100% Renewable (COUGH COUGH)

“The city of Las Vegas is now drawing 100 percent of its power from renewable energy sources

“The effort moved closer to reality about a year ago when the city expanded its partnership with NVEnergy

NVEnergy’s GreenEnergy program allows large customers to contract for an added cost with the company to power their facilities. Customers that opt to receive all of their energy from renewable sources pay a slight premium for that.”

Coal currently accounts for 8 percent of NVEnergy’s generating resources, compared with 74 percent natural gas and 18 percent renewable resources.”

 

http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/politics-and-government/las-vegas/city-las-vegas-reaches-clean-energy-goal

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Ontario’s Electricity Policy Disaster

Massive revenue guarantees for a handful of lucky wind power generators, but no appreciable environmental benefit from Ontario’s energy policies says economics professor Ross McKitrick

You may be surprised to learn that electricity is now cheaper to generate in Ontario than it has been for decades. The wholesale price, called the Hourly Ontario Electricity Price or HOEP, used to bounce around between five and eight cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), but over the last decade, thanks in large part to the shale gas revolution, it has trended down to below three cents, and on a typical day is now as low as two cents per kWh. Good news, right?

It would be, except that this is Ontario. A hidden tax on Ontario’s electricity has pushed the actual purchase price in the opposite direction, to the highest it’s ever been. The tax, called the Global Adjustment (GA), is levied on electricity purchases to cover a massive provincial slush fund for green energy, conservation programs, nuclear plant repairs and other central planning boondoggles. As these spending commitments soar, so does the GA.

In the latter part of the last decade when the HOEP was around five cents per kWh and the government had not yet begun tinkering, the GA was negligible, so it hardly affected the price. In 2009, when the Green Energy Act kicked in with massive revenue guarantees for wind and solar generators, the GA jumped to about 3.5 cents per kWh, and has been trending up since — now it is regularly above 9.5 cents.

In April it even topped 11 cents, triple the average HOEP.

So while the marginal production cost for generation is the lowest in decades, electricity bills have never been higher. And the way the system is structured, costs will keep rising.

Read more here

 

UK Faces Winter Gas Crunch

Oh oh! Its going to be a cold winter in the UK!

The UK faces a looming winter gas supply crunch after Centrica said it has been forced to shut down a key gas storage facility until next spring.

Centrica’s Rough site accounts for more than 70pc of the UK’s total gas storage capacity, and can provide about 10pc of peak winter gas demand. The facility, which was converted from a partially depleted gas field off the Yorkshire coast in the 1980s, has suffered ongoing issues and outages in recent months and will now close entirely for further tests.

A spokesman said Centrica is working to see whether it will be possible to return around a third of the capacity to operation by November, in time for colder months when gas demand by energy companies climbs.

Cecile Langevin, a senior analyst with Thomson Reuters, said that even if companies are able to draw from the storage site before next March or April, Rough will only be 34pc full because the injections of gas usually made during the summer will not be possible .

Wholesale gas prices for this winter rocketed over 10pc on the UK market following the news, reaching 47½p a therm, as traders reacted to the announcement. The price closed at 46.65p a therm, the highest winter price in a year.

h/t NotALotOfPeopleKnowThat

 

China’s Cheap Coal Slows Switch To Natural Gas

Fracking has really dropped the price of natural gas in the USA leading to major switch from coal to natural gas in power plants.

But China is resisting this change because of costs.

China’s effort to promote natural gas over coal to cut pollution is facing resistance from buyers who prefer cheaper to cleaner. The world’s largest energy consumer seeks to raise the share of less-polluting natural gas to 10 percent of its energy mix by 2020 from 6 percent last year. Yet even with the government cutting the cost of gas, it remains almost three times more expensive than coal when used to generate electricity. That’s putting a damper on the switch from a fuel that now accounts for more than 60 percent of demand.

Electricity generated from gas costs almost three times that from coal — about 0.6 yuan a kilowatt-hour in eastern China, while coal-fired output costs 0.22 yuan.

The Shanghai city-gate price — a wholesale cost of gas delivered to distributors — was cut in November to 2.18 yuan a cubic meter. That’s about $9 per million British thermal units, compared with $2.039 for U.S. benchmark prices and $4.24 in the U.K. as of Thursday. 

USA: CO2 Down 21% Since 2005 – Thanks Fracked Natural Gas!

Fracking is amazing.

A new report by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) found hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has pushed CO2-Cutscarbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from electricity generation to the lowest levels since 1993.

Fracking created immense amounts of natural gas, lowering the price and causing the amount of electricity generated from natural gas to pass the amount of electricity generated from coal for seven of the months in 2015, according to the new EIA report. The report specifies that natural gas power plants produce about 40 percent of the CO2 emitted from a coal plant creating the same amount of electricity. This caused U.S. CO2 from the electricity sector to fall by 21 percent since their high in 2005.

“[T]he drop in natural gas prices, coupled with highly efficient natural gas-fired combined-cycle technology, made natural gas an attractive choice to serve baseload demand previously met by coal-fired generation,” read the report. “Coal-fired generation has decreased because of both the economics driven by cost per kilowatthour compared to that of natural gas and because of the effects of increased regulation on air emissions.”

 

California: 14 Days of Blackouts This Summer Possible

The  Aliso Canyon gas storage facility has a leak. That could mean 14 days of blackouts. (UPDATE: Affected Region Map at bottom)

And if they empty the gas, and the leak is nor fixed by the winter, things will be worse in the winter.

Several actions are underway to respond to the major natural gas leak that occurred at the Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility on October 23, 2015. With the leak now stopped, there is a moratorium that prohibits the operator of the facility, Southern California Gas (SoCalGas), from injecting natural gas into the underground reservoir until a comprehensive safety review of the facility is completed. This safety review requires that all 114 wells in the facility are either thoroughly tested for safe operation or removed from operation and isolated from the underground reservoir.

The implementation of these safety measures means that the Aliso Canyon facility is not operating as it normally does to provide gas for the energy demands in the Greater Los Angeles area. Only 15 billion cubic feet of natural gas remains in the Aliso Canyon underground reservoir—less than one-fifth of the capacity of the facility—for use to maintain electrical and gas service in the region if it is needed.

The Aliso Canyon facility has operated for decades as a critical part of the natural gas transmission and distribution system in the Los Angeles region. Aliso Canyon provides gas supplies to 11 million customers for home heating, hot water and cooking fuel. The facility also provides gas supplies to natural gas-fired power plants that play a central role meeting regional electrical demand. Aliso Canyon is critical to meeting peak gas usage demands in winter months and helping to meet peak electrical demands during the summer months.

The engineering analysis, which applied complex industry standard hydraulic modeling to simulate operations on the SoCalGas system suggests that without any gas supply from Aliso Canyon, there are 14 days this coming summer during which gas curtailments could be high enough to cause electricity service interruptions to millions of utility customers. Factors leading to gas curtailments, even 3 on days with only moderately high demand, include differences between gas scheduled and received into the SoCalGas system (receipts) versus actual customer demand (sendout) as small as 0.15 Bcf; gas storage and pipeline maintenance work planned for this summer, and unplanned outages.

Using the 15 billion cubic feet of gas currently stored at Aliso Canyon as directed by the CPUC and taking several other actions described below can reduce – although not eliminate – the possibility of these electric interruptions. It is also important to note that, using most or all the gas remaining in Aliso Canyon during this summer would result in greater risk of shortages next winter if normal operations of the facility are not restored in time to store new gas there for winter use.

This map shows the Aliso Canyon Delivery Area:

APr_8_2016

Chesapeake Energy and Sierra Club and Aubrey McClendon

Three weeks ago, Aubrey McClendon, co-founder of Chesapeake Energy Corp (a major player in shale gas) was accused of rigging bids for oil- and gas-drilling rights. McClendon slipped away from his security team and climbed into his 2013 Chevy Tahoe. He sped north along a lonesome two-lane stretch of Midwest Boulevard, toward the prairie-scrub city edge, where he drove his SUV into a wall at high speed.

I’m assuming suicide. When I read about this I was reminded of the huge (well .. it should have been huge) scandal discovered by Time Magazine in 2012.

“between 2007 and 2010 the Sierra Club accepted over $25 million in donations from the gas industry, mostly from Aubrey McClendon, CEO of Chesapeake Energy—one of the biggest gas drilling companies in the U.S. and a firm heavily involved in fracking—to help fund the Club’s Beyond Coal campaign.”

The problem with the “Beyond Coal”  campaign is that it wants to replace coal with super-expensive renewables (instead of cheap natural gas)  despite the bribes from McClendon.

China has 150 new coal power plants planned “a capacity of 123GW, more than twice Germany’s entire coal fleet”.

Not only will killing coal in the USA put 10s of thousands of people out of work (many of whom will probably vote Trump) … replacing coal with renewables will make manufacturing and home electricity even less competitive.

And even more coal will be burned in China (and India etc) than is not burned in the USA.

McClendon was an idiot to fund the Sierra Club.