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Energy Politics & Science
Topic: Energy Politics & Science (Read 72967 times)
Re: Energy Politics & Science
Reply #500 on:
September 19, 2013, 12:28:58 PM »
Besides opposing transportation fuels, liberals oppose 87% of current electricity sources.
Good luck with job growth under current leadership.
...a pending regulation aimed at limiting global warming pollution from new power plants that Republicans and the coal industry say will doom the fuel source.
What is U.S. electricity generation by energy source?
Fossil fuels 68% + Nuclear power 19% = 87% of current electricity sources
Carbon capture and CO@2 for gas recovery
Reply #501 on:
September 20, 2013, 07:17:26 AM »
There was a piece on 60 minutes or a comparable program a few years ago that explored pumping carbon emissions into the ground. It is feasible but at that time would cost a trillion dollars to convert to this.
With regards to pumping carbon into frack wells I just posted that using nat gas itself would reduce costs of fracking by 70%. So that said I still don't know what will happen to coal of which I own some stock in.
Good summary from Forbes on this stuff:
Ken Silverstein, Contributor
I write about the global energy business.
9/20/2013 @ 8:00AM
Coal Could Be Resurrected If Carbon Could Be Buried
It’s a big day for coal-fired power plants, which will formally learn the Obama administration’s plans on how they are to be regulated. The proposal, which if enacted, would set strict limits on carbon dioxide releases that would essentially nullify the future construction of coal facilities.
That’s at least until carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) would become commercial. That’s not possible now. But what is possible is to capture the carbon dioxide (CO2) from power plants and to it use for enhanced oil recovery. That tool, however, is not without controversy: Critics say that pumping such heat-trapping emissions into the ground only so that they could be used to extract a product that releases even more such global warming pollution is a bit silly.
“Leaving the CO2 underground is of no ultimate benefit for climate stabilization when additional hydrocarbons have been extracted in exchange,” says Jeffrey Michel, an MIT scholar and environmental professional living in Germany. Michel, who is a contributor to EnergyBiz Insider, goes on to say that injecting 1 ton of carbon dioxide will yield 3.6 barrels of crude oil. That, in turn, creates 1.4 tons of carbon dioxide when refined and burned.
That said, the thinking among some climate scholars is that taking the CO2 and using it to retrieve oil deposits is a better solution than letting it into the atmosphere. And, it is the best answer until the releases can be captured and permanently buried, which the U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz told a congressional panel this week that this happen before 2020.
U.S. lawmakers from coal-producing states are expressing reservations about the Obama administration’s proposals, which would require all future coal plants to be as clean as combined cycle natural gas facilities. Or, technically speaking, today’s coal units spew out about 1,850 pounds of carbon per megawatt hour while the proposal is expected to cap that at 1,000 pounds. To do so, they would need to have the ability to employ CCS.
Moreover, coal producers in the United States, such as Alpha Natural Resources ANR -0.3%, Arch Coal and Peabody Energy BTU -0.74%, will find that oversea’s markets won’t provide long-term refuge. China and India, for example, are also developing much stronger coal regs. China’s coal-burning is to peak at 4 billions tons by 2015, say news reports. After that, it will begin a gradual descent, relying instead on hydro, nuclear and renewables.
Here in the United States, 112 coal plants have been retired since 2010, or soon will be, says Beyond Coal, totaling more than 48,000 megawatts. Doyle Trading Consultants generally agrees, saying 42,000 megawatts are vulnerable to retirement by 2020, 90 percent of which will fade away by 2015. That’s 18 percent of the existing coal-fired fleet.
Domestically, coal’s share of the electric generation market has fallen from 50 percent in 2007 to 40 percent now. But, globally, it is still expected to fuel the developing economies, supplying 60 percent of the power markets through 2035. If the coal sector, however, wants to prevent a precipitous decline in its overall status, it must embrace CCS, and Secretary Moniz says that this country will partner with U.S. utilities and their coal providers.
To that end, CCS for applications related to coal and gas-powered electricity remain hugely expensive, necessitating further research development. So, the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions is pushing carbon capture and utilization — to increase oil finds.
“CCS is a critical technology for reconciling our continued dependence on fossil fuels with the imperative to protect the global environment,” says Judi Greenwald, vice president for technology at the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. “Our best hope at the moment for CCS advancement is carbon capture, utilization and storage,” which takes the captured carbon and uses it for enhanced oil recovery.
She points to two projects: Air Products’ Port Author and Southern Company’s Mississippi venture. The U.S. Department of Energy helped support the Air Products project, where carbon dioxide is captured from a refinery and then used to enhance oil recovery. In late 2012, it began operations. The Energy Department pumped in $284 million of the total $430 million cost. Similarly, the agency is working with Southern Co SO -0.77%. at its facility in Mississippi. Here, the public’s contribution is $290 million. The project is more than 80 percent complete.
The ultimate goal is to permanently bury the carbon. The Energy Department is putting up $1.1 billion or 80 percent of the money to build “FutureGen.” The facility is expected to be 200 megawatts that will retrofit an oil-fueled unit in Meredosia, Illinois. The project is now focused on its preliminary design and engineering. It will capture at least 90 percent of the CO2 emitted, and it will inject all of that underground, the organization explained.
For their part, utilities say that they would eagerly participate with the federal government while it is investing $8 billion in CCS. But they also note that over the last 40 years that they have collectively spent $100 billion on such things as scrubbers and coal gasification. To that end, the industry says that the attention should be on advancing those technologies that are currently commercial — not in forsaking the progress that has been made.
“Perhaps the federal government should first focus on ensuring the coal industry can economically build second generation plants rather than put a halt to the innovative progress made to date,” says Laura Sheehan, spokeswoman for the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity. “If the EPA acts as expected, the United States, which is the current global leader of CCS technology, will fall to the back of the innovation race.”
Obama’s immediate plan is to apply the CO2 limits to all prospective coal plants. His eventual aim is to impose similar caps on the existing coal-fired fleet. And all this is taking place in an electric generation market where natural gas is quickly gaining market share because of its abundance and cost.
In other words, both the regulatory and economic climate are evolving. That is why the coal industry and its utility partners have to stop stalling and start allocating the necessary resources to allow their offerings to remain relevant. Gasifying coal is a potential answer. Carbon capture is another.
While using CO2 to enhance oil recovery is within reach, it remains controversial. Nevertheless, it is an essential first step to permanent sequestration*****
Reply #502 on:
September 20, 2013, 12:22:32 PM »
Energy nominee Ron Binz undergoes a confirmation conversion.
Ron Binz faced the Senate Energy Committee on Tuesday, and the event was something of a miracle. President Obama's nominee to run the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) declared heretofore undetected devotion to natural gas and regulatory restraint.
Mr. Binz's nomination is in trouble because of a record and philosophy hostile toward fossil fuels of any kind. As recently as March he derided natural gas as a carbon-heavy "dead end," and he showed as a Colorado regulator that he's willing to stretch the law and manipulate companies to promote wind and solar over other kinds of power.
Thus the confirmation conversion. On Tuesday Mr. Binz said that he had spoken "probably uncarefully" about natural gas, and "that was a relatively inartful way of saying it." Now he says that "I fully embrace the use of natural gas," which he also called "the near-perfect fuel for the next couple of decades."
In case that wasn't enough enthusiasm, he added that natural gas is "a very great fuel," "a very important fuel" and "a terrific fuel. It's needed right now, and maybe in the permanent energy mix." He touted "a boom in jobs in the gas industry" and "a great resource" that's "getting larger by the minute as we discover more and more opportunities to develop shale gas." Tom Steyer, the anti-carbon billionaire pushing Mr. Binz for the job, must have cringed at all that.
Mr. Binz must have found it even more painful to disavow any policy-making role at FERC. He has written extensively about how regulators should go beyond the confines of the law to dictate "desired societal outcomes," and he has mused that as Colorado public utility commissioner from 2007-2011 he saw himself "not simply as an umpire calling balls and strikes, but also as a leader on policy implementation."
On Tuesday Mr. Binz flipped and promised he wouldn't even lead from behind. FERC's duty is only "to promote the appropriate infrastructure investments" like gas pipelines and electric transmission, he said. "Now that's not just a passive process. It is mainly passive in the sense that we—at the FERC, if I'm appointed at FERC, we'll receive applications from businesses to build things."
Energy Chairman Ron Wyden also tried to help the nominee by suggesting no fewer than eight times that Mr. Binz's views are irrelevant because of FERC's narrow legal powers. Mr. Binz has said he wants 80% of U.S. electricity to come from renewables, but Mr. Wyden said "Mr. Binz would have absolutely no authority to do anything on this matter."
Too bad that's not true. FERC can pick electricity winners and losers because a grid that is designed for, say, natural gas and nuclear power works very differently from one that primarily moves solar and wind. FERC is already starting to discriminate in favor of the latter when it reviews applications for power lines. Mr. Binz will almost certainly perpetrate more such abuses to punish fossil fuels.
The White House is worried that Mr. Binz may lose on an 11-11 tie in committee, so it is leaning on Louisiana Democrat Mary Landrieu to vote in favor. Ms. Landrieu is thus caught between her state's fossil-fuel economy and the green money she needs from the likes of Mr. Steyer to win re-election. We assume she knows that the original Ron Binz is the real one.
Biofuels - DOA?
Reply #503 on:
October 02, 2013, 08:55:22 AM »
Diesel engine come back?
Reply #504 on:
October 02, 2013, 09:11:33 AM »
Second energy post today also from the Economist:
from yahoo news
Reply #505 on:
October 04, 2013, 08:47:30 AM »
Fill it up in your garage!
Never thought of this.
My first thought is this safe?
I notice the tank is not shown. I am guessing the entire trunk is the fuel tank:
Reply #506 on:
October 16, 2013, 11:13:42 AM »
I didn't know Exxon holds the most patents in this area. From Scientific American.
Re: Carbon capture
Reply #507 on:
October 16, 2013, 11:52:54 AM »
Quote from: ccp on October 16, 2013, 11:13:42 AM
I didn't know Exxon holds the most patents in this area. From Scientific American.
As always, Big Regulation will take from the freedom and choice of the little guy and give to the corporate profits of the largest, entrenched contributors. I hope it is worth it.
Al Gore's stock advise
Reply #508 on:
October 19, 2013, 10:55:04 AM »
Israel an international energy market disrupter?
Reply #509 on:
November 03, 2013, 10:54:42 AM »
Of course the Palestinians will lay claim to this source of wealth.
Personally, and sadly I am hesitant to invest in anything Israeli. Too much political uncertainty.
****The Motley Fool
This Natural Gas Find Could Completely Change the World As We Know It
By Tyler Crowe
November 3, 2013
One thing that makes the energy sector so intriguing is the constant overlap between markets and politics. In many ways, energy security is synonymous with national security, and the supply and demand needs of the oil market can make the most unlikely bedfellows. One country that has been at the center of energy and politics for decades has been Israel. For years the country has been dependent upon foreign energy sources, but a major discovery by Noble Energy (NYSE: NBL ) and its partners has turned this situation on its head. Let's look how this massive natural gas find could affect both the political landscape and the pockets of major oil companies like ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM ) .
With a name like Leviathan, it has to be big
In 2010, Noble Energy and its partners found something in Israel's offshore region that the country had been looking for since the oil embargoes of the 1970's; its own hydrocarbons. You might say that the company and the country found more than they could have hoped for. The Tamar and Leviathan fields are estimated to have as much as 30 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, which is enough gas to supply Israel for decades even if it were to convert all of its energy consumption from coal and oil to natural gas -- with enough left over to export. Noble Energy estimates that this gas field and the planned export projects could net the country more than $130 billion in energy savings and government revenue from gas royalties.
Of course, Israel isn't the only one making out from this deal, either. The nation's proven reserves account for more than 30% of Noble's proved reserves, and will likely be one of the company's premier energy plays for decades to come. On top of that, the U.S. Geological Survey estimates there are more than 600 million barrels of recoverable oil in the Leviathan field, which could boost the company's reserves by another 17%.
Game of Therms
Thirty trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 600 million barrels of oil is not a monumental amount in terms of the global energy landscape. But the combination of the size of the find, its proximity to a major demand center (Europe), and the fact that it's found in Israel could lead to several issues that might leave some major oil and gas powers not too happy.
Israel could disrupt the energy markets via liquefied natural gas terminals or a combination of pipeline and electricity cables. Noble has brought on Australian partner Woodside Petroleum to develop an LNG terminal for the Leviathan gas field and potentially a second site for an adjacent gas field in Cyprus. The Leviathan LNG terminal is projected to export about 0.85 billion cubic feet per day. Again, not much, but enough to displace 15% of the LNG market in Western Europe.
More importantly, though, Noble estimates that Israeli and Cypriot LNG terminals could together undercut both American and Australian LNG export prices, which could drive down natural gas costs for Europe. This could reduce the profitability of major LNG players like Qatar, where ExxonMobil has a 25%-30% working interest in two of that nation's largest LNG terminals.
An even more significant impact would revolve around the idea of supplying natural gas to Europe via pipeline. It may limit the market for Noble's natural gas, but it would probably generate higher profits per thousand cubic feet of gas because of the cost savings from skirting the liquefaction process. Also, since 40% of Europe's natural gas comes from Statoil (NYSE: STO ) and Gazprom through very lucrative long-term pipeline contracts, Noble could carve out a nice position by displacing either the more expensive pipeline gas from one of these two players or expensive LNG imports.
Not being an expert in geopolitics, I'm not going to try to venture a guess as to how the political landscape will change in the Middle East. It is pretty fascinating, though, that Israel will go from an extremely energy-import dependent nation to a big-time exporter almost overnight. The country has plans to build pipelines to Jordan, the West Bank, and Turkey, which could improve both economic and political ties to these energy-starved regions. Then again, it could also go in the exact opposite direction and could be a prime target for groups or nations who may scuffle with Israel.
What a Fool believes
Noble Energy may have found a very large oil and gas field that could boost its bottom line for decades, but it found that asset in a place that has been the epicenter for religious and ethnic conflict for millennia. Even more, it may find that other companies are reluctant to join the project. Oil services giants Schlumberger (NYSE: SLB ) and Halliburton (NYSE: HAL ) have major contracts across the Middle East, and they are not likely willing to potentially lose those contracts in order to work with Noble in Israel.
Noble Energy investors and geopolitical watchers should be captivated by this story, because the next couple of years could be a wild ride. ****
Wesbury: US to become net petroleum exporter by 2018
Reply #510 on:
at 02:22:40 PM »
The Trade Deficit in Goods and Services Came in at $40.6 Billion in October To view this article, Click Here
Brian S. Wesbury - Chief Economist
Bob Stein, CFA - Deputy Chief Economist
The trade deficit in goods and services came in at $40.6 billion in October, slightly larger than the consensus expected $40.0 billion.
Exports increased $3.4 billion in October, led by gains in petroleum products, artwork, diamonds, and nonmonetary gold. Imports increased $1.0 billion, with a drop in autos offset by gains in pharmaceuticals, nonmonetary gold and petroleum products.
In the last year, exports are up 5.5%, led by a 19.4% gain in petroleum exports. Imports are up 3.6% in the past year, held down by a 7.3% decline in petroleum imports.
The monthly trade deficit is $2.1 billion smaller than a year ago. Adjusted for inflation, the trade deficit in goods is $0.2 billion smaller than a year ago. This is the trade indicator most important for measuring real GDP.
Implications: The trade deficit got smaller in October, but was revised higher in September. As a result of the September revisions, it now looks like real GDP grew at a 3% annual rate in Q3. However, the improvement in October suggests net exports should add to real GDP in Q4. Over the past year total exports are up 5.5% while total imports are up a smaller 3.6%. The trend shrinkage in the trade deficit is largely due to US energy production, driven by horizontal drilling and fracking. Petroleum product exports are almost eight times higher than they were in October 2005. During these same eight years, petroleum product imports are only up 26%. If these trends continue and the US fixes its pipeline and refinery issues, the US will be a net petroleum product exporter by 2018. Usually, when the US economy is growing, the trade deficit tends to expand relative to the size of our economy. However, given recent energy trends and plow horse economic growth, the trade deficit has been in a gradual shrinking trend for the past two years. In other recent news, automakers reported car and light truck sales at a 16.4 million annual rate in November, up 7.7% from October, up 7.1% from a year ago, and the fastest pace since early 2007. It’s early, but it appears real (inflation-adjusted) consumer spending is growing at a 2.5 – 3.0% annual rate in the fourth quarter, which would be the fastest pace since early 2012. On the jobs front, the ADP Employment index, a measure of private sector payrolls, increased 215,000 in November. As a result, we are now forecasting that the official Labor Department report will show payroll gains of 194,000 nonfarm and 191,000 private.
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