Electric vehicles sit front and center in the effort to decarbonize passenger transportation, a movement that helped make Tesla’s Elon Musk the richest man in the world. Pair this with heavy attention to EVs from the broader car-and-truck market and the White House’s goal of 50% EV sales by 2030 and it makes you wonder how EVs will impact the energy and power-generation sectors. We’ve all seen how power grids can be overwhelmed during periods of extreme heat or cold, by relying too heavily on intermittent renewables like wind and solar, or — as many Texans saw last February — by interruptions in natural gas deliveries to gas-fired power plants. What might happen when we add tens of millions of power-hungry EVs to the mix? In today’s RBN blog, we discuss the impacts that scaling electric vehicles may have on energy and power markets and the power grid.
Posts from Rob King
If you’re a relative newcomer to the energy industry, the subject of natural gas storage might make your eyes glaze over — the sector is often treated as a backwater by traders and investors focused on liquid hydrocarbons. But it wasn’t always so. In the decades leading up to the early 2000s, the U.S. gas market underwent a series of fundamental changes, each spurring the development of new storage capacity, first in the Northeast, then the Midwest, and finally along the Gulf Coast. Along the way, the primary use of storage — balancing seasonal swings in gas demand — remained consistent, but there was also a wild-and-woolly period in the mid-2000s that was rife with meme-stock-like trading frenzy. It’s hard to say for sure, but we may be on the verge of needing still more gas storage capacity. In today’s blog, we’ll discuss the history and nature of U.S. natural gas storage to give context on what the future might hold.
Hydrocarbons — mostly natural gas and coal — are still the energy source behind the lion’s share of electric power generation in the U.S. However, renewables like wind and solar are now the frontrunners when it comes to scheduled capacity additions. In fact, renewables account for about 70% of the total 37.9 gigawatts (GW) of new generating capacity under construction in 2021. Recent announcements such as final federal approval for the mammoth Vineyard Wind 1 project — by far the largest permitted offshore wind project in the U.S. to date — only bolster the view that wind power’s role in U.S. power generation will continue to grow through the 2020s. Today, we look at the surge in construction of onshore and offshore wind farms and what it means for the overall power generation mix.