Natural gas “emerging as the world’s go-to fuel” for electricity generation

Guest natural gas cheer-leading by David Middleton

Dec 15, 2019
Global Natural Gas Electricity Is Gaining On Coal

Jude Clemente Contributor Energy
I cover oil, gas, power, LNG markets, linking to human development.

Perhaps the primary question for climate and reducing greenhouse gas emissions is the ability of natural gas to displace coal in the power generation sector. The coal-to-gas switch capacity is so important because both are more reliable and affordable than other climate solutions being promoted. And augmented by having few criteria pollutants, gas has 50% less CO2 emissions than coal. Gas is also the backup for intermittent renewables, making it an essential resource for more wind and solar development.

[…]

More countries are turning to natural gas, which is emerging as the world’s go-to fuel. Gas generation gaining share on coal will continue in the coming decades. Historically low gas prices globally are being understated in terms of locking-in more gas infrastructure and usage.  For the still developing world, these low prices are critical because the residents have less money to absorb high costs.

[…]

Our lowest-hanging fruit in the climate fight, switching to gas is the fastest way to claim significant CO2 abatement. The U.S. provides the example: since 2008, surging shale production leading to low cost gas has doubled gas’ share in power generation to nearly 40%, while slicing coal’s in half. In turn, the U.S. has become the global leader in CO2 reduction, unfortunately mostly left out of the Madrid climate conference this past week. This would be par for the course: “How ‘Climate Week’ Completely Missed The Boat On Natural Gas.” Both China and India see no need to improve on their current emissions reduction plans that run through 2030.

[…]

Jude Clemente
I am Principal at JTC Energy Research Associates, LLC. I hold a B.A. in International Relations from Penn State University, with a minor in Statistical Analysis. I got my M.S. in Homeland Security from San Diego State University, with a focus on Energy Security, and an MBA from St. Francis University, with a focus on Energy Economics. My research specialization includes North American and international trends in liquid fuels, natural gas, coal, renewables, electricity and GHG emissions – and their connection to human development. I have over 400 professional publications in a variety of energy-related media, notably Pipeline & Gas Journal, Carbon Capture Journal, Journal of Energy Security, Power, World Oil, Public Utilities Fortnightly, and the Journal of Energy and Development. I have also been a writer and editor for reports commissioned by the U.S. Department of Energy, International Energy Agency, and other major energy research organizations.

Forbes

Jude Clemente ranks right up there with Robert Rapier in excellent oil & gas industry analyses.

Mr. Clemente’s article included three very illuminating graphs.

Figure 1. “Gas generation is surging, but so has coal power. 
DATA SOURCE: BP; JTC”. The death of coal bears a striking resemblance to the premature reports of the demise of Mark Twain.
Figure 2. “Gas is catching up to coal power in terms of total global generation. DATA SOURCE: BP; JTC”. Gas kicks @$$.

And from the “too fracking funny” files…

Figure 3. “China and India have massive room to increase gas as a share of power generation. DATA SOURCE: IEA; JTC”… And Europe still generates more electricity from coal than from natural gas.

Europe still generates more electricity from coal than it does from natural gas…

Figure 4. That there is funny.

Shill vs. Advocate

In response to my last post, a particularly ignorant commentator accused me of being “a fossil fuel shill” for explaining what an asset impairment was.

shill noun

Definition of shill (Entry 2 of 2) 1a: one who acts as a decoy (as for a pitchman or gambler) b: one who makes a sales pitch or serves as a promoter

Merriam-Webster

Bloomberg New Energy Finance would clearly fit the bill as a shill. I refute lies, falsehoods and misinformation about the oil & gas industry and make an effort to explain the science, engineering and economics of oil & gas exploration and production. I am a strong advocate for natural gas because it is abundant, inexpensive and one of the most environmentally friendly ways to generate electricity, heat our homes and cook our food. And it would be impossible to feed half of Earth’s human population without the synthetic fertilizers made from natural gas.

Figure 5. “Trends in human population and nitrogen use throughout the twentieth century. Of the total world population (solid line), an estimate is made of the number of people that could be sustained without reactive nitrogen from the Haber–Bosch process (long dashed line), also expressed as a percentage of the global population (short dashed line). The recorded increase in average fertilizer use per hectare of agricultural land (blue symbols) and the increase in per capita meat production (green symbols) is also shown.” Erisman et al., 2008

If there actually was a need to replace coal and reduce CO2 emissions, only nuclear power and natural gas could do so on a megawatt for megawatt basis. In the US, our world-leading natural gas production and infrastructure should make natural gas the “go to fuel” everywhere in the Lower 48. However, pipeline-o-phobes and fractards are depriving large parts of the US of affordable electricity (i.e. New York, New England, California).

Nuclear power faces a nationwide combination of NIMBY-ism (Not In My Back Yard-ism) and an irrational fear of radiation.

However, these two sources of energy are the only way to economically reduce CO2 emissions quickly enough to save us from the climate change Bogeyman.

Figure 6. Wind breaks even while natural gas kicks @$$. (Real Clear Energy)

The fact that so many of the loudest voices opposing frac’ing and natural gas are also the loudest voices demanding that we save the planet from CO2, is prima facie evidence that the AGW scam is nothing but a Marxist Trojan Horse.

I am also a strong supporter of coal-fired generation. Coal and nuclear are our most resilient generating sources. While the construction of nuclear and coal-fired power plants has become relatively expensive, once up and running, these power plants provide the least expensive, reliable electricity. Coal has the additional benefit of being a source for CO2 for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) projects.

Hydro-electric is also great, where there is an adequate resource. The Pacific Northwest and some Scandinavian countries enjoy very low electricity rates due to their abundant hydro-electric resources.

Wind can be an effective component of an ensemble of generating sources, It works fairly well in Texas and a few other places due to physical geography.

Figure 7. U.S. 80-m Wind Resource: Land and Offshore (US DOE NREL)

Unfortunately, onshore wind resource potential is limited and despite misleading headlines about offshore wind becoming less expensive, it is cost-prohibitive in every logical sense of the phrase. Despite public announcements of $65-75/MWh power purchase agreements (PPA), Vinyard Wind, Massachusetts’ first approved offshore wind project, has an estimated levelized revenue of energy (LROE) of $98/MWh, more than twice the cost of natural gas.

An extensive accounting of the PPA price schedule and expected revenue sources inclusive of those that are exogenous to the reported PPA is conducted in this study to estimate the project’s levelized revenue of energy (LROE). This allows for a more equivalent comparison of the reported PPA pricing with bottom-up modeled (unsubsidized) levelized cost of energy (LCOE) estimates. The reader should note that this analysis solely reflects the opinions of the authors and was conducted independently of the ongoing evaluation by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources of the PPA between Vineyard Wind LLC and Massachusetts electric distribution companies as filed on July 31, 2018. The analysis and conclusions described herein do not reflect actual cost data, which are confidential to Vineyard Wind and its partners.

The total calculated LROE from the Vineyard LLC/EDC PPA is estimated to be $98/MWh (2018$). This LROE estimate for the first commercial-scale offshore wind project in the United States appears to be within the range of LROE estimated for offshore wind projects recently tendered in Northern Europe with a start of commercial operation by the early 2020s. This suggests that the expected cost and risk premium for the initial set of U.S. offshore wind projects might be less pronounced than anticipated by many industry observers and analysts.

US DOE NREL

The US Energy Information Administration currently estimates that the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) for offshore wind to be $117.40/MWh. Unless Vinyard Wind can substantially beat this cost, it will lose money even with a heavily subsidized LROE of $98/MWh.

Solar PV can even be useful in certain niche environments, particularly where other generating sources are unavailable or prohibitively expensive, like Hawaii.

Figure 8. US photovoltaic resource map. (US DOE NREL)

The State of Massachusetts is literally covered with solar panels…

Figure 9. Massachusetts is covered with solar farms (yellow circles).

Yet generates very little photovoltaic electricity…

Figure 10. Massachusetts Net Electricity Generation by Source Aug. 2019 (US EIA).

“All of the above” is a great concept… But it only works when the resources are available and properly exploited.

About the author of this WUWT post

To avert further accusations of being a covert shill for fossil fuels I will try to include a brief biography in future posts.

I have been a geologist/geophysicist in the “climate wrecking industry” (oil & gas) since 1981, primarily working the Gulf of Mexico, the second most prolific oil play in these tangentially United States.

Figure 7. MAGoMA!!! (Making the Gulf of Mexico Great Again). U.S. Energy Information Administration, Petroleum Supply Monthly and State Energy Data System

EIA forecasts GOM production to average 1.9 million b/d in 2019, making this region the second-largest contributor to crude oil production growth from 2018 to 2019. The forecasted growth is driven by 14 new fields brought online in 2018 and 9 new fields expected to come online in 2019. These 23 fields collectively are expected to contribute more than 200,000 b/d of the total 1.9 million b/d of GOM production in 2019.

US EIA

As a proud member of the “climate wrecking industry”, I am proud of our industry’s accomplishments. I recently attended a salt tectonics conference at the University of Texas at Austin. The opening remarks were by Texas State Geologist and Director of the Bureau of Economic Geology, Scott Tinker. His remarks mostly focused on how oil & gas are integral components of lifting people out of energy poverty and he closed with, “When someone asks you what you do, reply with ‘I work in the oil & gas industry, I lift people out of poverty. What do you do?’” The “Moral Case for Fossil Fuels” is undeniable.

I have a BS in Earth Science, with a geology concentration and minor in math, along with 38+ years of “OJT”. I am a member of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG), American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) and Houston Geological Society (HGS). I live in Dallas with my wife (also a geo) and 11 dogs (9 rescues, mostly Pomeranians, & 2 Corgis, who we love almost as much as the rescues) and I work in Houston… My commute has a YUGE carbon footprint. MAGA!!!

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149 thoughts on “Natural gas “emerging as the world’s go-to fuel” for electricity generation

      • “No typos?”

        Well, since you asked, here’s what you wrote and next is what the Chicao Manual of Style says about it:

        “And it would be impossible to feed half of Earth’s human population ….”

        “The names earth, sun, and moon, ordinarily lowercased, are often capitalized when used in connection with the names of other bodies of the Solar System.”

        • I read this right after my 94 year old dad ( Dad) said ” people can and do argue about anything.” (-;

          Dave M, do you think Texas wind really works after all costs, including spinning back up, and life span are considered?

          • It works OK. I’d say wind breaks even (pardon the pun). When the decision was made to build out the transmission lines and subsidize the wind farms, natural gas was expensive and we were building LNG import terminals, so it seemed to be a good idea.. Had we known that the “shale revolution” was about to make gas cheap and lead to the conversion of import terminals to export terminals, the investment in wind power wouldn’t have made any sense. Hindsight is usually 20:20.

      • Great post!

        A flyby critic may come along to make some inane disparaging comment. His short comment, and by that I mean not even a complete sentence, will likely contain more mistakes than your entire article.

      • MAGoMA!!! (Making the Gulf of Mexico Great Again)

        MGMGA???

        or,
        Making America’s Gulf of Mexico Awesome,
        = MAGMA

      • Yeah, it’s the go-to fuel, until it runs out or becomes cost prohibitive because electric generation isn’t the only use. Then it’s back to coal. Writing that wind can be an effective component is foolish, but then again you are a luke warmer. If not nuclear, it’s back to coal folks. You can bet on it.

        • Wind can and is an effective “component” where the resource is adequate for it to be an effective component. My scientific opinion regarding the climate sensitivity to CO2 has no bearing on the economics of wind power. It’s marginally economic in the relatively few places where it is an effective component.

          Proved US natural gas reserves and technically recoverable resources reflect over 100 years of consumption. Due to the abundant supply, annual average prices are unlikely to rise above $5/mcf before 2050.

          Coal with CCUS and nuclear power, perhaps even fusion power, will likely become economic long before natural gas prices itself out of the market.

          • Wind works fairly well in Texas…

            Wind works fairly well in Texas for exactly one reason: Physical geography.

            The wind resource in the Lower Plains has some seasonal variability, but is  a fairly consistent resource.

            Would Texas be better off with no wind and more coal and natural gas?  At natural gas prices of $2-2.50/mcf… We probably would be better off… But that doesn’t mean that wind doesn’t work here.  Texas has relatively low electricity rates despite our investment in wind.  When the decisions were made to support the exploitation of Texas’ winde resource, natural gas was $5-12/mcf and no one anticipated that the “shale revolution” was right around the corner.

            Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon on August 1, 2008…

            We think gas prices will stay in this $9 to $11 range, there’ll be times like in July when they’re above it, there’ll be times when they’re below it and of course the weather will matter a lot as well. But we’re pretty confident that much below $9 you’d see a drop off in drilling activity particularly among the conventional drilling and then those pretty aggressive 35% to 40% first year declines are going to kick in and rebalance the market.

            I saw something the other day where some analysts had come up with production in 2010 was going to be up by something like 8 to 10 BCF a day and gas prices were going to be $6.25. That kind of analysis I think can only come at the dangerous intersection of Excel and PowerPoint, it can’t happen in reality.

            Seeking Alpha

            Natural gas prices have been below $6/mcf since December 2008 and below $4/mcf since August 2011… https://www.eia.gov/dnav/ng/hist/n9190us3m.htm

            Hindsight is often 20:20… Business decisions can’t be made on hindsight.

             

          • Without government subsidies, wind is a loser. And then factor in FF backup cost. Sorry, you can’t put lipstick on a (wind) pig, David.

          • Without government subsidies, nearly all of our electricity would be from natural gas-fired power plants. This would actually be a bad thing.

          • Anyone that has spent some time in Texas knows why wind would work in many places in the state. Most days they have no problem flying their huge American flags. It’s not the days that that wind works that bothers this trucker. It’s the days or periods it works far to well. However I must note they didn’t seem to have nearly as much trouble getting through the environmental stuff as the oil companies sometimes do. Apparently no vital habitat for some lizard or toad or bug was threatened by those huge units they have installed down there.

          • If I remember correctly, there are road signs in the Guadalupe Mountains, particularly around El Capitan, warning about the winds.

          • I’ve seen graphs like those hundreds of times over the last 15 years. They don’t mean a whole lot to me. President Trump’s comments about Wind a week ago have been about as close to an accurate assessment of Wind that I’ve ever seen and certainly from any politician ever. A lot was revealed in neighboring Oklahoma last year when Republican legislators attempted, but failed, to disentangle the state from Wind.

            http://www.okenergytoday.com/2018/03/anti-wind-bills-prompt-predictions-of-lawsuits-bankruptcies-and-more-broken-promises/

            “Could some Oklahoma wind farms go down in flames because of the legislature? Lawsuits from the wind industry and school districts. The bankruptcy of wind farms. School bond projects in jeopardy. Higher electricity costs.The banking industry losing money it loaned for wind farms. A black eye for Oklahoma’s ability to recruit industries to the state. They are what Wind Coalition executive Mark Yates is predicting if the Oklahoma legislature passes some of the bills that last week won committee approval and are on their way to the State House and Senate.

            “It’s really devastating to the point of–you hate to tell people this—but if these measures were to pass, companies will have no other option but to file a lawsuit against the state of Oklahoma,”said Yates in an extensive interview with OK Energy Today. The measures he referred to included House Bill 3069 which passed out of the House Rules Committee last week on a vote of 8-3. Authored by Rep. Dennis Casey, a former educator and rancher from Morrison, his “Oklahoma Wind Energy Policy Review Act of 2018” would create a $10 million cap on the zero emissions tax credit received by any wind generation company.

            Senate Bill 1035, authored Senate Pro Tem President Mike Schulz of Altus, would create a $5 million cap on the zero emissions tax credits beginning in 2019. It passed out of the Senate Appropriations Committee last week on a 27-4 vote. House Bill 2011 by Bartlesville Rep. Earl Sears would lower the refund for unused tax credits from 85% to 42.5%. “All of them would really jeopardize the economics of several existing projects,”said Yates. “Obviously, the lower the cap the more punitive it is. And our companies have run some of the numbers on the economics and you could definitely see with a couple of years, some of these projects going under.” Yates said the legislators don’t understand that the tax credits were built into the business models when the wind industry companies won state approval to build wind farms in Oklahoma. “These projects are not profitable for the first 12 years of existence,” he explained. The Wind Coalition leader said for the state to go back and change the rules “of the game so dramatically after these projects are already up and spinning, the investment is there and now to go back in and change is devastating.” He compared it to a homeowner getting a 5% rate on a 30-year home mortgage and after 4 years, the bank changes the interest rate to 12%. “That’s why I say this isn’t really a wind issue. It’s a business issue. You don’t recruit companies to come here and invest billions of dollars and turn around and say ‘hey, we’re gonna go back on our promise and change it.’ Really, the legislature hasn’t thought out the process of how you go claim those tax credits.” That’s when Yates, in the interview, raised the possibility of the state being sued by the wind industry or one of the wind farm operators.

            “If these measures were to pass, companies will have no other option but to file a lawsuit against the state of Oklahoma,” said Yates “If you go bankrupt or they unload a project because of the economics of it, you also have the potential of school districts that bonded these projects—who’s going to foot that bill? So now you have even the potential that school districts could turn around and sue the state of Oklahoma for these projects going under.” As the Wind Coalition pointed out in a recent news conference at the State Capitol, school districts in several of the more than two dozen counties with wind farms used additional tax revenue to finance improvements with school bond projects. Which particular wind projects could fail? Yates said it could include those wind farms that came on line and qualified for the zero emissions tax credit as of July 1, 2017. “If you look back at projects that came on line in the past 3 or 4 years, those all qualified for the zero emissions tax credit. And they’ve all been built into the financing,” he told OK Energy Today. “They would be unable to make their payments and basically it would put them under water. No doubt about that.” Yates also pointed to some of the wind farms making long-term power agreements with major corporations including T-Mobile and Anheuser-Busch. Those corporations reached deals on agreed-upon purchase prices. “For these companies that have already sold power, they can’t go back and change purchase agreements with anyone. So now they’re forced to eat what is placed on them as a burden. They’re not able to pass it on either. Unlike a utility, they’re not gonna be able to pass that cost along. They’re gonna have to eat it.” Yates predicted the cost of electricity could also go up for consumers in Oklahoma as a result if the legislative measures are made law. “At the end of the day, it’s very simple. You recruited investment in the state of Oklahoma. You actively went to conferences and trade shows to recruit companies to spend and invest in Oklahoma. You said ‘we will give you this for this amount of years.’ And now they’re completely changing those rules It’s just a horrible story quite frankly.”

            He also raised the question, if the legislature does it to the wind industry, what will it do to other industries and other companies.
            “It’s also about the financial institutions that have been a part of these negotiations. The banking institutions have been involved in this as much as anybody. You have to think about people who finance wind projects are also people that finance projects in all forms of industry,” he said. “We have nowhere else to go on this. A promise is a promise and to do anything now and change—it’s just devastating to the state of Oklahoma.” Who were the legislators who forced the 3 measures?

            House Bill 2011 and House Bill 3069 each won approval on 8-3 votes in the House Rules Committee. Representatives Josh Cockroft, Jon Echols, Elise Hall, Leslie Osborn, Zack Taylor, Terry O’Donnell, Weldon Watson and Tammy West voted for both. Three Representatives opposed the two measures including David Perryman, Steve Kouplen and Melodye Blancett. In the Senate Appropriations Committee, SB 1035 won approval from Senators Bergstrom, Bice, Daniels, Dossett, Dugger, Floyd, Holt, Ikley-Freeman, Jech, Leewright, McCortney, Paxton, Pemberton, Pugh, Rader, Rosino, Scott, Sharp, Simpson,Smalley, Sparks, Standridge, Stanislawski, Yen, Fields, David and Treat. Four Senators opposed the measure. They were Griffin, Murdock, Pederson and Thompson.“

            (Edited to make paragraphs) SUNMOD

          • We have never come even close to exploiting all the hydo power options in the U.S. In fact, I doubt even 10% of the total resource will ever be exploited for hydro power generation. Why?

            Well because the best, most cost advantageous locations are exploited first. Each subsequent structure is, almost by definition, slightly less economic than the last. Eventually hydro power construction petered out – the remainder resources cost too much, or were too valuable for other uses.

            Wind is facing the exact same situation. The best locations were built out first – each new expansion of wind is less advantages than the last. Eventually it will simply peter out, probably only capturing 10% of the total potential, at best.

        • We have some 400+ years of coal supplies. Natural gas reserves are another matter. But, until that runs out, coal is always there. Wind? nah, man, not so much.

          • Most people don’t appreciate just how awful sail travel actually was. I remember sitting in a class in front of somebody who had a Ph.D in geosciences, who was supposed to be really smart or something, talking about integrating sail on modern ships. It really should be drilled into students how long it actually took to cross the North Atlantic by sail versus today.

          • Back in September 2008, my wife and I did a balloon tour in Sedona, Arizona. The other passengers were two really stupid sisters from Philadelphia and a Boston banker and his wife. If I had a dollar for every stupid question and comment they made about the geology of the area, I’d be a gazillionaire. Every time the balloon pilot cranked up the propane flame to gain altitude, the Boston banker said, “He’s putting more helium in the ballon.” Of the 7 people on the balloon, only 3 people understood how a hot air balloon works: my wife and I and and the pilot. Everyone in the gondola was an Obama supporter except for my wife and I. The four other passengers were morons, so they had excuses. The balloon pilot was concerned that if McCain won, the airspace around Sedona would be shut down every time he flew in.

            The really sad thing is that I now regret supporting McCain in 2008 and am beginning to regret supporting Romney in 2012 because President Trump has truly reminded me of what the Republican Party was supposed to be.

    • “However, these two sources of energy are the only way to economically reduce CO2 emissions quickly enough to save us from the climate change Bogeyman.”

      David – why is it that most geologists can see all this so clearly, whereas other professions, even those in the sciences, do not? The only path forward is gas+nuclear (55%), with a 20% contribution from solar and wind and a 20% contribution from hydro-power, and maybe 5% from geothermal. Nothing else comes close to penciling out.

      The entirety of California could be powered by a grand total of six large nuclear power plants. Six! One already exists and is operational, and another could be made operational very easily. These could be built for a fraction of the cost California has already spend on wind and solar. We could accomplish this in 10 years tops. 100% carbon free power in 10 years. Alternately we could go the super safe rout, and build a couple hundred SMRs. No hazard, no danger.

      Yet they continue to dink around with solar and wind, two thing we know for a fact can’t power the state.

  1. Great! Another dose of Reality from the Black Gold Geologist with Geophysical Tendencies. I spent a stressful four years as founder and President of a Uranium Exploration Company, and was surprised at both the inherent utility of nuclear power generation and the unreasonable fear against it (I finally learned to stop showing visitors the radiation coming from bananas with my Geiger counter). Keep on doing your thing, David, and I’ll keep watching for your informative articles.

    • Ron Long,
      Bananas eh?
      A banana a day keeps the leg cramps away ..so they say. And I’m guessing it’s the Potassium that’s the culprit. Which brings me to the ‘low sodium’ soy sauce (in the green top) with which I am encouraged to douse my Sushi. Is it true that low sodium means high potassium? (In the form of their respective chlorides of course).
      Perhaps you could wave your Geiger counter over the low Sodium (green cap) soy sauce dispenser next time you’re on a Sushi roll and let me know the reading, I need evidence to argue my case for returning to the redtop soy dispenser.
      Cheers and a Happy New Year to all
      Mike

      • Right about “potassium that’s the culprit”, mike. One isotope of potassium is K40, which undergoes radioactive decay. That is the basis for potassium/argon age-dating. I can guarantee all of you that amazing your friends by showing them bananas are radioactive is counter-productive. Don’t go there.

  2. As long as there is a demand for ferrous metals coal and coal mining will never be eliminated altogether even if there comes a day when coal is not used as a fuel for electrical generation.

    Concerning hydro. The sources in the US and most other developed nations are pretty much tapped out and in many places hydro generation is vulnerable to drought. When you get down to it, some of the great hydro projects in various nations have had a far greater permanent environmental impact than any coal mine ever did or could.

    Sooner of later the citizens and economies of leftist states of the NE US are going to pay a heavy price for their recalcitrance toward NG, Nucs, and fracking if they continue down the road they’re on.

  3. What to do?
    Help needed!
    Meanwhile, here in the UK, a promising start to fracking exploration has reversed with reserves having been “talked down” by numerous academics and the unrealistic seismic limits set by greenblob lobbyists have now caused cessation of all operations.
    In less than a year we will have the dubious privilege of hosting COP26 in Glasgow which will undoubtedly give rise to several months of Marxist handwringing from our media (especially the BBC) extolling the virtues of an electric vehicle/hydrogen/wind/solar powered return to the eighteenth century with meat being eaten only on Sundays.
    Our new Prime Minister has paid lip service to CAGW policies, but I think he is above all a pragmatist and, I hope, will be happy to limit spending in that direction as much as possible. However, all the while the musings of our utterly corrupt Climate Change Committee remain enshrined in law we are committed to a ratcheting into further horrendously costly and idiotic green policies.
    Any ideas?
    Anyone?

    • Peter,
      You could show them this.
      ELECTRIC VEHICLES EMIT MORE CO2 THAN DIESEL ONES, GERMAN STUDY SHOWS
      * Date: 23/04/19
      http://bit.ly/2ZYdUXJ
      And this.
      German Wind Industry In A Coma: Tenders For Wind Energy Projects “Have Fallen To New, All-Time Low”
      http://bit.ly/2lRPY8A
      “…AFTER hundreds of €BILLIONS of taxpayer’s hard-earned money spent on sunshine and breezes, Germany’s Energiewende program has been exposed as a catastrophic failure, with carbon dioxide emissions higher now than in 2009”

      However, the AGW/CC crowd seem impervious to science and facts so…

      Meanwhile, back here in the USA…
      Electric Utility Emissions Continue to Decline Through 2018
      http://bit.ly/2Pe0rWP

      Due to policies and economic technology, emissions from electric utilities continue to decline. According to an EPA report, sulfur dioxide emissions declined by 92 percent between 1990 and 2018, nitrogen oxides emissions declined by 84 percent between those years, ozone season nitrogen oxides declined 83 percent between 1997 and 2018, and carbon dioxide emissions declined by 24 percent between 2005 and 2018. The large reductions in emissions occurred despite increasing output from U.S. electric generators. Electric output increased by 19 percent between 1990 and 2018…”
      Thank fracking and natural gas for a lot of the reductions. Note, this was done without any Government subsidy or program.

      • Thanks, Kc Taz, lots of useful information there, but I’ve always had the suspicion that those perpetrating this greentwattery will not be responsive to facts, figures and explanations. As has been pointed out in these articles and commentaries in the past we are now up against the religion of the church of climate catastrophe with all the zealotry that attaches to new belief systems. Disestablishment will be a long process and it is very easy to fall into the same trap as many left wing intellectuals who think that the the only reason others don’t share their beliefs is because they haven’t explained them well enough.

        • Peter, my wife hectors me because I try to explain history and scientific principles (re climate) to those who don’t want to hear facts and analyses. I continue to do so because: 1) I have fun doing it and; 2) The a$$holes visibly shy away from me. Win win in my estimation.

          Seriously, I have always been stricken by the ignorance of history and science by the “average a$$hole on the street.” I was one of those until the Army drafted me and I started to learn how to think on my own, compared to the apathy and stupidity of the average draftee at the time. It has been a self-directed journey of exploration ever since.

          In my twilight years, I am not pessimistic about the future of the world. The “average a$$hole on the street” does not dictate the continued advancement of the species homo. The exceptional individuals will always drive advancement, not the Twitter posters nor the politicians/bureaucrats.

          • And the warranty has expired on my left knee, David. The VA, however, will do the job of replacing it when I get tired of gimping around on it. In the meantime, cortisone injections suffice.

            I joke that I prepaid my health care in Vietnam. When one is young, one doesn’t know that jumping out of helicopters at 1 meter in full combat gear will screw up the knees and spine in later years. In spite of a Purple Heart, I have never regretted one moment of Army service. That service helped me become the man that I am.

  4. The power plant north of the the state line was a coal burner until the power company complete construction of a gas-powered generating plant and shut down the coal powered plant. The ostensible reason for it was that natural gas is cheaper as a fuel than coal, never mind the pollution factor. While I kind of miss that steam and smoke that used to tell me which way the wind blew, the difference is real.

    I just hope that the turbine addicts never bring that crap to my area – EVER.

  5. 38+ years of “OJT”

    Math and Geology are the tools but OJT is where to rubber meets the road. Where the real knowledge comes from that enables you to produce such excellent informative posts. I got the distinct impression our little troll from that earlier lacked much OJT in the real nonacademic world.

    • Funny story…

      The company that first hired my in 1981, was Enserch Exploration in Dallas, Texas. I had received my BS from a no-name school in Connecticut in May 1980 and had no experience anywhere near the oil industry; but I did have a very high grade point average. I was trying to decide whether or not to join the Air Force or go to graduate school, when I decided to take a shot at getting a job in the oil industry. I must have sent out over 100 resumes along with a cover letter stating I would be in Dallas and Houston in May 1980… Almost all of the responses were along the lines of requiring a Masters degree for entry level geologists. I had 3 interview offers: Western Geophysical (seismic data processing), Dresser Magobar (mud engineer) and Enserch Exploration (a company I never heard of and didn’t recall sending a resume to). I also had a job offer from Newmont Mining for a metallurgy lab tech position in Danbury CT. When I arrived at Enserch’s office, I first talked to their Chief Geologist. I noticed that he had a lot of WWII US Navy photos in his office and I asked him about it. We spent about an hour talking about Okinawa… He was on a destroyer that been sunk by a kamikaze. Then he said that the company’s Chief Geophysicist actually wanted to interview me. He decided I was a geophysicist because I minored in math.

      A few years later, when I was working in Enserch’s offshore exploration group, we gave a presentation to the company’s management. The president, big Oklahoma University booster, asked us to line up at the back of the conference room. He walked down the line, shaking our hands and said, “Tell me your name and where you went to school.” I was standing next to Jim Reilly, who went on to become a NASA astronaut and is the current director of the USGS. When “Booster Bob” got to Jim, he said, “Reilly, ah know you… OJT”. Jim went to the University of Texas at Dallas. When he got to me, I said “David Middleton, Southern Connecticut State.” He replied, “Suthin wut?” (he talked like Foghorn Legohorn). I said, “Southern Connecticut State, sir.” To which he replied, “Ah, that fine awl school.”

      Despite the fact that I have never taken a college course in geophysics, for 26 years, my business card said “geophysicist,” for four different companies (companies 3, 4 and 5 were actually continuations of the same job – #4 acquired #3 and #5 acquired #4).

      In 2007, I was promoted to VP of Exploration, in part because was very good at PowerPoint and Excel (communication skills). I had largely honed my PowerPoint and Excel skills, in my hobby as an Internet “warrior.”

      When company #5, my current employer acquired company #4 in 2013, they offered me a job as a geologist, because the VP of Exploration assumed that’s what I was.

      So… you never know where you’ll wind up until you start the journey

      • “(companies 3, 4 and 5 were actually continuations of the same job”

        I know the feeling. I’ve worked for 4 companies in the last 5 years, without moving my desk.
        And the company I work for now is getting ready to spin off the division that I work for.

        • Company #5 was formed in 2012… According to HR, my years of service to back to 2001… 😎

          Even funnier, I’ve drilled 5 >1,000 bbl/d wells from the same platform, on the same block, in the same reservoir, for 4 different companies since 1988.

      • I also enjoy your stories.

        My dad was on a destroyer that saw its last action in that Okinawa battle. He didn’t talk about his time in the navy but as a child I used to go through his medals, pictures and memorabilia. He manned an anti-aircraft gun because he had keen eyesight and I suppose his aim must have been good too. He could read prices on gasoline pumps from the street. My uncle used to impress on us how lucky it was that my father survived the war given his role on the ship.

  6. Except of course in the UK, where in Q3 we generated more from renewables than natural gas…
    (and only 1% from coal)

    • While wood chips are technically “renewable”, they do nothing for your CO2 emissions.

      And btw – just how much power did the UK import when the wind wasn’t blowing? Come on, look it up.

      • But, they’re “good” CO2 emissions because the carbon has only been stored in the tree for a few decades, at most. Had the carbon been stored in oil, gas or coal for hundreds of thousands to millions of years, CO2 emissions would be bad.

        Old carbon = bad
        New carbon = good

    • griff,
      That, like so many things in life, sounds good until you look at the details.
      Anthony Watts
      The Obvious Biomass Emissions Error
      / February 7, 2019
      http://bit.ly/2YXSJre

      … Burning wood emits more carbon dioxide than burning coal.
      A 2012 study by Synapse Energy Economics estimated that the average smokestack of a US biomass plant emitted about 1.67 tons of CO2 per megawatt-hour of electricity generated, or 50 to 85 percent greater than emissions from a coal-fired plant. CO2 emissions from a biomass plant are more than triple the CO2 emissions from a natural gas facility.
      A 2012 study by Synapse Energy Economics estimated that the average smokestack of a US biomass plant emitted about 1.67 tons of CO2 per megawatt-hour of electricity generated, or 50 to 85 percent greater than emissions from a coal-fired plant. CO2 emissions from a biomass plant are more than triple the CO2 emissions from a natural gas facility.
      …The IPCC assumed that, as trees grow, they absorb CO2 equal to the amount released when burned in a biomass-fired power plant. If correct, substitution of wood for coal would reduce net emissions.
      But a 2011 opinion by the European Environment Agency described a “serious error” in greenhouse gas accounting. The carbon neutral assumption doesn’t account for CO2 absorbed by vegetation that grows naturally on land not used for biofuel production. In addition, forests cut down to provide wood chips for power plants immediately release large quantities of carbon dioxide, but decades of tree regrowth are required to reabsorb released CO2. Substitution of wood for coal in electrical power plants is actually increasing carbon dioxide emissions.
      As a result, the emissions numbers reported by Europe are wrong….”
      Eurostat reports that Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions declined 16 percent from 2000 to 2016, but emissions from plants burning biomass and emissions from vehicular biofuels aren’t counted. European nations won’t face this obvious biomass emissions error, because without biomass, already difficult climate targets would become impossible to meet.
      …According to the American Physical Society, coal produces about 46 percent more energy per ton than wood. Since wood is less dense than coal, more than twice the volume of wood is required to produce the same electrical output.
      One of the largest industrial emitters of carbon dioxide in Europe is the Drax power plant in North Yorkshire, England. The Drax plant produces 3,900 megawatts of electricity, about 6 percent of the UK’s electricity supply. This formerly coal-fired station consumed 36,000 metric tons of coal per day delivered by 35 coal trains each day.
      In the name of cutting CO2 emissions, four of the six Drax generating stations were converted to burn wood chips over the last seven years, at a cost of £700 million ($1 billion). Hailed as “the biggest decarbonization project in Europe,” this facility now consumes about 9 million tons of wood pellets per year, shipped 3,000 miles from the US and Canada…”
      The point of “renewables” was to reduce CO2, right?

      • You have missed the icing on the cake of this UK boondoggle. It was announced with great fanfares (BBC amongst others) that engineers had inserted into the Drax exhaust a (very small) carbon capture plant. I am unsure of the size, but it was described as experimental, so presumably a small fraction of a percent of the total emissions. This, of course, meant that they could inform the world (whilst trying to keep a straight face) that the Drax wood burning catastrophe was now a carbon positive exercise.

        I wish I could believe that with the UK leaving the EU this would all end, but someone, somewhere, is making too much money out of this to allow that to happen.

  7. My power company, Excel Energy, plans on adding more solar and wind here in the upper Midwest 😡

    David would you please talk to them?

    • They’re just taking advantage of investment tax credits and public utility commissions guarantee a fixed return on costs.

    • Also driven by Minnestupid politics, the state I was born in and left so many years ago. I was in High Schools when the insanity was introduced to Minnesupid when the corrupt party took over the state. That party wants Minnstupid to be 50% renewable by 2035, even though they had power problem last year when it was cold and funny the wind did not blow.

    • Derg,
      You might show them this and it might get them to think long and hard about that solar thingy, at least.

      Duke Energy application points finger at solar for increased pollution
      http://bit.ly/2qU0grH

      …“After committing $2 billion in tax credits, and more than $1 billion in electricity overpayments for solar power, we now learn from Duke that nitrogen oxides have actually increased, and that CO2 may be headed in the wrong direction…”
      As for Wind, opposition is growing in the US and around the world in local communities which do not want those noisy, bird and bat slicing and dicing, eyesores in their back yards.
      Just one of many communities taking action.
      Erie County legislators call for ban on wind turbines  
      http://bit.ly/2KDSSIe
      Good luck!

    • We got lucky with rooftop solar. I was going to buy it anyway as a long term supplement for air conditioning costs. But we got a $7,000 Federal rebate I didn’t know about. The next year the solar frenzy started so we added a 3rd row of panels that was covered by $4500 Federal rebate, a $4500 new state rebate, and a $4500 rebate from the power company!! No money required.
      That year PA and several other mid-Atlantic states started a Renewable Energy Credits program. Worked out great. Even paying the commission for the brokering power we’ve gotten enough payments to zero out the annual bill.

      Thanks again to all of the taxpayers helping us out with this!
      But I do wish we didn’t have the numnutz politicians passing these nonsense bills.

      • If it makes economic sense to take advantage of the tax credit, there is nothing to apologize for.

  8. David:

    Two questions:

    1) Which other countries have natural gas formations they can develop vs. which would have to import via LNG tankers.
    2) For those countries that must import LNG what does that do to the cost comparison with coal (assuming they don’t also have to import coal).

    My more general question is how well do the advantages of natural gas hold up for the rest of the world?

    Thanks.

    • It really depends on their overall level of infrastructure. Most of Africa and Southeast Asia are probably better off with coal because they have relatively decent rail infrastructure. Places without rail are probably better off with intermittent solar power.

      • If I may comment – Africa has a huge infrastructure and electricity deficit, a European colonial legacy, which only China is now remedying. China, East-Asia, has now record infrastructure, despite the disaster of their “cultural revolution”. India has not caught up there.

        So why is the Trump Admin. sanctioning both EU and even Swiss firms, and Turkey, against NordStream 2, and TurkStream , both Russian LNG pipelines? US tanker LNG cannot compete with these pipelines. To hear Pompeo pontificating African nations about China “debt-traps” is a howler. And stealing Syrian Oil is just beneath contempt.

        So geopolitics sours the energy mix (crude pun, I know).

        And both ECB chief Lagarde and EU chief van der Leyen, want a carbon tariff. Germany just passed a Carbon Tax law – it has plenty of brown coal which just gets right up woke noses.
        Add in Bank-of-England chief Carney, soon the UN Env. Rep. , proposing the Green Finance Initiative, even more extreme than AOC’s GND. These envision the end of the (petro-)Dollar! No more investment in O&G exploration, refining, transport…. And carbon profiling any firm involved.

        Interesting how O&G consultancies do either only North America, or the rest of the world. Reason used to be the sheer data volume of NA alone, at least during the Cold War that was the narrative.
        It sure looks like deja-vu when a parody of that narrative, lukewarmed geopolitics, flounders all over the place.

        • “So why is the Trump Admin. sanctioning both EU and even Swiss firms, and Turkey, against NordStream 2, and TurkStream , both Russian LNG pipelines?”
          bonbon.
          You do realize that the US has defended Europe against the USSR and, now, Russia since the end of WWII, right? The US has done that at great expense to US taxpayers. Europe seems to want NATO to continue, even though all but a few nations are or, have been deadbeats at paying their agreed upon share of the costs of that defense.
          Given history, why do you think Europe should, while we are bearing the great majority of the costs of defending Europe against Russia, make itself dependent on Russia for LNG? That is one powerful weapon Russia can use any time is so desires to coerce Europe into doing what it wants. Russia used it against Ukraine when they cut off the LNG supplies before. Do you really trust the Russians do not do it to Europe if they so desire?
          If you Follow the Money, you would find that certain former and current German and French politicians stand to make fortunes off of NordStream 2 and that Russian deal. In a geopolitical crisis with Russia, do you really want to be dependent on the Russian good graces for LNG, especially, in the dead of winter?
          Interestingly, American Leftists are buying Russian LNG instead of American.
          Closed Enviro Minds Lead Massachusetts to Buy Russian Gas
          http://bit.ly/35sZn8Z
          Mar 29, 2018
          “…Democrats for two years have described Russia as America’s biggest threat, but that has not stopped one of the bluest states to import energy from a Russian company under sanction.
          According to a report last week by E&E News, two tankers carrying liquefied natural gas (LNG) from a facility majority owned by Yamal LNG have made deliveries to Massachusetts this year after cold snaps caused demand to surge.

          The deliveries did not violate sanctions designed to punish Russia’s invasion of Ukraine because the natural gas had been comingled with other energy product in Britain before coming to the United States.
          …Part of the propaganda campaign carried out by Russian agents, he added, has sought to discourage American energy production and transmission projects in order to necessitate the importation of foreign energy.
          “And the result is we’re importing gas from Russia,” he said.
          McGillis said the energy shortage in New England is completely man-made. New York has rejected a water quality permit that would allow a pipeline to connect the Marcellus Shale field in northeastern Pennsylvania to Massachusetts and other New England states…”

          Ironically, the same Democrats who claim Russia is evil incarnate when it comes to Trump, have no problem making their state totally dependent on Russia.
          bonbon, you also need to do some research on China and how well their “loans” to African and other nations are working out for those countries.
          Also, I have no idea what you mean by “stealing Syria’s oil”.

          • The Cold War is long over, the other foot now drops.
            There is no way to save the imploding financial system with another Churchill “Iron Curtain” cameo.

            These pathetic sanctions show the game is up. That Ukraine gambit has backfired.

            Do some research on Glass-Steagall, FDR’s very successful flank – this is what President Trump should do, soon, before a crash in the middle of an election cycle.

  9. The post began: “Guest natural gas cheer-leading by David Middleton”

    And now for some guest natural gas cheer-leading by Bob Tisdale:

    Yay, Natural Gas!!!! You go, Natural Gas!!!

    Rah, rah, ree…Kick ’em in the knee.
    Rah, rah, raz…Kick ‘azz, Natural Gas!

  10. Spot on.

    The most cost effective and low carbon solution to energy generation, in the absence of hydro power, is a nuclear baseload and gas for load following.

    If you have hydro, you need less gas.

    Renewables are pointless. The cost of oversupplying the grid with an all nuclear solution is less than using all renewables. Renewables add nothing useful to a nuclear grid, either.

    There are thousands of years of economically viable fertile or fissionable materials in the world. Only hundreds of gas and coal.

    And ultimately fusion power cannot be ruled out.

    The transition that works is from Coal+oil+hydro+gas=>Nuclear+Coal+oil+hydro+gas=>Nuclear+gas+hydro=>Nuclear+hydro (or a.n.other storage mechanism).

    Absent of CO2 scares, this is the path we would have followed, and it is mandatory for the survival of post industrial civilisation that we do.

    Nations that fail to heed the above will decline economically and be overrun.

  11. This just can’t be! Algore:The Goreacle says natural gas is destroying the environment, he wouldn’t lie to us!

  12. David,
    Work in the resources industries is especially rewarding when good science leads to important new discoveries. A great, sustained buzz goes through the place and people work with smiles instead of the frowns of doom we see from those whose main work is invention.
    Nature has made the resources and they have their properties. These properties are fixed. They have no need for wishful thinking, for spruiking up of invented goodness, for bowing to advertising experts or academic hacks in perverted science communication sectors.
    I cheer for you and your essays here on WUWT. They carry the taste of success with difficult science, the feel of that buzz. I pity those who have chosen work paths that deny this reward for success, noting that the product is often wanted and needed by a society that has little understanding of risk and reward with vital products that sustain populations and give comfort. Contrast this work with that of the armies of hanger-ons in social sciences devoting their lives to bad-mouthing this achievement and gaining faces you get from sucking lemons. What a mob of losers.
    Geoff S

    • One of the coolest things in the world is drilling successful exploration wells, particularly with real time LWD tools. Watching the gamma ray curve kick to the left and the resistivity curve kick to the right at the predicted depth is like hitting a homerun or scoring a touchdown… 😎

      • If only it was always so easy – imagine drilling in Columbian rain-forest, capping, and revisiting a year or more later – the darned well is gone, cannot be found! Money lost down the bore-hole!
        Then a more careful mapping algorithm find it (before GPS – not sure what the tree canopy does now).
        Norway is finding more reserves – some tech. improvement or geological advance must have given indications.

        • GPS has definitely spoiled us. I can remember when we would stake well locations on seismic survey shot points, because we knew where they were. However, that only worked onshore. Prior to GPS, “feathering” was a serious problem in offshore seismic acquisition. Due to currents, you could never be certain where the hydrophones were. https://wiki.seg.org/wiki/Cable_feathering

          • I miss the days of using Ordinance Survey (OS) maps in the UK, I admit I did have to stop, read the map and take bearings but I never got lost using those.

          • Another funny story…

            From 1981-1988, I worked East Texas. Enserch had a great 2d seismic grid over the area I worked. But it was shot from 1968-1973 and was all 6-fold analog data. I spent a couple of years having the analog drums digitized and the date reprocessed with modern (mid-80’s) seismic processing methods. Almost every time I found a decent lead, I needed a new seismic line shot to confirm the prospect. So I would lay the line out on a USGS topo sheet and send it to the seismic contractor. Almost ever time they scouted the line, there was a lake in the way… A lake that wasn’t on the mid-70’s vintage topo sheets. Texas has always been proactive in resource exploitation: oil, gas, coal, wind, water, etc.

          • It got even funnier when (African) coastline data merged with river data mapped out as wonderful offshore rivers, right where the exploration license area was to be. Sat image data made this even crazier (datum problems).

  13. Figure 6 involves assigning a monetary value to ‘new emissions’ and ‘avoided emissions’. I assume that’s in comparison with coal.

    CO2 emissions could be accounted for as a benefit because CO2 is plant food and increases food production as well as reducing the need for water. That, of course, would really tip the balance against renewables.

    • The comparison is with coal. Putting a $ value on CO2 emissions is fairly pointless… Particularly if you apply a real world discount rate to it.

  14. Great post David.

    I also worked in the oil and gas industry as in engineer (in the middle east)in petroleum, LNG, LPG planning and accounting. I was stunned when I returned to the US on vacation by the hate and scorn I received because “I worked for an oil company”. This was a time when Dan Rather was claiming on the nightly news that “oil companies” were hiding supertankers offshore waiting for prices to go up.

    When the “horizontal fracking revolution” started in the 2000s I was amazed at the amount of natural gas the US had access to.

    The bigotry of those who trash people who work in the energy industries is maddening.

  15. The Christmas edition of UK ‘Spectator’ magazine has this from its archive. The headline is “A coalowner on coal”, but the extract doesn’t say which coalowner. The last sentences should appeal to WUWT readers:

    “From 16 June 1866: Mr Stanley Jevons, Mr Mill, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer are all agreed that there is imminent danger of exhausting the British store of coal, are almost willing to legislate upon that annoying datum… The philosopher may of course argue that it is all a question of time, that the coal must be exhausted some day, and that a few hundred years make no difference to his argument, but this is not a political view. A politician may justly legislate with a view to the situation of our grandchildren, but no one out of Laputa legislates for a thousand years hence, simply because no one is vain enough to be believe that he can foresee the circumstances which may then be in operation… It is possible that we are as yet only on the threshold of scientific discovery, that all existing notions may in a century be superseded. Force can only be produced by consuming something, but it need not be necessarily coal, still less the proportion of consumption to product remain at an unvarying figure. Coal is only bottled sunshine, when all is said —suppose we discover how to make the sunshine toil without being bottled first.”

    • “—suppose we discover how to make the sunshine toil without being bottled first.”
      British fusion research has limped along, some at least know what shines the sun.
      However Prince Philip’s WWF started the post-war narrative of today’s windy and foggy energy intermittency.

      Instead of this dilly-dallying we need a fusion crash-program on the scale of FDR’s US Manhattan Program.
      And that, no matter what Milton Friedman intones.

    • An interesting factoid: Stanley Jevons was among the first economists to apply econometric techniques to predict grain production with sun spots as the independent variable.

  16. To avert further accusations of being a covert shill for fossil fuels I will try to include a brief biography in future posts.

    I hope you don’t. You just give these Stupid [sic] the premise doing that.

    Thanks for the article. More smart aleck schist please. I enjoy the triggering of, e.g., Sniveling Stevie Case and Jim (“The Wailer”) C!

  17. Mr Middleton seems happy that the gas industry has been the chief beneficiary of the demonisation of coal by the anti-CO2 scammers.
    But why is this good news (other than for gas guys), given that CO2 levels are still historically low and it is, in any case, the secret of the green earth?
    And what comes after “first they came for coal, and we said nothing because weren’t in coal”?

    • A lot less infrastructure and expense to make burning NG relatively “clean” compared to coal. For 15 years I was VP and GM of a small company providing specialized abrasion resistant ceramic products and installations for coal fired power plants and thus have been all over various coal fired powerplants that use CE/ABB and B&W systems/equipment. Our product was/is used in coal handling and injection systems and bottom and fly ash transport systems. So I have some familiarity in dealing with the issues in a coal fired power plant.

      • Yes you do, rah. My company just installed a new bottom ash handling system with lined pipe at a coal station. I will wait a few years to see if plant personnel remember to rotate the pipe to even out the wear.

        • Another big advantage of NG is for use in peaking stations. They can stand idle and them come on line much more efficiently and quickly than coal. Within 20 miles from where I am sitting there is a NG fired peaking station. Three huge gas turbines. Here in Indiana we still have some untapped NG sources and those turbines sit right on top of one.

          • rah,
            I am always confused as to why we use the “renewables”, wind and solar, at all when they cannot operate without fossil fuel back up due to intermittency etc.? My understanding is that, in the case of natural gas, more CO2 and other emissions are released in the spinning reserves being on 24/7 and in powering up and back down than if we just used natural gas 24/7.
            Do you know if this still true?
            Until I am proven wrong, I subscribe to this theory.
            “You can’t diet by eating more diet snacks. Likewise, you can’t reduce fossil fuel usage by using a lot more fossil fuel to do “green” things.”

          • Don’t know if that is correct or not. What I do know is that wind farms in our Indiana corn fields are an abomination and people around here fight against them just as much as they do when someone tries to locate a garbage dump in their vicinity.

        • Straight runs lined with basalt, perhaps supplied by Abresist and using elbows and other fittings lined with high alumina ceramic? Rotation is not the only thing you gotta watch out for. If a crusher goes down and they continue to run the system your nice linings will be fail in no time. Been there, seen that. Unions can be a very destructive thing.

  18. Great post, thank you David, and excellent comments by Leo, Geoff and cBob.

    For the record:

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/07/20/ted-nordhaus-carbon-pricing-has-to-be-imposed-slowly-to-avoid-yellow-vest-riots/#comment-2749878

    CO2 in the atmosphere is good , and more CO2 is better.

    Excerpt from my recent paper:

    15. Atmospheric CO2 is not alarmingly high, it is too low for optimal plant growth and alarmingly low for the survival of carbon-based terrestrial life. The real danger is not too much CO2 – it is CO2 starvation. Over geologic time, CO2 is ~permanently sequestered in carbonate rocks.

    Plants evolved at atmospheric CO2 concentrations of 2000 ppm and greater, and many grow best at about 1200 ppm CO2 – about 3 times current levels. That is why greenhouse operators pump 1000-1200 ppm CO2 into their greenhouses.

    Major food crops (except corn) use the C3 photosynthetic pathway, and die at about 150 ppm from CO2 starvation – that is just 30 ppm below the minimum levels during the last Ice Age, which ended just 10,000 years ago – “the blink of an eye” in geologic time. Earth came that close to a major extinction event.

    During one of the next Ice Ages, unless there is massive human intervention, atmospheric CO2 will decline to below 150 ppm and that will be the next major extinction event – not just for a few species but for ~all complex terrestrial carbon-based life forms.

    Reference: “(Plant) Food for Thought”
    (first posted in January 2009 on wattsupwiththat.com, published on icecap.us in December 2014)
    by Allan MacRae, Dec 18, 2014
    http://icecap.us/index.php/go/new-and-cool/plant_food_for_thought2/

    Reference: “Should We Celebrate Carbon Dioxide?”
    by Patrick Moore, October 15, 2015
    https://www.thegwpf.org/patrick-moore-should-we-celebrate-carbon-dioxide/

    Excerpts from
    “CO2, Global Warming, Climate and Energy”
    by Allan M.R. MacRae, B.A.Sc., M.Eng.
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/06/15/co2-global-warming-climate-and-energy-2/

    • Also for the record:

      CAGW hypothesis is a false crisis and the anti-fossil fuels movement is a scam. We have known these facts since ~1985 and earlier.

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/10/23/america-being-misled-by-cook-oreskes-lewendowsky-and-maibach/#comment-2829404

      The CAGW hypothesis has been falsified many ways over the decades – some of those falsifications are described here:
      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/06/15/co2-global-warming-climate-and-energy-2/

      I’ve concluded that nobody could be this stupid for this long, and therefore the actions of the warmist leadership must be deliberately destructive.

      The global warming/climate change scare-scam was never about the climate – it is a smokescreen for the financial and political objectives of scoundrels and their imbecilic acolytes.
      ______________________

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/10/29/california-democrats-waste-billions-on-useless-climate-alarmist-schemes-while-the-state-burns-uncontrollably/#comment-2834642

      The following two statements were published by my co-authors and me in 2002 and are clearly correct-to-date:

      “Climate science does not support the theory of catastrophic human-made global warming – the alleged warming crisis does not exist.”

      “The ultimate agenda of pro-Kyoto advocates is to eliminate fossil fuels, but this would result in a catastrophic shortfall in global energy supply – the wasteful, inefficient energy solutions proposed by Kyoto advocates simply cannot replace fossil fuels.”

      In contrast, all the CAGW alarmists’ very-scary climate predictions have failed to materialize. The global warming / climate change alarmists have a perfectly negative predictive track record, and nobody should believe them.

      What I did not see clearly in 2002 was how incredibly stupid the warmists would continue to be, as the overwhelming evidence of their egregious errors should have become obvious to even the most obtuse of their followers.

      The conclusion is that nobody (with rare exceptions) could be this stupid for this long. Therefore, they must have a covert agenda, and they do:
      “The Cost To Society Of Radical Environmentalism”, July 4, 2019
      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/07/04/the-cost-to-society-of-radical-environmentalism/

      • I’ve been watching the Netflix series “Medal of Honor”. It is impressive, and reflects the enormous sacrifice that our soldiers have made to protect our freedoms.

        However, these freedoms are now at great risk, not from external enemies but from traitors within, who are using the climate change scam as a means to control energy, the very lifeblood of society. Keep in mind that if they control energy, they control you.

        There is not one shred of credible evidence that alleged human-made global warming is dangerous, and ample evidence that disproves the failed CAGW hypothesis.
        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/06/15/co2-global-warming-climate-and-energy-2/

        It is tragic that so many gullible people have been deceived by the global warming scam, and they are prepared to surrender our hard-won freedoms to a corrupt gang of climate fraudsters.

        Told you so, 18 years ago.

        Regards, Allan

  19. Fifty year old coal plants are way past their economic prime.
    NG fueled combined cycle power plants are twice as efficient as a typical coal plant.
    Not really so complicated.

  20. Your definition of “shill” : b: one who makes a sales pitch or serves as a promoter
    .
    .
    You post: “I am a strong advocate for natural gas”
    You post: “I am also a strong supporter of coal-fired generation”
    .
    Thank you for proving me correct, you would be an idiot to bite the hand that feeds you.

    (You have been caught violating the blog policy, goodbye) SUNMOD

    • It’s the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of shill. I also provided a link to the definition of advocate.

      Shill and advocate are not synonymous.

      https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/shill

      Thanks for continuing to prove that you have the reading comprehension of a shoe.

      (The banned troll had stolen an id from another member, yet has the gall to complain about your supposed bias for “fossil fuels”, incredible!) SUNMOD

      • Speaking of shoe, if it fits, wear it. The word may have negative connotation, but shill is what you are.

        (Since all you offer here and elsewhere are name calling, avoidance of debating the topic, you are on notice for future moderation, anymore of your useless trash will be deleted) SUNMOD

          • Anyone who thinks we have a clue on how the climate works, does not understand how variables work. Anyone thinks they can get a signal out of red noise(that what our climate records are) is a either a fool, or they are fooling themselves. So it not surprising that Christina does not understand the English language or for that matter what line if BS she been feed about the climate and climate change for the last thirty years.

            Lastly she certainly does not understand where her food, clothing, comfort and even her ability to sustain her own life comes from. She either does not know or care to understand the it all from fossil fuels and life previous to that was to the most part short and hard for most of the human population and for those that it was not, they owned lots of slaves. Somehow I don’t think that Christina has any idea the prior to fossil fuels use, she in all probability would have been a slave in one form or another.

            All I can say at least I am bright enough to know that what good about the good old days is that they are gone and I certainly don wan’t my grand children living a recreation of those days, for no good reason at all. A temperature increase in the middle latitudes and the arctic of 3 to 5 C is not Armageddon and the likely hood of it happening is almost nill.

      • Speaking of shills, I came across this tidbit. Here are the real energy shills.
        From Climate Profiteers series.
        Enron’s other secret
        
May 30, 2009
        http://bit.ly/2GVaBdu

        Kyoto.
        “…Political contributions and Enron-funded analyses flowed freely, all geared to demonstrating a looming global catastrophe if carbon dioxide emissions weren’t curbed. An Enron-funded study that dismissed the notion that calamity could come of global warming, meanwhile, was quietly buried.

        …If implemented this agreement will do more to promote Enron’s business than will almost any other regulatory initiative outside of restructuring of the energy and natural-gas industries in Europe and the United States,” Palmisano began. “The potential to add incremental gas sales, and additional demand for renewable technology is enormous.”…The clean development fund will be a mechanism for funding renewable projects. Again we won …. The endorsement of emissions trading was another victory for us.”
        Palmisano’s hard work had paid off, thanks to the many allies Enron had enlisted. Deserving special emphasis was the environmental community, whose endorsement was crucial to Enron’s achievements at Kyoto.
        “Enron now has excellent credentials with many ‘green’ interests including Greenpeace, WWF [World Wildlife Fund], NRDC [Natural Resources Defense Council], German Watch, the U.S. Climate Action Network, the European Climate Action Network, Ozone Action, WRI [World Resources Institute] and Worldwatch. This position should be increasingly cultivated and capitalized on (monetized),” Palmisano explained.
        …Palmisano’s three-page memo from Kyoto, which suggested that the Kyoto Protocol could work out even better than he had expected, stressed the need for urgency to capitalize on the opportunities that would now be on offer: “I now predict ratification within three years. I predict business opportunities within 18 months. I predict this agreement will have very significant influences on the energy sector within OECD and transitional economies and will accelerate renewable markets in developing countries. This agreement will be good for Enron stock!!”
        The groundwork had been laid well, not least by entering into relationships with scientists who, Enron expected, would further its cause (James Hansen, the scientist who more than any other is responsible for bringing the possibility of climate-change catastrophe to the public, was among the scientists Enron commissioned). Just as shrewdly, Enron saw the importance in silencing the scientists who didn’t accept the alarmism that had driven the Kyoto Protocol. In a 1998 letter, Enron CEO Ken Lay, among others, asked president Clinton to appoint a bi-partisan “Blue-Ribbon Commission” designed to pronounce on the science and, in effect, marginalize the skeptics.
        The precise commission that Lay demanded didn’t happen but the general marginalization of scientists did, and continues to occur to this day, with great success.
        … But if the public is to be skeptical of the influence that big money has over global-warming science, it should take the temperature anew, and recognize that the biggest money interest of all in the climate change debate lies with those poised to cash in on the climate-change policies of Kyoto and its successors.”

        • The ranch at the Crooked E had the accounting firm Arthur Anderson to fix the books right up to the end. A lot of these creative accountants went to PWC.
          There is for sure some really crooked accounting around all “renewables”. And, be careful, around the shale “revolution” too.
          It looks like the Enron scam only snowballed.

      • Good catch Anthony. I don’t think I’ve ever interacted with the “good” Cristina… Although I did kind of enjoy beating up the “bad” one.

  21. I guess some jurisdictions are going to learn hard lessons: Australia, the UK. The U.S. has enough of a thriving private sector, and enough ability to get some state legislatures thinking straight, to go for fracking. It’s wild to see those maps of wind and sun. The do-gooders in some cases have built windmills where they could get approval, instead of where it made sense. Too bad about nuclear. It seems to face a big political hill everywhere. Germany is hypocritical enough to burn coal, but they won’t build nukes. France maybe; they make good use of nukes for electricity, then stupid Macron imposes a carbon tax where CO2 emissions are not a problem to prove what a good global citizen he is. Interesting times.

    • All domestic finance and tariff actions by Macron should be judged based on the fact that the bill for France’s totally unrealistic pension scheme is coming due. France simply does not have the capital to fulfil the pie in the sky pensions it has promised it’s people.

  22. But coal can be combusted putting much less CO2 into the atmosphere than combusted natural gas.
    https://youtu.be/RQRQ7S92_lo
    This Carbon Capture Utilization System turns the CO2 into good paying full time jobs and money.
    It generates an ROI to those Utilities that invest at installing these Systems.

  23. I take exception to this statement:

    “Solar PV can even be useful in certain niche environments, particularly where other generating sources are unavailable or prohibitively expensive, like Hawaii.”

    Hawaii doesn’t have the land for grid scale solar, unless they give up growing sugar and pineapples. The best solution for Hawaii would be floating nuclear, like the Russians just deployed.

  24. Thanks David, always interesting – – and fun.

    Minor issues:
    Your quote by Jude Clemente includes: “ making it an essential resource for more wind and solar development.
    That’s true, but . . .
    I don’t consider wind and solar essential, although there are a few interesting exceptions. Solar is replacing trucked-in diesel at Sunrise, Mt. Rainer:
    46.914412°, -121.644059°

    And you wrote: “The State of Massachusetts is literally covered with solar panels”
    The map has a lot of yellow on it, but the term “literally” with respect to all State land is a stretch.

    Regarding:
    Figure 8. US photovoltaic resource map

    This seems to be a “best” situation thing, based on tilt=latitude collectors.
    Here in Washington State at 47°N, low clouds have been more in evidence than sunlight. At the moment, our visibility is about one mile. A couple of local businesses have placed many rooftop residential systems.
    Our place is 100% electric from Columbia River hydro, although our Co-Op, via the BPA, does have other sources.

  25. On the story, the problem with NG in Africa and many places without direct sources of natural gas having to compress and decompress comes with a heavy cost, often doubling or more the cost of the product. Coal is cheaper in most cases and is why it’s used. It’s already compressed.

    • Cheniere is very public about their costs.

      Their liquefaction process is 92% efficient. That is for every 100 mmbtu of pipeline natural gas that goes into the plant, 92 mmbtu of LNG comes out.

      They produce their own electricity from that 8%, plus there is some natural gas liquids in the pipeline natural gas they extract out.

      They have other operational costs [labor, overhead, etc] that accounts for another 4% of the purchase cost of their pipeline natural gas.

      That’s 12% total that goes to operational cost. I’m intentionally ignoring depreciation and amortization, profit, shipping, and regassification losses.

      The price of LNG is double pipeline natural gas because the market will pay it, not because it is all that expensive to convert pipeline natural gas to LNG.

  26. In figure 7, Crude oil production in selected states and regions (January 1970 – April 2019), it’s interesting but not surprising that California and whatever the bottom dark brown line represents are the only areas with a downward production slope since 2016/2017.

    Despite President Obama and his misleading 2014 “all of the above” disingenuous energy strategy statement, US oil industry innovation has made America a net exporter of oil and gas products.

  27. And augmented by having few criteria pollutants, gas has 50% less CO2 emissions than coal.

    Hey, Jude Clemente, the comment about pollutants is OK, but the “concern” about CO2 is clueless.

  28. “This suggests that the expected cost and risk premium for the initial set of U.S. offshore wind projects might be less pronounced than anticipated by many industry observers and analysts.

    US DOE NREL”

    hear! hear!

  29. Sara, ongoing complaints concentrate on

    seeing

    Cooling Towers everywhere!
    ________________________________________________

    https://www.google.com/search?q=see+cooling+towers+everywhere&oq=see+cooling+towers+everywhere+&aqs=chrome.

    The green basics: nuisance.

    https://www.google.com/search?client=ms-android-huawei&sxsrf=ACYBGNSuaEO1SBwq62gICob0ca6S8ukuzw:1578743441102&q=Sun+down+cooling+towers+photography&spell=1&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjM4P3PvfvmAhVykosKHd_SD-UQBSgAegQICxAC&biw=360&bih=518&dpr=3

    ________________________________________________

    Green Believers Religion feasts on “nuisance”.

  30. 141 thoughts on “Natural gas “emerging as the world’s go-to fuel” for electricity generation”

    Blog Stats
    415,195,836 hits

    ________________________________________________

    141 thoughts. Bet No one knows what 415,195,836 hits think.

    https://www.google.com/search?client=ms-android-huawei&sxsrf=ACYBGNT1CiltUsc8Q63FP0rSBnNJcM4eCw%3A1578744651193&ei=S7sZXtCwC8XmmwX04q7ACA&q=hermann+g%C3%B6ring+werke+voestalpine&oq=hermann+g%C3%B6ring+werke+voestalpine&gs_l=mobile-gws-wiz-serp.

    Better.

  31. [snip . . . mod]

    Comments on WUWT are of interest as a Sack of rice toppling in China.

    [Then why post a comment here? . . . mod]

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