Natural Gas as a ‘Bridge Fuel’: Back to the 1980s/90s

Reposted from MasterResource

By Robert Bradley Jr. — February 2, 2022

“History rhymes. Natural gas as part of the environmental solution is a return to thirty-plus years ago.”

John Kerry stated the obvious last month to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce: natural gas must be a ‘bridge fuel’ for the “energy reset” away from fossil fuels. “Gas is going to be important to the transition,” said Biden’s climate envoy, adding:

But if we move too fast and too far with too much, and build out an infrastructure for 30 and 40 years, with plans to be able to use it for 30 or 40 years without abatement — if it’s abated, terrific. If you can capture 100% and it makes it affordable, that’s wonderful. But we’re not doing that.

Forget the caveats. Wind and solar and batteries are falling short, and oil, natural gas, and coal are making up the shortfall around the world. This is not a bump but a roadblock–the reset needs to be toward the reliables and away from the unreliables with consumers making the call and taxpayers neutral.

Biden has begged OPEC and Russia to open the oil spigots more. The Administration recently praised LNG in Europe’s moment of need. EU ministers, meanwhile, are debating whether to include natural gas (and nuclear) as “green” in the net-zero quest. Natural gas is hardly dead, and eco-authoritarian planners are out on a voter-political ledge.

Back to Ken Lay/Enron

Environmental groups have virtually all rejected natural gas on methane release/CO2 grounds (see below). But this was not the case thirty-plus years ago.

Soon after James Hansen put the global warming issue on the front page, Ken Lay’s Enron energized the gas industry to come together to crusade against coal (and, soon, with the Gulf War, oil) on climate-change grounds. Lay’s early work is described in my Enron Ascending: The Forgotten Years:

Chapter 7 (p. 329)

With less relative CO2 emissions than oil and particularly coal, the natural gas industry got right on board. The American Gas Association sold environmental groups on a “bridge fuel” substitution strategy. “Our effectiveness depends on how the industry reacts,” explained the Sierra Club about its foray into fossil fuel advocacy. The World Resources Institute upped the ante: “We believe that discouraging new uses of natural gas is bad energy policy, economically unsound, and environmentally damaging.”

The National Coal Association labeled such thinking “shortsighted,” while the nuclear group US Council for Energy Awareness complained about being left out of the discussion. This was coal versus gas.

With new environmental regulations kicking in under the Clean Air Act of 1990, as well as political interest in tightening existing standards and expanding the list of pollutants, Lay … exhort[ed] electricity executives to go “beyond Clean Air compliance” with gas-for-coal substitution. This meant some combination of “natural gas co-firing, gas conversion, or new gas-fired capacity [that] would hedge the risk facing ratepayers resulting from potential CO2 emissions limits or taxes in the future.”

———————–

Ken Lay fashioned an attractive climate message for both sides of the political divide. To Republicans, he stressed the no-regrets strategy of using natural gas to address climate change: “While we complete the research on global warming, we have a significant opportunity to reduce one of the major causes of global warming without paying any economic penalty.” To Democrats and to allied environmentalists, Lay went further. “Global climate change is … potentially … a horrendous problem,” Lay opined in one interview.

“I don’t know of any evidence to suggest that larger and larger accumulations of greenhouse gases—and particularly CO2 emissions—in the atmosphere has any—and I do mean any—beneficial effects for our globe and mankind,” Lay iterated elsewhere.

Lay’s climate alarmism was opportunistic, self-serving, and intellectually myopic. There were top-drawer arguments against this eco-scare, just as there had been about the population bomb in the 1960s and resource famines in the 1970s. A vast literature existed on the positive ecological and economic benefit of higher concentrations of atmospheric CO2 for plants and woody matter, such as that document by the coal-funded Greening Earth Society. But Ken Lay was not in a mood to think impartially about a new weapon against the energy enemy.

Lay was pliable on many things political and social in his quest for a mighty Enron. In time, he would confess to the opportunism presented by the global-warming meme. “If there is one thing I have been impressed with over the last decades, it is that when the environmental community defines a number one priority, something happens,” he remarked in 1997. “Not always something good—but something.”

Chapter 7: (p. 343)

With his academic credentials, a novel strategy that split the fossil fuel industry in three, and deft lobbying of pragmatic environmentalists, Lay donned the mantle of energy expert and big thinker. Whereas other energy executives thought in terms of quarters and the upcoming year, Lay’s messages had a social-good, longer-term quality that seemed to set him apart.

The Age of Oil was about to decline, Lay declared. Natural gas would bridge the fossil fuel era to a renewable-energy epoch. “I would guess that, within a century or so, we are going to see a big share of our total energy needs served by renewable energy,” Lay stated. A complete transformation to 100 percent renewables was forecast in 200–300 years.

But was Enron’s architect an energy prophet—or a faux philosopher sanctimoniously promoting his bottom line? Ken Lay certainly read Christopher Flavin, the most thoughtful of the environmental energy activists. Flavin’s books and booklets championing a government-directed transition to renewables were worth study. But the Worldwatch expert assumed rather than justified his fossil-fuel alarmism. His lawyer-like briefs did not carefully consider opposite views. His footnote-laden work was glorified advocacy, not true scholarship.

Bridge Fuel: MIT Study (2011)

The natural-gas bridge-fuel strategy was still alive in 2010/2011, although environmental groups were getting off board. “Natural Gas Could Serve as ‘Bridge’ Fuel to Low-Carbon Future,” stated an article in Scientific American. a report on a two-year, 287-page study from MIT, The Future of Natural Gas (2011). Joel Kirkland of ClimateWire reported:

The MIT team of researchers was led by Ernest Moniz, a physics professor and director of the MIT Energy Initiative. Moniz’s name often floats around Washington when it comes time to choose another energy secretary. A major sponsor of the report is the American Clean Skies Foundation, a Washington think tank created and funded by the natural gas industry.

It was coal-to-gas in the electricity sector–and also a move to natural gas vehicles.

Automakers that take the plunge into compressed natural gas vehicles would see a significant jump in demand under a national climate policy that makes carbon dioxide emissions costly. Biofuels are expected to advance, but it’s unclear how quickly and at what cost to important food crops. But even with biofuels in the picture, MIT projects natural gas vehicles will be 15 percent of the private vehicle fleet by 2050.

But a decade later, natural gas would no longer be the flavor of the month–until the present energy crisis…. “Natural Gas is a Bridge to Nowhere” (Energy Transition: January 07, 2021): “Natural gas is gladly referred to as a ‘bridge fuel’ by its proponents,” noted Paul Hockenos:

But this was the thinking of ten years ago – and it is no longer valid. The fast pace of renewables-based systems’ technical progress – and plummeting costs – has, together with new studies on gas’s toxic methane emissions, cast a new, much less sanguine light on natural gas.

These developments throw into question the natural gas projects still being funded by the EU, which intends to rachet up its greenhouse gas reduction targets for 2030 to 55%, compared to 1990 levels. This should put the EU on a path to reach climate neutrality by 2050.”

And so the debate continues….

4.9 8 votes
Article Rating
68 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
dk_
February 3, 2022 2:25 am

And so the debate continues

I don’t think that this can be characterized as a debate.

Doug Huffman(@doughuffman)
Reply to  dk_
February 3, 2022 3:20 am

You must be a senior. This IS what passes for debate among Zoomers, even forensics are reduced to assertion.

Rocketscientist
Reply to  dk_
February 3, 2022 8:37 am

dk_, I cannot concur more strongly.
This is not so much a debate as it is remedial education for the lost generation.

griff
February 3, 2022 2:35 am

All well and good for the USA with its current coal base… but the UK is well past that point, since we are now down to our last 3 coal power plants, which in each of last 3 years have contributed just 2% of electricity annually.

fretslider
Reply to  griff
February 3, 2022 2:56 am

You do know why, griff?

Hint…. it’s an artificially high price issue

Last edited 3 months ago by fretslider
griff
Reply to  fretslider
February 3, 2022 4:18 am

Sorry, no idea what your point is…

fretslider
Reply to  griff
February 3, 2022 4:37 am

At least on this occasion you admit how woefully uninformed you are. As I said, “it’s an artificially high price issue”

“British carbon tax leads to 93% drop in coal-fired electricity”

https://phys.org/news/2020-01-british-carbon-tax-coal-fired-electricity.html

Does that ring any bells?

Last edited 3 months ago by fretslider
RevJay4
Reply to  fretslider
February 3, 2022 5:59 am

“carbon tax…” anything is nothing more than the grifters getting more of everyone’s hard earned money. There is a hemp solution for all these climate activists/commie b*astards, which is what it may come down to, if they persist with their nonsense. The “renewables” are not really that renewable/sustainable/whatever, and, they know it. And they are in fear that the folk will see through their curtain of non-science and revolt.
The harder the climate nutjobs push for the unicorn solutions, the more they reveal the con, the closer they come to meeting a fate they, apparently, are incapable of imagining. Not good.

Rocketscientist
Reply to  RevJay4
February 3, 2022 10:06 am

As many of them maybe already using hemp (or its byproducts) they seem to be willing to grow their own ropes.

Anon
Reply to  fretslider
February 3, 2022 7:44 am

I can’t wait to see what that will do to the rest of the UK’s industries. (lol)

decnine
Reply to  griff
February 3, 2022 6:58 am

Your last four words are redundant.

2hotel9
Reply to  griff
February 3, 2022 7:02 am

Same as the one on top of your head, lie spewer.

MarkW
Reply to  griff
February 3, 2022 7:22 am

Sorry, no idea what your point is…

Not surprising.

Reply to  griff
February 3, 2022 3:02 am

Time to start fracking.

Joao Martins
Reply to  griff
February 3, 2022 4:01 am

… we are now down to …

… and you are down to how much electricity cost increase?…

griff
Reply to  Joao Martins
February 3, 2022 4:17 am

None of the increase is down to closing coal plants, is it?

Leo Smith
Reply to  griff
February 3, 2022 5:35 am

all of the increase is to do with adding ‘renewable’ energy.

Joao Martins
Reply to  griff
February 3, 2022 5:56 am

As a matter of fact… coal plants do not legislate; governments do… BECAUSE they think coal plants bad and windmills good. And then, “market” (i.e., the real world) says prices MUST have a … how can I say it in movilingua, because everyone knows that renewables make energy cheaper … electricity prices must have a “negative reduction”! That’s the idea! Yes, we must understandd that the reduction of energy price due to renewables is a “negative” one!

Last edited 3 months ago by Joao Martins
ResourceGuy
Reply to  griff
February 3, 2022 6:22 am

Who was the genius that allowed gas storage to go so low? No other country does it that way.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  ResourceGuy
February 3, 2022 6:58 am

no reason for a genius who hates gas to bother storing it- that way, when the energy crunch comes, “the people” will beg for more “clean and green” pure as the driven snow energy

Joao Martins
Reply to  ResourceGuy
February 3, 2022 8:20 am

… one that does not cook at home and dines on home delivery.

2hotel9
Reply to  griff
February 3, 2022 7:03 am

And spewing that lie, yet again, lie spewing liar.

MarkW
Reply to  griff
February 3, 2022 7:24 am

There’s absolutely no way that closing cheap and reliable coal plants and replacing them with expensive unreliable wind and solar can have anything to do with increasing energy prices.

Dean
Reply to  griff
February 3, 2022 8:00 pm

Again Griff is using his blame the last remaining horse for not being able to pull the cart up the hill, because he killed the other 5 when he was going down the last hill and those 5 horses were not needed because of Free Energy from gravity……..

Mike Edwards
Reply to  griff
February 3, 2022 5:04 am

Yes, more fool us in the UK for closing down the cheapest power plants. One of the many reasons why our electricity prices have been going up inexorably. Add to that our shunning of any investment in natural gas extraction and gas infrastructure and we have a perfect storm that is making our electricity and our heating unaffordable.

Welcome to the world of Greta and her acolytes! Doesn’t look very inviting, does it?

2hotel9
Reply to  griff
February 3, 2022 7:02 am

And right on que the lie spewing liar toddles in to spew lies.

Joel
Reply to  griff
February 3, 2022 7:11 am

They only run those coal plants when they really need the power. That only happens when the wind’s not blowing.
Reflect.

Joel
Reply to  griff
February 3, 2022 9:29 am

Dear griff:

I want you to know that unlike many people on the blog site, I don’t hate you or your ideas.

Why?

You and your ideas are making me a lot of money.

I bought a lot of fossil fuel ETF’s years ago, just prior to the shale oil boom in this country. I had read about fracking, and this seemed to be restaining prices, but I thought no way would OPEC allows oil and gas to get cheaper. This was a buying opportunity.

Boy, was I wrong.

For years those ETF’s had a depressing effect on my retirement funds.

Now, though with:

  1. Europe declaring NG is a bridge fuel to the future, and oil and coal are bad.
  2. The current American administration going along with #1 and implementing policies making it more expensive to extract fossil fuels as well as closing coal, oil and nuclear power plants.

my ETF’s in the last 12 months have doubled.

But,it gets even better.

Because of the insane policies imposed by politicians, and the vagaries of the weather, NG prices have become very volatile. Volatility == profits when you trade options. See below.

For example, imagine my joy when the now disgraced governor of New York State closed, by fiat, a perfectly good nuclear power plant, and announced they would burn more natural gas to compensate for the loss of a reliable 2GW of clean power. Kaching! It wasn’t two months before they began to suffer electricity shortages in New York City. Ahh! Love me them central planners.

When NG prices drop, I don’t worry and sell my EFT’s because the prices will have to recover at some point. ETF’s don’t go bankrupt, even if the selling prices drops 50% or more.

But, thanks to the magic of options, I have twice in the last 6 months sold very lucrative call options on my ETF’s (Yep. Two round trips) as the prices spiked because of political or weather related uncertainties, then fall back when the market calms down.

The beauty is that people have to have NG, no matter what the cost (see the UK gas markets, for example.) If the people can’t afford it, the govt will pay for the NG for them. It is better than owning a tobacco company stock! (Note: Despite all the huff and puff of the government, Philip Morris has never missed a dividend payment.)

So, in the last 6 months I have cleared, without any risk (selling covered calls), enough profits to pay all of my energy bills (electricity, gas, gasoline) for the next 3 decades.

Also good is my recent purchase of a big nice minivan, which the govts here in the USA gave me $10,000 to offset the cost of a hybrid vehicle. Again, thanks to you and other people like you in the USA.

And, the future is bright for NG pricing in the USA. NG is much cheaper in the USA than Europe and US consumers of NG have been protected from the high global price of NG. But, as the US develops a greater export capacity for LNG, and Europe is forced to buy gas from the USA, the price of NG in my country (USA) is bound to go up and hopefully will reach parity with prices in Asia and Europe.

And, I also thank those people who are increasing political tensions with our only real big competitor for NG, Russia.

So, my sincere thanks, not just to you but to all the central planners in Europe and Washington, D.C.

Yours truly,
Effortlessly warm and dry, cool and comfortable with central heating and A/C and driving a big minivan to buy milk with zero worries about paying for any of it.

P.S. Remember that I am just a small investor. Imagine the profits being made by the “big boys.” Who do you thinks funds the anti-fossil fuel movement in Western democracies? Whose tool are you, Griff?

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Joel
February 3, 2022 9:11 pm

Griff doesn’t even realize he is a tool.
Or Greta

It’s their nature

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Pat from kerbob
February 4, 2022 8:25 am

Most people object to being used. The fact that it happens over and again indicates that they are not smart enough to realize when they are being used. Yet, they want to tell everyone else how to run their lives.

fretslider
February 3, 2022 2:55 am

“Back to the 1980s”

In the UK we had the ‘dash for gas’. It was a big part of the Thatcherite privatisation programme of public corporations and utilities – and… it was the death knell for coal mining and the disproportionate amount of political power those pesky miners in the NUM had.

The way things are going we could well go back to a three day week. Of course, we could do another dash for gas; there’s still resources to develop in the North Sea and it could even be fracked on land.

But Parliament will ensure that never happens. It is fully committed to Net Zero, no matter what.

Leo Smith
Reply to  fretslider
February 3, 2022 5:38 am

Parliament will ensure that never happens. It is fully committed to Net Zero, no matter what.

I am not so sure. Rumblings of at least a course deviation, if not a total U turn, are to be heard…

“Lord make me Green, Net Zero and Free of Sin…

…Just not yet”

February 3, 2022 3:00 am

Speeding up to hit the wall harder. Renewables with storage cannot work so the only interesting question is how this impossibility will manifest itself? The utility engineers know this so maybe they will be allowed to speak at some point.

griff
Reply to  David Wojick
February 3, 2022 4:18 am

Renewables plus gas, with no coal, would work perfectly well

fretslider
Reply to  griff
February 3, 2022 4:41 am

Not quite.

Nuclear, gas, coal and hydro work perfectly well

Renewables are useless pocket-liners

Mike Edwards
Reply to  griff
February 3, 2022 5:09 am

Yes, about this “plus gas” bit. Where is this gas supposed to come from?

Disinvestment in fossil fuels. Ban on the use of fracking to extract natural gas in the UK. Lo and behold, we now rely on massive imports of gas to the UK – and guess what, it’s in short supply and so expensive.

Nuclear power is looking ever more attractive for electricity generation.

Philo
Reply to  Mike Edwards
February 7, 2022 6:22 pm

Nuclear, coal, oil, gas should all be in the mix in order to damp out price fluctuations.

The current front runner renewables(what a moniker for such expensive, damaging substitutes) are still looking for the batteries to give them months of storage.

I came across an article in an engineering magazine. Apparently a lithium, cobalt, iron system is being seriously developed. The combo is cheaper the current lithium cells, but literally can’t burn. The chemistry just doesn’t work out. The downside is the stored energy is about 20-25% less. But the innards can be reprocessed to produce new batteries.

The same article discussed a new battery design the LCF battery can use. The cells are soldered directly to a nickel plated sheet of steel. The battery can become the floor of the car, saving a lot of “doubling up” in most current e-cars. The batteries can also withstand very high charge rates because they can be cooled better.

….See what tomorrow brings. May bring you silver, may bring you diamond rings, may bring you anything.

Last edited 3 months ago by Philo
Tom Halla
Reply to  griff
February 3, 2022 6:43 am

We in Texas had experience with the results of having too much wind on the grid when we have freezing rain. BTW, there is freezing rain today.

MarkW
Reply to  griff
February 3, 2022 7:26 am

Ever notice how griff spouts whatever the left wing, green line is.
Just a few months ago he was telling us how wind/solar and storage was a perfect combination and anyone who disagreed with him was in the pay of the fossil fuel industry.

Joao Martins
Reply to  griff
February 3, 2022 10:18 am

Good boy, griff, you are learning!…

At this rate, by 2030 you will understand the need (and absence of catastrophic effects) of nuclear power plants, and around 2050 you will clearly see how dumb you were to believe that wind and photovoltaic were more than a huge waste of money…

Dean
Reply to  griff
February 3, 2022 8:01 pm

Work perfectly well if increasing electricity prices is your aim.

Iain Reid
Reply to  griff
February 3, 2022 11:28 pm

Griff,
but why do we need the renewables?
They increase CO2 emissions from gas generation as they have to compensate for the variability of renewables and work harder, or at times just idling when wind is strong. You can’t switch them on and off like a light switch. We need sufficient synchronous generation to cover for when renewables drop to near zero out put which they frequently do. This is a doubling up of expensive assets and and increases the cost of running the synchronous generators and ultimately puts up electricity price.
I said it before, it is foolish and reckless to shut viable coal power stations, and criminal to blow them up. Effectively we have put all our fuel eggs in one basket, i.e. gas. Here we are with gas at a high price due to supply constrictions demonstrates the lack of any common sense political policies.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  griff
February 4, 2022 8:30 am

You sound like a Bible Thumper. Sharing your beliefs based on dogma from similarly deluded useful tools, reinforced by cherry picked anecdotal evidence.

Joao Martins
Reply to  David Wojick
February 3, 2022 8:44 am

David, I suppose (I have no insider information about that) that the impossibility is already manifesting itself in the EU. My interpretation is that the utility engineers (and other rational people) have already spoken, at the begining and often since then, though, by the action of many social “mechanisms”, they were seldom heard; but the decision makers (at the governments and governing boards of big enterprises and finance) have bet that making money would be faster by creating a renewables financial bubble.

Then, the “impossibility” started to talk. COVID-19 has introduced a lot of noise in that (specultive) process; as a consequence the expected calendar suffered a lot of changes; then winter came, and came as cold or colder than usual in the most powerful European countries (my country, Portugal, and a part of southern Spain are mild, but climate variance here is very high, as in southern Califrnia: warm winters are not unusual).

All these conditions together forced the EU “brains” to resort to their most usual technique: changing the “taxonomies”. That is to say, changing the meaning of the words (not original: Orwell has explained the how-tos in detail…).

Reply to  Joao Martins
February 3, 2022 11:57 am

I would say the present crises (Europe, China, Texas, etc.) are just difficulty showing itself, not impossibility. That comes when they try to shut down gas fired generation.

As for the engineers speaking out, I have not seen it. In the US our utilities file long term plans called Integrated Resource Plans or IRPs, to justify building huge new solar and wind facilities (subsidy farms). I have yet to see one that shows wind and solar not working.

I call it “Politically correct engineering”.

I just filed a formal comment on Virginia’s Clean Economy Act (VCEA) case, where Dominion is the big utility:

“Dominion has no plan that complies with VCEA and provides reliable electricity. In their 2020 IRP they said they would have to import up to 10,000 MW in winter because solar was completely unreliable. But then in their 2021 IRP Update they say that imports like this are not feasible because everyone is going solar. The only alternative is huge amounts of storage, hundreds of thousands of MWh, costing hundreds of billions of dollars, but their plan only provides 16,000 MWh. It is completely unreliable, beginning next winter. VCEA simply cannot work. See my article for details: https://www.cfact.org/2022/01/21/vcea-makes-virginias-electric-grid-dangerously-unreliable/

Engineer’s writing opinion pieces does not count. It is the utilities that have to say it will not work. But they are busy making money building renewables. The more they spend the more they make.

Joao Martins
Reply to  David Wojick
February 4, 2022 4:47 am

I fully agree with your last paragraph!

Albert H Brand
February 3, 2022 4:41 am

I read a very interesting piece on Ambri (I hope I have that right). This is a liguid metal battery using antimony, lead and one other metal for storage. It is strictly for stationary backup as it must not be shaken while operating. Seems is can be charged and discharged rapidly. Not for long term storage but daily and short term. Supposedly long life with major charge and discharge cycles. Did not give any storage depletion information

Dennis G Sandberg
Reply to  Albert H Brand
February 3, 2022 7:49 am

Lithium is fine for a couple hours, that’s not the problem. The cost quickly goes off the chart when storage is required for a few days. That’s when battery storage costs 10x+ more than the panels and turbines.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Dennis G Sandberg
February 3, 2022 12:37 pm

Why go for exotic costly Li for stationary storage? It’s big raison d’être is lightweight for mobile use. Storage doesn’t need light weight.

meab
Reply to  Albert H Brand
February 3, 2022 3:38 pm

Ambri is targeting a 50% cost reduction from Li-Ion for their battery. They might not achieve that cost reduction, but even if they do their battery is about a factor of 5 too high to make unreliable renewables economic. Think about it.

The Hornsdale power reserve in Australia was the world’s biggest back-up battery when it was built in 2017. There are larger batteries now, but only marginally larger. Hornsdale was originally built with 129 MWh of storage yet it could not store enough energy to buffer solar or wind without fossil fuel backup. Why? It could provide a total of 70 MW for just 10 minutes or 30 MW for 3 hours. That’s TINY. What it can do is buffer a small wind farm so that when the wind dies off it gives the utility enough time to bring a Natural Gas fired turbine on line. 
 
To store enough energy from a solar or wind farm the size of one nuclear power plant (1000 MWe) to last through one single night would require a battery about 90 times bigger than Hornsdale (more in the winter when daylight hours are few) but Hornsdale cost over $70 million US dollars. Even a battery 90 times larger than Hornsdale costing $6.0 billion wouldn’t be anywhere near big enough to buffer the unreliable renewable farm through a single day of cloudy or calm weather, let alone a week. And that’s just for a farm the size of a single nuclear plant. Do the math(s). That’s why batteries won’t turn solar or wind into a reliable, economic source. 

Last edited 3 months ago by meab
Reply to  meab
February 3, 2022 4:31 pm

Meab:
Nice post.
And if someone was dumb enough to build a a giant battery
90x Hornsdale 1) they would need to replace it every 10-15 yrs
[typical life expectancy], 2) there is no currently economic way
to recycle Li batteries [ie it goes to a land fill; kinda like wind turbines!]
and 3) better not put all the batteries too close together [in case of fire].

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Albert H Brand
February 4, 2022 8:35 am

I’m not familiar with “Ambri.” Would earthquakes pose unusual risk besides the usual structural issues?

Devils Tower
February 3, 2022 5:03 am

A world gone mad…

Guess no one remembers when northern US cities struggled to keep gas in their mains to heat homes. Back in the 60/70s everyone was switching to coal and nuclear for electricity to use natural gas for the rest. Gas was expensive and reserved for uses were it could not be replaced.

The green subsidizes are canabilizing the world’s economy’s.

Net zero, road to a homeless society…. except for those benifiting from the subsidies, for a while anyway.

ResourceGuy
February 3, 2022 5:47 am

Thanks

This is important.

Sean
February 3, 2022 6:04 am

Natural gas could be accepted as a bridge fuel in the late nineties and early part of this century because it was expensive and getting more so. It became a “bridge to nowhere” when fracking made it abundant and inexpensive. Solar, wind and batteries then would not do well in a competitive market. Europe effectively banned fracking on the continent, much to the delight of natural gas exporters which has left them at the mercy of the weather and the natural gas exporters.

The mess in Europe has laid bare the short sightedness of their energy strategy. The renewal sector must have a backup and the only technology today that can deliver that is natural gas. Energy and covid policy is revealing the competency of their governments and a working-class rebellion its fomenting against elites setting poor policy. The only question is, who will be shown to door first, the eco-zealot lobbyists or the politicians they have groomed over the years

Last edited 3 months ago by Sean
Dennis G Sandberg
Reply to  Sean
February 3, 2022 7:56 am

Sean, nice to see someone who understand energy, politics and economics. Hope you’re right about “a working-class rebellion”. My concern is the con won’t be understood until after Biden/Harris/Schumer/Pelosi spend another $trillion on sunshine, breezes and batteries.

DMacKenzie
February 3, 2022 6:48 am

Bridge ? Natural gas is a good fuel. If you don’t think so, try heating your house with dried animal dung for a couple of weeks. The “laws” of economics dictate that, as gas becomes less abundant and more expensive due to “finding costs”, it will be replaced by the next least expensive option. At the rate governments assign green taxes, household economics might soon dictate that animal dung and grass clippings ARE the next best option. Government petticrats need to be watched carefully when it comes to inconveniencing the population. Power is their aphrodisiac and personal achievement certificates cover the sign on their wall that says “public servant”.

philo
Reply to  DMacKenzie
February 3, 2022 10:22 am

Fortunately, human dung works just as well as other animals- except greenies. They are always willing to “f” something up.

But somewhat old technology can come to the rescue. Years ago there was a wilderness camping spree in the USA. As part of that, toilets(loo’s, outhouses) were re-engineered it into auto-composting sort of bins that could be built into a house or shack. With “engineered” changes- a sloping floor, interiors baffles, and some other tricks the excrement would flow down the bin and could be had regularly at the bottom. Allowed to dry it would burn well. Used wet it made good fertilizer. And best of all, a suitably placed vertical duct with a semi-automatic lid would ventilate the contraption.

This design is still being used in many federal and state parks to minimize maintainence. I think the only real problem is when three or four busses of elderly folks drop by after a big dinner.

observa
February 3, 2022 6:59 am

Gas and nukes just got a whole lot greener and sustainable-
In controversial move, EU says nuclear power and gas can be green investments (msn.com)
Reverse double backflip with full pike out has a high degree of difficulty here folks.

2hotel9
February 3, 2022 7:07 am

Would love to sit Lurch down and educate his ignorant ass. Gas is renewable energy. Coal is renewable energy. Oil is renewable energy. Hydro is renewable energy. Nuclear is renewable energy. Solar and wind cannot produce enough power to sustain their own operation, have to be supported 100% by renewable energy sources. Real renewable energy.

Smart Rock
Reply to  2hotel9
February 3, 2022 7:25 am

Don’t be silly. Take a break, have a coffee and relax a bit.

MarkW
February 3, 2022 7:20 am

Gas is such an important fuel, that they have to oppose any efforts to get more of it.

Tom.1
February 3, 2022 8:26 am

Why don’t we just use a natural process to get fuel? Plants are very good at converting the sun’s energy to biomass which can either be burned in a conventional boiler to make electricity or gasified to make methane. This requires no technology breakthroughs. We just have to convert all of our arable land to make fuel. Of course, almost half of the corn production is already used to make fuel ethanol, and now they are starting with soybeans to make diesel. Just keep with that thought!
Why don’t we just use a natural process to get fuel? Plants are very good at converting the sun’s energy to biomass which can either be burned in a conventional boiler to make electricity or gasified to make methane. This requires no technology breakthroughs. We just have to convert all of our arable land to make fuel. Of course, almost half of the corn production is already used to make fuel ethanol, and now they are starting with soybeans to make diesel. Just keep with that thought!

I forgot to mention, biomass has the redeeming quality of storability. Growing up on the farm, I spend a lot of time storing biomass for the winter.

Last edited 3 months ago by Tom.1
Tom.1
Reply to  Tom.1
February 3, 2022 8:35 am

Now, since we will be using all of our arable land for fuel, we won’t be able to grow enough food, and we definitely won’t be able to be feeding our fuel to livestock, so the livestock have to go except for the ones that can live on land that is not suitable for anything else. Also, we won’t be able to sustainably feed 8 billion of us, so I recon about 7 billion of you are going to have to be put to some other use. You could become an interim fuel on the way to a more sustainable, biomass based economy. How about it?

Brad-DXT
Reply to  Tom.1
February 3, 2022 10:26 am

Are you suggesting 7 billion repurposed into Soylent Green?

On the other hand, China’s crematoria were working overtime a couple of years ago. They may wish to use them for double duty and generate energy from all that heat.

Philo
Reply to  Brad-DXT
February 7, 2022 6:42 pm

A crematory needs methane or other fuel to do the cremating. They don’t “burn” the bodies, they decompose them using large amounts of energy.

Joel O'Bryan(@joelobryan)
February 3, 2022 10:13 am

What is missing here is also a discussion of how important natural gas is to the Haber-Bosch process to make our nitrogen fertilizers that feed 50% of humanity. About 5% of the world’s production of natural gas goes to industrial plants using the H-B process to make ammonia and urea for crop fertilizers. It is for this reason that ulitmately economies will have to decide which use is more important, and why I believe coal will one day make a comeback for Western power generation, when the market decides natural gas must go to fertilizer production, and petroleum to transporation and plastics.

China and India are already on this path with their continued expansion of coal generation.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
February 3, 2022 4:44 pm

Joel
Reading your post reminded me of this link about what happens in the real world without
fertilizer: “Failure of organic farming” [ 2021-22]
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/1/26/sri-lanka-200-million-compensation-farmers-organic-crops-drive 
[gov banned synthetic fertilizer and mutiple crops failed, especially rice…]
And to Tom.1 above: I hope that was sarcasm about using our arable land to burn for
fuel… I like to eat! [and btw photosynthesis is only 2-3% efficient].

%d bloggers like this: