The extreme cold hitting much of the country has affected gas pipelines and electric production far into Canada. Some analysts have likened the polar vortex’s effect on the short term gas markets to what happened following Hurricane Katrina. Energy customers should be assured that the futures markets into 2015-16 are holding relatively steady against the late 2013 forecasts. Customers with floating contracts and on full service should expect some relief as early as late Spring.
Regarding long term forecasts for natural gas generation, air quality advocates should also be optimistic about the new revised U.S. Energy Information Administration’s forecasting relating to increases in coal plant retirements. This gives cleaner fuels and renewables a much larger relative share of power generation in the U.S. Watch this space for more about nuclear forecasting for the Northeast.