Natural Gas News – May 14, 2018
Texas Heat Could Increase Natural Gas Prices This Summer
Forbes reported: Once again, it’s supposed to be a scorching hot summer in Texas, with record breaking electricity demand. And why not? Texas has 29 million people, regularly sees temperatures rise into the 90s and 100s on sweltering summer days, and is easily our largest power consumer, using 50% more electricity than California. Nearly 100% of homes in Texas use air conditioning, versus less than 60% in California. During hot summers, 50% of all power demand in Texas is to power air conditioners. Moreover, Texas’ unique position as a major energy producer and exporter means more energy usage, as the supply chains involved require lots of power: “Another sign of Permian boom: record electricity demand.” An “it takes energy to make energy” sort of thing. Natural gas prices have been range bound, with prompt month in the $2.60 to $2.85 band since the end of January. When Friday came off the board, there were just two months on the NYMEX futures curve through December 2021 that had $3 gas, January and February 2019.
European Natural Gas, Coal Generation Margins under Pressure from Rising Fuel, CO2 Prices
Platts reported: European gas- and coal-fired power generation margins have come under strong pressure as outright power prices trail behind a rising fuel complex and rallying EUA carbon allowances. In Germany, the front-year clean dark spread (CDS) for a modern coal plant (45% efficiency) has fallen below Eur3/MWh, the lowest on record, with the CDS for the oldest coal units (35% efficiency) deeply negative at minus Eur4/MWh, S&P Global Platts data shows. German gas plant margins have been hit even harder, with the clean spark spread (CSS) for the year-ahead for a modern gas plant (50% efficiency) at minus Eur5/MWh, the lowest level since May last year.