Real Clear Energy Charticles

Energy Charts Interpretated and Analyzed by RCEnergy

UK Coal Use Falls to 1850s Level

After nearly a century of increased use of coal in Britain, coal burning peaked in 1956 when the “Great Smog” hit London and concern over air pollution rose. Since then coal has been on a downward slide, gradually removed from household burning and then from the large power plants and other industrial uses. The trend was temporarily halted by the oil shocks of the 1970s, but then...

Most Shale Sites Losing Money at $50 a Barrel

Robert Rapier uses a chart from Bloomberg when oil was at $80 a barrel to show why $50 a barrel can’t be sustained. The solid line shows the break-even point at $80 a barrel. This was produced about eight months ago when the price of oil was just beginning to fall. Everything to the right above the line shows prohibitively high costs. At the time only about 12 sites were being...

Asia Leads World Oil Consumption as West Falls

This graph from Robert Rapier’s Energy Trends Insider shows that the major oil consumption over the last six years has come from Asia. The West has actually cut its use with Europe down more than a millions barrels a day and the United States down about half-a-million. But Asia has more than compensated by increasing its consumption by 4.5 million barrels, pushing world consumption up...

New England Loses Capacity

New England has lost huge amounts of electrical generating capacity since last year, mostly through the retirement of Vermont Yankee and various coal plants. It has added some solar facilities but solar still makes up less than 1 percent of its generating capacity. Nuclear still provides 12 percent of its electricity through the operation of Seabrook and Pilgrim Reactors. Natural gas now...

Natural Gas Prices Decline

Everyone's talking about the drop in oil prices but gas prices have been falling too.  First, buyers were expecting a run-up with the cold weather this winter but that has not happened. The weather has not been as cold and suppliers were prepared with large inventories. As we indicated in Tuesday’s charticle, gas prices have remained steady since last October.  But now prices are...

Wind and Solar Steady in Germany

Wind and solar are providing a steady 20 percent of Germany's energy. Wind is the bigger contributor. Germany made headlines recently when renewables hit 50 percent on one sunny afternoon, but this is still a high point that cannot be duplicated at will. The real problem with renewables is their ups and downs. This will require fossil fuel plants and nuclear reactors to persist as stand-bys. ...

Natural Gas Prices Level Off This Winter

Natural gas prices were higher in 2014, but mainly because of the unusually cold weather last winter. The map shows the main terminals for natural gas around the country and the graph shows the monthly price at each. Monthly spot prices were above $25 in the eastern half of the country through last March but have since leveled off at a low price of $5 per million btu and have not given any...

Levi Predicts Recovery Will Be Faster Than 1986

Will it take a decade for the oil market to recover on a global scale? That’s the lesson from what Bloomberg calls the “Chart of the Day," which shows that it took almost a decade to recover from the 1986 collapse. But Mark Levi of the Coluncil on Foreign Relations says things are much different now. In particular he points to the output from tight oil wells. He says that such...

Coal Prices Fall in East, Rise in West in 2014

Coal prices declined slightly in 2014, although the loss was unevenly distributed across the country. The biggest decline was in Appalachian coal, which suffered most, strangely, from a decline in exports. The substitution of natural gas for coal played a part, but the biggest blow came from declining demand in Europe and Asia, plus increasing competition from other coal-producing nations. ...

Remembering the Oil Slump Of 2008

Dan Steffens of OilPrice points out that oil took a big plunge in 2008 as well but eventually returned to normal. He says we are not in the middle of a “glut” but only experiencing routine oil price ups and downs. He predicts that oil will return to $70 a barrel by the 3rd quarter of 2015.

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