With temperatures across Alberta still trending slightly above normal last week, spot power prices continued to settle on the higher side at $25.95/MWh. Demand for the week peaked at 10,432 MW which was 47 MW lower than last week due primarily to slightly lower temperatures. Year-to-date settles are currently sitting at $21.95/MWh. AECO gas prices were ~10% lower than last week averaging $1.44/GJ. Prices have been trending very low specifically in July at $1.59/GJ due to both planned and unplanned outages at Clearwater gas plant.
With lower overall oil and gas prices, and in an attempt to stay ahead of the game, major producers are evaluating alternative strategies including investing in energy-technology startups. Entities like Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Statoil are evaluating ideas that may become major revenue streams as governments continue to limit emissions and fossil fuel production and consumption. As an example Statoil is investing in solar panels utilizing perovskite. This unique substance has the potential to increase traditional photovoltaic panel efficiency by as much as 30% with the first commercial applications expected late this year or early 2018. The push to greener technologies away from fossil fuels leads to questions such as which technology will be the most disruptive and which will change and shape the future of our electrical grid.