- Friday | 03/02/2012
"'The study throws serious doubts on the notion that natural gas could replace coal, averting further global warming.
"'Natural gas plants emit about half the GHGs emitted by coal plants of the same capacity, yet a transition to natural gas would require a century or longer to attain even a 25 percent reduction in ... warming ," the report states. "Natural gas substitution thus may not be as beneficial in the near or medium term as extrapolation from ‘raw' annual GHG emissions might suggest.'"
"a century or longer"
""The U.S. Energy Department cut its estimate for natural gas reserves in the Marcellus shale formation by 66 percent, citing improved data on drilling and production.
About 141 trillion cubic feet of gas can be recovered from the Marcellus shale using current technology, down from the previous estimate of 410 trillion, the department said today in its Annual Energy Outlook. About 482 trillion cubic feet can be produced from shale basins across the U.S., down 42 percent from 827 trillion in last year’s outlook.
“Drilling in the Marcellus accelerated rapidly in 2010 and 2011, so that there is far more information available today than a year ago,” the department said. The estimates represent unproved technically recoverable gas. The daily rate of Marcellus production doubled during 2011.
The estimated Marcellus reserves would meet U.S. gas demand for about six years, using 2010 consumption data, according to the Energy Department.""
You don't have nearly that long.
And, none of the nat gas estimates take into account the CO2 already contained in nat gas as it comes out of the ground, which can in some cases be as high as 30%, and, which is sometimes just stripped and vented before the gas is piped to wherever it will be combusted to generate more CO2.
You'll hear about fugitive methane emissions, as well, if you look deeper into it.
In the upper atmosphere, methane that escapes from nat gas drilling will be oxidized by solar radiation to - you guessed it - H2O and CO2.
The above "six years" estimate is distorted, by the way. It's based on Marcellus gas filling all US nat gas demands. We have other reserves. And, the real estimate, according to other sources we're not linking to herein, is that we have 20 years worth of nat gas.
Less - much, much less - if we start trying to replace Coal with it by building new nat gas-fired power plants - which, if anyone ever wants to do the math on the Btu content of a given weight of nat gas versus a given weight of Coal - is absolutely insane. Within months of nat gas plants coming on line, electric bills will skyrocket, and the "brownouts" will start.
The famed European Tulip Mania lasted longer.
How many hundreds of years of Coal do we have?
We need to open some windows and get some fresh air in here. The pilot light on the stove must have blown out and everyone's losing consciousness because of the gas accumulation - at least of some important facts.
The Carnegie study urges deployment of "renewables" because nat gas can't replace Coal.
Neither can renewables, as they're posited to be used now.
"Renewable" ethanol is a wasteful, CO2-intensive sham.
Hydro, wind and solar are great, as far as they go; but, they are geographically somewhat limited; and, it's tough to see how they could, except for some big hydro dams, generate enough juice to economically pump into the grid for long distance transmission.
Keep in mind that electricity doesn't just "drain" through electric lines like water down a hole. It has to be "pumped" through the lines under pressure, i.e., "voltage", which drops over distance and is a measure of the energy loss in long distance electric transmission.
You could, in other words, have a windmill on the top of Spruce Knob putting out enough juice to fully power a home at the base of the tower.
If the juice had to be transmitted to a home 200 miles away, though, there might not be enough left of it to toast a slice of bread.
Totally a different story, though, if that windmill were sitting on top of Mount Storm, and the "renewable" electricity it generated were utilized to, as in our report:
Germany Awarded 2011 CO2 Recycling US Patent | Research & Development; concerning: "United States Patent 7,989,507 - Production of Fuel ... Utilizing Waste Carbon Dioxide; 2011; Siemens Aktiengesellschaft (AG), Munich, Germany; Abstract: The present invention is directed to a method for utilizing CO2 waste comprising recovering carbon dioxide from an industrial process that produces a waste stream comprising carbon dioxide in an amount greater than an amount of carbon dioxide present in starting materials for the industrial process. The method further includes producing hydrogen using a renewable energy resource and producing a hydrocarbon material utilizing the produced hydrogen and the recovered carbon dioxide";
convert the CO2 byproduct of Dominion's Coal-fired power plant there into liquid hydrocarbons, which can be conveyed much longer distances at much higher energy efficiencies.
Much of the above relates to the meaningless way natural gas is often spoken of, i.e., in terms of "trillions of cubic feet".
Sounds like a lot - until you look up how many Btu's, that is, potential energy, there is in a cubic foot of natural gas at room temp and atmospheric pressure.
On average, about 1,000 Btu's.
And, in a cubic foot of "average" bituminous coal, as it flops off the belt at the mine mouth?On average, about 500,000 Btu's.