SEARCH BLOG: ENERGY and COAL
Remember this promise?
John Kemp(Reuters) - Proposed emission rules for new power plants unveiled by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on March 27 spell the gradual demise of coal-fired power generation and entrench the current cost advantage for natural gas.
But US production appears to have peaked, finally, or maybe, after a historic supply-and-demand mismatch, though on a weekly basis, according to the EIA, production is still between 3% and 4% higher than the same week last year. However, given the collapse in drilling, production will eventually taper off, and might do so suddenly. Yet, demand from power generators has been skyrocketing as they’ve switched from coal to gas; and on a weekly basis, overall demand has jumped by over 10% when compared to the same week last year—and it’s burning up the record amount of gas in storage.
The EIA forecast of a slight upward drift in price? Compared to the reality graph beneath it? Natural gas doesn’t correct to a sustainable price to maintain it. It’s an industry of violent spikes and horrific descents, precisely because transportation is an issue. Oversupply can’t be corrected by exporting; it causes prices to plunge. And a shortage—a scenario the US may be facing at current trends—will be corrected initially by importing LNG in competition with the rest of the world. So prices may spike once again. [source]
Germany's revolutionary switch to renewable energies is stalling and the country's new environment minister has now admitted as much by casting doubt on the ambitious goals set last year. Media commentators say that he and the rest of Chancellor Merkel's government must do more.
Chancellor Angela Merkel outlined a grand vision for an energy revolution a year ago, shortly after her government had decided to shut down all nuclear reactors by 2022 in a spectacular about-face following the Fukushima accident.
Germany was to put itself at the forefront of the fight against global warming by radically expanding the use of renewable energy to 35 percent of total power consumption by 2020, rising to 80 percent by 2050. Currently, it represents 20 percent of the country's energy mix.
But now two ministers, Environment Minister Peter Altmaier and Economy Minister Philipp Rösler, have cast doubt whether the targets are reachable and said their priority is to make sure that electricity prices don't rise too much.
Altmaier, a close ally of Merkel who took over the ministry after his predecessor Norbert Röttgen was sacked in May, on Sunday cast doubt on whether Germany will be able to cut its energy consumption by 10 percent by 2020 as planned -- a precondition for reaching the 35 percent renewables target that year.
"If we still want to manage that somehow it will take huge efforts," he told Bild am Sonntag newspaper. Altmaier said his ministry had made mistakes, that there had been a lack of coordination and that forecasts for electricity prices had had to be revised. He even warned that the energy revolution could lead to social problems if prices rose too high. "For me it's a priority that electricity remains affordable," he told the paper. [source] - h/t Benny PeiserBest advice: live near a forest and own a wood-burning stove and have a nice big fireplace. Get up at dawn, go to bed at sunset, and throw out your electronic devices. Be one with nature and maybe get a free membership to the Sierra Club. Don't worry about burning wood because you can regrow the trees and you'll be "carbon neutral"... or is that "carbon neutered?"