May 17, 2020

Exxon's 30 Year Energy Prediction: 2040 Looks Bright

exxon
exxon mobile
Hybrids
hybrid cars
Admin
3 min
Exxon's 30 Year Energy Predictions Look Bright
Another year just wrapped up, but many energy experts are already looking to the future…to the way, distant future, in an effort to predict just...

Another year just wrapped up, but many energy experts are already looking to the future…to the way, distant future, in an effort to predict just where energy is heading in the rapidly changing marketplace. Recently, the Exxon Mobile Corporation released their 30 year “Outlook for Energy” report which approximates what changes will take place in the energy sector within the U.S. and the world at large over the next three decades. And for the most part, the findings look good.

While Exxon predicts massive shifts in the energy landscape of America, they see the marketplace sustaining energy production in harmony with consumer demand, while at the same time witnessing major reductions in environmental impact. Exxon estimates the standard American car will average 45 mpg, as compared to 2011’s average mpg: which putts along at a measly 22 mpg. This approximation hinges on their belief that hybrid vehicles will make up the majority of new purchased vehicles in 2040, as consumers will largely favor the gas saving vehicles, increasing the hybrid share to 80 percent of new car purchases, (a huge shift from the currently pathetic 2 percent of new vehicles America witnesses now.)  

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Overall Exxon perceives a slight energy consumption decrease from now until 2040, reducing utilization by five percent. The number seems slight, but not when considering the anticipated steep growth in population, and anticipated doubling of the U.S.’s Gross Domestic Product. In addition, the U.S’s harnessing of shale oil and other natural gasses will see exponential growth, limiting foreign dependency and increasing natural production by 150 percent. Mexico’s projected success from deep ocean mining will also increase fuel production, as will Canada’s production of oil sands, both enabling North American buyers affordable domestic energy rates.

Not everything will increase with time however, CO2 emission is projected to drop to levels not witnessed since the 1970's, as tomorrow’s natural gas omits up to 60 percent less CO2 omissions than today’s environmentally clunky fuel of choice: coal.

Yet while fuel is projected to get cleaner and energy products more in line with energy efficiency, Exxon’s projections read a bit conservative. With the rampant green movement spreading like wildfire through the mass consciousness, a future where consumers are still shackled to outdated fuel sources like fossil fuels seems unbelievable. Yes Exxon accounted for the utilization of hybrid vehicles, but where is their mention of electric vehicles? Some innovators may even be bold enough to claim advances in solar technology in the next thirty years that could create vehicle technology entirely independent of fossil fuels, especially when taking into consideration the enormous growth in technology within the last ten years.

It is only rational to believe America’s surge in technological innovation will compound in the next thirty years, freeing up a whole flurry of innovative products. So all in all, thanks Exxon for your more or less partial report, but in determining the future of energy, America may just have to consider the source. 

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Jul 26, 2021

Ofwat allows retailers to raise prices from April

Ofwat
Utilities
water
prices
Dominic Ellis
3 min
Ofwat confirms levels of bad debt costs across the business retail market are exceeding 2% of non-household revenue

Retailers can recover a portion of excess bad debt by temporarily increasing prices from April 2022, according to an Ofwat statement.

The regulator confirmed its view that levels of bad debt costs across the business retail market are exceeding 2% of non-household revenue, thereby allowing "a temporary increase" in the maximum prices. Adjustments to price caps will apply for a minimum of two years to reduce the step changes in price that customers might experience.

Measures introduced since March 2020 to contain the spread of Covid-19 could lead to retailers facing higher levels of customer bad debt. Retailers’ abilities to respond to this are expected to be constrained by Ofwat strengthening protections for non-household customers during Covid-19 and the presence of price caps.  

In April last year, Ofwat committed to provide additional regulatory protection if bad debt costs across the market exceeded 2% of non-household revenue. 

Georgina Mills, Business Retail Market Director at Ofwat said: “These decisions aim to protect the interests of non-household customers in the short and longer term, including from the risk of systemic Retailer failure as the business retail market continues to feel the impacts of COVID-19. By implementing market-wide adjustments to price caps, we aim to minimise any additional costs for customers in the shorter term by promoting efficiency and supporting competition.”  

There are also three areas where Ofwat has not reached definitive conclusions and is seeking further evidence and views from stakeholders:   

  1. Pooling excess bad debt costs – Ofwat proposes that the recovery of excess bad debt costs is pooled across all non-household customers, via a uniform uplift to price caps. 
  2. Keeping open the option of not pursuing a true up – For example if outturn bad debt costs are not materially higher than the 2% threshold. 
  3. Undertaking the true up – If a 'true up' is required, Ofwat has set out how it expects this to work in practice. 

Further consultation on the proposed adjustments to REC price caps can be expected by December.

Anita Dougall, CEO and Founding Partner at Sagacity, said Ofwat’s decision comes hot on the heels of Ofgem’s price cap rise in April.

"While it’s great that regulators are helping the industry deal with bad debt in the wake of the pandemic, raising prices only treats the symptoms. Instead, water companies should head upstream, using customer data to identify and rectify the causes of bad debt, stop it at source and help prevent it from occurring in the first place," she said.

"While recouping costs is a must, water companies shouldn’t just rely on the regulator. Data can help companies segment customers, identify and assist customers that are struggling financially, avoiding penalising the entire customer in tackling the cause of the issue."

United Utilities picks up pipeline award

A race-against-time plumbing job to connect four huge water pipes into the large Haweswater Aqueduct in Cumbria saw United Utilities awarded Utility Project of the Year by Pipeline Industries Guild.

The Hallbank project, near Kendal, was completed within a tight eight-day deadline, in a storm and during the second COVID lockdown last November – and with three hours to spare. Principal construction manager John Dawson said the project helped boost the resilience of water supplies across the North West.

“I think what made us stand out was the scale, the use of future technology and the fact that we were really just one team, working collaboratively for a common goal," he said.

Camus Energy secures $16m funding

Camus Energy, which provides advanced grid management technology, has secured $16 million in a Series A round, led by Park West Asset Management and joined by Congruent VenturesWave Capital and other investors, including an investor-owned utility. Camus will leverage the operating capital to expand its grid management software platform to meet growing demand from utilities across North America.

As local utilities look to save money and increase their use of clean energy by tapping into low-cost and low-carbon local resources, Camus' grid management platform provides connectivity between the utility's operations team, its grid-connected equipment and customer devices.

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