As we fast approach the peak of summertime, there are a number of energy-related stories that are more glaring than the noonday sun. Here are ten such tales highlighting some of the scorching stats currently causing sparks in Energyland™.
2) Although oil production from Saudi Arabia is on track to average 10 million barrels a day for this year (a record), it is burning as much as 1 million barrels a day this summer to meet electricity generation demand.
3) Meanwhile, the stronger sanctions placed on Iran means it is now producing the least oil in 22 years.
4) As scorching weather continues, we are seeing demand for natural gas-fired power generation reaching a further new record according to Bentek, with 37.6 Bcf achieved on July 26th. This ramp up in demand is due to low prices spurring on a combination of more natural gas generating capacity coming online, and a switch from coal-fired generation.
5) Meanwhile, nuclear power production is at a 9-year low for the time of year as drought conditions and maintenance is leading to reduced operations. There are 104 nuclear reactors in the US, and while some are experiencing maintenance issues, some are in areas experiencing severe levels of drought. Given that nuclear generation requires the use of billions of gallons of water in cooling and condensing steam after it has been used to power turbines, we could see a further drop in nuclear power generation as the summer (and drought) goes on.
6) Cranking up the air-conditioning in your car can account for 10% of your gasoline consumption on a typical summer’s day. There is, however, a tipping point where having your car windows rolled down instead has a greater impact on your gasoline than your AC.
7) According to NOAA, 64% of the US is experiencing drought conditions. The Midwest – which has experienced the worst of the drought thus far – has seen over 70% of its corn adversely rated (in KY, IN & MO).
9) California’s total energy production has now reached a 50-year low, meaning it is importing 25% of its electricity from outside of the state.
10) The EIA released data this week that showed that US proven crude oil reserves in 2010 were up 13% to their highest level since 1991 (at over 25 billion barrels), while proven natural gas reserves were up 12% (to over 300 Tcf).
Stay cool, and have a good one!