Guest “No schist sherlock” by David Middleton
PJM, MISO, others warn of ‘significant power shortages’ from EPA’s power plant carbon rule
The agency’s proposed limits on power plant carbon emissions rely on “green” hydrogen and carbon capture, technologies that may not be widely available, four grid operators told the agency.
Published Aug. 10, 2023
Ethan Howland Senior Reporter
The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed greenhouse gas emissions standards for power plants could hurt grid reliability, with the potential for “significant power shortages,” according to major U.S. grid operators.
“The joint [independent system operators/regional transmission organizations] are concerned that the proposed rule could result in material, adverse impacts to the reliability of the power grid,” four of the largest U.S. grid operators said in joint comments to the agency Tuesday.
Their reliability concerns mainly stem from the chance that the EPA is overestimating how quickly technological advances may occur in “green” hydrogen production, transport and generation, as well as in carbon capture and storage, or CCS — the key compliance pathways for meeting the proposed rule, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, the PJM Interconnection and the Southwest Power Pool, organizations that operate the grid in 30 states and the District of Columbia, serving about 154 million people.
The proposal requires coal-fired power plants that intend to operate past 2039 to install CCS that captures 90% of carbon emissions. Coal plants that plan to retire by 2035 and run at no more than a 20% capacity factor and units that will be shuttered before 2032 don’t face GHG emissions limits.
Gas-fired combustion turbines larger that 300 MW and with at least a 50% capacity factor have two compliance options: CCS with 90% carbon capture by 2035, or co-firing of 30% low-GHG hydrogen beginning in 2032 and co-firing 96% starting in 2038, according to the agency.Utility Dive
“The EPA is overestimating how quickly technological advances may occur in “green” hydrogen… as well as in carbon capture and storage, or CCS”
Note that the EPA’s new strategy doesn’t rely on wind and solar to save us from the weather… It now depends on the rapid deployment of “green hydrogen” and CCS.
Green Hydrogen… WTF?
Scientific element: Hydrogen
A colourless, odourless gas, hydrogen has the lowest density of all gases.
Hydrogen is an essential element for life, it is present in water and in almost all the molecules in living things.
Hydrogen is easily the most abundant element in the universe. It is found in the sun and most of the stars, and the planet Jupiter is composed mostly of hydrogen.University of Nottingham
What makes “a colorless” gas green? Dollars.
What Are The Colours Of Hydrogen And What Do They Mean?
Green hydrogen doesn’t generate any emissions in its entire life cycle as it uses renewable energies in the production process, making it a true source of clean energy. It is made by electrolysing water using clean electricity created from surplus renewable energy from wind and solar power. The process causes a reaction that splits water into its components of hydrogen and oxygen (the H and O in H2O). This results in no carbon emissions being released in the process. It’s a great alternative to grey and blue, but for now the main challenge is in reducing the production costs of green hydrogen to make it a truly obtainable renewable and environmentally friendly alternative.
Hydrogen, as an energy source, ranks right up there with nuclear fusion: Infinitely abundant clean and inexpensive energy; however, it’s always just over the horizon. Green hydrogen is the most expensive way to manufacture the most abundant element in the Universe, furthermore relying entirely on the most unreliable electricity generation sources on Earth.
What’s the main obstacle to carbon capture and storage?
The Permitting Program Crucial for Carbon Capture’s Success
Posted on March 11, 2021 by Jena Lococo
Challenges with the Class VI Program
A program that was meant to protect the public’s drinking water has instead created many challenges for cost-effective deployment of carbon capture and sequestration. Of the more than 700,000 wells the UIC program has permitted, only two Class VI wells have ever been permitted for injection, both located at the Archer Daniel Midland’s ethanol plant located in Illinois. The typical permit application processing time was six years for both of these permits. This timeline is a significant barrier to develop storage capacity at the rate needed to capture carbon dioxide as well as for projects trying to take advantage of the incentives provided by the 45Q tax credit. Additionally, there are significant costs associated with complying with the onerous corrective action and monitoring requirements of the Class VI program, which are not always proportionate with the risk to drinking water from the project.
The technology for CCS is already available. It’s been available for more than 50 years. Furthermore, there’s no shortage of geologic storage space for CO2. The 45Q tax credit might actually make it economically viable. However, there’s an 800 pound gorilla blocking the road:
Thus far, the EPA has approved 2 Class VI permits and lists 118 Class VI applications as “pending.” The EPA seems to think that industry can rapidly ramp up CCS to meet its new CO2 emissions restrictions, in spite of the fact that the EPA is incapable of processing Class VI applications in a timely manner while slow-walking approvals of primacy for state agencies.