The global energy transition is happening faster than the models predicted, according to a report released today by the Rocky Mountain Institute, thanks to massive investments in the advanced-battery technology ecosystem.
Research by David Hughes, formerly of the Geological Survey of Canada, indicates that supplies of shale gas are much more limited than estimates put forth by industry and government. Hughes says: “Assuming long-term sustainability of shale gas production at low prices is folly for energy policy. The shale revolution is a temporary windfall and should be viewed as such.”
See, also, NC WARN’s complaint to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission about a Southeast regional power glut perpetuated by electric utilities. A similar situation is occurring in California, as described in this article and infographic in the Los Angeles Times.
All News Categories
As environmental concerns drive power companies away from using coal, natural gas has emerged as the nation’s No. 1 power source. Plentiful and relatively inexpensive as a result of the nation’s fracking boom, it has been portrayed as a bridge to an era in which alternative energy would take primacy.
Amidst the madness of 2017, a bigger shift was missed than probably any other — right at the commanding heights of the economy: Natural gas fizzled out of the plan for the future.
Two WUNC stories on natural gas, the threat of methane to the climate and doubts about future natural gas supply projections.
Energy specialist Art Berman also questions shale gas supply estimates, as he wrote last year after the Energy Information Agency – despite falling production – greatly increased its forecasts of gas supply: “The recently released EIA Annual Energy Outlook 2016 sparkles with pixie dust as it forecasts almost unlimited gas supply at low prices out to 2040 and beyond.”
In February, Duke Energy gave notice to the N.C. Utilities Commission that it planned to build a gas-fired power plant at the current Asheville coal power plant site. Four months later, the N.C. General Assembly approved, and Gov. Pat McCrory signed, the innocuous-sounding Mountain Energy Act, sponsored by state Sen. Tom Apodaca (R-Henderson), which essentially greased the skids for a short, 45-day decision on Duke’s request. The normal time for such a decision is about 180 days, which is much better, considering the controversial nature of this request.
Today NC WARN and The Climate Times filed a legal motion and affidavits by three prominent technical experts urging state regulators to deny Duke Energy’s application to build a huge natural gas power plant in Asheville because it is not needed, would be high-risk economically, and would accelerate the global climate crisis at the worst possible time.
As Paris negotiators seek to avert irreversible global climate disruption, the nation’s largest carbon-polluting utility has been steaming full-speed backward with a climate- and economy-wrecking plan to greatly expand the burning and piping of fracked and conventional natural gas. Today NC WARN and The Climate Times openly pressed Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good to slow down, to weigh the evolving science and economics of natural gas, and to realize that she must share such critical decision-making with the people of North Carolina.