Our natural gas now picks of the week this april 28, 2018natural gas now wd gaster theory


To be sure, modern political niceties prevent the lords and ladies of today from pronouncing that they wish the rabble to be gone. And so the exclusionist argument is laundered through the green vernacular of “sustainability.” It’s by this linguistic transmutation that the selfish NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) activist is elevated into a high-minded eco-hero.

The beauty of renewables, of course, is that they’re always just over the horizon, awaiting the one technological gains leap, except that the horizon keeps moving due to other technological leaps with natural gas. The giant leap needed for renewables is said to be storage, but that’s not doing so well either (emphasis added):

Oregon was the first state to follow California in implementing an energy storage mandate. But, as Pacific Power’s recent filing with the Oregon Public Utility Commission shows, the economics of energy storage may take more time to become favorable, at least for some.

In 2015, Oregon’s legislature passed H.B. 2193, which requires the state’s two main investor-owned utilities, Portland General Electric and PacifiCorp’s Pacific Power, to have a minimum of 5 MWh of energy storage in service by January 1, 2020. The mandate is capped at 1% of a utility’s peak load from 2014, except for a project of “statewide significance.” The law also allows the utilities to recover the costs of those energy storage systems through electric rates…

…the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) seeking stakeholder comments on whether, and if so how, it should adjust its current policy 1 on certifying new natural gas transportation facilities. Specifically, it requests input on:

The full notice, unfortunately, gives almost no attention to the single greatest problem right now; the corrupt abuse of the Section 401 Water Quality Certification process by Andrew Cuomo and others who are using it to insert them into every aspect of FERC’s authority. The agency is looking for comments and I have but two suggestions.

The first is to draft a rule that says: (1) water quality certification must be about water and not FERC’s business, (2) that one-year to act means one-year and not several, and (3) decisions must be based on real water quality criteria and not speculation or different criteria than would be applied to any other activity. Secondly, it’s time to end the abuse of the FERC process itself by Delaware Povertykeeper types who only seek to kill projects by delay. Keep them out of the process as intervenors. Check out the notice and make your comment!

This is yet another blow to Germany’s Energiewende (transition to green energies). A few days ago, I reported here how the German solar industry had seen a monumental jobs’ bloodbath and investments have been slashed to a tiny fraction of what they once were.

The obsolete turbines in the article only average .8 MW each, compared to today’s standard of 6 MW, and I find it hard to believe that with 20 years notice the wind energy companies didn’t have a plan. One new turbine can replace almost 8 of the old and with 20 years of wind data they can pick spots reliable enough to cover the bigger costs.

I find it hard to believe that turbines that are paid off, especially in the more modern 3-5 MW range, couldn’t produce electricity that at least covers maintenance cost. The smaller older ones should be removed when costs aren’t justified and replaced with modern ones.

Yet I’ve seen on this site and many other places that utility rates are high in Germany. Which is it? We can’t even begin to sort the market into close up, stop/limit production or make a profit without the market price. If it is so low, how and why do we, and the Russians, want to export gas to them. If it is high, wind energy is more viable. I suspect it is high and wind is not on its last legs in Germany.