coal is on way out -- renewables starting to push gas out, too
(too old to reply)
2018-12-04 10:15:19 UTC

Coal Is On The Way Out -- Natural Gas Is Next

George Harvey
03 Dec 2018

Shortly after reading Tina Casey's CleanTechnica article, "New Report
Outlines Investor Risk of Supporting Coal Power," I found myself
looking at the Nov edition of the EIA's Monthly Energy Review. Of
course, I found myself connecting the two.

As natural gas has taken market share from coal-powered electric
generation, it has pushed emissions from coal down. But the EIA
document shows that natural gas is emitting carbon dioxide at a record
level, and, sadly, its own levels of emissions seem to be increasing
faster than those of coal are dropping. As I looked at information on
carbon dioxide emissions, I found myself wondering how long it will
take for the natural gas industry to go into its own steep decline.

The answer to this question may be becoming clear, and rather quickly.
There has been a series of developments in California that anyone
interested should notice.

The underlying context is a general switch to renewable energy that
has been going on there for many years. As wind and solar systems have
been added to the system, prices for electricity from renewable
systems have declined. They have pushed down wholesale power prices in
the state, especially those of peak demand times, when prices have
been highest.

As the cost of renewable power has declined, however, the cost of
electricity from fossil fuel plants has held rather steady. As can be
seen in Lazard's Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis, Version 12.0, the
costs of renewably-sourced electricity have generally fallen so that
they are often below those of coal-burning and gas-burning plants.
And the fossil fuel plants have seen their profits disappear with more
powerful competition.

Now we come to a specific example of unfolding events that is
particularly revealing. In 2005, Calpine Corporation brought a new
gas-burning combined-cycle plant online at the Metcalf Energy Center
(MEC) in California. A brief history of the plant can be found at
Wikipedia. As a combined-cycle plant, it was of the type that
generally produces the least expensive power available from fossil fuels.

By 2017, the MEC was finding market conditions difficult. In June of
that year, Calpine notified the California Independent System Operator
that the plant would have to run on a reliability-must-run basis, or
it would be shut down because it was losing money. Calpine wanted to
keep the plant open and was requesting extra income, to be charged in
the end to ratepayers. To do this, it would require a special license
from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, to be renewed annually.

In Nov of 2017, the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC)
authorized Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) to look for a less
expensive source of electricity that could replace the MEC's gas
plant. Thereupon, PG&E made a procurement request for that electric
power. And in the first weeks of last summer, PG&E announced that it
had requested approval from the CPUC for a specific solution to
reducing customer costs.

That solution included 4 battery systems, 2 of which would be
much larger than the 100-MW / 127-MWh Hornsdale Power Reserve (HPR) in
South Australia, currently the largest battery in the world. A posting
of July 3 at Utility Dive said the total energy storage capacity of
the project would be 2,270 MWh, almost eighteen times that of the HRP.

In Nov, the CPUC approved the battery system. It is expected to
be the largest battery system in the world. An article at Commercial
Property Executive details this.

While all of the 4 batteries are huge, the largest is just about
mind-boggling all by itself. Vistra Energy is set to produce and own a
battery of 300 MW / 1,200 MWh, 3 times the power capacity and
nearly 10 times the energy storage capacity of HPR. To this will be
added a battery of 182.5 MW / 730 MWh, to be produced by Tesla but to
be owned by PG&E. The smaller batteries are systems of 75 MW and 10
MW, whose specifications called for 4 hours of storage each.

What I find most interesting about this is not the record-setting
sizes of the battery systems. It is that a relatively new fossil fuel
plant, of a design that produces the least expensive electricity we
can get from combustion, is being replaced by batteries, which do not
generate electricity but just store it as it comes from the wind and
sun. A gas plant is being put out of business by lithium-ion
batteries, because the energy storage costs, combined with the cost of
the electricity from solar and wind plants, are more attractive than
the cost of the least expensive fossil fuels.


We are not talking about some day in the future here. Renewables are
pushing gas out already.

Zack Labe @ZLabe 04 Dec 2018 04:11Z
Record low #Arctic sea ice area continues around Svalbard (since at least
1967 - @Istjenesten data). We still haven't even reached the average
*Sept* minimum... + Ice charts/data available at polarview.met.no
<Loading Image...>

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reports Reuters, which says this makes the goals "sector-leading". The
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intensity in China
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Coal Is On The Way Out -- Natural Gas Is Next
CleanTechnica, 04 Dec 2018 05:08Z
Natural gas out-competed coal. Solar, wind, and batteries are out-competing
natural gas.

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Gazprom PAO
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Whitehaven Coal Ltd
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Woodside Petroleum Limited
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2018-12-04 18:01:27 UTC
Post by M***@kymhorsell.com
Coal Is On The Way Out -- Natural Gas Is Next
The underlying context is a general switch to renewable energy that
has been going on there for many years. As wind and solar systems have
been added to the system, prices for electricity from renewable
systems have declined. They have pushed down wholesale power prices in
the state, especially those of peak demand times, when prices have
been highest.
So renewables push down wholesale prices of electricity? Despite
the many lies told here by denialist scum?