Weekly Energy Market Updates by Region




Issue week: November 18th, 2021  (Wk 46)





WEST  High spot prices for natural gas due to depressurization of the West Coast pipeline out of caution amid storms and floods in British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest over the past couple of days have driven power prices higher. Concerns about reduced capacity have raised prices for the prompt month of December by approximately $8.00/MWh since the start of the week.

ERCOT  With seasonal temperatures and moderate loads this week, 7x24 real-time prices have averaged around $35/MWh, although, during the solar ramp-off and load ramps (around 6 p.m.), the average is considerably higher at $125/MWh. Real-time price volatility, on average, should be relatively muted over the next several days if wind output proves as robust as expected while more units come back online as scheduled. In the forward market, 7x24 prices for CY22 are down by more than $2/MWh from last week, whereas outer-year strips have remained relatively flat. Heat rates have also softened since last week in the front of the curve.

EAST Both Day Ahead and Real Time prices have fallen significantly from last week with the mild weather and the end of outage season. The Day Ahead market has recorded drops of $8-$11/MWh, but the Real Time market has seen even greater reductions of $11-$15/MWh at the main hubs. The largest Day Ahead decrease is in PJM’s West Hub, where the average is $61/MWh for the week. Meanwhile, NYISO’s NYC and Hudson Valley show the largest Real Time declines and are now averaging around $46.50/MWh.







This week, President Joseph Biden signed into law the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The bipartisan bill aims to pour $1.2 trillion into creating an estimated 1.5 mil-lion new jobs annually over the next 10 years by upgrading all manner of public works across the U.S., and a major theme, both direct and indirect, of the planned infrastructure makeover is energy.

Modernizing the country’s electric grids is definitely a priority for the investments of the bill. Per a report on Bloom Energy from October 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that outages drain as much as $150 billion from the U.S. economy every year. Indeed, Winter Storm Uri, which ravaged Texas in February and literally froze many of ERCOT’s generators, is a perfect example not only of the danger posed to U.S. energy infrastructure by climate change but also of the importance of improving the physical resilience of such assets to adapt to the threat. To that end, $65 billion is earmarked for new transmission lines, and approximately $50 billion is set aside to weatherize critical resources against natural hazards such as floods, wildfires, and droughts.

The energy sector is also poised to benefit incidentally from the funds that the Act will funnel into transportation, the top source of carbon emissions in the U.S. The bill seeks to develop cleaner and more energy-efficient transportation technologies. Therefore, in addition to the whopping $42 billion meant to facilitate the implementation of low-carbon and electric technologies in shipping and air travel, $7.5 billion will be used to make progress toward the President’s goal of a nationwide network of 500,000 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.

The Biden Administration appears to recognize the crucial role that energy must play in reviving the U.S. economy. Reforming the nation’s electricity delivery system and revolutionizing how its vehicles are fueled are not guaranteed to lower prices for taxpayers at either the plug or the pump. Nonetheless, the improved reliability of electric grids and greater accessibility of EVs, not to mention the myriad energy-related jobs themselves, that should materialize from the bold initiatives of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act would ultimately benefit industry and consumers alike.





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