Peak Demand For Natural Gas
By Paul Homewood
I posted an article about natural gas yesterday, showing that we would have to more then triple electricity generation to replace gas in the UK.
I mentioned that I had published a graph recently, estimating what peak demand might look like under such a scenario.
Unfortunately I could not put my hand on it, but thanks to Joe Public for finding it!
The graph comes from the Parliamentary Advisory Group on Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), and was published in September 2016. It specifically deals with gas demand for heat, thus excluding gas used for electricity generation and other industrial purposes.
Naturally gas demand for heat peaks during winter months, but particularly so early mornings and evenings.
As the graph illustrates, whilst electricity demand currently peaks at around 50GW, gas demand frequently peaks at over 300GW. If this demand for gas had to be replaced by electricity, it would not only need massive increases in generating capacity, it would also necessitate a complete rebuild of the grid and transmission network as the current system would be overwhelmed.
The report states that residential and public sector emissions which are mostly from heating represented 18% or 73m tonnes p.a. of 2015 UK CO2 emissions from fossil fuels.
Either way, CCS would be needed, otherwise the objective of the exercise would be nullified. If electrification is the answer, it would have to be produced with CCS as, even the report implies, no other sources of “clean” energy could begin to meet such demand.
And as for the hydrogen scenario, if you are going to use steam reforming, you have got to put the resulting CO2 somewhere.
Neither solution looks in any way to be practical, and certainly not affordable.
This report rather sums up the lemming like attitudes of most of our MPs. They start with the objective of meeting the targets laid down by the Climate Change Act, and then perform ridiculous contortions to find ways of overcoming what most people would regard as unsurmountable obstacles.
Have not any of them got the guts and commonsense to stand up and say that we simply cannot achieve what the Act lays down, at least with the current state of technology? And then follow the logic, and call for the Act to be scrapped.
My guess is that if things carry on this way, eventually gas will be priced out of the range of most people, probably with the help of a carbon tax. We have a very cold future to look forward to.