Policy Forum Series: Reha - The Role of Natural Gas in Minnesota's Energy Future
The Role of Natural Gas in Minnesota’s Energy Future by Phyllis A. Reha, Commissioner Minnesota Public Utilities Commission Environmental Initiative Policy Conference Concordia University, September 21, 2012
At the Cross Roads • One cannot avoid risk by avoiding decisions.• The future is uncertain, so decisions about the future will always involve uncertainty.• Electric utilities must spend very large amounts on long-lasting systems under both political and economic uncertainty.• Regulators must help ensure wise investments that address uncertainty and mitigate risks.
Present Energy Prices (US-‐Energy Information Administration) Minnesota Price U.S. Avg. Price Period Energy Source Natural Gas: City Gate $3.21/thousand cu ft $4.32/thousand cu ft May-12 Natural Gas: Residential $9.26/thousand cu ft $12.19/thousand cu ft May-12 Coal Delivered to Electric $ 2.01 /million Btu $ 2.41 /million Btu May-12 Power Sector Minnesota U.S. Avg. Period Electricity Residential 11.31 cents/kWh 11.97 cents/kWh May-12 Commercial 8.58 cents/kWh 10.02 cents/kWh May-12 Industrial 6.23 cents/kWh 6.57 cents/kWh May-12
Minnesota Home Heating (US-‐Energy Information Administration) Home Heating Source Share of Households U.S. Avg. Period Natural Gas 68 % 51.2 % 2000 Fuel Oil 6 % 9.0 % 2000 Electricity 12 % 30.3 % 2000 Liquefied Petroleum Gases 10 % 6.5 % 2000 Other/None 4 % 1.8 % 2000
Minnesota Electricity Generation (US-‐Energy Information Administration) Minnesota Share of U.S. Period Total Net Electricity 3,872 thousand MWh 1.1 % May-12 Generation Petroleum-Fired 6 thousand MWh 0.6 % May-12 Natural Gas-Fired 786 thousand MWh 0.7 % May-12 Coal-Fired 1,243 thousand MWh 1.1 % May-12 Nuclear 824 thousand MWh 1.3 % May-12 Hydroelectric 113 thousand MWh 0.4 % May-12 Other Renewables 873 thousand MWh 4.6 % May-12
Public Utilities Commission • Protects and promotes the public interest in safe, adequate, and reliable utility services at fair, reasonable rates.• Provides independent, consistent, professional , and comprehensive oversight and regulation of utility service providers.• Balances private and public interests affected in each docket so decisions are “consistent with the public interest” including – protecting the environment, – ensuring universal access to utility services, – reliability of utility services, – Promoting competitive markets and other public policy goals directed by lawmakers.
Next Generation Energy Act (Laws of Minnesota, 2007, Ch.136, Art.1, Sec. 2, Subd.2) Energy Policy Goals. It is the energy policy ofthe state of Minnesota that: 1. The per capita use of fossil fuel as an energy input be reduced by 15 percent by the year 2015, through increased reliance on energy efficiency and renewable energy alternatives; and 2. 25 percent of the total energy used in the state be derived from renewable energy resources by the year 2025.
Next Generation Energy Act Utility Energy Savings Goals – 1.5% annual savings goal for all utilities* – Adjustable to 1% by commissioner – Supply side projects up to 0.5%** • Electric utility infrastructure improvements • Waste heat to electricity generation* Small municipal gas utilities with sales of ≤ 1 billion CF exempted from CIP. Interim savings goal of 0.75% for 2010-2012 for natural gas utilities per 2009 legislation. 1% savings goal in subsequent years.** Gas utilities may count biomethane purchases per 2009 legislation.
Integrated Resource Plans (IRP) (Stat. 216B.2422; Rule 7843.0100-‐0600) • Examines a utility’s customer needs and the resources needed to meet them for next 15 years• Develops a least cost plan, including environmental costs, to ensure that adequate resources are available in a cost-effective manner
Integrated Resource Plans (IRP) (Stat. 216B.2422; Rule 7843.0100-‐0600) • Considers cost-effectiveness of using both demand side and supply side resources to meet future needs• Ensures the utility complies with all applicable laws in planning for future generation.• Provides a public forum for stakeholders and the Commission to be informed and to have input into the plan
Challenges Today • Estimating natural gas supply, demand and price relationships in future markets• Internalizing environmental “externalities”• Valuing energy efficiency and DSM• Valuing renewable energy
Uncertain Natural Gas Market • Natural supplies are presently growing as domestic shale gas is developed• Fracturing the rock around these wells (“fracing”) may require additional costs to safely produce the gas• Demand for natural gas is expected to grow as the overall economy improves• Prudent planning cannot assume an endless supply of cheap natural gas
Projected Prices Depend on Shale Gas Resource Economics (US-‐EIA, Annual Energy Outlook 2012)
Uncertain Environmental Costs • US-EPA initiatives -- Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) -- Cross State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) -- Carbon Pollution Standard for New Power Plants• “Beyond Gas” campaign by Sierra Club and others raising concerns over natural gas development and continuing CO2 emissions.
Valuing DSM/Eﬃciency • Benefits -- Saves money -- Energy independence and security -- Improves system reliability -- Reduces peak demand, water use by power plants, GHG emissions and other pollution detrimental to public health• Barriers -- Need for timely, useful consumer information that can be acted on to save money and/or reduce energy use -- Need to develop community culture -- Process of uncoupling utility rewards from maximizing energy sales
NGA Paper: Enhancing State Energy Eﬃciency by April 23, 2012 Better Informing and Motivating Consumers Table 1: Average Cost of Energy 3 Average or Resource Levelized Cost (cents/kWh) Energy Efficiency 2.5 – 4.3 Natural Gas (conventional 6.6 combined cycle) Coal (conventional) 9.5 Onshore Wind 9.7 Nuclear 11.4 Solar Photovoltaic 21.1 Offshore Wind 24.3 3Energy efficiency costs: Friedrich et al 2009 and Cooper and Wood 2012. Levelized electricity costs: US Energy Information Administration, Annual Energy Outlook 2011 (Washington, DC: EIA, December 2010). http://www.eia.gov/oiaf/aeo/ electricity_generation.htmlhttp://www.eia.gov/oiaf/aeo/electricity_generation.html
Looking Forward • A robust portfolio of both demand-side and supply-side options will reduce the eventual environmental costs of global warming and shale-gas fracturing.• Minnesota’s Integrated Resource Planning process gives stakeholders the opportunity to be informed about, and to influence, these choices.
Thank You ! • Phyllis A. Reha Minnesota Public Utilities Commission 121 7th Place East St. Paul, MN 55101 firstname.lastname@example.org 651-201-2240