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Abundant Natural Gas Delivers For US

March 16, 2017

By Paul Homewood






According to new data from the US EIA, natural gas is now the leading source of power generation, having overtaken coal last year.

According to EIA, more than 65 percent of CO2 reductions in the electric power sector since 2005 have come from fuel switching to cleaner-burning natural gas. Natural gas use is also helping lower emissions of other pollutants as well. An ISO New England study found that as the fuel mix shifted toward natural gas, regional emissions dropped 91 percent for sulfur dioxide and 56 percent for nitrogen oxide (as well as 22 percent for carbon dioxide) between 2006 and 2015.


Despite all of the hype and subsidies, wind and solar still only supply 6% and 1% of US electricity. Fossil fuels by contrast generate 65%, with another 21% coming from nuclear.







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  1. Broadlands permalink
    March 16, 2017 2:37 pm

    Would it be cynical to observe that CO2 is still being added to the global atmosphere, and if that continues it will be “catastrophic”?

    So… we have to stop all that stuff and start capturing and storing this gas. Act now!, pay now?

  2. March 16, 2017 2:52 pm

    We too could have abundant natural gas and reduced CO2 emissions (as if it matters) by replacing coal with gas, but it needs the Government to get out of the way and allow fracking and the building of CCGTs.

  3. Ex-expat Colin permalink
    March 16, 2017 3:08 pm

    O/T sort of…today. Trump budget released:

    DECREASE: $10.9 billion, 28.7 percent
    The budget eliminates the Global Climate Change Initiative and ceases payments to United Nations climate change programs. Funding for the U.N. and affiliated agencies is also reduced overall, as is foreign aid

    • March 16, 2017 4:13 pm

      US statory laws passed in 1991 and 1994 reguire the US to completely cease funding any UN organization andmits affiliates that recognizes the Palestinian state. UNESCO did in 2011 and they were cut off. UNFCCC did in April 2016 and now they are being cut off. Trump has no choice in the matter.

  4. March 16, 2017 3:19 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  5. March 16, 2017 4:09 pm

    There is a back story here. The average age of the US coal fleet is 42 years, the average retirement age is 48. About another 35% of the coal fleet will need to be retired by 2025. New CCGT costs $2500/kw and takes ~4 years to install. At any natural gas price < about $8/mbtu, gas is also the cheaper fuel (CCGT thermal efficiency is 61%, USC coal is 41-45%). Right now natgas is < $3/mbtu. So the shift in generating mix is being driven purely by economics. As a byproduct, CCGT produces about 40% the CO2 of a new USC coal.
    Based on fracked shale gas recovery factors and in place TRR (the Marcellus and underlying Utica are vast) it is very unlikely that US nat gas will be above $5/mbtu for several decades. $5 is the present high end new frack well breakeven for producers.

    • March 16, 2017 8:29 pm

      Correction. New USC coal is >$2500/kw and 4 years. New CCGT is <$1500/kw and 2.5 years. Dunno what happened; been dealing withnsome complex private matters in parallel.

  6. R2Dtoo permalink
    March 16, 2017 5:14 pm

    Energy independence may require a bit of compromise – or adjustment. Dropping any new wind/solar (except in niche areas) would allow transfer of dollars to NG and/or coal. If supply/demand get a bit out of whack, it would be fruitful to top-up in some way the price of NG to keep the industry healthy and active. They could cut production to raise prices but they still have to be “reasonably profitable”. The geopolitical removal of any dependence on foreign energy supplies should be given some value. I include Canada and, perhaps Mexico in the energy plans of NA. This is a good, and reasonable trading chip to keep the jobs and products at home, and assures a distribution and development of supply among trading friendly trading partners. Let the rest of the world work out their own energy problems. Exporting LNG to NATO allies would be fine, and would help the US trade balance problems. I’m advocating market stabilization and lowest cost options, with government involvement only to ensure the stabilization component. The Alaskan oil development along with the existing and planned pipelines from Canada should ensure oil supply for fuel and industrial needs. We’ve got it all – get on with it!

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