Natural gas prices, not 'war on coal,' were key to coal power decline: study

May 3, 2018 by Matt Shipman, North Carolina State University
Credit: Ian Muttoo. Shared under a Creative Commons license

New research from North Carolina State University and the University of Colorado Boulder finds that steep declines in the use of coal for power generation over the past decade were caused largely by less expensive natural gas and the availability of wind energy – not by environmental regulations.

"From 2008 to 2013, coal dropped from about 50 percent of U.S. to around 30 percent," says Harrison Fell, an associate professor of resource economics at NC State and co-lead author of a paper on the work.

"Coal boosters blamed stiffer regulations, calling it a 'war on coal.' But that same time period saw a steep drop in the cost of natural gas and an increase in wind . We wanted to know how big a role each of these factors played in driving down the demand for coal."

To answer this question, the researchers looked at how much of their daily power generation were using in four power transmission regions from the beginning of 2008 to the end of 2013. The four power regions – the Electric Reliability Corporation of Texas (ERCOT), the Southwest Power Pool, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator and PJM Interconnection (PJM) – spread across more than 20 states.

Consistent with national declines, coal plants in all four regions used much less of their power capacity in 2013 than in 2008. Similarly, the price of natural gas dropped in all four regions, and the amount of available increased.

The researchers then created a model that accounted for an array of variables, such as daily power demand, and ran it to see how power use would have changed in 2008 if gas had been available at 2013 prices and wind power had been available at 2013 levels.

"This work uses the observed data – capacity factors, fuel prices, power demand and so on – to make predictions about how capacity factors are affected by different variables," Fell says. "In short, we can get a good idea of what influences the extent to which we use coal power generation."

And what the researchers found was that, if in 2008 had been available at 2013 prices and wind power had been available at 2013 levels, coal power use would have dropped significantly compared to what was observed in 2008. In fact, these predicted "counterfactual" 2008 capacity usages were similar to observed 2013 capacity usages. This suggests the so-called "war on coal" regulations were not the driver of the coal generation decline over this period.

"If the 'war on coal' was what drove down power generation, our econometric models would not have predicted a drop in coal use caused by changes in gas and ," Fell says. "But they did. It looks like the changes in production were actually driven largely by capitalism."

The paper, "The Fall of Coal: Joint Impacts of Fuel Prices and Renewables on Generation and Emissions," is published online in the American Economic Journal: Economic Policy.

Explore further: Why this summer might be a test for the Texas electric grid

More information: Harrison Fell et al. The Fall of Coal: Joint Impacts of Fuel Prices and Renewables on Generation and Emissions, American Economic Journal: Economic Policy (2018). DOI: 10.1257/pol.20150321

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barakn
5 / 5 (8) May 03, 2018
It bears repeating:
It looks like the changes in coal power production were actually driven largely by capitalism.
WillieWard
2.1 / 5 (15) May 03, 2018
"...largely by less expensive natural gas and the availability of wind energy..."
"...steep drop in the cost of natural gas and an increase in wind generation..."
"...the price of natural gas dropped in all four regions, and the amount of available wind power increased..."
Natural gas(methane/fracking) can power whole states without wind/solar, but wind/solar cannot power even a small city without gas.
Conclusion: wind/solar are just to provide "greenwashing" for natural gas in order to displace coal, and carbon-free nuclear energy which is a crime in the face of Climate Change.

"If Solar And Wind Are So Cheap, Why Are They Making Electricity So Expensive?" - Apr 2018
https://www.forbe...pensive/
https://www.forbe...reasons/
humy
4.1 / 5 (14) May 03, 2018
Natural gas(methane/fracking) can power whole states without wind/solar, but wind/solar cannot power even a small city without gas.

WillieWard

Why not? Haven't you heard of energy storage and/or the supergrid?
Of course it MUST necessarily be possible to power whole states with wind/solar/nuclear/hydroeletric/etc !
There is no law of physics against it and no reason to think it is impossible. Please don't lie.
greenonions1
4.6 / 5 (9) May 03, 2018
Willie and by extension humy
but wind/solar cannot power even a small city without gas


Willie can't hardly read humy - let alone follow an argument. I can show Willie a small city -
making this city of 1,300 the first and only in the nation to run completely on wind power
That directly contradicts his above quote - https://abcnews.g...p;page=1 I can also show 5 cities in the U.S. that are run totally on renewables - https://edgylabs....y-cities
Or 100 cities globally that are run primarily on renewables - https://insidecli...olutions
Or a country (Scotland ) that is on track to be run 100% by renewables in 2 years - http://www.greenm...20-solar

None of that will make a dent in Willies religion (cont)
greenonions1
4.6 / 5 (9) May 03, 2018
cont - So Willie cannot show us one city or country that is run 100% on nuclear. So why this obsession with having to run 100% on wind? It is just a diversion - cuz the world does not fit Willie's religion. There is no reason to want a city to be run on 100% wind - that would be dumb. The idea is to run our world on 100% low carbon fuel sources. What is happening now is a transition. We are shutting down the worst offenders (coal) - and building out better. Gas is better than coal - and a legacy technology. Hydro is a legacy technology - but comes with many of its own issues - so will probably not expand much as we go forward.
Wind/solar/biomass/wave/tidal are all much newer technologies - and going through their own growth curves. I support nukes in theory - but they are currently hampered by cost issues. I think with the right investments - that MAY be surmountable. For now - wind and solar are winning on price - and for some reason - Willie hates reality...
Parsec
5 / 5 (6) May 03, 2018
Capitalism has always been the real hope for climate change mitigation. We simply need to make sure that all costs are borne by current customers equally, and realistically. For example, the health costs of mercury contamination from coal plants must be borne by the coal producer, not the public. Just a single example in true and realistic accounting of costs.
Da Schneib
4.6 / 5 (9) May 03, 2018
So basically the fuelish lied again, and there wasn't any "war on coal." No surprise, I suppose; they lie every time they think they can get away with it. Just like @WillieWart.
rrwillsj
5 / 5 (4) May 03, 2018
Parsec, where that mythical capitalism fails? Is the depressing fact that the Wall Street Casino is a rigged game. Insuring that the Capitalists win and everybody else loses.

The moral imperative you desire? That the producers of poisonous pollutants accept financial responsibility for mitigating the damages they cause?

Is a lost cause! You are tilting against the windmills of politician's constant need for campaign contributions. Corruption speaks louder than all the rest of us.

greenonions1
3.9 / 5 (7) May 03, 2018
Parsec
Capitalism has always been the real hope for climate change mitigation
I can't agree with you premise Parsec. Yes - a decentralized system of resource allocation is certainly - in general - preferable to some centralized system like communism. These are not the only two choices. Capitalism has brought a lot of bad stuff with it - such as environmental devastation. Capitalism does not recognize problems like pollution, child labor, unfair labor practices, poverty, wealth inequality, an others. Some scientists believe it is already too late - https://www.natur...rol.html - while others think we have time to pull back from the brink. Capitalism is not going to pull us out of this nose dive - we need collective action. Paris is not even a half measure. But we take what we can get - and renewables being the cheapest energy source - is perhaps reason for hope.
Ken_Fabian
4.3 / 5 (6) May 03, 2018
Renewables with gas backup is a step in the right direction, ie towards less reliance on fossil fuels and less emissions. A step, not the last step, but one we can take from where we are now rather than stepping out from a mythical place where whole-of-problem solutions - with full costings - hang out.

Where wind and solar are periodically the least cost energy that very intermittency can induce the de-facto carbon price on fossil fuel plants by accident that no-one could bring themselves to do on purpose. Other generation has to be commercially viable outside the windy and the sunny times whilst staking a loss during those periods. It makes the less energy they do supply more expensive overall and it means ultimately it is not wind and solar they have to compete directly with but with hydro, batteries/other storage and demand management. It will catch nuclear out too, just not on purpose - if low emissions is the purpose.
greenonions1
4.6 / 5 (9) May 03, 2018
Except that the consumption of fossil fuels still grows in both absolute, but - what's worse - even in relative numbers
That is just not true. Oklahoma now gets more than 30% of its electricity from renewables (almost all from wind). 20 years ago that number was 0%. Obviously as a relative #, that is a change. Perhaps as an absolute #, coal and gas are still larger, but give it time damn it. If we just take all of our fossil fuels off line - we don't have enough power. If we take coal and gas plants off line before they have lived out their lives - we push the cost of power up - as we are unnecessarily having to build new generation. That is what Germany has done - and they were willing to accept the cost. This is America - the world of I want everything - now - as cheap as possible.
Ken_Fabian
4.6 / 5 (9) May 03, 2018
Once the costs of wind and solar crossed cost equivalence thresholds everything changed. No analyses based on historic costs - from when they were much more expensive - can tell us anything useful.

New solar capacity (even without wind) being built now exceeds new fossil fuel capacity and, given that costs are still going down, that isn't going to stop. The relative numbers are changing as we argue - further in favour of wind and solar; from slowing the growth of fossil fuels it will go on to displace them. I don't expect huge emissions gains early on but I do expect them in the longer run.

The broad willingness to use RE - which involves industry and resources at unprecedented scale - is evidence that we are not being led there by irrational "green" extremists.
antigoracle
1.6 / 5 (14) May 04, 2018
We are shutting down the worst offenders (coal) - and building out better. Gas is better than coal - and a legacy technology. Hydro is a legacy technology - but comes with many of its own issues - so will probably not expand much as we go forward. Hee...haww...hee..hawww - Willie hates reality...

The Onions jackass brays.
Here's some reality for you.
https://www.econo...-methane
HeloMenelo
4.6 / 5 (10) May 04, 2018
Aaah look who's showing his actual face instead of hiding behind his sockpuppets antigoracle in one of his original socks, (still wonder what happened to 'ol waterprophet and you other legacy socks though...

As usual he quotes from a dumb economic site,(ever being so clueless/ nor caring as to how his big oil is wasting out the world) now aren't we surprised ;) At least he's good advertisement for their stupidity. He's been swinging those trees barking high and low waking the neighborhood with his hilarious propaganda again :D
O my.... and here he is again !

https://phys.org/...ion.html
greenonions1
5 / 5 (2) May 04, 2018
goracle
The Onions jackass brays.
Thank you for those kind words - here is the kind of work I was basing my assertion that nat gas is better than coal on - https://www.smith...0949739/

https://www.sourc..._of_coal

But if potty mouth wants to advocate for doing away with coal and gas - that is fine with me - should be a boon for renewables. What is your time frame potty mouth? How quickly do you want to phase out coal and gas? Have you calculated the additional cost of all of that build out of new power plants?
MR166
3 / 5 (6) May 04, 2018
https://www.thegu...e-change

Oh how we rewrite history. They passed regulations than made coal uneconomical and then claim that cheaper natural gas was the reason for it's demise. The EPA even went as far as to classify CO2 as a pollutant in order to kill coal. The climate propaganda machine keeps working 24/7. There is no truth anymore since the facts are always slanted to prove that the AGW agenda is valid.
barakn
5 / 5 (4) May 04, 2018
MR166 - from your own source, "EPA rules will not come into force in all states until 2020" and the most ambitious parts of the rules were not to come into effect until 2030. Furthermore Obama's rules were announced in 2014, and yet coal prices had been declining since 2011. That's amazing. Not only did the rules kill coal before they took effect, they killed coal before they even existed. Some sort of time travel must be involved.
rrwillsj
5 / 5 (3) May 04, 2018
Well, MR666, evidently you've been huffing that 'nutritious' CO2 to replace all that nasty liberal Oxygen.

WillieWard
2.6 / 5 (5) May 04, 2018
Haven't you heard of energy storage and/or the supergrid?
Cheap wind/solar are causing electricity prices to skyrocket everywhere, worse yet including storage/supergrid.
"If climatechange solutions involving High renewable shares depend on storage solutions that don't exist, in what way are they solutions?"
https://uploads.d...7aea.jpg
"Storage systems are incredibly expensive in the case of batteries—and geographically limited in the case of pumped hydroelectric"
https://www.techn...-energy/
..possible to power whole states with wind/solar/nuclear/hydroeletric/etc !
There is no law of physics against it and no reason to think it is impossible
"In a world of limited hydro, solar and wind won't scale."
https://www.youtu...iSNhAJqU
Please don't lie.
Don't lie to yourself.
WillieWard
2.6 / 5 (5) May 04, 2018
...5 cities in the U.S. that are run totally on renewables...Or 100 cities globally that are run primarily on renewables...
100% renewable ≠ 100% wind/solar
Wind/solar are parasites on other reliable forms of energy such as hydro, geothermal, biomass and fossil fuels. Hydro and geothermal are site-specific(geographically limited) and biomass is worse than coal in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and also compete with agriculture. So wind/solar are just an expensive form of providing "greenwashing" for the fossil fuels.
Wind/solar/biomass/wave/tidal are all much newer technologies
Windmills and sails have been around since ancient ages and were replaced by steam engines centuries ago.
- First battery 1749
- First solar cell 1877
- First windmill generator 1887
https://uploads.d...eac3.jpg
wind and solar are winning on price
Cheap wind/solar are causing electricity prices to skyrocket.
humy
3.4 / 5 (5) May 04, 2018
Haven't you heard of energy storage and/or the supergrid?
Cheap wind/solar are causing electricity prices to skyrocket everywhere,

WillieWard

That assertion makes no sense whatsoever. You apparently don't know the first thing about market forces.
When loads of a cheap alternative source of a commodity (such as electricity) is introduced to a market, if all else is kept equal, this would drive the prices of it down, not up. This is just very basic economics of supply and demand. If prices still go up, that wouldn't be because of the cheap alternative source but despite of it so the cause wouldn't be the cheap alternative source.
humy
3.9 / 5 (7) May 04, 2018
Wind/solar are parasites on other reliable forms of energy such as hydro, geothermal, biomass and fossil fuels.

WillieWard

What is that supposed to mean?
If that means something then how are "geothermal, biomass and fossil fuels" NOT "parasites" on "Wind/solar" ?
I take it here "parasite" just means something you have a political agenda against so you just unintelligently name-call it "parasite".
Eikka
3.3 / 5 (7) May 04, 2018
When loads of a cheap alternative source of a commodity (such as electricity) is introduced to a market, if all else is kept equal, this would drive the prices of it down, not up.


But things are not kept equal. First of all, these alternative sources are not cheap, but subsidized, so they can sell below market prices. Secondly, they have the right of way (legally enforced) into the market, so everybody else has to yield and prices can even go negative, and thirdly, because the renewables produce randomly and sporadically, they push the baseload power out of the market and the power prices rise because cheaper and more efficient capacity has to be replaced with under-utilized and inefficient (expensive) load following and peaking capacity. The faster the output changes, the more you pay.

What is that supposed to mean?

It means that the other forms of generation produce (almost) all the energy, while the renewables get all the profit through subsidies.
greenonions1
3.7 / 5 (6) May 04, 2018
Willie said
but wind/solar cannot power even a small city without gas
And I gave a rebuttal that proves that statement to be false - https://abcnews.g...p;page=1

So when it is proven that you are wrong - it doesn't make any sense to keep trying to argue - as if you have any credibility. Then trotting out the same debunked arguments that have already been addressed - just shows you up for suffering massive level dunning krueger.
greenonions1
3.7 / 5 (6) May 04, 2018
Eikka
because the renewables produce randomly and sporadically, they push the baseload power out of the market and the power prices rise
The issue being debated is Willies assertion -
Cheap wind/solar are causing electricity prices to skyrocket everywhere
The counter argument was given that Oklahoma now generates over 30% of their electricity from wind, and prices have actually dropped here. We have the cheapest commercial electricity rates in the country. All that has been proven with links.

Now Johny comes lately arrives - and the obfuscation begins. The point is proven - Willie just makes shit up - and every time his rubbish is proven false - he moves on to the next article - rinse and repeat.
WillieWard
2.6 / 5 (5) May 04, 2018
...the cheap alternative source...
Wind and solar are not alternative to fossil fuels.
"Have fossil fuels been substituted by renewables? An empirical assessment for 10 European countries" - May 2018
"Wind Power Installation Amplifies The Growth Of Fossil Fuel Energies"
"The installed capacity of wind power preserves fossil fuel dependency."
"Electricity consumption intensity and its peaks have been satisfied by burning fossil fuels."
https://www.scien...18300983
http://notrickszo...eration/
"Without fossil fuels, there would be no solar panels / wind turbines."
WillieWard
2.6 / 5 (5) May 04, 2018
And I gave a rebuttal that proves that statement to be false - https://abcnews.g...p;page=1
Another renewable scam. Rural Rock Port(Missouri), with about a thousand residents, is still connected to regional fossil-fueled grid, producing intermittent energy when it isn't needed but when energy is most needed, mainly during the Winter, it's fossil-fueled backup plants that prevent people from freezing in the dark.
"The population was 1,318 at the 2010 census."
"Excess power is sold to the Missouri Public Utility Alliance in Columbia, Missouri"
https://en.wikipe...Missouri
Renewable cultists are completely delusional, disconnected from reality, and dishonest.
WillieWard
2.6 / 5 (5) May 04, 2018
The counter argument was given that Oklahoma...
It is still cheap because Oklahoma has a lot of gas/fracking.
"Oklahoma is one of the top natural gas-producing states in the nation, accounting for 7.6% of U.S. gross production and 8.7% of marketed production in 2016"
https://www.eia.g.../?sid=OK
"Together, coal- and natural gas-fired power plants produce almost three-fourths of the electric power generated in the state."
Texas is already getting the electricity prices to skyrocket, Oklahoma is the next.
"Oklahoma is at Risk to Pay $930 Million in Zero Emission Wind Tax Subsidies"
http://windwaste....bsidies/
A wind-powered state is almost 10x dirtier than a carbon-free nuclear-powered state:
- Oklahoma(wind): 270gCO₂/kWh
- Ontario(nuclear): 38gCO₂/kWh
https://www.electricitymap.org
MR166
2.3 / 5 (6) May 04, 2018
Renewables are also responsible for gas replacing coal. Gas plants can respond more quickly than coal plants to changes in demand.

The end result was that cheap sources of power that were already paid for were replaced by new and more expensive producers.
greenonions1
4 / 5 (4) May 04, 2018
It is still cheap because Oklahoma has a lot of gas/fracking
Still missing the point. You said -
Cheap wind/solar are causing electricity prices to skyrocket everywhere
And that assertion is disproved by the example of Oklahoma. Stay on topic Willie - stop obfuscating. If I can show you an example of a situation that has gained a significant amount of wind energy - and yet electricity prices have gone down - then your assertion is false. You are shown to not know what you are talking about. You have nothing left but to try tying us up in knots of obfuscation. Your argument has been disproven - as has Eikka's assertion that wind pushes baseload off the market - and causes prices to rise. Perhaps that happens sometimes - but Oklahoma proves that it does not have to happen. It proves that it can be done. Check mate.
humy
4.2 / 5 (5) May 05, 2018
When loads of a cheap alternative source of a commodity (such as electricity) is introduced to a market, if all else is kept equal, this would drive the prices of it down, not up.


But things are not kept equal.

yes, I know. That is why I just said "if all else is kept equal, ..". Get it now?
First of all, these alternative sources are not cheap

Actually, wind power is currently cheap and outcompetes gas/oil and that is WITHOUT 'subsidies'.
+ he (WillieWard) himself just said they are cheap and it is too HIM I was responding to with my comment.
Please follow the current argument.
What is that supposed to mean?

It means that the other forms of generation produce (almost) all the energy, while the renewables get all the profit through subsidies.

IF that is what he meant;
There are no plans to permanently subsidize wind/solar at the expense of hydroelectric/nuclear as he implied thus that would make no sense.
humy
3.9 / 5 (7) May 05, 2018
Wind and solar are not alternative to fossil fuels.

WillieWard

1, who said we must ONLY use JUST wind/solar at the alternative?
None of us here are rejecting other renewables such as hydroelectric etc (and personally I am also NOT rejecting nuclear).
Why not include ALL the alternatives as an alternative?
2, How can anyone take you seriously when you make stupid statements like that?
In some parts of the world, renewables have already replaced fossil fuels for electricity production.
WillieWard
2 / 5 (4) May 05, 2018
None of us here are rejecting other renewables such as hydroelectric etc
"The IEA says that the world has already developed ~1/2 of its hydroelectric potential. And since that only services ~6% of total CURRENT energy demand"
renewables have already replaced fossil fuels for electricity production.
Only when included hydro/geothermal(site-specifics) or biomass(land-intensive).
You can power a whole region(off-the-grid) with hydro or geothermal or biomass without solar and wind, but you cannot power even a small city with solar and wind without hydro/geothermal/biomass or fossil fuels because "neither does the sun shine nor the wind blow all day long."
Conclusion: wind and solar are parasites on other reliable sources of energy, and worse yet, as hydro/geothermal is geographically limited and biomass competes with agriculture, intermittent RE are just an expensive form of providing "greenwashing" for oil/coal/gas, useless placebos in the fight against Climate Change.
greenonions1
3.7 / 5 (3) May 06, 2018
The IEA says that the world has already developed ~1/2 of its hydroelectric potential. And since that only services ~6% of total CURRENT energy demand
And if the IEA is correct - that means 12% of energy demand could be met with hydroelectric. So you pair that with wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, wave, tidal, and storage - and you will have a cheap, clean, energy system.
WillieWard
1.8 / 5 (5) May 06, 2018
...wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, wave, tidal, and storage...
Cognitive Dissonance:
Meanwhile, environuts are aboard a DIESEL-burning ship(with sails just for decoration) protesting against a carbon-free nuclear power plant that will prevent people from freezing in the dark at the Arctic.
https://pbs.twimg...9O8N.jpg
Intermittent renewables are a joke.
Ken_Fabian
2.5 / 5 (4) May 06, 2018
The only reason we even notice the 'environuts' is because mainstream people in positions of trust, responsibility refused to face this head on with eyes open - and chose to oppose rather than lead. The choice to NOT fix the climate problem by pro-nuclear conservative-rightists deprived nuclear-for-climate of it's largest base of support. Nothing 'environuts' could have done can ever equal the impact of that on nuclear.

It doesn't matter if captains of commerce and industry prefer nuclear over renewables (now questionable) when they support the continuing de-facto amnesty ie huge subsidy for FF's - the externalised climate and health costs. Their 'support' for nuclear is about as useful as decorative sails on a diesel ship.

Nuclear needs far more sustained unanimity of purpose and regulatory intervention than RE and until the political right gives up on denial and obstruction it won't have it. RE can and will grow despite it but nuclear cannot.
leetennant
3.7 / 5 (6) May 06, 2018
Mackita trying to prove just how many subjects he can be wrong about.
antialias_physorg
3.9 / 5 (7) May 07, 2018
Wind and solar are not alternative to fossil fuels.

So lemme get this straight: Your plan is to use fossil fuels until they run out and then everyone dies - right?

That's total genius. Not.

Mackita trying to prove just how many subjects he can be wrong about.

Well, Zeph has been on here for very long in one guise or another...and so far he has been 100% wrong about everything, ever.

It's rather spooky if you think about it. Even if you threw random rocks at a keyboard you'd come up with more correct posts than him.
WillieWard
3 / 5 (4) May 09, 2018
Your plan is to use fossil fuels until they run out...
"We Don't Need Solar And Wind To Save The Climate -- And It's A Good Thing, Too" - May 2018
"Sunlight and wind are inherently unreliable and energy-dilute. As such, adding solar panels and wind turbines to the grid in large quantities increases the cost of generating electricity, locks in fossil fuels, and increases the environmental footprint of energy production."
"According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), public and private actors spent $1.1 trillion on solar and over $900 billion on wind between 2007 and 2016." with no meaningful CO₂ reduction.
"The dilute nature of water, sunlight & wind means that ~5,000 times more land & 10 - 15 times more concrete, cement, steel & glass, are required than for nuclear"
https://www.forbe...ing-too/
antialias_physorg
3 / 5 (2) May 09, 2018
To reiterate:

Your plan is to use fossil fuels until they run out and then everyone dies - right?

Do you have an answer to that?

WillieWard
3 / 5 (2) May 09, 2018
Do you have an answer to that?
Carbon-free nuclear energy is the only answer.
Hydro and geothermal are site-specifics, biomass is worse than coal in terms of greenhouse effect and compete with agriculture, wind and solar are intermittent and only serve as "greenwashing" for coal/oil/gas.
"Solar & wind are parasites on reliable forms of energy: hydro, geothermal, nuclear, biomass, fossil fuels."
"So it's why parasitic people identify with unreliables."
"Renewables are like an employee that doesn't always come to work and when he does he works only for a few hours."
"Beeckmans: Energiewende, Germany's troubled energy policy" - May 4, 2018
http://lfpress.co...y-policy
"The Green religion is anti intellectual and fundamentalist . It has a set of beliefs that cannot be questioned exposing their antiscientific antirational instincts."
humy
3.7 / 5 (3) May 09, 2018
Do you have an answer to that?
Carbon-free nuclear energy is the only answer.

No it isn't; at least not yet.
Currently nuclear energy is the most expensive and thus least cost effective alternative.
Maybe one day that will change. But until then, we have renewables as the main viable alternative.
greenonions1
3 / 5 (2) May 09, 2018
Mackita
So you think we're reducing the use of coal? -- think again
We are reducing the use of coal. http://www.mining...18-03-16

According to the IEA's 'Coal 2017' report, global coal consumption fell 1.9% to 5.357-billion tonnes last year, the second year of decline, because of lower gas prices, a surge in renewables and improvements in energy efficiency. Further, coal demand is down 4.2% over the last two years, nearly matching the two-year decline in the early 1990s.
If you don't know how to use google - and find current data - you join Willie Ward - in looking like the village fool - who only knows how to repeat the same lies over and over. Of course the real point is that every Mwh of power generated by renewables - is one Mwh that would otherwise have been generated by fossil fuels. So we know for sure that we have curtailed the use of fossil fuels - just at a slower rate than we would like.
greenonions1
3.7 / 5 (3) May 09, 2018
Renewables are even more expensive


Lazard says that a kwh of renewable energy is now 1/2 that of coal - https://electrek....ns-jobs/

And the cost is going to keep going down. Your major flaw is that you keep comparing legacy plants - with new build. Of course a 30 year old plant is going to be cheaper than a new one. The capitol cost has been amortized - and you are just paying for the fuel, and the maintenance. A new plant is built with today's dollars - and the capitol has to be paid off. You really keep making yourself look nutty. The cost of wind and solar have dropped every year. Power from Hinkley Point is going to cost 12 cents Kwh - in a 5 cent world. You keep using old data.
greenonions1
3 / 5 (2) May 09, 2018
Forbes is actually the only medium which maintains at least some contact with reality instead of ideology
All reality based. The four states here in the U.S. that have the most wind power (all over 1/3) - have electricity prices below the national average. Oklahoma has some of the cheapest electricity in the country - and over 1/3 coming from the wind.
greenonions1
2.6 / 5 (5) May 09, 2018
mackita
Because no one wants to buy it due to its nonreliability?


You and Willie just make fools of yourself by not keeping up with reality.

https://cleantech...-panels/
https://cleantech...cturing/
https://cleantech...ekistan/
https://cleantech...f-april/
https://cleantech...in-2018/

I could go on all day.....
Da Schneib
3.7 / 5 (3) May 09, 2018
@macurinetherapy, nobody who's buying solar panels for their roof is worried about "nonreliability." They're connected to the grid and all they do is lay back and watch the money roll in. If it's not sunny right now it will be soon.
WillieWard
3.7 / 5 (3) May 10, 2018
But until then, we have renewables as the main viable alternative.
Wind and solar are not alternative to fossil fuels, they are just an expensive form of providing "greenwashing" for coal/oil/gas which can be verified by real data: no meaningful CO2 reduction while electricity prices are skyrocketing everywhere.
Potentially viable alternatives: hydro and geothermal are site-specifics(geographically limited) and biomass is worse than coal in terms of greenhouse emissions and compete with agriculture.
The only viable alternative: carbon-free nuclear energy.
WillieWard
3.4 / 5 (5) May 10, 2018
Oklahoma has some of the cheapest electricity in the country - and over 1/3 coming from the wind.
You have only Oklahoma as showcase, a top US gas/fracking producer, with cheap gas "greenwashed" by intermittent renewable, what about Germany, Denmark, South Australia, Minnesota, and other wind/solar expensive fiascos?
The cost of wind and solar have dropped every year.
While electricity prices are skyrocketing.
Reasons: batteries not included, neither fossil-fueled backup plants nor integration costs.
Wind and solar are a scam after scam after scam.
greenonions1
4 / 5 (4) May 10, 2018
Willie
You have only Oklahoma as showcase,
you know that's not true. I could give you hundreds of examples of countries, cities etc. that are in the process of ramping up their renewable energy generation, and down their use of coal. We could look at Scotland, Costa Rica, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Denmark, etc. etc. etc. Of course you would try arguing each case - with your cherry picked rubbish - when the fact of the matter is that we are building out renewables all across the world. I have shown you that the 4 states with over 1/3 of their electricity coming from wind, all have below average electricity prices. The reason for that is cheap gas, and cheap renewables. The only viable alternative is not nuclear. So tell us again - when is Hinkley Point coming on line, and how much will the power cost? Now research how much wind and solar came on line in the U.S. last year, vs how much nuclear. See Willie - reality is hard to dismiss.
WillieWard
3.7 / 5 (3) May 11, 2018
If solar/wind is so cheap, why does it need to be shoved down people's throats?
"California's Solar Roof Law Will Raise Housing And Energy Prices But Do Little To Reduce Emissions" -May 10, 2018
"California's top energy economists say the main driver of higher electricity prices is the state's heavy deployment of solar and other renewables."
"New Solar Roof Law Will Transfer Wealth from Poorer to Richer"
"...solar roofs are twice as expensive as solar farms."
"California's new solar roof mandate will make housing more expensive, increase electricity prices, and transfer wealth upwards. What it won't do is significantly reduce carbon emissions."
https://www.forbe...issions/
The reason for that is cheap gas, and cheap renewables.
"Renewables are a scam: they run on GAS."
antigoracle
3 / 5 (4) May 11, 2018
I could give you hundreds of examples of countries, cities etc. that are in the process of ramping up their renewable energy generation, and down their use of coal. We could look at HEE HAWWW, Germany, HEE HAWWW etc. etc. etc.


The Onion Jackass brays.
https://www.googl...oe=UTF-8

greenonions1
3 / 5 (2) May 11, 2018
Thank you for those kind words goracle. As usual great depth to your contribution to the conversation.
greenonions1
4 / 5 (4) May 11, 2018
If solar/wind is so cheap, why does it need to be shoved down people's throats?
You don't really clarify what you mean by 'shoved down peoples throats' - but yes there is good reason for the government to promote renewables. We know the impact that burning fossil fuels is having on our environment - and we understand in the light of that impact - that it is imperative that we stop burning carbon, digging up the boreal forest for tar sands, destroying whole ecosystems with mountain top mining etc. etc. So just as the government has put billions of dollars into developing the oil and gas industry - it is now time to promote the necessary shift to low carbon. I am fine with nukes - and support efforts such as iter - but based on the whole picture - clean, cheap, distributed renewables seem like the best bet. If you can build nukes cheaper, and sell that idea to the world - go for it Willie. Or are you comfortable with the status quo?
WillieWard
3 / 5 (2) May 12, 2018
yes there is good reason for the government to promote renewables
The reason is to provide "greenwashing" for the natural gas(fracking) industry in order to displace carbon-free nuclear energy which is a crime in the face of Climate Change.
based on the whole picture - clean, cheap, distributed renewables seem like the best bet.
"According to business consulting firm Lazard, the net cost of energy from residential rooftop solar is twice that of solar panels on commercial and industrial roofs and as much as 10 times costlier than large solar farms."
http://www.sacbee...434.html
"California's rooftop solar rule is a pricey path to emissions reductions" - May 9, 2018
https://www.techn...uctions/
Solar/wind are endless scams.
greenonions1
3 / 5 (2) May 12, 2018
in order to displace carbon-free nuclear energy
Expensive nuclear energy. 12 cents a Kwh wholesale price from Hinkley Point - stuck to the British tax payer for the next 35 years. Yeah that makes sense (sarcasm). Any ways - no nukes were displaced in Oklahoma - as we have never had any. But we get 1/3 of our power from the wind.
Solar/wind are endless scams.
Just saying it - doesn't make it a fact. The 4 U.S. states that get over 1/3 of their electricity from the wind - have below average electricity costs. The costs are going to keep going down.
WillieWard
3 / 5 (2) May 12, 2018
The costs are going to keep going down.
Real data don't lie, electricity prices skyrocket with wind/solar penetration in the grid.
"Renewable energy's dirty little secret. As penetration increases specific emissions from fossil fuel back-up increase."
https://twitter.c...60107522
"Solar's economic value to the electricity grid declines by half when it reaches just 15 percent penetration, according to research by German economist Leon Hirth."
"Increasing solar penetration on a grid can actually cause emissions to go up"

Nuclear energy is the cheapest and the most ecologically friendly.
Nuclear: 10.1 ¥/kwh
Wind: 21.9 ¥/kwh
Solar: 24.3 ¥/kwh
https://pbs.twimg...v3Eg.jpg
https://www.bloom...m-within
greenonions1
3 / 5 (2) May 12, 2018
Real data don't lie, electricity prices skyrocket with wind/solar penetration in the grid
Like the 4 states in the u.s. that get over 1/3 of their power from the wind - but have below average electricity rates. Oh right - you already knew that - just had to keep on lying though.

Nuclear energy is the cheapest and the most ecologically friendly
More lies. https://www.ewg.o...oAogvyM8

The plants can't compete with cheaper renewable energy and natural gas on the open market. This comes on the heels of the company announcing that it will close three nuclear plants by 2022
Shooting fish in a barrel Willie.....
WillieWard
3 / 5 (2) May 13, 2018
Like the 4 states in the u.s.
Iowa: "coal is still the state's largest source of net electricity generation" >50% "Iowa wind farm generates more tax credits than electricity"
Kansas: "Coal is the largest single fuel source for electricity generation in Kansas" closely followed by gas.
Oklahoma: "Together, coal- and natural gas-fired power plants produce almost three-fourths of the electric power generated in the state."
South Dakota: "hydroelectric power provided more than two-fifths of South Dakota's net electricity generation", natural gas is one of major source.
The plants can't compete with cheaper renewable energy and natural gas...
Carbon-free nuclear energy can't compete with cheap natural gas "greenwashed" by intermittent renewables.
If the same regulations were also applied to gas/fracking and renewables, carbon-free nuclear power would have solved the Climate Change issue.
Fracking radioactive wastewater:
https://pbs.twimg...MWAAEO7P
WillieWard
3 / 5 (2) May 13, 2018
Oklahoma has some of the cheapest electricity in the country...
Thanks to subsidies and cheap gas.
"Oklahoma cuts back on wind subsidies after finding them unsustainable." - March 2018
https://institute...bsidies/
"wind turbines blotting homeowners' views of the landscape to wind turbines causing sleepless nights due to the noise."
"The whooshing noise and vibration from the blades force them to close windows and blinds and use white noise to mask the mechanical sounds. Still other homeowners expect lower property values, as fewer people will want to buy a home overlooking a wind facility."
"Wind Mills are environmentally friendly?"
"Look at the FARKING destruction for 2 MW's of unrealiable electricity!"
https://pbs.twimg...9BdQ.jpg
"Farmers are not allowed to clear land for growing crops, but deforestation OK for solar panels and wind-turbines"
https://pbs.twimg...VhCk.jpg
greenonions1
3 / 5 (2) May 13, 2018
Carbon-free nuclear energy can't compete with cheap natural gas
It's not carbon free - as the link I gave you made very clear. The other link shows that nuclear cannot compete against cheap gas, and renewables. Just saying something does not make it true Willie.
WillieWard
2.3 / 5 (3) May 14, 2018
It's not carbon free...
but it reduces emissions, e.g. France, Sweden, Ontario.
Unlike your cheap wind/solar placebos that are causing the electricity prices to skyrocket while failing miserably at reducing CO₂ emissions everywhere.
"European Renewables Are Up. So Are Carbon Emissions" - May 14, 2018
"A bumper year for renewable energy didn't stop Europe from increasing its emissions."
"European Union carbon emissions grew 1.8 percent in 2017 despite a 25 percent increase in wind power and 6 percent growth in solar, figures show."
https://www.green...missions
WillieWard
3 / 5 (4) May 14, 2018
cannot compete against cheap gas, and renewables
"cheap" solar/wind is an expensive form of providing "greenwashing" for the gas/fracking industry.
"As renewable energy grows, so does interest from Big Oil"
"Experts believe wind and solar development will entice greater investment from traditional oil and gas firms" - May 10, 2018
"Shell, Total, BP and others — make billion-dollar investments in renewables."
"There's a role for natural gas because wind and solar are not available 24/7 and natural gas is a great partner in terms of offsetting those renewable sources when they're not there,"
http://www.cbc.ca....4656106

Wind and solar are a distraction, a farce in the fight against Climate Change.
greenonions1
3 / 5 (2) May 14, 2018
but it reduces emissions
But you said it was carbon free. You just keep lying. I am done now. In terms of going back and forth, and trying to actually make any head way. Reality is proving how little you know about the subject of energy.

A good article here on a possible route for small modular nukes. We should know in less than ten years - if there is any future for them. What will be fascinating - is looking at the price of renewables/storage vs nukes - in 10 years. If Nuscale gets their act together - perhaps they will have a future in the energy basket - it is great times watching things happen.

https://www.green....=4NPhrs
WillieWard
2.3 / 5 (3) May 14, 2018
We should know in less than ten years
In less than 10 years, most of wind/solar farms in Europe will be a bunch of junk, it is already happening now.
"Germany spent trillions on wind and failed miserably. Back to coal."
"New subsidies for ageing European wind farms, or death spiral? "
https://tallbloke...-spiral/
In a decade or two, intermittent renewables will be remembered as the Scam of the Century, a trillion-dollar fiasco in terms of CO₂ reduction, a distraction, a farce, a fraud that has only served to favor the coal/oil/gas industries.
WillieWard
2.3 / 5 (3) May 16, 2018
...cannot compete against cheap gas,...
"Would you be surprised to learn that the oil and natural gas companies are perfectly aware that solar and wind lock-in their main product? That's why they are only all too happy to invest in and promote solar and wind."
"Solar and Wind Lock-In Fossil Fuels -- And That Makes Saving the Climate Harder & More Expensive" - May 15, 2018
https://pbs.twimg...lFMG.jpg
https://www.forbe...pensive/
Fracking radioactive wastewater:
https://pbs.twimg...O7Pl.jpg
"Nuclear power is the only large-scale energy-producing technology that takes full responsibility for all its waste and fully costs this into the product."

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