Cost Insights
by PowerAdvocate

Intelligence for energy companies seeking a data-driven approach to cost management

Potential Tariffs on European Automakers Create Savings Opportunity in Refining Catalysts

July 17, 2018 at 11:56 AM / by PowerAdvocate posted in Industry Insights, Oil & Gas

Platinum, a key input to critical refining catalysts, has already faced steep multi-year price declines and has recently hit a long-term low. However, recent hints at a price rebound point to substantial possible cost risks for downstream firms.

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Solar Tariffs Expected to Impact Costs for Solar Projects: How to Mitigate, Plan, and Prepare 

February 26, 2018 at 2:49 PM / by Samantha Walter & Justin Steimle posted in Project Estimation, Cost Reduction, Industry Insights, Power & Utilities

Higher prices are on the horizon for utility-scale solar projects due to tariffs and quotas recently approved by President Trump. This new legislation could seriously impact financial plans for solar projects, but expertise in capital projects, specifically renewable projects, can help utilities, EPCs, and developers mitigate these costs and prepare for future changes.

Why are the rules changing?

In September, the International Trade Commission (ITC) determined that U.S. solar manufactures experienced significant injury due to imports of crystalline silicon photovoltaic (CSPV) solar cells and modules. This investigation stems from the United States’ Global Safeguard law, where an industry representative may petition the ITC to determine if imports are causing “serious injury” and recommend remedies. The petition was filed by the recently bankrupted Suniva and later joined by SolarWorld.

On January 22, the Trump Administration followed through with the recommendations from the ITC and imposed a four-year solar import tariff that will start at 30 percent in the first year and gradually drop to 15 percent. This tariff will apply to all CSPV solar cells and modules that are imported into the U.S. There is a quota specifically for solar panel cells which excludes the first 2.5 GW of cells imported into the U.S. each year, but the details on how the quota will apply remain undetermined. Like the tariff, the quota will last four years.  All countries are included except for Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) beneficiary countries, which account for less than three percent of total imports.

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Section 232 Threatens Steel and Aluminum

February 23, 2018 at 4:49 PM / by PowerAdvocate posted in Industry Insights, Oil & Gas, Power & Utilities

UPDATE: In a surprising move, President Trump announced on March 1 that he intends to impose sweeping 25% tariffs on steel imports and 10% tariffs on aluminum -- the most severe of the potential trade remedies recommended by the Department of Commerce. Details of the plan are still unknown, but the announcement has already driven dramatic steel and aluminum price increases and spooked equipment manufacturers. Register for our March 13 webinar for the latest updates on Section 232.  

Read on for our initial analysis of the Department of Commerce's recommendations.

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What Utilities Need to Know about Energy Storage Cost Drivers

November 27, 2017 at 4:31 PM / by PowerAdvocate posted in Cost Reduction, Industry Insights, Power & Utilities

More likely than not, your utility is already or soon will be procuring battery energy storage as part of its grid modernization strategy. In fact, according to BCC Research, the global market for grid-scale battery storage technologies is projected to reach nearly $4.0 billion in 2025, up from $716 million in 2015.  Battery costs have fallen dramatically over the past decade. However, events in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are putting the brakes on further cost reductions. Here’s a look at what’s happening and how you can approach your battery procurement planning in light of these events.

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Why Your Utility Should Do Should-cost Analysis

September 21, 2017 at 7:09 AM / by PowerAdvocate posted in Cost Reduction, Industry Insights, Power & Utilities

Do you manage a utility supply chain, procurement process, or supplier relationships? Or collaborate with and depend on teams that do? If so you know how heavy a lift it can be to effectively manage asset-intensive energy sector costs. Should-cost analysis helps address two key challenges that get in the way of delivering even more value for your organization.

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Supply Chain, Finance & the Data Analytics-driven Utility Future

June 29, 2017 at 8:19 AM / by PowerAdvocate posted in Cost Reduction, Industry Insights, Power & Utilities

The Chief Procurement Officer’s organization has become a central driver of utility competitiveness and operational efficiency. During the EEI Annual Conference 2017 in Boston earlier this month, we had a number of discussions with CFOs around how Finance and Supply Chain can collaborate more closely to drive enterprise-wide value and efficiencies. Here's what we're seeing.

 Get the eBrief

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[Webinar On-demand] Imports in Peril? Power & Utility Trade Risk Exposure

May 3, 2017 at 8:03 AM / by PowerAdvocate posted in Industry Insights, Power & Utilities

Trade policies have a way of changing the domestic and global supply chain landscape. A complex mix of duty rates, trade agreements, and federal policies put various pressures on supply and price dynamics. The US import exposure to any NAFTA renegotiations, for example, has been top of mind for many of our utility clients.    

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[Webinar On-demand] Trump Risks to International Supply Chains: Utility & Power Sector Perspective

March 29, 2017 at 4:17 PM / by PowerAdvocate posted in Industry Insights, Power & Utilities

The Trump Administration has ushered in a new era of policy uncertainty for your sector. While it’s not yet clear how “America First” proposals will translate into actual policy, there’s a lot at stake for utility and power companies.

PowerAdvocate’s Energy Intelligence Group has assessed the potential implications of Trump Administration proposals on the global Supply Chain, what it could mean for your organization, and courses of action you can take to mitigate risk.

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Webinar On-demand: Q4 2016 Utility Market Update

March 17, 2017 at 9:54 AM / by PowerAdvocate posted in Industry Insights, Power & Utilities

There has been no shortage of discussion about the new White House Administration’s policy change. But how will anticipated trade and market-related shifts affect your Supply Chain options and planning? 

Watch our Q4 2016 Quarterly Market Outlook webinar on-demand to get answers to questions like these and more.

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How Data Enhances Utility Supply Chain Value

March 15, 2017 at 1:57 PM / by PowerAdvocate posted in Cost Reduction, Industry Insights, Power & Utilities

Utilities rely on supply chain to manage resources efficiently and effectively across a wide range of projects and operations. Delivering on this mandate is increasingly challenging – and critical – as utilities adjust operational cost models and investment strategies to satisfy stakeholders and stay competitive. By connecting new data sources for more accessible, powerful historic usage data, many utility Supply Chain organizations are enhancing their enterprise-wide value.

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