NewEnergyNews: NEW ENERGY – TRUTH IS BETTER THAN MYTHS

NewEnergyNews

Gleanings from the web and the world, condensed for convenience, illustrated for enlightenment, arranged for impact...

The challenge: To make every day Earth Day.

YESTERDAY

  • THE STUDY: A CHRONICLE OF EXTREME CLIMATE IMPACTS
  • QUICK NEWS, July 29: OFFICIAL FORECASTS OVERLOOK NEW ENERGY; NEW ENERGY NEEDS NEW TRANSMISSION; BRITISH COLUMBIA EMISSIONS TAX SUCCEEDING
  • THE DAY BEFORE

  • THE STUDY: MORE AND SMARTER MEDIA COVERAGE OF CLIMATE CHANGE IN 2014
  • QUICK NEWS, July 28: CLIMATE SKEPTICS REACHING ‘CATASTROPHIC’ NUMBERS; THE COST OF THE EPA EMISSIONS CUTS; GEOTHERMAL DRILL SKILL ADVANCES
  • -------------------

    GET THE DAILY HEADLINES EMAIL: CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS OR SEND YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS TO: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

    -------------------

    THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

  • Weekend Video: John Oliver On Visiting Antarctica
  • Weekend Video: Warmest May And June Ever And Non-Stop Record Heat
  • Weekend Video: Meet The Microgrid
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE- STAR WARS PLANET TATOOINE’S CLIMATE CHANGE
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-BIG NEW THREAT TO CLIMATE FROM COAL-TO-GAS IN CHINA
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-INDIA VILLAGE OF 2,400 GOES 100% SOLAR WITH BATTERIES, MICROGRID
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-GERMANY IS WORLD’S MOST EFFICIENT MAJOR ECONOMY
  • AND THE DAY BEFORE THAT

    THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT THURSDAY, July 24:

  • TTTA Thursday-CLIMATE FACTS VERSUS CLIMATE CULTURE
  • TTTA Thursday-MONEY IN WIND UP FOR QUARTER, DOWN FROM 2013
  • TTTA Thursday-MIDWEST BIOFUELS CAN BE NEW ENERGY – UCS STUDY
  • TTTA Thursday-TESLA CHAMPIONS THE PLUG AND THE CAR
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

  • THE STUDY: EUROPE’S OFFSHORE WIND PROGRESS THIS YEAR
  • QUICK NEWS, July 23: NEW ENERGY WAS 55% OF 1H 2014 U.S. NEW BUILD; EV SALES LEAP; OCEAN ENERGY’S FINANCES UNDER SCRUTINY
  • -

    --------------------------

    --------------------------

    Anne B. Butterfield of Daily Camera and Huffington Post, is a biweekly contributor to NewEnergyNews

  • Another Tipping Point: US Coal Supply Decline So Real Even West Virginia Concurs (REPORT)

    November 26, 2013 (Huffington Post via NewEnergyNews)

    Everywhere we turn, environmental news is filled with horrid developments and glimpses of irreversible tipping points.

    Just a handful of examples are breathtaking: Scientists have dared to pinpoint the years at which locations around the world may reach runaway heat, and in the northern hemisphere it's well in sight for our children: 2047. Survivors of Superstorm Sandy are packing up as costs of repair and insurance go out of reach, one threat that climate science has long predicted. Or we could simply talk about the plight of bees and the potential impact on food supplies. Surprising no one who explores the Pacific Ocean, sailor Ivan MacFadyen described long a journey dubbed The Ocean is Broken, in which he saw vast expanses of trash and almost no wildlife save for a whale struggling a with giant tumor on its head, evoking the tons of radioactive water coming daily from Fukushima's lamed nuclear power center. Rampaging fishing methods and ocean acidification are now reported as causing the overpopulation of jellyfish that have jammed the intakes of nuclear plants around the world. Yet the shutting down of nuclear plants is a trifling setback compared with the doom that can result in coming days at Fukushima in the delicate job to extract bent and spent fuel rods from a ruined storage tank, a project dubbed "radioactive pick up sticks."

    With all these horrors to ponder you wouldn't expect to hear that you should also worry about the United States running out of coal. But you would be wrong, says Leslie Glustrom, founder and research director for Clean Energy Action. Her contention is that we've passed the peak in our nation's legendary supply of coal that powers over one-third of our grid capacity. This grim news is faithfully spelled out in three reports, with the complete story told in Warning: Faulty Reporting of US Coal Reserves (pdf). (Disclosure: I serve on CEA's board and have known the author for years.)

    Glustrom's research presents a sea change in how we should understand our energy challenges, or experience grim consequences. It's not only about toxic and heat-trapping emissions anymore; it's also about having enough energy generation to run big cities and regions that now rely on coal. Glustrom worries openly about how commerce will go on in many regions in 2025 if they don't plan their energy futures right.

    2013-11-05-FigureES4_FULL.jpgclick to enlarge

    Scrutinizing data for prices on delivered coal nationwide, Glustrom's new report establishes that coal's price has risen nearly 8 percent annually for eight years, roughly doubling, due mostly to thinner, deeper coal seams plus costlier diesel transport expenses. Higher coal prices in a time of "cheap" natural gas and affordable renewables means coal companies are lamed by low or no profits, as they hold debt levels that dwarf their market value and carry very high interest rates.

    2013-11-05-Table_ES2_FULL.jpgclick to enlarge

    2013-11-05-Figure_ES2_FULL.jpg

    One leading coal company, Patriot, filed for bankruptcy last year; many others are also struggling under bankruptcy watch and not eager to upgrade equipment for the tougher mining ahead. Add to this the bizarre event this fall of a coal lease failing to sell in Wyoming's Powder River Basin, the "Fort Knox" of the nation's coal supply, with some pundits agreeing this portends a tightening of the nation's coal supply, not to mention the array of researchers cited in the report. Indeed, at the mid point of 2013, only 488 millions tons of coal were produced in the U.S.; unless a major catch up happens by year-end, 2013 may be as low in production as 1993.

    Coal may exist in large quantities geologically, but economically, it's getting out of reach, as confirmed by US Geological Survey in studies indicating that less than 20 percent of US coal formations are economically recoverable, as explored in the CEA report. To Glustrom, that number plus others translate to 10 to 20 years more of burning coal in the US. It takes capital, accessible coal with good heat content and favorable market conditions to assure that mining companies will stay in business. She has observed a classic disconnect between camps of professionals in which geologists tend to assume money is "infinite" and financial analysts tend to assume that available coal is "infinite." Both biases are faulty and together they court disaster, and "it is only by combining thoughtful estimates of available coal and available money that our country can come to a realistic estimate of the amount of US coal that can be mined at a profit." This brings us back to her main and rather simple point: "If the companies cannot make a profit by mining coal they won't be mining for long."

    No one is more emphatic than Glustrom herself that she cannot predict the future, but she presents trend lines that are robust and confirmed assertively by the editorial board at West Virginia Gazette:

    Although Clean Energy Action is a "green" nonprofit opposed to fossil fuels, this study contains many hard economic facts. As we've said before, West Virginia's leaders should lower their protests about pollution controls, and instead launch intelligent planning for the profound shift that is occurring in the Mountain State's economy.

    The report "Warning, Faulty Reporting of US Coal Reserves" and its companion reports belong in the hands of energy and climate policy makers, investors, bankers, and rate payer watchdog groups, so that states can plan for, rather than react to, a future with sea change risk factors.

    [Clean Energy Action is fundraising to support the dissemination of this report through December 11. Contribute here.]

    It bears mentioning that even China is enacting a "peak coal" mentality, with Shanghai declaring that it will completely ban coal burning in 2017 with intent to close down hundreds of coal burning boilers and industrial furnaces, or shifting them to clean energy by 2015. And Citi Research, in "The Unimaginable: Peak Coal in China," took a look at all forms of energy production in China and figured that demand for coal will flatten or peak by 2020 and those "coal exporting countries that have been counting on strong future coal demand could be most at risk." Include US coal producers in that group of exporters.

    Our world is undergoing many sorts of change and upheaval. We in the industrialized world have spent about a century dismissing ocean trash, overfishing, pesticides, nuclear hazard, and oil and coal burning with a shrug of, "Hey it's fine, nature can manage it." Now we're surrounded by impacts of industrial-grade consumption, including depletion of critical resources and tipping points of many kinds. It is not enough to think of only ourselves and plan for strictly our own survival or convenience. The threat to animals everywhere, indeed to whole systems of the living, is the grief-filled backdrop of our times. It's "all hands on deck" at this point of human voyaging, and in our nation's capital, we certainly don't have that. Towns, states and regions need to plan fiercely and follow through. And a fine example is Boulder Colorado's recent victory to keep on track for clean energy by separating from its electric utility that makes 59 percent of its power from coal.

    Clean Energy Action is disseminating "Warning: Faulty Reporting of US Coal Reserves" for free to all manner of relevant professionals who should be concerned about long range trends which now include the supply risks of coal, and is supporting that outreach through a fundraising campaign.

    [Clean Energy Action is fundraising to support the dissemination of this report through December 11. Contribute here.]

    Author's note: Want to support my work? Please "fan" me at Huffpost Denver, here (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/anne-butterfield). Thanks.

    -------------------

    Anne's previous NewEnergyNews columns:

  • Another Tipping Point: US Coal Supply Decline So Real Even West Virginia Concurs (REPORT), November 26, 2013
  • SOLAR FOR ME BUT NOT FOR THEE ~ Xcel's Push to Undermine Rooftop Solar, September 20, 2013
  • NEW BILLS AND NEW BIRDS in Colorado's recent session, May 20, 2013
  • Lies, damned lies and politicians (October 8, 2012)
  • Colorado's Elegant Solution to Fracking (April 23, 2012)
  • Shale Gas: From Geologic Bubble to Economic Bubble (March 15, 2012)
  • Taken for granted no more (February 5, 2012)
  • The Republican clown car circus (January 6, 2012)
  • Twenty-Somethings of Colorado With Skin in the Game (November 22, 2011)
  • Occupy, Xcel, and the Mother of All Cliffs (October 31, 2011)
  • Boulder Can Own Its Power With Distributed Generation (June 7, 2011)
  • The Plunging Cost of Renewables and Boulder's Energy Future (April 19, 2011)
  • Paddling Down the River Denial (January 12, 2011)
  • The Fox (News) That Jumped the Shark (December 16, 2010)
  • Click here for an archive of Butterfield columns

    -------------------

    Some details about NewEnergyNews and the man behind the curtain: Herman K. Trabish, Agua Dulce, CA., Doctor with my hands, Writer with my head, Student of New Energy and Human Experience with my heart

    email: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

    -------------------

    Your intrepid reporter

    -------------------

      A tip of the NewEnergyNews cap to Phillip Garcia for crucial assistance in the design implementation of this site. Thanks, Phillip.

    -------------------

    Pay a visit to the HARRY BOYKOFF page at Basketball Reference, sponsored by NewEnergyNews and Oil In Their Blood.

  • ---------------
  • Tuesday, February 05, 2008

    NEW ENERGY – TRUTH IS BETTER THAN MYTHS

    Lisa Margonelli is the rarest kind of oil expert, one not under the financial influence of the oil and gas industry. In a Washington Post think piece correcting myths about oil consumption patterns and advocating for New Energy and energy efficiency development, Margonelli used her independent and authoritative voice to speak out on behalf of the New Energy incentives currently being considered by the U.S. Senate as part of its economic stimulus package. Margonelli: “…in the United States, a fairly miserly tax credit expires this year, and risk-averse investors are holding back from building new plants…” She goes on to outline the huge economic potential New Energy and energy efficiency development represents, a “green gold rush,” and calls for the kind of laws and incentives that would support it.

    On the heels of Margonelli’s piece comes news of a new study from Navigant Consulting that a failure to extend those production tax credits (PTCs) and investment tax credits (ITCs) will put at risk 116,000 U.S. jobs and $19 billion in New Energy investment. Even the President has admitted the economy is teetering. The Department of Labor just announced the first U.S. net job loss since 2003. Now is not the time for Congress to pull incentives from one the nation’s best engines of growth.

    One of the biggest arguments used by recalcitrant politicians (and the utilities and fossil fuel industries that fund them) against New Energy development is that some states don’t have adequate wind or solar resources to drive their states’ economies. The truth is that no state is without New Energy resources of one kind or another, from wind and sun to biomass and wave/tide/current power, and no state can afford NOT to invest in New Energy, the economic and energy infrastructure of the future.

    If a state’s New Energy resources require a longer development time frame, efficiency measures are available for the interim. Margonelli is especially authoritative on the value of efficiency: “U.S. electrical generators lose more heat energy than Japan uses to run its entire economy, which raises the question of whether we need as much energy as we think we do. Anyway, simply recycling waste energy from industry and farming could supply nearly 20 percent of U.S. electrical needs…”


    Investment is booming. Only bad policy decisions from recalcitrant leaders can stop it. (click to enlarge)

    The decision the Senate is presently making about whether to keep New Energy incentives in this economic stimulus package is important and can be influenced by constituents’ voices. Let them know what you want and that you are watching - click: Power of Wind

    5 Myths About Earth-Friendly Energy
    Lisa Margonelli, February 3, 2008 (Washington Post)
    and
    New Study: Delay In Extending Renewable Energy Incentives Risks Loss of Over 116,000 American Jobs
    Christine Real de Azua and Monique Hanis, February 4, 2008 (American Wind Energy Association/Solar Energy Industries Association)

    WHO
    New America Foundation fellow Lisa Margonelli, author of Oil on the Brain: Petroleum’s Long Strange Trip to Your Tank

    WHAT
    With a green gold rush is developing in the world, Margonelli explains that the U.S. needs to see New Energy as an economic arena – “a source of jobs, cash and national influence” – and develop the diplomacy, laws and incentives to support its growth. To do that, it needs to see beyond 5 myths.

    WHEN
    - 2007: $517 billion spent by the U.S. on oil
    - New Energy is expected to quadruple in the next 8 years.

    The U.S. is lagging behind because it has only recently had encouraging incentives - and now Congress is threatening to withdraw them. (click to enlarge)

    WHERE
    - Due to U.S. disregard for New Energy, it trails China and Germany in New Energy production and is behind Japan and most of Europe in energy productivity.
    - Failure to extend the PTCs and ITCs will put at risk 76,000 jobs in the wind energy industry and 40,000 jobs in the solar energy industry. It likely will cost major job losses in Texas, Colorado, Illinois, Oregon, Minnesota, Washington, Iowa, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and California.

    WHY
    - Myth: 1. "Green energy" is better at sponging up subsidies than creating jobs.
    - Truth: Wind energy employed 45,000+ in the U.S. and had $9 billion in investments in 2007. The solar energy was a $2 billion industry last year, up from a $200 million business in just 5 years. New Energy 194,000 direct jobs and 446,000 indirect jobs in 2006. Germany, growing faster than the U.S. due to its wise incentives program, has created 35,000+ jobs in solar energy alone.
    - Myth: 2. There are no gushers left in the United States, so we have to look overseas for energy.
    - Truth: The biggest gusher there is would be streamlined efficiency and New Energy capacity. While the U.S. auto industry aims for a 35 mpg standard by 2020, China is already at 36 mpg. The Pentagon has moved to make jet fuel from biofuel. Localities that,like Cambridge, Massachusetts, establish higher community efficiency standards instantly reduce fuel needs.
    - Myth: 3. "Green power" can't deliver the volume of energy we need.
    - Truth: Efficiency measures can potentially save 20% of the electricity the U.S. consumes. A national plan for New Energy development can produce more energy than 75 to 100 coal plants.
    - Myth: 4. Americans are comfortable paying more than $3 for gas. (Otherwise, we'd leave that SUV in the garage.)
    - Truth: Most Americans simply don’t know how much they pay for gas in what are called externalities, or hidden costs - $10.07 per gallon: 51 cents for asthma treatment, $1.21 for pollution abatement, $1.39 for defense expenditures, $5.19 for economic costs. That does not include costs for greenhouse gases (GHGs).
    - Myth: 5. The stock market rewards companies that use energy efficiently and punishes those that don't.
    - Truth: Publicly traded companies are not required to disclose their energy consumption and more than half of the Fortune 50 don’t. Coming cap-and-trade requirements to account for and deal with emissions are likely to change the choices investors make.

    Renewable Energy's potential to generate jobs over the next quarter century should be cultivated, not disrespected. (click to enlarge)

    QUOTES
    - Margonelli: “In 1879, Congress created the U.S. Geological Survey to map the country's resources; today, we should ask the National Academy of Sciences to map new sources of energy.”
    - Bob Epstein, co-founder, Environmental Entrepreneurs (as quoted by Margonelli): “Landmark legislation in the past, such as the 1862 Homestead Act and the 1933 act that created the Tennessee Valley Authority, has used federal resources to spur development. A similar plan for wind, solar and geothermal power on public lands in the Southwest could produce as much electricity as 75 to 100 coal plants…”
    - Margonelli: “…surely it's time to get some good estimates [of the hidden costs of burning gasoline] and print them on gas pumps, receipts and billboards. If this sounds a lot like the surgeon general's warning on cigarettes, it is. We use gas with the same unconscious abandon that 1960s smokers used cigarettes as diet aids. Acknowledging the consequences won't change our habits overnight, but it will change our values over time. (Just ask the tobacco companies.)”
    - Gregory Wetstone, American Wind Energy Association: “This study confirms the huge economic stimulative impact of extending the tax credits for renewable energy…At risk are many thousands of construction jobs, operations and maintenance jobs, and a major shot in the arm for the ailing U.S. manufacturing sector. Shuttered facilities that once provided steel, railcars, trucks, submarines, and household appliances are now being converted to manufacture renewable energy components. Today, however, investors are holding back because of Congress’s delay in extending renewable energy tax credits, undermining one of the brightest and fastest growing areas of the American economy.”

    0 Comments:

    Post a Comment

    << Home

    *