the day but the avg of max + min, so 10 minutes of a vent running can affect a whole day way out of proportion to what actually happened.

http://www.surfacestations.org/

according to the NOAA's own guidelines, the average station has a poor citing induced error of over 2 degrees C, not just one.

that's what, 3-4X the century trend they are hoping to measure?

there is no way to get a signal that faint from a system that noisy.

the thermometer based terrestrial climate dataset is perilously close to useless.

even most of the sites in the us that are still called "rural" are actually at airports, hardly the pastoral setting one might hope for.

 
At 7/31/2012 11:20 AM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

600 million people without electricity in India.

The lack of capacity for generating India's growing electrical needs is probably the main reason for this colossal outage. Much of India's power is supplied by coal.

Idea: U.S. and other countries supply liquified natural gas (lng) to power much needed new electricity in India.

 
At 7/31/2012 12:08 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Interestingly here in the St. Lois, Mo area both AmerenUE (electricity) and Laclede Gas have floated requests to the rates commissions for an increase in pricing...

 
At 7/31/2012 12:36 PM, OpenID Sprewell said...

Mark, you refer to Kilowatts twice in the post, but I think you mean Kilowatt-Hours. Kilowatts measure power, kWh measure energy. It is the latter that is bought and sold. Perhaps something only an engineer like me would notice, but I think it's worth correcting.

 
At 7/31/2012 12:43 PM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

Yes, Sprewell, you're correct, it should be kilowatthours, and I've corrected the post, and I'll also update the graph. Thanks for letting me know.

 
At 7/31/2012 1:09 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 7/31/2012 1:30 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Muller was previously a climate change skeptic. But after years of researching the topic, he is now convinced the phenomenon is both real and caused by humans."

Larry the Troll dredges up the failed BEST project again.

But that turns out to be a good thing, as it provoked some well written and informative comments that could benefit anyone who is still confused about the AGW issue.

 
At 7/31/2012 1:39 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

like a veritable reeses peanut-butter cup of mark's favorite memes (2 great tastes that taste great together), here it is, a combo of drug war and fracking:

http://www.qando.net/?p=13480

 
At 7/31/2012 2:21 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"like a veritable reeses peanut-butter cup of mark's favorite memes (2 great tastes that taste great together), here it is, a combo of drug war and fracking:"

Hmmm. Needs more fracking. :)

 
At 7/31/2012 3:29 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

actually the point that Mueller was making was that he expects the fracking/nat gas revolution to extend to other countries and accelerate the move away from coal.

Of course if folks like VangeIV are correct, the whole enchilada will be short lived and we'll be back to coal.

 
At 7/31/2012 5:24 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"actually the point that Mueller was making was that he expects the fracking/nat gas revolution to extend to other countries and accelerate the move away from coal."

And Muller, a physicist by trade and wannabe AGW celebrity, who can't even get the most important work of his life published in the scientific journals, and therefore is reduced to TV interviews with liberal political opinion show hosts to plead his case, now pretends to be an expert on natural gas and coal? And we should listen to him?

Try to keep a level head, Larry. Muller just isn't a headline news scource for serious people.

 
At 7/31/2012 5:26 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

Try to keep a level head, Larry. Muller just isn't a headline news scource for serious people.


including BEFORE he had his epiphany?

I was under the impression he was one of the more credible and credentialed "skeptics". No?

 
At 7/31/2012 6:02 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

ron-

larry is just going to keep making appeals to authority and ignore the fact that meuller's BEST project has already been shown to be a mess that is either fraud or incompetence and still has not (and is unlikely to) pass peer review, which is why he is trying to get the most out of it in the media before his disgrace becomes official.

http://www.rossmckitrick.com/

his paper has already been rejected multiple times and he is trying to suppress the referee reports that describe why and get his 15 minutes of fame.

Mueller is a charlatan.

if this global warming theory is so sound, why do all its proponents refuse to share data and keep getting caught faking the data when anyone does get a look at it?

seems to me that if the science is on your side, you should not need to fake your results.

 
At 7/31/2012 6:06 PM, Blogger Mkelley said...

This administration is setting us up for very high electricity prices if and when natural gas prices go back up:

http://dailycaller.com/2012/07/28/record-number-of-coal-fired-generators-to-be-shut-down-in-2012/

With the war on coal, the greenies are making our energy sources much less diversified. This is especially stupid when we are the Saudi Arabia of coal.

 
At 7/31/2012 6:22 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"I was under the impression he was one of the more credible and credentialed "skeptics". No?"

No. Few people had ever heard of him before his BEST project wet dream hit the news, and he was never a skeptic. He has always been a true believer in AGW, and it's not clear that he has ever done any work related to climate before his Big Whoop. The BEST Project itself isn't anything new, just a look at additional temperature data using different math - a job more suited to a statistician than a physicist.

His reputation as a skeptic comes from his rejection of Mann's Hockey Stick, and agreement with McIntyre and McKitrick that Mann's statistical methods produced a hockey stick with ANY data set including completely random numbers. On that most serious people agree.

You will note that one of his fellow scientists in the BEST project and probably the most well respected, Judith Curry, has divorced herself from the project, spoken out against its credibility, and demanded that her name be removed as a co-author.

You could easily have found all this yourself. Why not do some homework next time?

It appears that Muller is just another publicity whore who, unfortunately for him, has come to the AGW party too late.

 
At 7/31/2012 6:41 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

morganovich

"larry is just going to keep making appeals to authority and ignore the fact that meuller's BEST project has already been shown to be a mess that is either fraud or incompetence and still has not (and is unlikely to) pass peer review, which is why he is trying to get the most out of it in the media before his disgrace becomes official.

http://www.rossmckitrick.com/

his paper has already been rejected multiple times and he is trying to suppress the referee reports that describe why and get his 15 minutes of fame.
"

Yes, I know. Thanks.

I'll just use this topic as an opportunity to practice my writing skills in hopes of improving them.

Thanks for the McKitrick link. Talk about shoe on the other foot, eh? Gotta love it.

 
At 7/31/2012 6:48 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

is this fellow McKitrick a scientist?

 
At 7/31/2012 8:38 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Muller was previously a climate change skeptic. But after years of researching the topic, he is now convinced the phenomenon is both real and caused by humans"...

Richard Muller the malthusian moron was a known fraud for quite awhile. larry g..

buddy noted the Indian power grid collapse and why did it happen?

Goofy India drank deeply of the environmental kol-aid...

 
At 7/31/2012 9:16 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

oh, it's worse than that.

keep in mind that daily temp is not an actual avg for the day but the avg of max + min, so 10 minutes of a vent running can affect a whole day way out of proportion to what actually happened.


I agree. I was just pointing out that Muller was very dishonest when he claimed no error in modern measurements. That alone is enough to make his claims very doubtful even if we ignore by how much he may have missed. What is even more interesting is that you can have a 'hot' year in which few absolute highs were ever measured. All you need is a favourable ENSO condition that gives you an earlier spring and later fall and you get a higher average even if the summer temperatures were relatively mild.

 
At 7/31/2012 9:34 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

including BEFORE he had his epiphany?

I was under the impression he was one of the more credible and credentialed "skeptics". No?


No. He was always an advocate. He claims that as a scientist he has to be 'skeptical' but that clearly has not shown to be true in his failed papers. The claim that it must be CO2 that is responsible because Muller can't figure out what else may have an effect on temperature change is not science. Particularly when he had to admit that the most recent 15 year period of high CO2 emissions had no statistically measurable warming trend.

But as many of us have pointed out the reason for the warming is primarily data manipulation. The US stations show no material warming since the 1930s and the only way to show a warming trend is to add one to the raw data as NOAA has done.

This may be news to Larry but the climate is a chaotic system that is influenced by many different factors and CO2 is not very significant. In fact, the empirical data shows that changes in CO2 levels are driven by changes in temperature trends, not the other way around.

 

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