Author Topic: Energy Politics & Science  (Read 509038 times)

DougMacG

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 11887
    • View Profile
Bloomberg: Sometimes Greener grid means 40,000% spike in energy prices
« Reply #700 on: September 04, 2019, 07:56:57 AM »
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-08-26/sometimes-a-greener-grid-means-a-40-000-spike-in-power-prices

The road to a world powered by renewable energy is littered with unintended consequences. Like a 40,000% surge in electricity prices.

Texas power prices jumped from less than $15 to as much as $9,000 a megawatt-hour this month as coal plant retirements and weak winds left the region on the brink of blackouts during a heat wave. It’s a phenomenon playing out worldwide. Germany averted three blackouts of its own in June and has seen prices both spike and plunge below zero within days as it swaps out coal and nuclear energy for wind and solar. In the U.K., more than a million homes lost power on Aug. 9, in part because a wind farm tripped offline.

The recent stumbles serve as a warning shot to the rest of the world as governments work to displace aging nuclear reactors and coal-fired power plants with cheaper and cleaner renewable energy. Grid operators, policy makers and power providers are learning the hard way that losing massive, around-the-clock generators can be a challenge, if not carefully planned.

“We have to have systems in place to make sure we still have enough generation on the grid -- or else, in the best case, we have a blackout, and in the worst case, we have some kind of grid collapse,” said Severin Borenstein, an energy economist at the University of California at Berkeley, where state officials have a goal of getting all power from clean energy resources by 2045.
-----------------------

Okay followers of Elizabeth Warren et al, you have been warned.

ccp

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 10023
    • View Profile
The Father of fracking
« Reply #701 on: September 04, 2019, 08:30:27 AM »
from Economist 2013:

https://www.economist.com/business/2013/08/03/the-father-of-fracking

of course the LEFT would place him along (and above) Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Tamerlane, Khan and the rest as the worst mass murderer in human history.


ccp

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 10023
    • View Profile

DougMacG

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 11887
    • View Profile
Why are oil and gas companies investing in solar and wind?
« Reply #703 on: September 17, 2019, 07:26:41 AM »
For large parts of the year in most locations, solar and wind only generate electricity 10-30% of the time.  The gaps in these ups and downs of solar and wind must be made up with fossil fuels, coal now being replaced with cleaner natural gas.  Natural gas electrical production can ramp up and down as easily as turning up or down the burner on your gas stove.  For every watt that the electrical utility company relies on solar and wind combined at its peak, they must have at least that capacity in fossil fuel generation - and use it (fossil fuels) most of the day, most of the year.  The more we rely on solar and wind, the more fossil fuel use we will require. 

What is wrong with this picture?

Nuclear does not ramp or scale up and down suddenly and is not an usable complement to the ups and downs of solar and wind.  Nuclear generates a steady flow of electricity on a massive scale over a long period of time.  The more we rely on nuclear power, the less we need solar and wind, and the less we need fossil fuels to generate electricity.  If we power the entire grid with nuclear power, fossil fuels will have near-zero use in the electricity generation sector.  Carbon free electricity,  if you like that kind of thing.

Solar and wind are not just a good investment for an oil and gas company or just good PR, they are ESSENTIAL existential investments.  Solar wind guarantee them major market share in grid power generation.  Lack of solar and wind investments replaced by nuclear would take that market share to nil.

And you have seen this trade-off fully explained in the lamestream media, when, where?
---------------------------------------------

https://www.forbes.com/sites/judeclemente/2017/12/31/natural-gas-is-the-flexibility-needed-for-more-wind-and-solar/#1b6147195777

The "sunshine state" is now surging toward having gas generating 75-80% of its electricity by 2022. ... 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. ... gas is the glue of the new U.S. electric power system, not just adding critical flexibility but also reliability.  "New York's grid operator yesterday said the state's grid can sustain the loss of a major nuclear station near New York City if some combination of three new natural gas projects replaces it,"

Renewables and natural gas are not mutually exclusive. The reality is that they complement each other, but unfortunately neither the gas nor the renewable industry promote this collaboration enough.

[Doug:  This is better than carbon-free?]
« Last Edit: September 17, 2019, 07:47:42 AM by DougMacG »

DougMacG

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 11887
    • View Profile
To get wind, you need oil, IEEE Spectrum
« Reply #704 on: September 17, 2019, 07:53:02 AM »
https://spectrum.ieee.org/energy/renewables/to-get-wind-power-you-need-oil

[this is separate from the phenomenon that if you rely on wind you need gas.]

...  the aggregate installed wind power of about 2.5 terawatts would require roughly 450 million metric tons of steel. And that’s without counting the metal for towers, wires, and transformers for the new high-voltage transmission links that would be needed to connect it all to the grid.

A lot of energy goes into making steel. Sintered or pelletized iron ore is smelted in blast furnaces, charged with coke made from coal, and receives infusions of powdered coal and natural gas. Pig iron is decarbonized in basic oxygen furnaces. Then steel goes through continuous casting processes (which turn molten steel directly into the rough shape of the final product). Steel used in turbine construction embodies typically about 35 gigajoules per metric ton.

To make the steel required for wind turbines that might operate by 2030, you’d need fossil fuels equivalent to more than 600 million metric tons of coal.

A 5-MW turbine has three roughly 60-meter-long airfoils, each weighing about 15 metric tons. They have light balsa or foam cores and outer laminations made mostly from glass-fiber-reinforced epoxy or polyester resins. The glass is made by melting silicon dioxide and other mineral oxides in furnaces fired by natural gas. The resins begin with ethylene derived from light hydrocarbons, most commonly the products of naphtha cracking, liquefied petroleum gas, or the ethane in natural gas.

The final fiber-reinforced composite embodies on the order of 170 GJ/t. Therefore, to get 2.5 TW of installed wind power by 2030, we would need an aggregate rotor mass of about 23 million metric tons, incorporating the equivalent of about 90 million metric tons of crude oil. And when all is in place, the entire structure must be waterproofed with resins whose synthesis starts with ethylene. Another required oil product is lubricant, for the turbine gearboxes, which has to be changed periodically during the machine’s two-decade lifetime.

Undoubtedly, a well-sited and well-built wind turbine would generate as much energy as it embodies in less than a year. However, all of it will be in the form of intermittent electricity—while its production, installation, and maintenance remain critically dependent on specific fossil energies. Moreover, for most of these energies—coke for iron-ore smelting, coal and petroleum coke to fuel cement kilns, naphtha and natural gas as feedstock and fuel for the synthesis of plastics and the making of fiberglass, diesel fuel for ships, trucks, and construction machinery, lubricants for gearboxes—we have no nonfossil substitutes that would be readily available on the requisite large commercial scales.

For a long time to come—until all energies used to produce wind turbines and photovoltaic cells come from renewable energy sources—modern civilization will remain fundamentally dependent on fossil fuels.

DougMacG

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 11887
    • View Profile
Re: Energy Politics, Wind, coal and gas
« Reply #705 on: October 01, 2019, 08:43:48 AM »
For every watt produced through wind, nearly two must be produced by fossil fuels instead of carbon free nuclear.

https://www.michigancapitolconfidential.com/tripling-states-1100-wind-turbines-wont-replace-this-one-coalgas-plant

"The problem is that those [wind] turbines only spin about one-third of the time..." [in Michigan].
-----------------------
Did you want electricity available 24/7/365, or do you want to become a third world country? 

The sun doesn't shine and the wind doesn't blow during peak demand hours, and nuclear doesn't scale up and down to make up the difference:

https://alcse.org/the-duck-curve-what-is-it-and-what-does-it-mean/

Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 49312
    • View Profile
GPF: The Future of Shale
« Reply #706 on: October 14, 2019, 08:51:48 PM »


Is the Shale Revolution Here to Stay?

Critics of the U.S. shale industry question its staying power.
By
Xander Snyder -
May 15, 2019   
Open as PDF

Summary

U.S. shale oil is a booming business. As it drives up global oil supply and puts downward pressure on oil prices, U.S. production of shale oil poses a geopolitical threat to other oil-producing states. But critics say that the boom won’t last. If true, that changes the geopolitical calculus.

How much longer will shale oil be a booming business? The answer to that question, while fuzzy, has long-term geopolitical implications. U.S. shale oil production has grown steadily, putting downward pressure on the global price of oil. We’ve written before about the power of shale oil and the impact it has on other geopolitically important oil producers like Russia and Saudi Arabia, which rely heavily on oil revenue to either fund their government spending or support their economies. Our forecasts for these countries are built in part on the assumption that, as the global supply of oil increases, its price will hit a ceiling that could strain these countries’ public finances, which in turn would have political ramifications. But shale skeptics maintain that the industry is not sustainable. If they’re right, and if the shale industry were to die out in the next couple of years, tanking oil supply and spiking oil prices, the geopolitical calculus for Russia and Saudi Arabia would change substantially.

The critics’ argument is threefold. First, they claim that the shale boom depended on huge amounts of debt that was doled out without serious consideration for whether shale producers would be able to pay it back. Second, critics are worried that there’s less shale oil available than originally believed, reflected in shale wells’ depletion rates. Third, they see limited room for growth in the profitability of shale production as shale’s break-even price has stagnated. Combine these factors, the critics say, and you get an industry that will not endure. This Deep Dive will take a closer look at these criticisms and explore whether, in fact, U.S. shale really is an economically sustainable industry.

Shale: A Primer

To understand the criticisms of the industry, it’s important to understand what shale is and how oil is extracted from it – a technically complex and expensive process. Shale rock, embedded thousands of feet under the Earth’s surface, is less permeable than other types of rock. And yet it’s here that shale oil, or “tight oil,” is found. The extraction process for this oil is known as hydraulic fracturing – or “fracking” – and it requires drilling down to the shale deposits, and then drilling horizontally through the rock. The drillers then inject a water-based solution at high velocity to break apart the rock, creating fissures through which oil can flow. (This process can also be used to extract natural gas from shale deposits.)

(click to enlarge)

The U.S. shale industry really took off in 2009. Thanks to the United States’ extensive shale formations, it has benefited hugely from the shale revolution. The combined technologies of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling vastly increased the productivity of shale wells, and overall U.S. oil production has increased apace. In 2018, the U.S. produced an average of nearly 11 million barrels per day of crude oil, almost 60 percent of which came from shale. It’s helped the U.S. surpass Russia and Saudi Arabia in the production of hydrocarbons and is pushing the U.S. toward becoming a net energy exporter, a benchmark it’s expected to reach next year.

Financing: The Catalyst

Financing was, in many ways, the engine that drove the rise of shale oil, but the industry’s reliance on debt has also threatened to bring it down. In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, interest rates fell, making debt cheaper and borrowing easier. In the low-interest rate environment, investors were looking everywhere for yield. Shale looked particularly appealing for debt investors since reserves could be used as collateral – if companies failed to pay their debts, the banks could simply take control of the reserves. This created the appearance of added security.

The availability of cheap, accessible debt coincided with two other important moments that created a turning point: skyrocketing oil prices and technological developments that had made the economics of shale drilling viable (though still expensive). Shale production took off, reversing a decadeslong decline in U.S. oil production that had begun in the 1970s.

Debt, however, is a double-edged sword. In exchange for immediate access to capital, firms assume higher operating costs down the road. This can lead to firms becoming over-leveraged as they assume so much debt that they cannot afford to both pay off the debt and pay regular operating expenses. So when oil prices tanked in 2015-16, many over-leveraged companies went out of business, causing U.S. oil production to drop from about 9.4 million bpd in 2015 to 8.8 million bpd in 2016. Notably, this was not an accident. Global oil supply had been climbing thanks to shale production. When supply is too high, OPEC typically cuts production to drive prices back up. But in 2015-16, OPEC chose not to cut supply, hoping that low prices would drive shale producers out of business and thus allow OPEC countries to reclaim market share they had lost to shale.

This downturn threatened to prove right concerns that, without high oil prices and access to cheap, plentiful debt, shale is not an economically viable industry. Companies had taken on unsustainable amounts of debt to fuel growth. When interest rates began to climb, the need to service that debt was a further incentive for shale companies to continue production – even if operations were barely or not at all profitable. These firms’ lending used to set up new wells created debt service expenses, which led to total operating expenses exceeding cash coming in from operations for too long; if interest rates had continued to rise, the entire industry would be, if not sunk, at least forced to slow production. This was not lost on debt investors, who of course feared that bankruptcies would wipe out most of their investment. As oil prices fell, access to debt capital decreased, forcing cash-strapped shale companies to turn instead to equity financing (that is, to issue more stock).

(click to enlarge)

Bankruptcies did, in fact, increase substantially when oil prices plummeted in 2015-16. Banks, as they are wont to do, had offered loans based on current or recent conditions, without consideration for what would happen when oil prices dropped – an inevitability in a cyclical industry like oil. Meanwhile, larger companies bought up the assets of the smaller, less efficient ones, leading to industry consolidation.

But the cycle continued, despite OPEC’s best efforts to keep prices down long enough to destroy the shale industry, and conditions improved. As a number of companies went bankrupt, oil supplies decreased, and prices rose once again. The companies that survived were forced to cut their capital expenditures, which actually led to an improvement in cash flow. Since 2016, bankruptcies have declined significantly.

(click to enlarge)

Still, some industry observers continued to insist that the economics of the industry itself – not just of individual companies – were fundamentally unsustainable because they relied too heavily on debt. They claimed that debt was not just one factor in shale’s growth but in fact the decisive factor. Without it, they said, the industry couldn’t survive, because total expenses, including debt services fees, would continue to exceed revenue. Since 2016, however, shale drillers have moved toward positive, or at least neutral, cash flow. As of early 2018, a greater share of shale companies was beginning to cover the cost of new wells with operating cash flow, rather than debt. Rystad Energy, an oil and gas market research firm, anticipates that in 2019 shale drillers will generate enough cash to cover capital expenses and pay dividends, though just barely.

(click to enlarge)

If shale companies have enough cash remaining to pay dividends – even just a little bit – it’s a sign that they have enough cash on hand to better pay their debts. As of the fourth quarter of 2018, about 40 percent of companies in a 33-company sample of shale producers were cash-flow positive. To be economically viable, more companies will need to at least break even – in the case of shale, that means they need to generate enough cash from operations to cover their operating expenses without external capital.

 (click to enlarge)

So, while a good number of shale companies do seem to be in precarious financial situations, many are trending toward positive cash flow. And just because some companies are at risk of going out of business doesn’t mean that shale oil production will cease. Truly cash-strapped companies can sell their assets to major international oil companies that have diversified revenue streams and can keep shale machinery offline until oil prices rise. In other words, as time goes on, the shale industry will mature and, like any industry, experience both bankruptcies and consolidation as some companies prove to be more efficient operators than others.

Oil Reserves: Estimating What’s Out There

But it’s not just financing that shale skeptics criticize. They’re concerned, too, that shale companies substantially overestimated their reserves. They’re not wrong; many oil companies have had to revise their total reserve estimates downward, and it seems their initial overestimations were directly related to the question of financing. If companies had higher reserves – a form of collateral – they could take on more of the debt they needed to get underway. Similarly, when debt financing dried up in 2015-16 and companies started to issue stock, they overestimated their reserves so that it would be easier to raise money from investors.

How were oil companies able to convince banks and investors that their oil reserves were larger than they actually were? Oil-producing companies in the U.S. are required to file with the Securities and Exchange Commission estimates of their “total proven oil reserves” – the reserves for which there is a 90 percent chance that the oil will be recovered. But as the fledgling shale industry was starting to raise money, companies began to use a metric called “estimated ultimate recovery” instead. EUR simply refers to existing reserves, without indicating the likelihood of recovery. The metric is also based on the assumption that, as time goes on, companies would be able to replicate their early success – that additional wells would produce as much as already tapped wells. In retrospect, this was flawed logic; the initial wells are almost always the most productive ones. Shale drillers also assumed they could pack shale wells close together. But packed too tightly, the wells would pull from shared reserves, decreasing the amount that each could draw. Both assumptions contributed to overly optimistic EUR numbers.

In response, investors are now scrutinizing shale producers’ claims. They began by questioning shale companies’ estimates of their reserves – and therefore whether they were worth investing in – and have started pushing for greater accountability in firms’ capital expenditures and demanding higher returns. As a result, shale companies are now exercising more oversight of capital expenditures, cutting spending, moving toward positive cash flow, and using that cash flow to return dividends to investors or to buy back shares. All of this is bolstering the economic sustainability of the industry.

Shale producers’ estimates affect more than just financing. Market research firms and the U.S. Energy Information Administration (which is responsible for collecting and reporting economic data on the energy industry that is used in policymaking and economic forecasting) take into consideration the reserve estimates that companies put out. Historically, forecasts of U.S. shale oil production have been outstripped by actual production, and current forecasts are almost uniformly positive – the EIA and industry consulting firms Rystad Energy and Wood Mackenzie all anticipate substantial increases in oil production over the next 10 years, even with lower oil prices. That’s good news for the shale industry – even with more conservative estimates of their reserves, shale oil isn’t going anywhere.

 (click to enlarge)

The industry also stands to benefit from pipelines scheduled to come online in late 2019 and early 2020. Production has been constrained by a lack of transportation infrastructure in the U.S., and these pipelines will facilitate transport of resources from the Permian Basin, the source of nearly one-third of U.S. oil output, to refineries and export centers in places like the Gulf Coast. It seems shale oil production will continue growing, though at a somewhat slower pace than the industry initially anticipated.

(click to enlarge)

Supply and Profitability: The Geopolitical Question

Ultimately, what affects geopolitics is not the durability of one shale company or another – it is the price of oil and whether the supply of oil continues to increase. And even if the growth in U.S. shale oil production slows, the industry will likely persist for at least the next decade. Skeptics have questioned the shale industry’s ability to sustain high levels of production since it took off over a decade ago. But U.S. production has often outperformed forecasts, and we have to keep this in mind when examining claims that the shale industry is not financially viable.

One of the primary concerns here is the industry’s profitability. As the industry has grown and matured, the break-even price per well has come down. But some doubters claim that there are fewer gains to be made through technological advances. If true, this would mean that the break-even point will not come down much further, leaving little room for growth in the profitability of shale. This may be a valid criticism. But that still puts the profitable oil price for a lot of shale companies well below Saudi Arabia’s fiscal break-even point (the point at which the government can balance its budget), which the International Monetary Fund says is currently about $80-$85 per barrel.

(click to enlarge)

Another, more convincing critique examines the relationship between long-term supply and profitability. It’s based on comparing production rates in the Bakken Formation and the Eagle Ford Group, some of the earliest shale basins to be tapped, with the Permian Basin, whose development only took off in 2013. The U.S. has seen net oil production gains since 2016, and much of those gains were from new wells, especially in the Permian Basin. Meanwhile, however, production in Bakken and Eagle Ford has declined following the 2015-16 downturn. (Eagle Ford has stagnated, while Bakken has only recently inched above its pre-2015 production levels.)

(click to enlarge)

Since Eagle Ford and Bakken are older discoveries than the Permian, critics suggest that the former are more representative of what shale basins will be capable of producing after several years of drilling, and that those production levels will be much lower than following the initial discovery, when only the choicest wells were being drilled. The Permian’s production has an outsize effect on total U.S. production. If it follows the trend of its predecessors, that effect would be problematic.

(click to enlarge)

New wells usually produce more oil at the outset, and the rate at which oil flows thereafter is called the decline rate. The Permian’s decline rates are rising faster than expected. Take, for example, Wolfcamp – one of the drilling areas within the Permian Basin. When drilling in the Permian got underway in 2013, observers expected decline rates of 5-10 percent; but Wolfcamp’s rate is now closer to 15 percent annually. Shale companies will need to drill more wells just to keep producing the same volume of oil. If Eagle Ford, Bakken and Permian production all stagnate or decline, that could constrain the amount of oil the U.S. is able to produce in the long run.

That’s assuming no new reserves are discovered. But, in fact, new reserves are discovered often – even in the Permian itself. In December, the U.S. Department of the Interior reported that the Permian’s Wolfcamp and Bone Spring Formations contain the most oil and gas resources of any location ever assessed. Still, that was not an assessment of proven reserves – those that can be recovered using existing technology – but rather of undiscovered reserves – defined by the department as “resources postulated, on the basis of geologic knowledge and theory, to exist outside of known fields of accumulations” – and technically recoverable reserves – defined as “resources producible using currently available technology and industry practices.” For now, companies are poised to continue producing enough to fuel growth in U.S. oil production. But if Permian production stagnates, they may well have to keep finding more reserves – and ways to extract them – to make it last.

What’s Ahead for Shale

The cycle of the oil industry goes on. Demand for oil may decline as countries shift toward fuel-efficient and electric vehicles. But demand for petrochemicals (chemical products for which oil is an input) will continue to grow as more people in the world’s most populous countries – namely, India and China – move into the middle class. The growing demand for oil will drive prices up, enabling shale drillers to increase production and, therefore, producers to rely less on debt – and even to start paying dividends.

It’s no surprise, then, that countries that rely heavily on the oil industry are having to rethink the underpinnings of their economies. (Saudi Arabia, for example, is working to reconfigure its economy to depend less on oil.) The U.S. could also become energy independent, which could have significant geopolitical implications.

The combination of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, which paved the way for the shale revolution in the U.S., is out of the box and can’t be put back in. The technology will continue to allow the U.S. to produce large quantities of oil for the foreseeable future. Shale isn’t going anywhere – and it will have a major influence over the global economics of oil for at least the next decade.

DougMacG

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 11887
    • View Profile
Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Nuclear is the real Green New Deal
« Reply #707 on: October 29, 2019, 06:49:45 AM »


DougMacG

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 11887
    • View Profile
Energy.gov: Nuclear is the most reliable energy source
« Reply #709 on: November 15, 2019, 07:12:24 AM »
Nuclear Power is the Most Reliable Energy Source and It's Not Even Close
FEBRUARY 27, 2018
... nuclear power plants are producing maximum power more than 92% of the time during the year.

That’s about 1.5 to 2 times more as natural gas and coal units, and 2.5 to 3.5 times more reliable than wind and solar plants.

https://www.energy.gov/ne/articles/nuclear-power-most-reliable-energy-source-and-its-not-even-close
-------------------
Who cares about reliability of electrical power?  Mostly people in first, second and third world countries who want to plug in and want to know it will work.  Not just toasters and hair dryers but manufacturing plants and hospitals with heart lung machines as well.

Not to mention that nuclear is carbon free with less toxic waste than solar.

DougMacG

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 11887
    • View Profile
Energy safety? Wind and solar require bigger, more powerful batteries
« Reply #710 on: November 27, 2019, 08:57:34 AM »
[The cleanest, safest energy is nuclear.  Ships run well with fossil fuels.]

Another Lithium-Ion explosion, this time Norway:

Fire and Gas Explosion in Battery Room of Norwegian Ferry Prompts Lithium-Ion Power Warning

https://gcaptain.com/fire-and-gas-explosion-in-battery-room-of-norwegian-ferry-prompts-lithium-ion-power-warning/

Norwegian broadcasting company NRK reported that twelve firefighters were taken to the hospital for exposure to hazardous gases associated with the batteries.

“The Norwegian Maritime Authority recommends that all shipowners with vessels that have battery installations, carry out a new risk assessment of the dangers connected to possible accumulations of explosive gases during unwanted incidents in the battery systems,” the Norwegian Maritime Authority said in statement. 

Alternatively, British Columbia-based, Corvus Energy, which supplied the ferry’s battery system, has issued recommendations to operators not to sail without communication between the shipboard energy management system and the battery packs, as well as what to do in case of a gas release or “thermal runaway situation.

Thermal runaway occurs when lithium-ion cell temperatures exceed the thermal runaway threshold, resulting in the sudden release of flammable, toxic gases and excessive heat that could result in an explosion.

DougMacG

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 11887
    • View Profile
Hinderaker, the environmental disaster of wind and solar
« Reply #711 on: November 27, 2019, 09:16:39 AM »
Who knew?

https://www.americanexperiment.org/2019/08/environmental-disaster-solar-energy/

Toxic minerals and compounds like Cadmium in rainwater washout and in landfills tells only part of the story.  If solar (in the midwest) only works 18% of the time, fossil fuels, gas and coal, make up the difference, unlike nuclear energy that really is carbon free.

DougMacG

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 11887
    • View Profile
WSJ: Overreaction to Fukushima is killing the Carbon fight
« Reply #712 on: December 04, 2019, 07:53:40 AM »
"meaningful cuts won’t happen without nuclear"

https://www.wsj.com/articles/requiem-for-a-climate-dream-11575417278

If the world isn’t slashing CO2, blame overreaction to the Fukushima disaster.
...
Nuclearphobes should remind themselves that more people die each year from coal-mining accidents than have been killed in all the nuclear accidents in history. Never mind the tens of thousands who are statistically estimated to die annually from inhaling particulates. No technology is perfect, but NASA’s James Hansen, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Gaia theorist James Lovelock, and the late Harvard economist Martin Weitzman are among the diverse and serious students of climate change who have said that meaningful cuts won’t happen without nuclear.
------------------------
To the green new deal crowd, cooking over a wood fire is far worse than natural gas.  Electricity is better only if nuclear-based.  Solar and wind subsidies lock in fossil fuel use, notice the oil companies' interest in that.

When will they ever learn?


DougMacG

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 11887
    • View Profile
Democrats want your electric bill to be over $1000 /mo., wind, solar
« Reply #713 on: December 13, 2019, 04:24:19 AM »
https://www.americanexperiment.org/2019/12/100-percent-windsolarbatteries-4296-50-monthly-electric-bill-according-to-an-xcel-energy-slide-show/

100 Percent Wind+Solar+Batteries= $1,036.80 Monthly Electric Bill, According to An Xcel Energy Slide Show and EIA Da
---------------------------
Not hypothetical or overstated.  They already doubled electric prices here while accomplishing nothing.

If you're serious about carbon free, give us nuclear power, safe, reliable and competitively priced.

Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 49312
    • View Profile
WSJ: Fracking Forecasts Flop
« Reply #714 on: December 23, 2019, 05:03:25 AM »
Banks Get Tough on Shale Loans as Fracking Forecasts Flop
Oil and gas companies face tightened credit after wells produce less than projected

Chevron has said it plans to take a charge of $10 billion to $11 billion, roughly half of it tied to shale gas assets. PHOTO: DANIEL ACKER/BLOOMBERG NEWS
By Christopher M. Matthews, Bradley Olson and Allison Prang
Updated Dec. 22, 2019 7:00 pm ET
SAVE
PRINT
TEXT
138
Some of the banks that helped fuel the fracking boom are beginning to question the industry’s fundamentals, as many shale wells produce less than companies forecast.

Banks have begun to tighten requirements on revolving lines of credit, an essential lifeline for smaller companies, as these institutions revise estimates on the value of some shale reserves held as collateral for loans to producers, according to people familiar with the matter.

Some large financial institutions, including Capital One Financial Corp. and JPMorgan Chase JPM -0.08% & Co., are likely to decrease the size of current and future loans to shale companies linked to reserves as a result of their semiannual reviews of the loans, the people say. The banks are concerned that if some companies go bankrupt, their assets won’t cover the loans, the people say.

JPMorgan Chase declined to comment. Capital One COF -0.01% didn’t respond to requests for comment.

The tightening financial pressure on shale producers is one of the reasons many are facing a reckoning going into next year. Chevron Corp. said Dec. 10 that it plans to take a charge of $10 billion to $11 billion, roughly half of it tied to shale gas assets, which it said won’t be profitable soon. Royal Dutch Shell PLC said Friday it will take a roughly $2 billion impairment, and other companies are expected to follow suit in writing down assets, according to analysts and industry executives.

The heat is greatest for small and midsize shale producers, including many whose wells aren’t producing as much oil and gas as they had projected to lenders and investors. Some of those companies may be forced out of business, said Clark Sackschewsky, the managing principal of accounting firm BDO’s Houston tax practice. Large companies are likely to weather the blow because of their size and global asset diversity, but for some smaller shale operators, tightening access to bank loans could prove disastrous.

“We’ve got another year under our belts with the onshore fracking assets, which includes less than optimistic reserves results, less production than anticipated, a reduction in capital investment into the market,” Mr. Sackschewsky said.

Oil and gas producers expect banks to cut their revolving lines of credit by 10% as a result of the reviews, according to a survey of companies by the law firm Haynes & Boone LLP. The cuts may be more severe, say some people familiar with the reviews.

Banks have extended billions of dollars of reserve-backed loans, though the exact size of the market isn’t known. JPMorgan said in a regulatory filing in September that it has exposure to $44 billion in oil and gas loans, and Capital One COF -0.01% said in October it has extended more than $3 billion in oil and gas loans. It wasn’t clear for either bank what proportion of those are backed by reserves.

Banks have typically applied a 10% discount to the value of reserves, meaning a shale company could borrow against 90% of its reserves as collateral. Banks have typically lent as much as 60% of that value. But some are now discounting the value by as much as 20%, the people say.

Meanwhile, some regional banks have begun writing off bad energy loans. Net charge-offs shot up at Huntington Bancshares in the last quarter. The Ohio-based lender attributed the move primarily to two energy loans where the borrowers’ production had not met expectations, Huntington Chief Executive Officer Stephen Steinour said in an interview.

“Geology and the assumptions were just flawed,” Mr. Steinour said.

Many investors have lost faith in the viability of shale drillers, as natural-gas prices stayed low and many companies broke promises on how much their wells would produce and when they would begin to turn a profit.

As investors have retreated, cracks have begun to show. Energy companies accounted for more than 90% of defaults on corporate debt in the third quarter, according to Moody’s Investors Service. There were more than 30 oil-company bankruptcies in 2019, exceeding the number in 2018 and 2017. Exploration and production companies are now carrying more than $100 billion in debt, according to Haynes & Boone.

Skepticism among banks has grown in part because lenders have more closely scrutinized public well data on production and seen that it is falling short of forecasts, as a Wall Street Journal analysis showed earlier this year.

Specifically, banks have begun questioning shale producers’ predictions about their wells’ initial rate of decline, which are proving overly optimistic, according to engineers. If shale wells, which produce rapidly early and then taper off, are declining faster than predicted, questions arise regarding how much they will ultimately produce.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS
What do you think tightened credit requirements mean for the shale industry as a whole? Join the conversation below.

Some lenders have flagged publicly that they will be less generous with loans in the future. “With respect to any new energy loans, we are highly cautious; it’s a very high bar we must clear,” said Paul B. Murphy, CEO of Cadence Bank, in an October call with analysts. The firm operates in Texas and the southeastern U.S.

Bank lending has slowed across the board in the country’s hottest drilling region, the Permian basin in West Texas and New Mexico. After leading Texas last year, loan growth in the region shrunk to 4.8,% below the state’s 7.5% average in the last quarter, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas said Thursday.

More than a decade into the shale boom, investors are trying to wrap their arms around the true value of producers’ assets, said Michelle Foss, an energy fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.

“There is a struggle now for investors to determine what things are actually worth,” Ms. Foss said.

Dwindling access to bank loans will put more pressure on an industry that has already lost access to other sources of money. Without new cash infusions, many companies may be unable to drill their undeveloped reserves, which could further diminish the value of their assets.

Some shale companies have been lobbying the Securities and Exchange Commission to change its rules governing reserves reporting, allowing them to count undeveloped assets as reserves for a longer period. The SEC currently allows oil and gas producers to report reserves as “proved” if the companies plan to develop them within five years.

In an August letter to the SEC, Continental Resources Inc., one of the largest shale companies, pushed for the regulator to extend that period to 10 years. The company, founded by the billionaire prospector Harold Hamm, said its proved reserves would be around 16% higher with such a rule change.

A Continental spokeswoman declined to comment. An SEC spokesman didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Write to Christopher M. Matthews at

DougMacG

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 11887
    • View Profile
New IBM Battery Technology coming
« Reply #715 on: December 23, 2019, 04:37:08 PM »
https://spectrum.ieee.org/energywise/energy/environment/ibm-new-seawater-battery-technology

This could change everything from power tools to electric vehicles.

DougMacG

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 11887
    • View Profile
Energy: Is nuclear power worth the risk? (yes)
« Reply #716 on: December 24, 2019, 05:09:25 AM »
https://www.newyorker.com/news/dispatch/is-nuclear-power-worth-the-risk?source=EDT_NYR_EDIT_NEWSLETTER_0_imagenewsletter_Daily_ZZ&utm_campaign=aud-dev&utm_source=nl&utm_brand=tny&utm_mailing=TNY_Daily_122319&utm_medium=email&bxid=5be9d3fa3f92a40469e2d85c&cndid=50142053&esrc=&mbid=&utm_term=TNY_Daily

Painful to read liberals writing about science.  She gets a few very important points right.
 - a magnitude-nine earthquake, one of the most powerful in recorded history, triggered a twelve-story tsunami
 - Doctors reported no cases of thyroid cancer that was rampant in Chernobyl.
 - The most exposure she faced writing the whole story was on the flight to Japan [that all travelers experience.]
 - That no serious approach to CO2 reduction today works without nuclear.
 - More damage was done by the fear spread through words and policies than by radiation.
 - The nuclear accident lengthened the life of the cows that were not evacuated (or slaughtered).
 - Japan added 50 coal burning plants as a result of this.
 - Finland has dealt effectively with the nuclear waste issue.
 - Her conclusion is that there IS a role for nuclear energy - if you care about pollution and climate.

What is omitted or misrepresented is painful too.  Start at the beginning.  9.0 earthquake is more than 100 times the intensity of the 6.9 1989 San Francisco disaster.  A  twelve story wall of water is something I think none of us have seen or heard of or can imagine. 

 - The tsunami killed more than more than 20,000 people. 

 - The Fukushima disaster killed one worker because of the diesel generator failure. 

 - It was the diesel generators that failed.  Without that failure, no radiation whatsoever would have been released. 

 - How does a 12 story tsunami relate to the shutdown of nuclear power in Germany?

 - Chernobyl is a story about Soviet failure, nothing to do with modern nuclear facilities.

 - Hiroshima and Nagasaki were results of Japanese military aggression, nothing to do with nuclear power or nuclear accident.

 - Switching to 100% renewable energy would mean the equivalent of $1000 per month electric bills for every household, would kill manufacturing jobs etc.

 - Solar has 500 times more toxic waste than nuclear.

 - Solar has ten times the death rate of nuclear power.
https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2008/03/deaths-per-twh-for-all-energy-sources.html

 - Solar replacement of Fukushima, if it were possible, would take up 250,000 acres of land use, more than the whole town.

 - The percentage of power Japan gets from renewable sources, primarily hydro, has greatly decreased since 1970.
https://www.eurotechnology.com/store/j_renewable/

 - Intermittant power sources like solar and wind do not match 80% of the electrical demand.
https://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/renewable/solar/solar-energy/

 - Nuclear power is by far the safest and cleanest known energy source.

 - All nuclear plants built after Fukushima would incorporate what was learned and would survive a 9.0 earthquake and 12 story tsunami.

 - New nuclear technologies have zero waste and emissions.

 - Long lead time to build is not a reason not to build.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2019, 05:45:39 AM by DougMacG »

Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 49312
    • View Profile
Re: Energy Politics & Science
« Reply #717 on: December 24, 2019, 09:06:47 AM »
Outstanding post Doug!

DougMacG

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 11887
    • View Profile
Re: Energy Politics & Science
« Reply #718 on: December 24, 2019, 10:57:05 AM »
Thanks Marc.

ccp

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 10023
    • View Profile

ccp

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 10023
    • View Profile
another little leftist scowler who ignores
« Reply #720 on: December 25, 2019, 08:40:29 AM »
everything in Doug's post

https://www.yahoo.com/author/david-knowles


https://news.yahoo.com/trump-huffs-and-puffs-about-windmills-but-wind-power-keeps-growing-203256114.html

 - complete with photo of Trump with the orange hair blowing in wind just to mock him more.


DougMacG

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 11887
    • View Profile
Re: another little leftist scowler who ignores
« Reply #721 on: December 27, 2019, 06:33:41 AM »
everything in Doug's post

https://www.yahoo.com/author/david-knowles


https://news.yahoo.com/trump-huffs-and-puffs-about-windmills-but-wind-power-keeps-growing-203256114.html

 - complete with photo of Trump with the orange hair blowing in wind just to mock him more.

"roughly on a par with nuclear plants, although in terms of actual power generated (as distinguished from theoretical capacity), wind is still a fraction of nuclear and fossil fuels."

   - it admittedly operates at a fraction of its potential. That about says it all.

Amazing how much they can build with free, printed money.  Every mW of wind locks in about 3-4  times that much  (1/ that fraction) of long term fossil fuel use since clean nuclear power cannot scale up and down with the wind. Every time you see a new wind turbine, remember to buy an oil company stock.   Each new wind turbine sets the carbon-free energy movement back twenty years.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2019, 06:37:22 AM by DougMacG »

DougMacG

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 11887
    • View Profile
Re: Energy Politics & Science
« Reply #722 on: January 08, 2020, 09:50:40 PM »
Finding people who put my thoughts to words better than I do:

"I mean, if you say you care about the environment but you oppose nuclear power or fracking, then you’re an idiot or a liar."
   - Glenn Reynolds, PJ Media Instapundit
https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/353989/#respond