New market study, "United States Power Report Q3 2016", has been published

From: Fast Market Research, Inc.
Published: Thu Jun 16 2016

Continued availability of cheap natural gas, coupled with the extension of tax incentives for developers of wind and solar power plants, will be the main drivers of development of the US power sector over the coming years. In this context , nuclear power will struggle amid low wholesale power prices and weak electricity consumption, leading to early reactor retirements. Significant investment in power infrastructure will be necessary for the system to keep up with growth i n intermittent renewables and distributed energy solutions.

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As we expect Hillary Clinton to be the next president of the US, we believe the country's energy policy over the coming four years will align with the direction set by the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan (CPP). A Clinton presidency will not deviate from the Obama administration policy agenda on the environment and the power sector, although the eventual implementation of the CPP remains uncertain.

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On April 20 2016, the US Senate passed with large bipartisan support the Energy Policy Modernization Act (EPMA). If successfully turned into law, the provisions included in the EPMA will create a regulatory framework conducive to strengthening, modernising and expanding the country's electricity grid - something we have long highlighted as crucial for the growth of the US power sector. Other provisions align with our views for the industry or creating upside potential for our power forecasts include increased investment into cybersecurity, hydropower and energy efficiency.

The US power transmission and distribution sector will offer sizeable business opportunities to companies across the spectrum of EPC providers, electric utilities and new market entrants targeting the smart grid. Significant investment in power infrastructure will be necessary over the coming decade for the US electric system to keep up with growth in intermittent renewable energy, DES and cybersecurity threats. The Senate's EPMA bill takes important steps in facilitating public and private investment in those critical areas.

The US competitive landscape will see consolidation over the coming quarters as large US electricity generators acquire regulated power companies and natural gas distributors. The deals are intended to reduce acquirers' exposure to the volatile merchant generation business, and will be facilitated by the low cost of capital and merchant power assets divestments. Regulators gave the final approval to Exelon's acquisition of Pepco and the acquisition of Cleco by a group of investors led by Macquarie.

The United States Power Report features BMI Research's market assessment and independent forecasts covering electricity generation (coal, gas, oil, nuclear, hydro and non-hydro renewables), electricity consumption, trade, transmission and distribution losses and electricity generating capacity.

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