The big, green test. Steel tariff challenge.

Corporate America’s Hunger for Green Power Is Facing a Big Test
Brian Eckhouse, Bloomberg, August 12, 2019

Companies and public agencies worldwide have already agreed to buy 8.6 gigawatts of clean energy this year through July, according to a report Monday by BloombergNEF. That’s well ahead of the 7.2 gigawatts of deals signed in the first seven months of last year and is on pace to shatter the record 13.6 gigawatts purchased in 2018.

That growth, however, may not continue into next year. The U.S accounted for 69% of this year’s purchases, and a looming shift in federal tax policy there threatens to undermine the clean-power surge. A solar tax credit is set to shrink in 2020, which means project developers are making a big push to get contracts before the end of the year, according to Kyle Harrison a New York-based analyst at BNEF.

Our take: A delicate dance between helping green energy get off the ground and coddling it well beyond infancy. At some point these technologies will have to be able to withstand a free market economy. The end of 2019 is strikingly close. Best jump now while you have the chance to recharge your Tesla.  

 

U.S. oil firms challenge pipeline surcharge for steel tariff: filing
Collin Eaton, Reuters, August 20, 2019

Two U.S. shale producers have challenged an energy pipeline operator’s proposed surcharge for the Trump administration’s 25% tariff on imported steel, raising the stakes for pipeline builders facing higher construction costs.
U.S. oil producer ConocoPhillips (COP.N) and a unit of Canadian producer Encana Corp (ECA.TO) on Monday asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to reject Plains All American Pipeline’s (PAA.N) proposed tariff surcharge on its Cactus II oil pipeline, according to a regulatory filing.

 

The U.S. leads global petroleum and natural gas production with record growth in 2018
US Energy Information Administration, August 20, 2019

U.S. petroleum and natural gas production increased by 16% and by 12%, respectively, in 2018, and these totals combined established a new production record. The United States surpassed Russia in 2011 to become the world’s largest producer of natural gas and surpassed Saudi Arabia in 2018 to become the world’s largest producer of petroleum. Last year’s increase in the United States was one of the largest absolute petroleum and natural gas production increases from a single country in history.

U.S. crude oil production increased by 17% in 2018, setting a new record of nearly 11.0 million barrels per day (b/d), equivalent to 22.8 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) in energy terms. Production in the Permian region of western Texas and eastern New Mexico contributed to most of the growth in U.S. crude oil production. The United States also produced 4.3 million b/d of NGPLs in 2018, equivalent to 5.8 quadrillion Btu. U.S. NGPL production has more than doubled since 2008, when the market for NGPLs began to expand.

Our take: You can watch a great video chart on this shift in energy dominance on the Alliance Facebook page.