What we’re reading this week


AEO 2015 Natural Gas Imports & Exports Jan 2016Forbes – Natural Gas Price Increase Inevitable In 2016
Conventional gas supply has fallen 16.75 bcfd since July 2008. Until July 2016, increases in shale gas production more than offset those losses. Conventional gas will continue to decline at about 5% per year because few companies are drilling those plays. Shale gas must, therefore, continue to grow by at least 15 bcfd per year just to offset these declines. So what is behind final projections?

Cleveland Plain Dealer – Renewing our commitment to renewable energy: Impact 2016
The Cleveland Plain Dealer launches a series called “Impact 2016: A path for green energy in Ohio.” The series will examine why Ohio lags behind other states in promoting renewable energy and what the state’s options are to catch up, or get ahead.

RTO Insider – Scalia Death Scrambles Clean Power Plan Odds
Four days before his death Saturday, Scalia was in the majority in the court’s 5-4 vote to stay the EPA rule pending legal challenges. Without a ninth member, what are people projecting will happen this summer?

Greentech Media – US Solar Market Sets New Record, Installing 7.3GW of Solar PV in 2015
For the first time ever, solar beat out natural-gas capacity additions, and it’s not all out in the West.

You’re invited to the first CMU “Energy Week” – March 14-18 2016

Carnegie Mellon’s Scott Institute for Energy Innovation invites members of the public, students, industry, non-governmental organizations, and foundations to attend our first Energy Week!

Energy Week is on March 14-18, 2016 at Carnegie Mellon University’s campus in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Each day of Energy Week has a theme: energy research, policy, innovation, education (including an Energy Tech Expo), and Field Trips!   See our interesting and unique agenda here.

We will be joined by interesting keynote speakers such as Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, Deputy Secretary, and Lynn Orr, Under Secretary for Science and Energy, of the U.S. Department of Energy; and Bunker Roy, founder of Barefoot College, an organization that teaches women in rural villages how to install and maintain solar collectors.  You’ll also hear from interesting Carnegie Mellon researchers talking about energy’s hot topics!

For Policy Day, we are inviting the candidates for Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate seat and surrogates for the candidates for U.S. President to discuss their views on energy policy.  Participants will also be able to discuss the issue of the optimal mix of energy technologies for Pennsylvania’s electricity in a Deliberative Democracy Event.

On Innovation Day, college students from Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, and Maryland will compete for the $50,000 Allegheny Region CleanTech University Prize!  Come to cheer on students from your alma mater.

Throughout, key stakeholders can participate in roundtables on a variety of “hot” energy policy topics:

  • Energy Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Southwest Pennsylvania Energy Workforce
  • Industry Energy Efficiency
  • CMU Faculty/Industry “Brain Swap”:  An Exchange of Information and Perspectives on Energy Research and Education at CMU.

Energy-related industries and organizations are encouraged to participate in the Energy Technology Expo and host Energy Week Field Trips, so that members of the public, students, and other participants can learn more about their companies’ energy business and technology.  This is also a good opportunity to recruit CMU students for jobs and internships, and for students to meet potential employers.  Students from any institution can attend at no cost.

Note that space is very limited for the Energy Technology Expo, Roundtable Participation and Field trips, so REGISTER soon at http://www.cmuenergy.org!   For questions about the program or if you are interested in hosting a field trip, contact Dr. Deborah Stine, Associate Director, Scott Institute atdstine@andrew.cmu.edu.  For information on sponsorships or exhibiting in the Energy Tech Expo, please contact Laurie Powell at LPowell@eventPower.com or 703-740-1940.

What we’re reading this week

Supreme Court puts the brakes on the EPA’s Clean Power Plan – Washington Post
As a practical matter, this stay means that the EPA may not continue to take any actions to implement or enforce the CPP pending the resolution of the state and industry challenge to the rule, which will not be heard by the D.C. Circuit until June 2. What does this mean for states’ compliance planning processes already underway?

Transmission project bets on clean Canadian power in Pennsylvania – PG Powersource
Designed to move 1,000 megawatts of Canadian-produced electricity along the floor of the lake into Erie County, ITC’s line would serve as the first link between Canada and the regional power grid spanning Pennsylvania, 12 surrounding states and Washington, D.C.  Transmission lines have been much longer and more ambitious than the proposed 73-mile project. The idea still has to pass the muster of state environmental regulators, and the project also is pending approval from Canada’s National Energy Board.  How would this project affect the mix of generation in our region?

Low gas price cuts impact-fee revenue for Pa. counties and municipalities – StateImpact
mostly because of the sharp fall in gas prices, it would be reducing the amounts paid to municipalities and counties from impact fees charged to operators under Act 13, Pennsylvania’s wide-ranging gas industry law. How will this affect PA’s rural counties, and will this affect the state severance tax proposals?

Refracking The Shale Plays – O&G Financial Journal
Refracturing of shale wells is a popular topic since operators can apply the latest technology to older wells, thereby increasing production without incurring all the costs of a new well. Well results indicate that the resources per well have doubled since 2012 for the main plays, making refracturing of shale wells a logical development. Operators are optimistically discussing the possibility, but how have the results compared to expectations so far?

Pennsylvania lags in solar power market – Tribune Review
Tech companies that use large amounts of energy to run servers increasingly are looking at solar power often want to locate in states with policies that encourage solar use and development. Pennsylvania is not on that list.

Updated state natural gas performance standards are under review

On February 3rd, the PA Environmental Quality Board (EQB) will review the final “Environmental Protection Performance Standards at Oil and Gas Well Sites,” more commonly referred to as the “Chapter 78 revisions.” The rulemaking revisions are the first since 2001 to update surface impacts from drilling and production activity associated with unconventional oil and gas production.

The lack of tranparency in the rulemaking process has been harshly criticized by industry stakeholders. DEP has been working to revise the rules since 2011.

More information, including a link to view the EQB proceedings live, can be found here. If approved, the rulemaking will go to the state’s Independent Regulatory Review Commission and could be in effect this summer.

Global energy event: Pittsburgh-Calgary-Houston Cooperation breakfast – Feb 12 2016

North America’s Energy Triangle – Pittsburgh-Calgary-Houston
Cooperation and Partnership in Challenging Times

WHEN:  Friday, February 12, 2016
TIME:   7:30 to 9:30 a.m. (Breakfast will be served)
WHERE: Lobby Auditorium, 11 Stanwix Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

The Pittsburgh region has emerged as a major player in the global energy market, joining Calgary and Houston as the metropolitan areas strategically driving North America’s energy sector. A changing energy economy and new policy perspectives are impacting North American energy like never before. Growing partnerships between energy leaders in Pittsburgh, Calgary and Houston – North America’s Energy Triangle – create innovative solutions to maintain and strengthen our continent’s energy sector competitiveness in a changing world.

Please join us and the following speakers to contribute to our discussion on how collaboration and partnership in the current climate will enhance business opportunities, policy, regulation, investment, infrastructure and technology advancements in the North America energy sector.

Speakers include:

  • Mary Moran, President and CEO, Calgary Economic Development
  • Gregory Reed, Director, University of Pittsburgh Center of Energy
  • Laura Fisher, Senior Vice President, Workforce and Special Projects, Allegheny Conference on Community Development
Continue the conversation…
Join Mary Moran, President and CEO, Calgary Economic Development at the Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh/Southpointe from 12:30 – 2:30 p.m. for lunch to continue the conversation on The Pittsburgh-Calgary Connection: Confronting Issues and Discovering Opportunities in Challenging Times. For this lunch event, please click here to RSVP and for more information.