January 2018

Did You Know - How Significant are Investments in "Green" Projects? Much has been written about the increase in "green" sustainability projects over the past few years. Projects are being pursued both on the demand side, creating new energy efficiencies, and on the supply side, through generation from cleaner energy sources. 

Bloomberg recently posted a graphic showing that spending on these projects has exploded over the past two years. Globally, corporations have more than doubled their issuance of "green-bonds" in an effort to finance these projects. Graphic is immediately below.

Could Blockchain Become a Part of the Energy Market?

The financial market news of late has been replete with stories about market cap values and volatility of cryptocurrencies. It is only a matter of time before blockchain technology, the digital ledger where cryptocurrency transactions are recorded, is integrated into the energy market. 

 A blockchain is a digitized ledger that records a series of transactions without a central record keeping system. Each transaction, or "block", is permanently connected by digital "chain" to the next transaction, linking them permanently.  The result is  a decentralized but accurate database which anyone can view. This technology works with nearly every type of transaction.  Some consider integrating blockchain technology into local power markets as the next evolution of the grid.  It is gaining a lot of attention in Europe, in validating electricity trade and monitoring grid equipment.  Many are speculating that the United States will also take advantage of this technology, and we may see a crypto-energy unit,  enabling the ability to circumvent the current grid / utility system.

For two recent stories about start-ups testing these concepts, click here and here.

How Long will Nuclear Generators Continue to Operate?

The arguments around nuclear power generators are well-known. On the one hand, the power is very clean, minimizing any harmful environmental impact. On the other hand, these plants are much more expensive to operate and maintain. Consequently, the power is more expensive and government subsidies are needed to keep them viable.

Both New York and Illinois approved such subsidies in 2016 in order to avert early retirement of some nuclear power plants. Other states are considering similar measures. Outgoing Governor Christie from New Jersey has been considering such a bill before he leaves office later in January. As expected, some environmental groups and the plant operators favor the move, while it is opposed by the energy industry, producing at a lower cost and without subsidy.

For more on this story from Reuters, click

How Will the Tax Bill Impact Energy-Related Industries?

Washington recently passed a revision of the United States tax system.  While the jury is still out on how the energy market will be impacted in the macro sense, the general consensus is that there will be many surprises yet to come. 

MFG Wind (division of Molded Fiber Glass Companies) announced in December 2017 that they would cease producing wind turbine blades. Closure of the 400+ worker plant would come in February 2018. The company cited a changing market and likely tax policy revisions as factors in the closure. Speculation was that subsidies that they had received in the past would be drying up (see story here).

At the end of December, the company announced that they were able to secure a new large order for wind turbine blades. This was a direct, positive result of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) being preserved in the tax reform bill. This order is expected to keep the company in production at least through the third quarter of 2018, and perhaps beyond. 


Prospect Resources Inc. (PRI) is a firm that specializes in managing energy procurement (gas and electricity) for medium and large commercial and industrial clients.

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