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US Greening Perspectives

How to save energy through both societal and individual actions.

US Greening Perspectives

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Tue 13 Sep 2016, 08:47:21

After putting into perspective in another post the Texas efforts to reduce its output of GHG by becoming tied as the 4th largest wind power producing "country" as well as building the largest CO2 sequestration on the entire planet it seems a good idea to do so at a national level. I often tease the greenies when they tout favorite projects with: "Yes, every little bit helps and that effort certainly qualifies as a LITTLE bit. So I offer this forum as a place to post any US greening efforts AND a place to put them into perspective of the BIG PICTURE.

So I start with Texas. Texas is THE largest producer of CO2 in the country. But we are building the largest sequestration project in the world to handle the second largest individual GHG producer in the country: a NG and coal fired power plant. The greenies applaud that effort, right? After all this massive project is eliminating this huge source that will reduce the state's output 0.25%. And national CO2 levels...a 0.03% decrease. And that's what I mean about putting such "advances" in the battle against climate change into PERSPECTIVE.

And now Texas wind power making the state one of the two top alt energy producers in the nation along with CA. Greenies just love that. But that growth hasn't even reduced our fossil fuel fired capacity by a single Btu. It was not done to reduce that output but supplement it. At least it's better then building more ff plants to meet our growing electricity consumption. BTW according to the EIA Texas has the most efficient coal burning plants in the country. That's because they are the newest plants on average in the nation. Which is fortunate given that the state is by far the biggest coal burner in the nation.

Perspective, eh?

Let's go with a national PERSPECTIVE now and look at improvements in the fuel efficiency of NEW vehicles. And thanks to govt mandates over the last decade they have significantly increased. Now let's put that into the perspective of the entire US rolling fleet. Over that 10 year period according to govt stats the average mpg of ALL the light vehicles on our roads increased from 19.6 mpg to 21.4 mpg. IOW an increase of about 0.2 mpg PER YEAR. Much different then the average improvement of NEW cars sold.

Perspective, eh?

But we have reduced national CO2 production back to the 2005 output. But according to the EIA that was primarily from using more NG then coal for electricity generation. But that also represents a an 11 year period when NG became much less expensive and when, for a short period, coal prices reached max levels. But now NG prices are slowly increasing as previous production increases are starting to reverse and coal prices are much lower. So the future trend in US CO2 output? Time will tell.

Perspective, eh?

So here's a place for the greenies to brag about actual (and not just verbal) advances in the fight against climated change. But be prerpared to have those improvements put into PERSPECTIVE.
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Re: US Greening Perspectives

Unread postby ennui2 » Tue 13 Sep 2016, 09:21:40

I'll put it in perspective.

Someone who makes money drilling for fossil fuels is trying to get on a soapbox and advocate environmental policy.

Please, leave it to others who don't have any conflicts of interest.
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Re: US Greening Perspectives

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Tue 13 Sep 2016, 09:24:56

And the Rockman will be one of the first contributors:

The refusal by the govt to issue the border crossing permit for a new pipeline to transport Alberta oil sands into the US. Bragged about for years by the greenies. And during that time those exports increased month after month as alternate methods were developed. Including the most significant improvement: the construction of a pipeline from Cushing, OK to Texas refineries that eliminated a choke point for the Canadian oil imports. A pipeline President Obama, the "greenest POTUS" in history, declared as "critical to the US economy" as he ordered govt agencies to do all they could to expedite its completion. The irony: the US shale drillers, by increasing production and helping push prices down, have inhibited oil sands development. Unlike the greenies that lobbied against the permit.

Perspective, eh?
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Re: US Greening Perspectives

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Tue 13 Sep 2016, 09:48:46

ennui - What conflicts? The country has always needed fossil fuels and will continue to for a long time. Thus the efforts of the Rockman et al have been very important. The country has also desperately needed sound conservation and environmental policies for a very long time. And still does today.

I'm always amazed at the child-like view of many that think the oil/NG hunters have any reason to oppose valid environmental concerns. Especially since these same folks are part of the collective that is THE direct the producers of the vast MAJORITY of GHG. I just assume such hypocrisy stems from their inability to accept their guilt.

The oil patch would have still carried on had the country developed better environmental policies decades ago. But the far greater impact would have been felt by the energy CONSUMERS...not the producers. And fearing voter backlash is why politicians have never pushed for serious policies changes.

Kinda like what Pogo said long ago: We have met the enemy...and they is y'all. LOL.
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Re: US Greening Perspectives

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Tue 13 Sep 2016, 13:47:15

The Kemper Project is an electrical generating station currently under construction in Mississippi. Construction of the plant in 2010. The project is central to President Obama's Climate Plan. Once operational, the Kemper Project will be a first-of-its-kind electricity plant to employ gasification and carbon capture technologies at this scale.

The power plant construction has been delayed and is scheduled to open in the third quarter of 2016, more than two years behind schedule, at a cost of $6.6 billion—three times original cost estimate. According to a Sierra Club analysis, Kemper is the most expensive power plant ever built for the watts of electricity it will generate.

And the perspective of this integral part of the govt's Clean Coal effort? Time will tell but at the moment it seems to be falling well below expectations. Just need to wait a few more years to know if the idea has legs:

The power generated and CO2 sequestered: 582 MW (10% of the state total) and 3 million tons (5% of the state total) of CO2 captured annually.
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Re: US Greening Perspectives

Unread postby ennui2 » Tue 13 Sep 2016, 14:03:00

ROCKMAN wrote:ennui - What conflicts? The country has always needed fossil fuels and will continue to for a long time. Thus the efforts of the Rockman et al have been very important.


Hmm... Where have I heard this before?

https://www.chevron.com/stories/chevron ... g-campaign

And outside, the debate rages. Oil. Energy. The Environment. It is the story of our time, and it is definitive and all encompassing. And it leaves no one untouched. Because make no mistake, this isn’t just about oil companies, this is about you and me. And the undeniable truth that at this moment there are 6.5 billion people on this planet, and by year’s end there will be another 73 million. And every one of us will need energy to live. Where will it come from? This is Chevron’s challenge each day. Because for today and tomorrow and the foreseeable future, our lives demand oil. But what’s also true is that we can provide it more intelligently, more efficiently, more respectfully, that we’ll never stop looking for alternatives, that an oil company can practice and espouse conservation. Yes, we are an oil company, but right now we are also providing natural gas, solar, hydrogen, geothermal. Because we live on this planet too. This is who we are, in 180 countries. Not corporate titans. But men and women of vision. Fifty-eight-thousand citizens of the world. Liberals and conservatives. Engineers and scientists. Pipeline welders and geologists. Husbands and wives. Part-time poets and coaches. Peoples who daily try to find newer ways, cleaners ways, to power the world. Humans have always reached for what seemed impossible. Because it is then that we find a way. Tell us it can’t be done. Then watch as we tap the greatest source of energy in the world—ourselves.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpqPLET1HwU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KyjTGMVTkA

Please someone, grab me a tissue, I need to mop up the tears. I mean, we owe the oil industry so much, why don't we erect monuments to people like Rex Tillerson already?

ROCKMAN wrote:Kinda like what Pogo said long ago: We have met the enemy...and they is y'all. LOL.


So by all means choose to build your career around killing the planet.
"If the oil price crosses above the Etp maximum oil price curve within the next month, I will leave the forum." --SumYunGai (9/21/2016)
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Re: US Greening Perspectives

Unread postby kublikhan » Tue 13 Sep 2016, 14:50:34

ROCKMAN wrote:And now Texas wind power making the state one of the two top alt energy producers in the nation along with CA. Greenies just love that. But that growth hasn't even reduced our fossil fuel fired capacity by a single Btu.
Well, Texas fossil fuel capacity fell a small amount. About 1 GW from 2005 to 2014. Increases in coal capacity were not enough to offset losses in natural gas and petroleum.

Table 4. Electric power industry capability by primary energy source, 1990 through 2014: Texas(megawatts)
Source _____2005 __2014
Natural Gas_ 72,629 67,864
Coal _______ 20,188 24,122
Petroleum_____ 222 ___60
Fossil Fuel_ 93,039 92,046
all sources 101,046 112,914
Texas Electric power industry capability by primary energy source

But your point holds for actual generation. Despite swiftly growing wind power, FF actual generation still increased between 2005 and 2014. Seems a bit odd to me that natural gas generation went up when it's capacity went down. I would have thought with all that wind Texas added they would be adding more natural gas capacity as backup. I guess Texas increased it's natural gas utilization rates on it's gas plants.

Table 5. Electric power industry generation by primary energy source, 1990 through 2014: Texas(megawatthours)
Source ___________2005 _____2014
Natural Gas 197,665,258 204,721,155
Coal ______ 148,358,023 148,173,726
Petroleum____ 1,582,695 ____278,033
Fossil Fuel__ 347,605,976 353,172,914
all sources__ 396,668,722 437,629,668
Texas Electric power industry generation by primary energy source, 1990-2014

As for perspective, let me add a little global perspective with a view towards where we are headed:

kublikhan wrote:
GHung wrote:Still looking for the part where we REDUCE carbon emissions. Any at all? Having a come-to-Jesus moment about the time the Devil shoves a hot pitchfork up your ass isn't exactly getting saved.
Unfortunately no. Even with growing renewables, we are still on course for rising carbon emissions. Even in electric power generation, one of the easier sectors to decarbonize, we still have rising emissions. Other sectors are even further behind the curve.

With more generation from renewables energy and nuclear power, and more efficient thermal plants, CO2 emissions from power generation are set to grow at only one-fifth of the rate at which power output rises to 2040; this was a one-to-one relationship over the last 25 years.

The direction of travel is changing, but the destination is still not 2 degrees
Despite the shift in policy intentions catalysed by COP21, more is needed to avoid the worst effects of climate change. There are unmistakeable signs that the much-needed global energy transition is underway, but not yet at a pace that leads to a lasting reversal of the trend of rising CO2 emissions.

The steady decarbonisation of electricity supply is not matched by a similarly rapid shift in end-use sectors, where it is much more difficult and expensive to displace coal and gas as fuels for industry, or oil as a transport fuel. The net result is that energy policies, as formulated today, lead to a slower increase in energy-related CO2 emissions, but not the full de-coupling from economic growth and the absolute decline in emissions necessary to meet the 2 °C target.
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Re: US Greening Perspectives

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Tue 13 Sep 2016, 15:13:05

ennui2 wrote:I'll put it in perspective.

Someone who makes money drilling for fossil fuels is trying to get on a soapbox and advocate environmental policy.

Please, leave it to others who don't have any conflicts of interest.

I strongly disagree. He's not spouting nonsense or denial rhetoric. What he's saying is true, and needs to be repeated to TPTB loudly and often. We're not doing nearly enough, given the scope and apparent seriousness of the problem (given the numbers for the past decade alone) about addressing AGW via green energy advances.

Why should your call for Rockman to pipe down be any more valid than, say, pstarr's complaining about cornie posts because they conflict with his point of view?

And kudos to Rockman for starting what is (IMO) an interesting topic.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: US Greening Perspectives

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Tue 13 Sep 2016, 15:22:32

ROCKMAN wrote:Let's go with a national PERSPECTIVE now and look at improvements in the fuel efficiency of NEW vehicles. And thanks to govt mandates over the last decade they have significantly increased. Now let's put that into the perspective of the entire US rolling fleet. Over that 10 year period according to govt stats the average mpg of ALL the light vehicles on our roads increased from 19.6 mpg to 21.4 mpg. IOW an increase of about 0.2 mpg PER YEAR. Much different then the average improvement of NEW cars sold.

I was going to talk about the US fleet when I saw your topic. I have a different perspective on this.

Yes, the progress over the last decade on vehicle mpg improvements is disappointing. However, the CAFE standards mandate a 5% per year overall improvement for new vehicles year after year. And it seems to be starting to bite.

The fact that now, most auto makers are getting serious about PHEV's to help meet the increasingly strict standards is a great sign. I look for that 0.2 mpg increase to be far better in the coming decade, even if the pure BEV doesn't do much.

Could things be better? Obviously. Does the positive trend look poised to accelerate? Obviously.
Last edited by Outcast_Searcher on Tue 13 Sep 2016, 16:20:20, edited 1 time in total.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: US Greening Perspectives

Unread postby kublikhan » Tue 13 Sep 2016, 15:25:43

Just saw this clip and thought it might also apply here:

The world loves to say no. The world loves the status quo, it doesn't like change. It's not it's fault, it's all it knows.
...
Dealing with resistance and turning that into opportunity you will eventually create positive change in the world. And eventually the world will thank you.
CEO Secrets: Indiegogo co-founder reveals her business advice
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Re: US Greening Perspectives

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Tue 13 Sep 2016, 16:06:08

ennui - And for you and your fellow fossil fuel consumers: By all means choose to build your life around killing the planet.

All this guilt driven denial by the folks DIRERCTLY generation most of the GHG really explains why the climate change situation isn't improving.
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Re: US Greening Perspectives

Unread postby ennui2 » Tue 13 Sep 2016, 16:10:36

"All this guilt driven denial by the folks DIRERCTLY generation most of the GHG really explains why the climate change situation isn't improving."

Easy for you to say as you hop and skip your way to the bank to cashing your oil-industry paychecks.

BTW, your oxymoronic "I care too" rhetoric sounds just like Shell from today's news of a new ultra-deep-water project breaking ground:

https://www.theguardian.com/business/20 ... -oil-field

The latest costly addition to Shell’s production capacity comes despite Van Beurden’s repeated pledges on climate change. In May, he said: “We know our long-term success … depends on our ability to anticipate the types of energy that people will need in the future in a way that is both commercially competitive and environmentally sound.”


It's nothing but greenwashing.
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Re: US Greening Perspectives

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Tue 13 Sep 2016, 16:36:53

k - "I would have thought with all that wind Texas added they would be adding more natural gas capacity as backup. I guess Texas increased it's natural gas utilization rates on it's gas plants." The dynamics are rather complex and don't fully understand it. First, I don't think anyone is worried about backing up wind since the system isn't at all dependent on wind. If it went down 100% for a period those areas being supplied would have sufficient capacity...at least in the near future. And a couple of winters ago our wind actually backed up a couple of NG fired plants shut down temporarily by extreme coal. We would have had black outs had not wind supplied almost 40% of statewide demand. And that arctic vortex also brought some very high winds to our west Texas wind farms.

The timing issues are also complex. In the time span you mention the state support for wind went from very little to very aggressive. And NG prices bounced all over the place: low - high - damn high- lower - damn low. And the psychological effects on govt and industrty planners of oil running from less than $40/bbl to almost $150/bbl and then back to less then $40/bbl and then back to more the $100/bbl and then back to less then $40/bbl. And if you didn't know state political power is concentrated in the hands of our legislature and not the governor. And the only meet every two years to pass legislation.

And now that NG continued in low price ranges (and lignit has always been relatively cheap) it will be interesting to see what happens with wind power growth.
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Re: US Greening Perspectives

Unread postby kublikhan » Tue 13 Sep 2016, 16:59:43

Ennui - what exactly are you proposing? That oil production shutdown and Tesla pickup the slack? Any kind of transition to an economy without oil will take decades. In the meantime, we need oil to run the economy. It is not hypocritical to recognize this and at the same time work in the oil industry.

Also, being on a waiting list for a Tesla does not give you a pass on the kind of damage a rich lifestyle brings. Rockman's point on perspective applies here too. That gas you buy for your car is only about 10% of your carbon footprint. So by your logic I don't think you should be on a soapbox either.

Image
Carbon footprints

Rock - thanks for the info. I was just reading a rather bleak article on renewables. Wind is no problem now with it's low penetration rates. But when you start ramping up to Germany's level or higher it becomes a problem for grid stability. Not just the blackout threats but the too much supply can be just as big an issue. Germany started unloading this instability on it's neighbors, much to their dismay. Part of the problem the article mentions is the cost for wind's intermittency is not being bore by wind but by the grid at large. Seems unfair IMHO. I want to see higher penetration rates for renewables. But I am not sure what the best solution to this issue would be. Perhaps have a requirement that for every x MW of intermittent capacity you add to the grid you must also add y MWh storage capacity and/or z MW of dispatchable power? The storage capacity market is still immature at this point so I am not sure such a rule is prudent at this point. I was also considering removing renewable subsidies and using a carbon tax instead to try and level the playing field. And perhaps charge different rates for dispatchable power vs intermittent power. Dispatchable power should be given higher rates than intermittent power.
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Re: US Greening Perspectives

Unread postby ennui2 » Tue 13 Sep 2016, 20:11:26

kublikhan wrote:It is not hypocritical to recognize this and at the same time work in the oil industry.


If you club harp-seals for a living don't expect PETA to welcome you with open arms if you suggest ways to slowly and gracefully reduce the demand for harp-seal pelts.

If Rockman really cares so much about the environment he should put his money where his mouth is and quit.
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Re: US Greening Perspectives

Unread postby kublikhan » Tue 13 Sep 2016, 21:19:55

ennui2 wrote:If you club harp-seals for a living don't expect PETA to welcome you with open arms if you suggest ways to slowly and gracefully reduce the demand for harp-seal pelts.
I don't think PETA would welcome you either while you walk in wearing your harp-seal pelt. Not even buying a Tesla lets you escape oil because everything you buy depends on oil. Its everywhere.

ennui2 wrote:If Rockman really cares so much about the environment he should put his money where his mouth is and quit.
And what if all oil employees followed that advice? The economy would quickly grind to a halt. Including Tesla.
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Re: US Greening Perspectives

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Tue 13 Sep 2016, 21:56:06

If ennui really cares so much about the environment he should put his money where his mouth is and quit working for a company that uses fossil fuels. And he should also put his mouth where his ass is and stop creating GHG from the fossil fuels he consumes. LOL.
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Re: US Greening Perspectives

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Thu 15 Sep 2016, 08:13:59

And a word from Greenpeace regarding Arctic oil development:

"While the people-powered movement to save the Arctic won a major victory when Royal Dutch Shell halted its drilling plans—leading the United States to take the Arctic Ocean off the table for oil drilling for the next two years—the fight isn’t near over. The Arctic Ocean is not safe from the dangers of oil drilling or climate change until we have long-term policies in place to keep all fossil fuels in the ground not just for two years, but forever."

Perspective: the "people-powered movent" didn't stop Shell Oil as they imply. Shell spending $7 BILLION and not find sh*t took the wind out of their sails. LOL. And oil selling for half of what it was when they committed to the project didn't help either.

And in the near future? Earlier this year President Obama moved ahead with plans to lease three untapped areas in Alaskan waters. Though he has restricted drilling in some of the Arctic waters he continues to move forward with these three sites.

IOW after the presidential campaign season it's back to BAU.
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Re: US Greening Perspectives

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Thu 15 Sep 2016, 10:13:03

About the very long and detailed PO News story about how China's push with renewables might save the world. Here's some perspective:

So many words and pretty images and charts in that news story. Here are a very few words published just yesterday:

"China may be investing too much in coal power, with construction of new plants accelerating according to the International Energy Agency. China, the world’s biggest investor in fossil-fuel generation, started more than 70 gigawatts of new coal projects last year and had 200 gigawatts under construction at the end of April, the IEA said in a report published Wednesday."

So: so 70 MW of coal vs 47 MW of wind and solar during the same year. The perspective didn't nearly need as many words as the news story, did it?
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