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A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt 2

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Mon 02 Oct 2017, 12:56:53

Ghung - Actually beach front property in S Texas isn't that cheap: much is National Seashore or state parks which removed a lot from the market. And actually very few platforms off of S Texas to be seen. OTOH thousands and thousands of small windmills pulling up well water for livestock everywhere. Of course not nearly as massive as wind turbines. But from a psychology point of view we are very accustomed to seeing some kind of crap sticking up in the air that's beneficial to the state. We are a practical minded group down here: we drive cars that require gasoline which requires drilling wells. We also really love AC which requires electricity which requires something to produce the juice. Unlike many Yankees that want to eat cake but demand that the ovens be in someone else's backyard. LOL.
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Mon 02 Oct 2017, 13:15:36

k - "...the Clean Air Act, passed in 1970, only applied to new power plants built. It had little effect on existing coal power plants." Which may explain what I read long ago: Texas has the most efficient/less polluting coal plants in the country because they much newer. Which also may explain the very striking anomaly I point out on that map depicting coal burning deaths per state: Texas, the largest coal burning state, shows very few deaths compared to northeast.

But your points highlights the same bullsh*t the politicians have been feeding the public for decades. Big speeches about what will be done to fix problems but when you see the details nothing really changes. Just like President Obama agreeing to the Paris Accord at the same time more coal is exported during his time in office then under any other POTUS in history.

All the Yankee politicians had little problem supporting the Clean Air Act because it had little effect on their voters. Folks up there will run any politician out of office for supporting drilling off the east coast but are just fine with drilling in the GOM.

Just human nature: most are OK with sacrificing for the common good. As long as its their commons and not their sacrifice.
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Mon 02 Oct 2017, 13:40:12

That's just not my impression of what's going on in the NE corner of the country. The EPA air quality standards did probably accelerate the retirement and replacement of the older power plant equipment. It also caused the routing of large capacity natural gas pipelines to those power plants, since substituting gas for coal was cheaper than retrofitting stack scrubbing to older equipment. But each large power plant typically contains multiple sets of coal crushers, boilers, steam turbines, generators, and stacks. The equipment is replaced as it approaches end of life and the new equipment is compliant with EPA regulations. The costliest part of the power plant is the infrastructure of railroads and docks and gas mains - the fuel delivery system, not the plant itself. The power grid distribution equipment and lines are even more costly than the plant itself, and already run to that location - the economics say that you add new equipment at the same site and replace it when it reaches end of life.

Lest you think that the EPA is solely responsible for the change, allow me to point out that gas fired boilers are much cheaper to maintain and operate than those with working coal pulverizers and blowers, and also don't need stack scrubbing which creates fly ash wastes. The new boilers are designed for dual fuel capability and are a few percentage points more efficient than those they replace. Yet in every case that I know of on the Cape Cod coast and the parts of Wisconsin I visited, the coal fuel capability is still present and the area around the plant has coal heaped high - just in case natural gas spikes up in price.
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby kublikhan » Mon 02 Oct 2017, 14:10:21

I'm going to have to agree with KJ here. Rockman - In this case I think Obama actually did achieve the changes his speeches talked about. In 2008, the year before Obama took office, US coal production was 1,171,809 thousand short tons. In 2016, his last year in office, US coal production was 728,232 thousand short tons. That is a steep decline in a short amount of time. Even an increase in coal exports was not enough to offset our rapidly falling domestic coal consumption. Not even close. So to me this looks like one of those rare occasions where a politician actually achieved what they set out to achieve. Of course a big part of that was the cheap natural gas prices. But the EPA rules and other pressures against dirty coal power were factors as well.
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby GHung » Mon 02 Oct 2017, 14:37:20

pstarr wrote:
GHung wrote:
pstarr wrote:Sane environmental law manages point-source pollution, that specifically damages human populations and regional ecosystems. Power plant emissions are by design airborne and disbursed far and wide. The resulting pollutants are reduced in concentration and therefore not bad.

In the final analysis, all made-made pollutants are originally from this very same planet earth. Essentially natural and a part of all life. And so the pollutants will eventually all degrade and dispurse, return to our mother. (Unless you are a linear no-threshold model (LNT) maniac then there is little hope sorry)

Always keep in mind Kub . . . the solution to pollution is dilution.


Good crop this year P? Maybe you can reimburse my family for the tons of lime we've had to apply to our fields and pastures almost every year to counter soil acidification; the direct result of acid rain and sulfur dioxide coming into the southern Appalachians from coal plants in the Tennessee Valley. Not to mention the very high ground level ozone we get every summer from the west; this in a supposedly 'pristine' county of about 10,000 people in rural Appalachia.

And I don't buy any of your nasty coal-sourced electricity. Haven't for 20 years.

Could it simply be farming practices?

Causes of soil acidity
Soil acidification is a natural process accelerated by agriculture. Soil acidifies because the concentration of hydrogen ions in the soil increases. The main cause of soil acidification is inefficient use of nitrogen, followed by the export of alkalinity in produce.

Ammonium based fertilisers are major contributors to soil acidification. Ammonium nitrogen is readily converted to nitrate and hydrogen ions in the soil. If nitrate is not taken-up by plants, it can leach away from the root zone leaving behind hydrogen ions thereby increasing soil acidity.

Most plant material is slightly alkaline and removal by grazing or harvest leaves residual hydrogen ions in the soil. Over time, as this process is repeated, the soil becomes acidic. Major contributors are hay, especially lucerne hay and legume crops. Alkalinity removed in animal products is low, however, concentration of dung in stock camps adds to the total alkalinity exported in animal production.


That acid rain and SO2 increase the rate of soil acidification is well established.

Soil acidification is the buildup of hydrogen cations, also called protons, reducing the soil pH. This happens when a proton donor gets added to the soil. The donor can be an acid, such as nitric acid and sulfuric acid (these acids are common components of acid rain). It can also be a compound such as aluminium sulfate, which reacts in the soil to release protons. Many nitrogen compounds, which are added as fertilizer, also acidify soil over the long term because they produce nitrous and nitric acid when oxidized in the process of nitrification.

Acidification also occurs when base cations such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium are leached from the soil. This leaching increases with increasing precipitation. Acid rain accelerates the leaching of bases. Plants take bases from the soil as they grow, donating a proton in exchange for each base cation. Where plant material is removed, as when a forest is logged or crops are harvested, the bases they have taken up are permanently lost from the soil.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soil_acidification

And I'm well-schooled in our soil chemistry. Some of my fields were fallow for over 10 years and the acidity increase was significant even when lime was applied and no other nutrients were called for by annual soil analysis.

But that ain't all:

Sulfur dioxide (SO2): Coal plants are the United States’ leading source of SO2 pollution, which takes a major toll on public health, including by contributing to the formation of small acidic particulates that can penetrate into human lungs and be absorbed by the bloodstream. SO2 also causes acid rain, which damages crops, forests, and soils, and acidifies lakes and streams. A typical uncontrolled coal plant emits 14,100 tons of SO2 per year. A typical coal plant with emissions controls, including flue gas desulfurization (smokestack scrubbers), emits 7,000 tons of SO2 per year.

Nitrogen oxides (NOx): NOx pollution causes ground level ozone, or smog, which can burn lung tissue, exacerbate asthma, and make people more susceptible to chronic respiratory diseases. A typical uncontrolled coal plant emits 10,300 tons of NOx per year. A typical coal plant with emissions controls, including selective catalytic reduction technology, emits 3,300 tons of NOx per year.

Particulate matter: Particulate matter (also referred to as soot or fly ash) can cause chronic bronchitis, aggravated asthma, and premature death, as well as haze obstructing visibility. A typical uncontrolled plan emits 500 tons of small airborne particles each year. Baghouses installed inside coal plant smokestacks can capture as much as 99 percent of the particulates.

Mercury: Coal plants are responsible for more than half of the U.S. human-caused emissions of mercury, a toxic heavy metal that causes brain damage and heart problems. Just 1/70th of a teaspoon of mercury deposited on a 25-acre lake can make the fish unsafe to eat. A typical uncontrolled coal plants emits approximately 170 pounds of mercury each year. Activated carbon injection technology can reduce mercury emissions by up to 90 percent when combined with baghouses. ACI technology is currently found on just 8 percent of the U.S. coal fleet.
http://www.ucsusa.org/clean-energy/coal ... dKR_xdrzSc
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Mon 02 Oct 2017, 14:52:24

KJ - OK let's compare CO2 emissions per coal consumption for 2 of the biggest contributors: Texas and PA. All data from the EIA. For 2014:

Texas: coal burnt: 103 mm ston......CO2:150 mm tons
PA: coal burnt: 46 mm ston.............CO2: 98 mm tons

Or:
Texas: 1.47 ton of CO2/ton of coal consumed
PA: 2.13 ton of CO2/ton of coal consumed

Or PA coal plants produced 45% more CO2 then Texas coal plants for every ton of coal burned.

So maybe they should do a tad more scrubbing in PA. LOL. Also let's not forget Texas just built the largest CO2 sequestration project in the world taking it from the second largest GHG emitting plant in the US. Half the burners use NG and the other half use coal.

But I'm sure the PA politicians have convinced their voters they are doing their share to "save the planet". LOL. BTW the average electricity rate in PA is 20% higher then in Texas. Imagine how much higher it would be if they upgraded those plants to the same efficiency as those in Texas.

And since the subject is renewable energy: Texas more the 2X as much electricity from renewable sources then PA.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of ... le_sources
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Mon 02 Oct 2017, 15:09:22

Ghung - And speaking of the nastiness of mercury: is it a false memory or am I actually recalling some toy from many decades ago that contained a small amount of Hg?

Also are you also telling me I should not have been tossing those old broken light bulbs into the 25 acre pond behind my house??? Damn, now you tell me!
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Mon 02 Oct 2017, 15:11:22

Ghung - And speaking of the nastiness of mercury: is it a false memory or am I actually recalling some toy from many decades ago that contained a small amount of Hg?

Also are you also telling me I should not have been tossing those old broken light bulbs into the 25 acre pond behind my house??? Damn, now you tell me!
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Mon 02 Oct 2017, 15:37:27

ROCKMAN wrote:KJ - OK let's compare CO2 emissions per coal consumption for 2 of the biggest contributors: Texas and PA. All data from the EIA. For 2014:

Texas: coal burnt: 103 mm ston......CO2:150 mm tons
PA: coal burnt: 46 mm ston.............CO2: 98 mm tons

Or:
Texas: 1.47 ton of CO2/ton of coal consumed
PA: 2.13 ton of CO2/ton of coal consumed

Or PA coal plants produced 45% more CO2 then Texas coal plants for every ton of coal burned.

So maybe they should do a tad more scrubbing in PA. LOL. Also let's not forget Texas just built the largest CO2 sequestration project in the world taking it from the second largest GHG emitting plant in the US. Half the burners use NG and the other half use coal.

But I'm sure the PA politicians have convinced their voters they are doing their share to "save the planet". LOL. BTW the average electricity rate in PA is 20% higher then in Texas. Imagine how much higher it would be if they upgraded those plants to the same efficiency as those in Texas.

And since the subject is renewable energy: Texas more the 2X as much electricity from renewable sources then PA.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of ... le_sources


I followed your link and discovered that the EIA figures are TOTAL carbon dioxide emissions per state, not directly related to power plant emissions in any fashion (presumably those are part of the overall total), and so do nothing to prove your points.

As for Texas as a state, I found (via your link) that it tops the list of carbon dioxide emitters, and produced more than twice the emissions of California which is ranked second in total emissions although it has a population about 12 million people higher. In terms of annual carbon dioxide per capita, Texas is 26.29 metric tonnes and California is 9.26 metric tonnes.

The numbers speak volumes. I assume that you will respond that Texas exports power generated by burning FF's. I know California buys some of our energy there. But really (with all due respect to a great state) what is Texas doing in the renewable energy front that is worth boasting about?
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby GHung » Mon 02 Oct 2017, 15:42:35

ROCKMAN wrote:KJ - OK let's compare CO2 emissions per coal consumption for 2 of the biggest contributors: Texas and PA. All data from the EIA. For 2014:

Texas: coal burnt: 103 mm ston......CO2:150 mm tons
PA: coal burnt: 46 mm ston.............CO2: 98 mm tons

Or:
Texas: 1.47 ton of CO2/ton of coal consumed
PA: 2.13 ton of CO2/ton of coal consumed

Or PA coal plants produced 45% more CO2 then Texas coal plants for every ton of coal burned.

So maybe they should do a tad more scrubbing in PA. LOL. Also let's not forget Texas just built the largest CO2 sequestration project in the world taking it from the second largest GHG emitting plant in the US. Half the burners use NG and the other half use coal.

But I'm sure the PA politicians have convinced their voters they are doing their share to "save the planet". LOL. BTW the average electricity rate in PA is 20% higher then in Texas. Imagine how much higher it would be if they upgraded those plants to the same efficiency as those in Texas.

And since the subject is renewable energy: Texas more the 2X as much electricity from renewable sources then PA.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of ... le_sources


Very little CO2 is removed from coal plant emissions these days. Scrubbers remove mostly SO2 and nitrous oxides. CO2 removal is difficult at such scales and takes a lot of energy. The difference between the numbers you post for PA and TX may largely be due to type of coal burned.
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby kublikhan » Mon 02 Oct 2017, 18:48:56

ROCKMAN wrote:k - "...the Clean Air Act, passed in 1970, only applied to new power plants built. It had little effect on existing coal power plants." Which may explain what I read long ago: Texas has the most efficient/less polluting coal plants in the country because they much newer. Which also may explain the very striking anomaly I point out on that map depicting coal burning deaths per state: Texas, the largest coal burning state, shows very few deaths compared to northeast.
Indeed. Illinois and everything east of it has high rates of deaths from power plants(comparatively speaking). Meanwhile Texas, Florida, and the western half of the United States have low amounts of deaths from power plants.
Death and Disease from Power Plants

Power plant Mortality Risk per 100,000 Adults

Which also explains the map below of coal power plant retirements/conversions. They are concentrated in the states with alot of old dirty coal power plants.

Image
Coal plant retirements

And there are more closures/conversions to come:

The United States is closing 46 coal-fired generating units at 25 electricity plants across 16 states over the next few years, transitioning to natural gas or intentionally closing them, and a new report shows that this will likely result in eliminating about 30 million tons of annual coal demand by the end of 2018.

By the end of 2018, the plant closures detailed in this report will amount to a net capacity (by 2016 figures) of 16 gigawatts (GW), or approximately 5.7% of the total coal-fired US electricity generation capacity. These closures represent what the IEEFA believes is a long-term trend that will only likely continue. “Indeed, the transformative shift in electricity generation across the U.S. is likely to continue as intense cost competition from renewables and natural gas continues a trend toward more coal-fired plant closures and has even led to some nuclear plant retirements over the past few years.”
US Coal Plant Closures Likely To Eliminate 30 Million Tons Of Annual Coal Demand

Of course if we compared instead to China's death from power plants, the entire US looks looks benign by comparison.
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Mon 02 Oct 2017, 20:52:25

I believe that the deathprints reflect nothing more than the population density and the proximity of those people to power plant emissions. No other factors are discernable or should be inferred. The Eastern US has a greater population density and a higher number of coal plants to generate power for these people, and thus the people suffer more coal-related deaths and illnesses.
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby kublikhan » Mon 02 Oct 2017, 22:27:53

KaiserJeep wrote:I believe that the deathprints reflect nothing more than the population density and the proximity of those people to power plant emissions. No other factors are discernable or should be inferred. The Eastern US has a greater population density and a higher number of coal plants to generate power for these people, and thus the people suffer more coal-related deaths and illnesses.
The numbers have already been adjusted to reflect population density. The figures are not for gross deaths but deaths per 100,000. For example, West Virginia is one of the deadliest states in the country for power plant deaths. However it ranks in the bottom half of states for population density.

As for coal density, Texas produces more power from coal than any other state. Yet is also has the youngest and cleanest coal fleet in the nation. No doubt this is a factor in why Texas has so many fewer coal deaths than West Virginia or Ohio. You can see this by looking at their emissions. For example, in terms of emissions per MWh:
Texas had only 63% as much Sulfur Dioxide emissions as West Virginia, only 59% as much co2 emissions, and less than half as much Nitrogen Oxide emissions. I'm not saying Texas coal power is exactly clean. But it is a hell of alot cleaner than the coal power in West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, etc.

The Texas coal fleet is the youngest and cleanest in America. Texas power providers have taken proactive steps to ensure that this young coal fleet is maintained and upgraded with state-of-the-art pollution control equipment. Due to its youth and the installation of more than $17.4 billion present-day dollars in state-of-the-art environmental controls, Texas coal-fired power plants have some of the lowest emissions rates of any fleet in the country, including emissions of sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, mercury, nitrogen oxide, and carbon dioxide. In addition, Texas’ coal-fueled power plants have reduced PM-related emissions by 43 percent and emissions of nitrogen oxides by 55 percent since 1999. The Texas coal fleet also has one of the lowest NOx emissions rate of any coal fleet in the nation, far lower than the national average.
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Tue 03 Oct 2017, 02:02:45

All of you are putting lipstick on a pig. Coal power remains the deadliest form of energy production, and is far more deadly than the renewable alternatives. It's only a matter of degree. Also, as we established in the lawsuit about defoliation due to acid rain, the stuff blows East. The Eastern USA enjoys the effluents from Texas, California, and in fact every state West of the Missisippi.

WE NEED TO STOP BURNING COAL AS FAST AS WE CAN.
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Tue 03 Oct 2017, 10:34:40

KJ - "...the deathprints reflect nothing more than the population density and the proximity of those people to power plant emissions." and "The Eastern USA enjoys the effluents from Texas...".

Nope...neither thought works. Harris County (aka Houston) with a pop of more then 5 million sits less the 50 miles down wind of the second largest producer of GHG in the entire US. A power plant that has 3 NG burners and 3 coal burners. And we've lost that 2nd place ranking since that plant is now sending CO2 to the largest sequestration project on the planet.

Again none of this because Texas is so "green" minded: Texas and the EPA have been having an battle over our coal emissions for years. Also part of the reason we developed world class wind power instead of building more fossil fuel burning plants to satisfy our growing demand.

Face it: whatever is hurting all my Yankee cousins (and yes: we consider someone in Illinois a Yankee) they are doing it to themselves. And are allowed to keep doing by politicians who don't want to get voted out of office by forcing a change on those citizens.
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Tue 03 Oct 2017, 10:41:27

k - "...Texas...is a hell of a lot cleaner...". So what: you bucking to be an honorary Texan? Hell, I'll put in a good word for ya. LOL.

Like we say: it ain't bragging if it's true...just the facts.
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Tue 03 Oct 2017, 15:19:48

The facts being that Texas emits 2.8X as much carbon as California, on a per capita basis, with more available land for wind power and 12 million fewer inhabitants. Nothing there to be proud of.
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Tue 03 Oct 2017, 21:23:44

KJ - True but we have so much more to be proud of that we don't really care. And it all blows over to Louisiana anyway. LOL.
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby kublikhan » Thu 05 Oct 2017, 02:31:51

ROCKMAN wrote:Harris County (aka Houston) with a pop of more then 5 million sits less the 50 miles down wind of the second largest producer of GHG in the entire US. A power plant that has 3 NG burners and 3 coal burners. And we've lost that 2nd place ranking since that plant is now sending CO2 to the largest sequestration project on the planet.
I was just reading about this project. It won praise not only for being the largest CO2 sequestration project, but for doing it on time and on budget. Despite the large slew of unexpected problems that often crop up with large projects: prospective partners suddenly breaking off communications, flooding, first time anything of this scale was attempted, etc. I was surprised a Japanese company partnered for this project and it was based on technology from another Japanese company. It was also interesting how they spent so much extra time doing the engineering to catch problems early on instead of finding out during assembly: "Oops. These pipes don't match up." Like what happened with the Airbus 380: "Oops. These wires are too short." Part of the reason the A380 was delayed for 2 years and several billion dollars over budget. When I first read about CO2 sequestration years ago I came to the conclusion: "It's too expensive and too energy intensive. No one is going to do this just for environmental reasons". Well the company behind this project came to the same conclusion and used the CO2 to drive enhanced oil recovery at a nearby oil field, generating extra cash to pay for the project. A win-win. And as for the energy needs, they build a cogeneration power plant to provide some of the electricity and heat they need at much higher efficiency rates than the coal power plant they are getting CO2 from.

Hilcorp expects that the captured CO2 could increase oil production at West Ranch from about 300 barrels a day to a peak volume of up to 15,000 barrels a day. What sets Petra Nova apart from several other projects is its unique business model. “Oil revenues pay for the entire project,” NRG spokesperson David Knox told POWER. This is a pivotal winning attribute of the project, considering that several carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) projects have been scrapped or postponed because they are economically unfeasible or have become too expensive for rate recovery.

Yet another interesting facet of the project is how it tackles parasitic load. As Greeson explained, technologies that capture CO2 are energy-intensive. “If you had a 1,000-MW coal plant, in order to capture all the CO2 off of that plant, you would need 300 MW of steam and power. So, it effectively becomes a 700-MW net output plant.” But because power consumed by the capture system would be unsold power—negatively impacting the pro forma—NRG determined that the project would benefit from a purpose-built 70-MW gas-fired cogeneration system. That installation features a GE 7EA gas turbine that is “converting fossil fuels at an efficiency of 55%, instead of the host coal unit, which is converting fossil fuels at an efficiency of 33.34%.

Today, the project continues to garner interest far and wide. NRG has so far hosted eight foreign delegations on tours of the facility and expects interest to ramp up as operations continue, said Greeson. One reason for this is that the project shows that advanced post-combustion capture technology is both available and scalable.
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Thu 05 Oct 2017, 09:58:49

Jeff Hildenrand is the man running Hilcorp that is taking the CO2 for EOR. A smart selfmade man to say the least: in 20 years he went from a 6 man company focused strictly on buying old workout oil fields to s 1,500 staff company and got himself on the list of the 100 richest people in the country. Also known for giving HUGE bonuses when the hit goals. And elsame size from VP to receptionist. I think last one was $60,000. Very big on rewarding success in a big way.

BTW the field he's injecting the CO2 into, West Ranch Field, is the first one the Rockman tried to buy to do the horizontal redevelopment but couldn't raise the money. About 360 million bbls residual oil left in the main reservoir alone.
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