Energy In-depth: U.S. solar market prepares for biggest quarter in history

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 99 views 

Editor’s note: Each Friday, Talk Business & Politics provides “Energy In-depth,” a round-up of energy and regulatory news.

TEXAS TOP REGION IN THE WORLD FOR OIL AND GAS INVESTMENT, ARKANSAS RANKS HIGH IN BEST GOVERNMENT POLICIES: Texas remains the most attractive jurisdiction for oil and gas investment in the world, according to an annual global survey of petroleum sector executives released by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan, Canadian public policy think tank. The 2015 Global Petroleum Survey rates 126 jurisdictions around the world based on their barriers to investment (i.e., high taxes, costly regulatory obligations and uncertainty over environmental regulations) and on the volume of oil and gas reserves. Of the 14 jurisdictions with large petroleum reserves, Texas tops the list followed by United Arab Emirates, Alberta, Qatar and Kuwait.

The survey also features an alternate ranking format, which ignores proven oil and gas reserves and focuses solely on survey responses about the extent to which government policies can deter oil and gas investment. In this format, seven out of the top 10 jurisdictions are in the United States. The Netherlands ranks number one, followed by Alabama, Oklahoma, Texas, Mississippi, Kansas, Arkansas, Saskatchewan, North Dakota and Manitoba. Access the report here.

NATURAL GAS-FIRED POWER GENERATION EXCEEDS COAL FOR THIRD STRAIGHT MONTH: Electricity generated from natural gas-fired power plants exceeded generation from coal-fired plants in September for the third month in a row. Before April 2015, the monthly share of total U.S. generation fueled by coal had always been larger than the natural gas share, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s short-term forecast. Natural gas generation in September was 4% higher than the level generated by coal. This increased use of natural gas for electricity generation primarily reflects sustained low prices for the fuel.

U.S. SOLAR MARKET PREPARES FOR BIGGEST QUARTER IN HISTORY: A new report shows 2015 shaping up to be the U.S. solar market’s best year in history with record-breaking fourth quarter projections. The U.S. installed 1,361 megawatts of solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity in the third quarter of the year. According to GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA) U.S. Solar Market Insight Report, Q3 2015, this marks the eighth consecutive quarter in which the U.S. has installed more than a gigawatt (GW) of solar photovoltaic capacity. To read the report’s executive summary, link here.