Archive | June 2019

Observations by a simple mind.

Whenever I bring up the topic of using natural gas in Integrated Gas, Wind, Solar (IGWS) configurations that will provide “baseload” reliability, and low cost, I know there is a whole gallery of folk just waiting to throw rocks at the idea to use “fossil fuel” in a low carbon scenario.

What the heck, that’s happening anyway no matter what I or anyone else thinks. The “grids” are now installing flexible gas generation to maintain stability when the weather decides not to cooperate.

But, with the advent of LNG, and virtual pipelines that can get the fuel to more remote areas that can bring all the technologies together, there’s something else my observations are waving a flag about.

Globally there is enough “waste gas” being flared to more than supply the whole area that either has no electricity or unreliable at best. And it’s just burning and burning and emitting CO2, SO2, and particulates.

Just, burning and burning. Nobody to use it.

Plus, diesel is the go-to fuel for reliability, on top of the burning flare gas and that’s making urban areas deadly with pollution.  

But, if we capture the gas that’s just flaring away, compress it or turn it into LNG, and then use that reliable fuel to make electricity, the overall effect is below net zero. Not only are we not causing any “new” combustion, but we’re making net negative,pollution-free electricity.

And this electricity can eliminate the need for indoor pollution, from cooking with wood, dung, or charcoal that’s killing at least 4.6 million people per year.  

My simple mind is saying, “we have no additional CO2 emission from gas, and the byproduct is clean electricity to save lives wherever we can make this available.”

Since the compressed or liquified gas can be handled like, and replace diesel fuel, we can start doing this with microgrids that are immune to outages.

We don’t have to build new pipelines or new grid transmission lines, and we have exclusive control of our energy supply, no government goof ups, corrupt “tollgates” and “poof” those people are healthy and can work adding new income to the economy.

I have some friends in this space, and I hope we can collaborate to get one or two, or three done.

Once established, it should start blossoming, I’m never the only one to think of this stuff so if my friends aren’t the first then who cares.

Let’s stop dirty waste, and start providing clean upward mobility.

©Wm Ross Williams Copyright 06232019

Yes dear, the universe really does revolve around the earth.

Bantering about the pro and cons of nuclear energy is as fruitful as Galileo refuting the “absolute truth” of the Roman Catholic Church which, in the 1500s, insisted that the universe does revolve around the earth. 

To think otherwise remained “heresy” of some degree until Pope John Paul declared the findings of these early scientists to be great works in 1992.

When it comes to society, “beliefs” are what rule, regardless of established facts to the contrary.

Today, there are likely to be more people who believe Nuclear power is dangerous than there are members of the Christan faith.  

That makes the belief that Nuclear is bad, bad, bad today’s “Absolute Truth.”

Details like the 4.6 million people dying annually from air pollution just don’t count.

The power of “absolute truth” has been demonstrated over millennia. About 400 BC it was illustrated by Socrates execution.  Socrates was sentenced to death for questioning  the “Absolute Truth” of the Greco-Roman philosophy and religion 400 years BC. He was often caught referring to “God” rather than the Gods.

Similar results were demonstrated when first Copernicus, then Galileo were banished by the Roman Catholic Church for challenging the “Absolute Truth” of the church that God created the universe in a way that made it revolve around the earth.

Today, what has become an “absolute truth”as established  by global commerce is the danger of nuclear power. This is the prevailing belief of most of the people on earth that are privy to modern media.

Let’s look at the opposing realities regarding Nuclear generated electricity:

  • Pro. If we switched to nuclear as rapidly as possible we would have enough energy to power electricity based and mostly digital civilization and stop killing the 4.6 million people who die from air pollution every year.
  • Con.The 6 Trillion dollars of global trade that depends on the continuing consumption of fossil fuels would lose 80% of its trade revenues.

If there is one global “religion” today that crosses all cultures, regardless of religious beliefs it is TRADE.

And espousing paths that would jeopardize that 6-8 trillion dollars of fossil fuel related TRADE are a nonstarter.  We now have the ability to electrify the world without coal. So, what?

Considering Absolute truths ©Wm Ross Williams 2019

LNG is the fuel we’ve been waiting for.

Microgrid size carriers for upriver LNG delivery.

This is an open comment being sent to a congressional representative in efforts to apply a very positive reality to what is now misled rhetoric.

Dear Congressman Yoho.

If America plans to compete in the emerging low carbon economies as they transition to LNG, we have to have more ports, and terminals with more flexible loading, bunkering, and transfer facilities.

These ports also need to be set up for domestic shipping, rail, and trucking.

We are a significant potential source, and yet still one of the smallest contributors.

Wind and solar electricity may be cheaper than gas in the near future, but “cheap” doesn’t translate into reliable. Much of this electricity is useless and will continue to be  until we integrate it into baseload capable hybrid systems.

Our abundant gas and LNG potential are not worth much if we can’t get it from competitive U.S. producers and shippers to markets.

Real case research showed that the hybrid would reduce emissions by 80%, provide baseload reliability power, and at a significantly lower long term LCOE than the coal plant could.  

This is important since we’ll be competing with similar situations in the new developing markets

Small port flexibility can give the U.S. producers the ability to do more flexible contracting than the current national scale 20-year offtakes.

It is past time to end our hogtied infrastructure permitting processes.  One of the reasons America is lagging in climate progress is the drag from both professional and opportunistic protesters.

This is why we so desperately need a transparent and objective permitting process.

Based on the proven EU system, here is what we need.

  1. A Standardized Permitting Package. One that can lay out the permitting steps and processes in a way that will allow effective planning by the proponents.
  2. This would allow the guidelines to be clear and collaboratively established by all of the “Valid” stakeholders and potential intervenors.
  3. Establish a dependable and transparent checklist that is pre-agreed on before starting the formal permitting processes.
  4. A keystone of this “Standard Permitting Package” will be a strict timeline for the various agreed-upon permitting activities identified in the first package.

This should allow smaller ports and export terminals to get permitted, financed, constructed and in operation on reasonable budgets for private industry.