July 17, 2019
Weather and Pricing Highlights – First Half 2019
by Margie Miller
- Electricity pricing for the first quarter of 2019 was down over 28% from the first quarter of 2018 with an average of $39.29 (down from $54.89 in 2018) for the NYISO NYC Zone J. The relatively stable winter pricing can be attributed to the mild temperatures in December and January, with most areas of the country registering slightly below normal temperatures except for the Pacific Northwest.
- The El Nino that was present last year continues to persist which indicates that we may have a mild summer with cooler temperatures across the Northern/Central Plains and above normal temperatures along the East Coast and Pacific Northwest.
- The WSI Hurricane/ Tropical Storm forecast for the summer of 2019 is 14 named storms, 7 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes. Above normal precipitation levels will continue for most of the United States through October.
- The price of Natural Gas at the Henry Hub dropped 31 cents per MMBtu from $2.95 to an average of $2.64. The EIA (Energy Information Administration) forecasts the Natural Gas Spot price to average approximately $2.79 per MMBtu down 36 cents from a yearly average of $3.15 for 2018. The decrease in pricing is a combination of a warmer than forecasted winter which resulted in less withdrawals from Natural Gas Storage along with projected strong growth in production. This continued growth in production with healthy injections projected during the current injection season has helped to stabilize the projected Henry Hub price for 2020 to hover around $2.78 per MMBtu.
- The EIA projects that Natural Gas Generation of Electricity will rise from 35% of the total generation mix to 38% in 2020. Coal generation is expected to decrease to 22% by 2020 down from 27% in 2018. Renewables combined with hydropower is expected to reach 20% of the generation mix by 2020.