New york faces pros and cons of cheap natural gas glut – times union

More than four million homeowners have enjoyed heating bills lowered by hundreds of dollars as average gas utility prices last year sank to levels not seen since 2002.

And since power plants fired by natural gas produce an ever-increasing share of the state’s electricity, by January 2016 average power rates paid by homeowners were the lowest in nearly a decade.

“Low gas prices are certainly a benefit to consumers,” said Gavin Donohue, president of Independent Power Producers of New York, an Albany-based lobbying group that represents plant owners. Gas gas “Every report I’ve seen says we are going to see low gas prices for years.”

But Donohue also warned the state should not grow overdependent on any fuel source for its electricity, including gas. Electricity bill cost per unit “We have to watch our fuel diversity mix carefully. Electricity merit badge requirements California had an energy crisis a few years ago based on natural gas overdependence,” he said.

State energy planners are counting on the gas glut lasting through at least 2030 from a tide of hydrofracked gas flowing northward from the Marcellus Shale, according to the state 2015 Energy Plan released last summer by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

Residential gas rates in New York are projected to grow by a meager 0.7 percent annually through 2030 as the fossil fuel industry continues its “success in tapping the nation’s extensive shale gas resource,” the report stated. Gas definition “With its nearness to the Marcellus Shale basin, New York should participate in prices lower that those experienced from 2000 through 2010 and more similar to those of the last few years.”

That report also assumed that new gas pipelines linked to the Marcellus would expand in New York and elsewhere, although such projects, like the recently denied Constitution and suspended Northeast Energy Direct pipelines, have provoked growing public opposition in the state as residents object to potential environmental and health effects.

New pipelines “will enhance the state’s access to supplies to meet future loads and will be critical to ensuring reliable, competitively priced supplies to New York in the future,” according to the report.

That outlook is the polar opposite of the praise heaped on Gov. Electric utility companies in florida Andrew Cuomo last month after the state Department of Environmental Conservation denied the Constitution project on environmental grounds.

“New York doesn’t need more pipelines,” said Anne Marie Garti, a founding member of the grassroots group Stop the Pipeline and an attorney volunteering with the Pace Environmental Litigation Clinic. Pass gas in spanish “New York City and most of the state is already awash in fracked gas from the Marcellus.”

Cheap gas is causing pain for others in the state. Gas x strips directions With electric prices so low, upstate nuclear power plants are having trouble competing, and a renewable energy strategy pushed by Cuomo includes a $270 million subsidy to keep nuclear plants — and their jobs — afloat through 2030.

On the shores of Lake Ontario, owners of the James A. Gas zeta costa rica FitzPatrick nuclear power plant are blaming low prices on a decision to close the plant by January 2017, regardless of whether Cuomo’s subsidy program is adopted.

And low prices are also putting a dent into the budget of the New York Power Authority, which sells electricity from the state’s massive hydropower system along the Niagara and St. 9gag nsfw Lawrence rivers, and from several smaller downstate fossil fuel power plants.

Last year, the authority had a $135 million budget shortfall in its power sales as the price of wholesale electricity — the price that plant owners are paid to place power into the state grid — also hit a record low.

The 2015 average wholesale price was $44.09 per megawatt hour (equivalent to the power needed to power 1,000 average homes), lower than the previous low of $45.28 in 2012 and less than half the price in 2008, according to the New York Independent System Operator, which took over the grid in 1999.

And prices continue to plummet this year, from $36.42 in January, to $34.02 in February and $30.68 in March, according to NYISO figures. O gosh That means power plant owners that month got about half of what they received for their power two years ago.

The hit from falling prices comes as the Power Authority takes on the budget for the money-losing state canal system, which loses about $90 million a year.

Authority staff is “forecasting that prices will continue to be at much lower levels across all markets than they have seen historically,” authority CFO Gerard Vincitore told board members in December according to authority minutes.

Asked about the financial impact on NYPA from taking on the canal in a dawning era of lower power prices, the authority confirmed to the Times Union that canal expenses will be covered from authority power sales.

“Economic development programs will be funded first before the Canal Corp.,” according to a NYPA statement. Gas 78 “Low natural gas prices have the effect of lowering the revenue associated with the portion of power that is not currently sold in a long-term contract and NYPA does not depend on that revenue for providing essential, reliable and safe electric service for New York.”

Renewable energy from wind and solar is also being pressed by lowered prices to draw investment, and Cuomo’s clean energy standard is proposing a $2.4 billion subsidy for new and additional producers through 2030, when he wants the state to get half its electric power from renewables.

Karl Rábago, executive director of the Pace Energy and Climate Center, said inexpensive gas is not necessarily the enemy of renewable energy.

“Low prices make people work harder, and competition is good,” he said. Mp electricity bill payment paschim kshetra Low prices on natural gas can free up investment capital to help finance other energy projects.

“We can take the cheap gas, but invest the savings in making a better system … La gas prices now Policy makers have to be aware of the issue of overdependence,” said Rábago. Electricity in india ppt “But cheap natural gas is definitely tough on coal, tough on nukes.”

New York is already more dependent on natural gas than other northeastern states. Static electricity definition physics Natural gas accounts for 36 percent of all energy used in the state, more than any of the eight other states in the region, including Pennsylvania, where the gas boom is under way, according to a January 2016 report by the Northeast Gas Association, an industry group.

That reliance is even more pronounced when it comes to gas used to make electricity. Gas in oil mower In New York, 56 percent of electrical generating capacity is fired by gas, compared to 44 percent in New Jersey and just 27 percent in Pennsylvania.

And the Marcellus boom should continue its roar in coming years. Electricity cost in california In 2015, Pennsylvania and West Virginia produced about 16 billion cubic feet of natural gas — enough to completely power nearly 200,000 average homes for a year.

According to the American Gas Association report, that output is expected to grow to 25 billion cubic feet in coming years, or enough to power some 350,000 homes.