Gas NOW readers pass along a lot of stuff every week about natural gas, fractivist antics, emissions, renewables, and other news relating to energy.
Here’s more material sent along by Natural Gas NOW readers; great stuff highlighting the power of natural gas and the absurdity of fractivism. Check out the links and other short bits below:
Fractivists universally suppose solar and wind energy are the replacements for natural gas and in doing so, they get it completely wrong, for reasons we too often neglect:
Looking forward, more laws requiring more wind and solar like Renewable Portfolio Standards will also require a more flexible power grid, with natural gas at the center of that. As seen in the figure below, this is why as more wind and solar generation capacity get added, even more natural gas capacity is added. As I figure it, some 35 states will have natural gas as their main source of electricity by 2022. Nowhere is this more clear than in the great state of Florida, with 21 million people now our third largest state. The “sunshine state” is now surging toward having gas generating 75-80% of its electricity by 2022. I figure that the U.S. needs to add 25,000 megawatts of gas peaking capacity to our grid over the next decade to support the wind and solar build-outs.
There are limits to the growth of renewables that typically go ignored. That’s because of “high grading,” where the best sites with the best wind and solar resource get picked first. As these “sweet spots” get exhausted, this means that new builds for wind and solar won’t be as easy as some claim. This is why wind in particular is expected to eventually start to slow down drastically for new capacity builds in the 2020s, as seen in the figure below gathered from U.S. Department of Energy forecasts. In stark contrast, combined cycle gas plants aren’t geographically limited: they can really be built anywhere.