Saturday, December 15, 2012

Millions for A Pittance

"Among power sources, the worst source of CO2 emissions by far is coal. Natural gas generates half the CO2 per kilowatt-hour, and in the past few years natural gas has displaced coal to a remarkable degree. This year gas-fired electricity generation equaled coal-fired generation for the first time. According to the Energy Information Administration, that trend will continue as shale gas production rises from 5 trillion cubic feet in 2010 to more than 13 trillion cubic feet in 2035. Fracking made this possible-by opening up the Marcellus shale deposit in Pennsylvania and many others. Twelve years ago, shale gas made up 2 percent of the U.S. supply. It now makes up 37 percent.  "All of that was achieved without government direction-and in the face of considerable environmental resistance. Now the world's worst CO2 emitter, China-which gets 80 percent of its electricity from coal-has taken up fracking too. China's natural-gas reserves are 50 percent bigger than America's. If climate change is the worst danger facing the planet, as some environmentalists contend, then Chinese fracking should be good news.  "But most environmentalists hate fracking. Instead, they have placed their bets on other horses-many of which have come up lame (see: Solyndra, Evergreen Solar, A123 Systems, et al.). And even green-energy pursuits insulated from market forces pack a remarkably weak punch. The Navy has just built a 10-acre solar-panel field at its Norfolk Naval Station, at a cost of $21 million in Obama stimulus money. It can power all of 200 homes-a mere 2 percent of the naval station's power needs. An audit says the money saved on utility bills will recoup the project's costs in roughly 447 years (not a typo)."

Yes, I can see exactly why so many are betting on "renewables".  The cost benefit curve is so compelling.

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