Industry Update: US electric generating’s big gain, abandoned mine cleanup grant

This marks a notable rebound from 2015 during which the country experienced the largest net drop in electric generating capacity in U.S. history.

Image courtesy of the EIA
Image courtesy of the EIA

U.S. electric generating capacity sees largest net change since 2011

The electric generating capacity added to the U.S. power grid during 2016 was the largest amount of added capacity since 2011 (see top image) – a notable rebound from 2015 during which there was the largest net drop in electric generating capacity recorded in U.S. history, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). More than 27 gigawatts (GW) was added last year, which more than offset the retirement of about 12 GW of capacity, creating a net capacity gain of about 15 GW.

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Image courtesy of the EIA


Chinese fan and blower market size to decline this year

The Chinese fan and blower market is expected to decline 0.3 percent in 2017 from 2016, to $8 billion. Residential heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) applications will remain the largest sector, accounting for 67 percent of the total Chinese market, followed by commercial HVAC (25 percent) and industrial HVAC (8 percent). Because of excess capacity in the industrial sector and the tightening of the new house-ownership policy, fans and blowers sold into industrial applications and residential HVAC in China are forecast to underperform in 2017, according to the IHS Markit Fans & Blowers Database.

EPA awards $380,000 to Diné College for abandoned uranium mine study

The Diné College received a $380,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to support the agency’s Cove Watershed Assessment project. Diné College will work with EPA scientists to determine the impact of abandoned uranium mines on the Cove area’s waters in northeastern Arizona. The project, expected to be completed in 2018, is part of the EPA’s work to assess and cleanup Tronox (formerly Kerr-McGee) abandoned uranium mines sites. In a historic settlement with the federal government in 2014, Kerr-McGee Corp. and Anadarko Corp. agreed to pay $1 billion to clean up approximately 50 abandoned uranium mines where radioactive waste remains from the company’s former mining operations. Cove is near about 50 mines, 29 of which are former Kerr-McGee mines.

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Average selling prices of industrial generators take hit

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Image courtesy of HIS Markit Research

Low demand, low input costs, and constrained global capital expenditures prompted average selling prices of low- and medium-power generators contracted in all regions in 2016, according to Matt Tolley, analyst with HIS Markit. Premium suppliers have been hit the hardest by the recent drop in selling prices by relinquishing hard-earned margins to stay price competitive and maintain market share.

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Image courtesy of HIS Markit Research

From an input perspective, commodity prices recovered from their subsequent plunge in early 2016. Intermediate component and material costs are now at record year-over-year increases for the first time since late 2013. This change is likely to lead suppliers to attempt to lift prices, most likely beginning in mid-2017. According to the latest research from the IHS Markit Generators Research Package, average selling prices are expected to stabilize in 2017.


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