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Sun Feb 17, 2013, 02:17 PM

CHARTS: Renewables in Bed With Natural Gas?



"It’s no secret that environmentalists are going through a bit of an identity crisis when it comes to natural gas. Celebrities including Mark Ruffalo, Matt Damon, and Yoko Ono have aligned themselves with green groups like the Sierra Club to come out steadfastly against gas because of fracking, the drilling technique that harvests most of it, citing concerns about water and air contamination. Meanwhile others, including New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the Environmental Defense Fund, have boosted fracking as a “bridge” to wean the US off of coal, and usher in more renewables, a process that is already underway.

But a report released this morning makes it clear that the renewables industry sees itself in the latter camp, forming an unexpected alliance with the natural gas industry, since both groups are intent on giving coal the boot. The informal partnership should be a PR boon to the embattled gas industry, which has spent the last several years trying to allay concerns from the public and policymakers by shouting over the anti-fracking fracas.

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But Jenny Chang, a spokesperson for the Sierra Club’s Beyond Natural Gas campaign, says the partnership between renewables and natural gas is more unholy than happy: It distracts, she says, from the basic fact that, as a fossil fuel, natural gas can never be truly 'clean.' 'It’s incredibly frustrating and incredibly manipulative' for the gas industry to align itself with renewables, Chang said. 'Clean energy and natural gas are not on the same spectrum.'"

http://climatedesk.org/2013/01/charts-renewables-in-bed-with-natural-gas/

12 replies, 1103 views

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Arrow 12 replies Author Time Post
Reply CHARTS: Renewables in Bed With Natural Gas? (Original post)
wtmusic Feb 2013 OP
Politicalboi Feb 2013 #1
Benton D Struckcheon Feb 2013 #2
Politicalboi Feb 2013 #4
Yo_Mama Feb 2013 #3
kristopher Feb 2013 #5
Yo_Mama Feb 2013 #6
wtmusic Feb 2013 #7
GliderGuider Feb 2013 #8
wtmusic Feb 2013 #9
joshcryer Feb 2013 #10
joshcryer Feb 2013 #11
joshcryer Feb 2013 #12

Response to wtmusic (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 02:43 PM

1. Somebody better tell Obama

He's ALL for it. I can't believe it, but he is. And he keeps talking about clean coal. There is NO such thing.

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Response to Politicalboi (Reply #1)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 03:05 PM

2. Dunno about clean coal...

...sounds silly, but ng is definitely way less polluting than coal. We have actually met our Kyoto goals on CO2 strictly because the falling price of ng made it economically advantageous for utilities to switch to ng from coal.
It is simply a fact that we will need ng as a transitional fuel. This is true globally, not just here. Something will need to be burned for the foreseeable future even if we get a majority of our energy from renewables. It's way better if that something is ng.

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Response to Benton D Struckcheon (Reply #2)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 03:27 PM

4. Coal never started peoples water on fire

We could use Hemp oil. Fracking contaminates drinking water, not sure if the science is there for earthquakes yet. How do WE as a population see a natural gas leak? Do you think they will let us know the real effect of fracking, or get caught years later like we are all used to seeing when it is too late. We are gambling with water, and there isn't going to be enough of it as it is, so why even take a chance on it. Big corporations don't care about some small little town with contaminated water. They just move on to the next town.

Hemp oil is the way to go IMO. It's 100% safer than coal or natural gas.

http://www.youtube.com/user/alivefoods

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Response to wtmusic (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 03:24 PM

3. Well, what alternatives are possible?

The new NG plants are capable of spinning up and down very quickly, which is necessary to integrate highly variable renewable power sources into the grid.

You can do it with coal, but that is a much dirtier source of power. Nuclear plants are very poorly suited for that purpose. Hydro works well with highly variable power sources, but is limited in most areas.

If you look at Germany's experience, it's clear that fossil fuel plants will be very necessary for any realistic switch to substantial renewable (non-hydro) integration. And most have built out their standard hydro already.

DENA is struggling to come up with an economically viable German plan, but in the end, it's going to be either coal or NG that secures the grid supply. If you have to choose one, it's obvious why you choose NG over coal:
http://www.germanenergyblog.de/?p=10156
1. 2050: Total installed capacity of 240 GW with 170 GW renewable energy und 61 GW conventional, conventional plants provide 60% secure capacity

The study concludes that installed power capacity in Germany will amount to 240 GW in 2050 in total, with 170 GW provided by renewable power plants and 61 GW provided by conventional fossil-fueled power plants. This means that conventional capacity will only decrease by 37% compared with 2010, the reason being the need for secure capacity that is available at all times to ensure the security of supply. By 2050 efficient gas and coal-fired power plants will provide roughly 60% of secure supply capacity, whereas renewable power plants deliver 24%, dena estimates.


That's the results they are getting, and I don't think wind will work differently in the US based on the figures I have seen.

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Response to Yo_Mama (Reply #3)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 03:28 PM

5. That is a short to mid term outlook

See: Cost-minimized combinations of wind power, solar power and electrochemical storage, powering the grid up to 99.9% of the time
Open Access Article
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378775312014759

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Response to kristopher (Reply #5)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 03:34 PM

6. Unfortunately, 2050 is not short-term

Maybe we will come up with some magic bullet capability, but I will no longer accept models that violate real world experience.

It's time to start dealing with the real world issues if we want to actually switch to renewables.

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Response to Yo_Mama (Reply #3)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 03:47 PM

7. Bottom line: renewables are incapable of providing anything more than an excuse

for the natural gas industry to thrive. The natural gas (and fracking) industries have renewables to thank for getting their foot in the door, and lending them undeserved "green" creds.

Natural gas tycoons have capitalized on this marketing tactic for years.

The realistic alternative is GenIV nuclear.

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Response to wtmusic (Reply #7)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 05:23 PM

8. However, the *probable* alternative

is continued global warming leading to a decline in human numbers and activity resulting in reduced energy consumption.
Coming (very) soon to a civilization near you.

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #8)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 05:30 PM

9. Alternatives vs. predictions nt

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Response to wtmusic (Reply #7)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 08:10 PM

10. +1

Build Gen IV now.

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Response to Yo_Mama (Reply #3)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 08:12 PM

11. They're actually building coal gassification plants again now.

Which of course is quite suitable for those natural gas peaking plants.

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Response to wtmusic (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 08:13 PM

12. And I'll say it again. Conventional gas has PEAKED.

So all new gas is going to be unconventional shale gases that require fracking. It's fucking insane what we're doing.

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