Commodity Updates: Electricity

Lessons Learned from the February 2021 Texas Power Outage


Published on: April 12, 2021

Electricity Commodity Update - April 2021

Climate change has influenced the means and extremes of weather throughout the world (Ward, 2013). Extreme weather, including storms, cold weather, ice storms, hurricanes, tropical storms, tornadoes and extreme heat, and wildfires (Kenward & Raja, 2014), is expected to increase in frequency, intensity, and duration as a result of the continual increase in global greenhouse gas concentrations causing climate warming (Panteli & Mancarella, 2015). Extreme weather poses multiple threats, including disrupting food and water supplies, increasing mortality, and damaging critical infrastructure.

April 2021

COVID-19 Impacts on Electricity Demand in Canada


Published on: January 06, 2021

Electricity Commodity Update - December 2020

Generally, the shock-induced by COVID-19 on Canada's economies and the provinces followed a similar trail. Social distancing and stay-at-home measures, combined with government mandates to shut down non-essential goods and services establishments, drove a significant decrease in consumer spending and triggered an unprecedented plunge in demand for goods and services. From a macro perspective, the closure of international borders halts the flow of final goods and intermediate inputs, creating significant bottlenecks in global supply chains and interruptions to local and multinational corporations' ongoing manufacturing operations.

December 2020

Understanding Small Modular Reactors


Published on: October 20, 2020

Electricity Commodity Update - September 2020

Small modular reactors (SMRs) are smaller-scale versions of conventional nuclear reactors. SMRs are typically designed to produce less than 300MW of power, however, they can be phased together to form a larger plant capable of producing greater power output. (Orenstein 2020; CNSC 2016; Mignacca and Locatelli 2020; OECD 2016). SMRs use nuclear fission to produce energy: energy for electricity, hybrid energy systems, district heating, water desalination, and high-quality steam for heavy industry applications (CNA 2018). They are modular, i.e., the modules are engineered off-site and moved to places where they are needed. This type of manufacturing provides a higher quality of construction, reduced production time, and ease of installation on-site.

September 2020

Car Ownership Costs in Canada - Internal Combustion Engine vs. Electric and Hybrid Vehicles


Published on: June 24, 2020

Electricity Commodity Update - June 2020

While electric and hybrid vehicles had been developed and gained popularity in the early 1900s, the discovery of the Permian Basin in 1920 brought an abundant supply of oil to market, triggering their decline. By 1935, electric vehicles (EV) had virtually disappeared, and the affordability of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles offered no incentives to continue research and the development of alternative technologies. It was not until the 1970s oil crisis when substantial petroleum shortages caused gasoline prices to soar, and incentives to explore alternative technologies were popular once again. In this article, we compare the differences in fuel costs among ICE vehicles and other alternatives and assess whether potential fuel savings are enough to compensate for the price premium when considering all other car-ownership costs.

June 2020

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