Fracking chairman: shale gas not going to cut prices

energy & water insights

Lord Browne, former head of BP and current chairman of the UK’s largest shale gas company Cuadrilla, said this week that fracking is unlikely to reduce gas prices. In a speech at the London School of Economics he also said that…

  • the recent strike price agreed between the government and EDF for nuclear power was “very, very expensive”
  • oil and gas currently receive more subsidies than renewable energy, which he described as “like running the heating and air conditioning at the same time”

The economic, geological, regulatory and social differences between the UK and US mean it is highly unlikely that the shale gas revolution being experienced in North America can be translated across the Atlantic, with even modest production unlikely before the mid-2020s according to most in the industry.

Despite repeated assurances from David Cameron and George Osborne that shale gas will reduce prices, Browne has recognised…

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Obama approves border-crossing pipeline carrying corrosive fracked gas diluent to Alberta Tar-Sands

See on Scoop.itGreen Energy Technologies & Development

But the pipeline has problems with stress corrosion cracking. Is it safe to expand?

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>Kinder Morgan Cochin LLC is now allowed to reverse and expand to build a 1,900-mile proposed pipeline to transport gas produced by hydraulic fracturing of the Eagle Ford Shale basin in Texas north into Alberta. It would carry gas condensate that is used to dilute the bitumen in the tar sands. The extra-thick oil produced in the tar sands needs to be cut with 30 per cent condensate so it can be carried, according to the Financial Post.

The Cochin pipeline has had some safety issues in the past, however. Last year, the National Energy Board sent Kinder Morgan a letter regarding Stress Corrosion Cracking (SCC) failure in the U.S. back in 2003. At the time, the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued an order imposing a 20 per cent pressure restriction on the pipeline. Kinder Morgan later voluntarily imposed a further restriction on the operating pressure and received approval to increase  the operating pressure of the pipeline in US to 6895 kPa (1000 psi) in March 2012.<

See on www.vancouverobserver.com

84% Efficient Combined Heat & Power (CHP) Plant to be built by Siemens in Poland

See on Scoop.itGreen & Sustainable News

Through immediate publication of press releases, we keep the business, financial and public press informed on all important Siemens topics.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>The plant will be built in western Poland in the city of Gorzów Wielkopolski. Within the scope of turnkey construction, Siemens will deliver two SGT-800 gas turbines, one SST-400 steam turbine, three 11 kilovolt (kV) generators and two heat recovery steam generators. In addition, Siemens was awarded a long-term 12 years maintenance agreement for the gas turbines. The Gorzów plant will be fired with nitrogen-rich natural gas from gas reserves located in western Poland. This type of gas has a lower calorific value than conventional natural gas. […]

The Gorzów power plant will replace a currently used coal-fired block at the same location. The combined cycle power plant with district heat extraction will be able to generate electricity in a much more efficient and environmentally friendly manner. Compared to the old coal-fired power plant, the new plant will produce 95 percent less sulfur dioxide emissions, more than 30 percent less nitrogen dioxide emissions and more than 95 percent less particulate emissions.<

See on www.siemens.com

Supercritical CO2 refines cogeneration for Industry

See on Scoop.itGreen Energy Technologies & Development

The first production unit of the EPS100 7.5 MWe heat engine is completing factory checkout tests at Dresser-Randbtd…

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>Energy-intensive manufacturing

In an increasingly competitive environment, manufacturers are seeking to cut their costs. Fluctuating energy prices often channel this investment into cost-effective energy-saving technologies and practices that will reduce operating costs while maintaining or increasing product quality and yield.

Energy-efficient technologies often bring other benefits, such as higher productivity or environmental gains, reducing the regulatory ‘burden’. Waste heat can be captured from many industrial processes through waste heat recovery technology. […]

Waste heat recovery represents the greatest opportunity for reducing energy loss in these industries while simultaneously reducing their carbon footprint and associated greenhouse emissions with improved overall energy production efficiency.[…]

The outlook for scCO2

Supercritical CO2 heat engines are scalable across a broad system size range, from 250 kWe to 45 MWe and above, with net electrical output to support the widest possible variety of industrial and utility-scale applications.

The sCO2 Cycle is thermal source neutral − suitable with a wide range of heat sources from 200°C to 500°C with efficiencies up to 30%. New energy production can be offset with recovered energy without increasing greenhouse emissions while improving overall energy production efficiency. The scCO2 heat engine can add up to 35% more power to simple-cycle gas turbines, 10–15% more power to reciprocating engines, and can significantly improve the energy efficiency and bottom line performance at steel mills, cement kilns, glass furnaces and other fuel-fired industrial processes by converting previously wasted exhaust and flue gas energy into usable electricity.

Alex Kacludis is an Application Engineer at EPS LLC; www.echogen.com

See on www.cospp.com

Supercritical CO2 turbine for Power Production & Waste Heat Energy Recovery

See on Scoop.itGreen Building Design – Architecture & Engineering

A former scientist at Sandia National Lab is bringing the technology to market

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>Because of its physical properties as a liquid, it has become a target fluid of opportunity to run turbines and thus make electricity. Steven Wright, Ph.D., who recently retired from Sandia National Laboratory (SNL), has set up a consulting company called Critical Energy LLC to bring this technology to a commercial level.

The objective of using supercritical CO2 (S-CO2) in a Brayton-Cycle turbine is to make it much more efficient in the transfer of heat. Wright points out that a steam turbine is about 33% efficient, but that an S-CO2 turbine could be as high as 48% efficient, a significant increase.

A closed loop supercritical CO2 system has the density of a liquid, but many of the properties of a gas. A turbine running on it, “is basically a jet engine running on a hot liquid,” says Wright.

“There is a tremendous amount of scientific and industrial interest in S-CO2 for power generation. All heat sources are involved…<

See on theenergycollective.com

Waste Heat Recovery using Supercritical CO2 turbines to create Electrical Power

See on Scoop.itGreen Building Design – Architecture & Engineering

Working fluids with relatively low critical temperature and pressure can be compressed directly to their supercritical pressures and heated to their supercritical state before expansion so as to obtain a better thermal match with the heat source.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>Chen et al. [1-3] did a comparative study of the carbon dioxide supercritical power cycle and compared it with an organic Rankine cycle using R123 as the working fluid in a waste heat recovery application. It shows that a CO2 supercritical power cycle has higher system efficiency than an ORC when taking into account the behavior of the heat transfer between the heat source and the working fluid. The CO2 cycle shows no pinch limitation in the heat exchanger. Zhang et al.  [4-11] has also conducted research on the supercritical CO2 power cycle. Experiments revealed that the CO2 can be heated up to 187℃ and the power generation efficiency was 8.78% to 9.45% [7] and the COP for the overall outputs from the cycle was 0.548 and 0.406, respectively, on a typical summer and winter day in Japan [5].

Organic fluids like isobutene, propane, propylene, difluoromethane and R-245fa [12] have also been suggested for supercritical Rankine cycle. It was found that supercritical fluids can maximize the efficiency of the system. However, detailed studies on the use of organic working fluids in supercritical Rankine cycles have not been widely published.

There is no supercritical Rankine cycle in operation up to now. However, it is becoming a new direction due to its advantages in thermal efficiency and simplicity in configuration.<

See on www.eng.usf.edu

Surplus fossil fuels expected to exceed carbon budget

See on Scoop.itGreen & Sustainable News

It won’t be difficult to blow by the 1-trillion ton threshold based on the amount of fossil fuels still in the ground. As Amy Myers Jaffe remarks, “scarcity will not be the force driving a shift to alternative energy. Climate and energy policy initiatives will have to take into consideration the possibility of oil and gas surpluses and lower fossil fuel prices.”

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>The lesson here is that the economics are still in favor of producing fossil fuels. The cyclical nature of energy prices suggests that higher prices will spur development of technologies to reach more difficult energy deposits. This doesn’t mean that oil and natural gas prices will be low for the rest of time, but it does reflect how high energy prices in the 2000s led not only to funding and research in alternative fuels (particularly biofuels), but also in oil and gas technologies. This investment coupled with decades of U.S. government and academic research proved fruitful with the combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing becoming a deployable technology.

We have now entered a period of energy surplus where we produce energy from “unconventional sources” using technological breakthroughs like horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing in places like North Dakota, south Texas, Lousiana, and Pennsylvannia. (and soon to be California?).<

See on blogs.scientificamerican.com

Japan to Switch Off Nuclear Power, With No Firm Date for Re-Start: Sci Am

See on Scoop.itGreen & Sustainable News

Japan is set to be nuclear power-free, for just the third time in more than four decades, and with no firm date for re-starting an energy source that has provided about 30 percent of electricity to the world’s third-largest economy.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>Kansai Electric Power Co’s 1,180 MW Ohi No.4 reactor is scheduled to be disconnected from the power grid late on Sunday and then shut for planned maintenance. It is the only one of Japan’s 50 reactors in operation after the nuclear industry came to a virtual halt following the March 2011 Fukushima disaster.

Japan last went without nuclear power in May-June 2012 – the first shutdown since 1970 – a year after a massive earthquake and tsunami triggered reactor meltdowns and radiation leaks at the Fukushima facility. The country’s nuclear reactors provided close to a third of the electricity to keep the $5 trillion economy going before the Fukushima disaster, and utilities have had to spend billions of dollars importing oil, gas and coal to make up for the shortfall. […]

 

IMPORT BILL

Japan consumes about a third of the world’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) production, and will likely boost LNG demand to record levels over the next couple of years. LNG imports rose 4.4 percent in volume to a record 86.87 million tonnes, and 14.9 percent in value to a record 6.21 trillion yen ($62.1 billion) in the year through March.

Imports are likely to rise to around 88 million tonnes this year and around 90 million tonnes in the year to March 2015, according to projections by the Institute of Energy Economics Japan based on a mid-scenario that 16 reactors will be back on-line by March 2015.<

See on www.scientificamerican.com

Supply of Renewable Wind Power Surges in Texas with some Plant Closures

See on Scoop.itGreen & Sustainable News

Market Upheaval In the U.S., hydraulic fracturing techniques used to drill shale have produced a flood of cheap natural gas. That, combined with the growth in wind and tepid customer demand, is upending power markets, leading to plant closures and bankruptcy for some generator owners.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>Traditional power companies across the U.S. and Europe are struggling to compete in wholesale markets with newer generators supplying subsidized wind and solar energy. In Texas, wind has more than doubled in the past six years and now makes up 13 percent of the state’s generation capacity.[…]

Falling Prices – Electricity prices for 2014 also have fallen. The on-peak North Texas power price for next year has dropped 19 percent since reaching a peak on May 23, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

During a heat wave in the first week of August, ample wind supplies served to keep a lid on prices that would’ve normally spiked from the higher demand, NRG Chief Executive Officer David Crane said during a call with investors on Aug. 9. “Wind energy reduces electricity prices and that is good for consumers,” said Michael Goggin, an analyst for the American Wind Energy Association, an industry trade group. “Wind energy has no fuel costs, allowing it to replace more expensive and polluting sources of energy.”

Once complete, Oncor’s power lines will be part of a system that can eventually deliver about 18,500 megawatts of wind power, nearly double the amount now available in Texas and 25 percent of the state’s current generation capacity.<

See on www.renewableenergyworld.com

Coal Power Plants to be retired – Duke Energy Settles Edwardsport air permit Dispute

See on Scoop.itGreen & Sustainable News

Duke Energy Corp. said it reached a settlement with the a handful of environmental and activist organizations over outstanding issues with the.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>The Indiana Department of Environmental Management issued the new Knox County, Ind., plant’s air permits in 2008, and- -under the settlement with the Sierra Club, Citizens Action Coalition, Save the Valley and Valley Watch–they remain approved with no changes. The dispute centered on technical issues surrounding the permits that enabled the company to build and operate the plant, the company said.

The settlement also addresses deadlines for retiring units at Duke’s Wabash River Station in Vigo County, Ind. Prior to the settlement, the company had said it planned to retire four, 1950s-vintage units totaling 350 megawatts at the station by the 2015 federal mercury rule deadline. In the agreement, the company agreed to finish the retirements by the compliance deadline or, if the mercury rule is vacated or delayed, by June 1, 2018, whichever comes first.

Duke also had been exploring converting another unit at the Wabash station to natural gas, and, under the settlement, the company agreed to cease burning coal at that 318-megawatt unit by June 1, 2018. The deadline won’t prevent Duke Energy from converting the unit to natural gas earlier.

The settlement also includes a commitment to pursue additional green energy sources.<

See on www.nasdaq.com