Good morning and welcome back! Yesterday we missed Daryl Hall's 71st birthday, so let's make up for that mistake here, and with a song snippet buried in the newsletter today.
Energy secretary Rick Perry will testify late this morning before an Energy and Commerce subcommittee, where he's sure to face questions about his push for changes in wholesale power market regulation that would boost revenues for coal and nuclear plants.
Why it matters: With the rationale for the proposal — that helping keep nuclear and coal plants afloat is needed for grid resilience and reliability — coming under intense criticism, Perry is under pressure to mount a strong defense.
What he'll say: Perry's prepared remarks for the hearing are here. He touts the plan to allow greater cost recovery for plants that have 90-days worth of fuel stored on-site.
No can do: Yesterday FERC denied requests for a longer comment period on the proposal by a suite of energy industry trade groups representing oil-and-gas and renewables companies.
You can do it: The International Energy Agency sees strong potential for some stability in global crude markets next year — if OPEC and Russia re-up their production-limiting deal beyond the first quarter (check out the chart above).
By the numbers: The IEA expects supply from outside of OPEC to grow by 1.5 million barrels per day next year, alongside similar growth in crude demand of 1.4 million.
They note that there has been progress in cutting the glut of global inventories, with a "major reduction in floating storage, oil in transit, and stocks held in some independent areas."
Go deeper: Reuters has much more on the report here.
Contrary to Yoda's comment above, analysts consistently try to forecast energy trends. Here's an interesting one...
Crystal ball: A new HSBC research note seeks to project some big oil supply and demand trends in the coming decades. The growth of electric vehicle sales and the improved efficiency of fossil fuel-powered engines means that oil global demand in the light-duty vehicles sector will peak as soon as 2025, they note.
The big picture: HSBC notes that uncertainties abound (because it's the future!), but that said, they look at some big-picture possibilities, including what happens under more aggressive climate policies and with projected constraints on supply based on declines in mature fields and falling levels of investment in new projects.
"Most of the more progressive demand scenarios now point to a peak in global oil demand somewhere between 2025 and 2035, and a peak somewhere in this range looks quite possible to us. However, we think the availability of adequate supply will become a visible issue a long way before this — potentially before the end of this decade."
Let's follow up a little on what the Environmental Protection Agency's new proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan and other Trump administration energy policies might mean for renewable power, a topic we explored yesterday.
Tailwinds: A new S&P Global Ratings report takes stock of the multiple forces driving growth of wind, solar and other renewables, including falling costs and federal tax credits that don't expire for several years.
Check out the chart above: One factor that the S&P report delves into is the proliferation of state-based policies called renewable portfolio standards, which mandate that utilities supply escalating amounts of power over time from wind, solar and other sources.
Quick take: "[D]evelopment and expansion of renewable portfolio standards in the U.S. in recent years, in our opinion, crowds out a mixed message from Washington on the necessity of renewable energy as part of the American grid," S&P says.
First Solar, a major player in the U.S. industry, has come off the sidelines and announced it supports the bid by two financially distressed panel makers — Suniva and SolarWorld — for new trade restrictions on cheap imports.
The details: Check out their letter to the U.S. International Trade Commission here. It calls for a "fair and effective" remedy but does not provide specific suggestions on tariffs. The ITC is preparing to recommend policies to the White House next month.
Of note: Tesla — which is more famous for its cars than its solar business — has waded more directly into the case with its own letter to the ITC opposing the Suniva/SolarWorld petition for tariffs and other penalties, calling it harmful to the U.S. solar industry.
Here's a bit of an item Axios' Amy Harder published in the stream...
Trains hauling oil and other flammable material should be better and more frequently inspected, according to a National Academies of Sciences report out Wednesday.
Why it matters less today: The amount of oil shipped by rail has dropped 77% since its high in 2015, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration data, charted by Axios' Lazaro Gamio above.
The backstory: A series of fiery oil train crashes over the last few years prompted federal regulators to issue a rule, finalized in May 2015, strengthening requirements for trains hauling flammable material like oil and ethanol. President Trump has targeted most Obama administration regulations for repeal, but so far he hasn't said anything about eliminating or scaling back this one.