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Red Raider

Red Raider
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  • A Discontinuity That's Not In The Market [View article]
    We seem to have lost track of the current and near term drivers of future gas market

    If anything drives the price, it will be the accelerating rate of domestic consumption for electric power generation, and for vehiular transportation.
    Even so, I would bet that domestic production and imports will increase to stablize the price.

    Obviously, it is a gamble same as with all commodities.
    Sep 18 03:19 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Natural Gas Transportation: What's Taking The U.S. So Long? [View article]

    Thanks Fitz, for your well written thoughtful and correct advocacy of nat gas vehicles. You are right on target....as usual.

    I have neglected SA for too long, and hope to rehabilitate myself.

    For the past several months I have written a few comments / participated as an "expert" in a group called OurEnergyPolicy.org. It seems to have gained some attention from Federal legislators and bureaucrats. You might want to check it out. The "experts" seem to be dominated by green scientists, academics, and entrepreneurs who are promoting magical devices that will save us all from global warming.

    It is quite fascinating, but they do need input from engineers. Their fantasy world may well produce an energy policy, but I don't think you will like it.

    A couple of points in passing:
    - The Fukushima disaster was caused by a tidal wave that was about ten feet higher than provided for in the design basis. The nuclear plants were GE Boiling Water Reactors, very much the same as many that are operating here in USA.
    - Despite all our wishful thinking about carbon emissions, it is not likely that we can build any more than the four new units under construction in USA. They cost too much, even if you print the money.
    - And coal is facing a slow lingering death administered by EPA, but more significantly by the economics of natural gas. EPA is wasting their time, the free market is doing the job.
    - In fact several operating nuclear plants are scheduled for premature retirement because they can no longer compete with modern nat gas fuelled gas turbine combined cycle plants.
    Jul 15 01:13 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Russia signs major gas-supply deal with China [View news story]
    Can this be the beginning of the end of dollar based pricing for oil?
    May 21 11:22 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • White House mulls massive reduction in power emissions [View news story]
    DGI,

    I will try to explain...one more time.

    Of course you are correct. You noted the most obvious problem, but the actual situation is much worse. The grid must supply electricity on demand, instantly. That means the wind / solar / other units must be covered by conventional units synchronized to the grid, operating at less than full capacity, and able to pick up any change in grid demand (or lost generation capacity) INSTANTLY, as in response to a customer flicking on a light switch. Let's call it spinning reserve.

    Units (other than hydro) operating for spinning reserve usually operate at a rather poor efficiency. Of course this adds to the cost of electric generation and increases carbon and other emissions.

    Maybe I missed something, I thought the Greens were against poor efficiency and increased emissions.

    I am really tired of this green nonsense.
    May 17 12:55 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • White House mulls massive reduction in power emissions [View news story]
    User,

    That is fine if you believe it. US carbon emissions are already going down. We are not the greatest problem. Mr. OB has won the CC debate for any practical purpose. We are shutting down our coal plants about as fast as we can without shutting off the lights!

    No need to debate the honesty of the "scientific community". But they are susceptible to commercial considerations...just like politicians and lawyers.

    But it won't affect the carbon emissions. Everybody else on the planet is building coal plants to benefit the world economy.....and they will succeed. So enjoy the ice while it lasts!
    May 17 12:24 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • White House mulls massive reduction in power emissions [View news story]
    Wait till they finish condemning coal, that's when the rates will really go up.
    May 17 12:11 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • White House mulls massive reduction in power emissions [View news story]
    Tiger,

    Let's talk after you sell the concept in China, India, Malaysia, Africa, etc. Even the green Germans are building coal plants.

    There is no factual argument, and the green religion may satisfy the believers...but hopefully the constitution will prevail, and the Feds will not be allowed to establish a new state religion. Even if it is green.
    May 17 12:07 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • White House mulls massive reduction in power emissions [View news story]
    Steve,

    I think you are missing something. Wind and solar are not actually cheaper than coal. Not even close. Check out the capacity factor of these renewable units. One advantage they do have is the tax credit that makes it possible to operate them. Another is their 25% to 30% average annual capacity factor. They are not likely to wear out because of overuse!

    Best you look into the economics of power generation. Seems that renewables are like religion...must have faith.
    And religion is OK if you don't force it on me. I don't understand why I have to pay the bill for someone else' religion.
    May 16 11:57 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Uncertainty Over Costs Of Ongoing Projects Fuel Hold Position For Southern Company [View article]
    Maybe I have been in the power plant construction business too long, but I would be very cautious about the admitted cost exposure of the SO generation construction projects, and their initial operating period..

    The Kemper project is intended to be the first of its kind, a full scale demonstration of the conversion of Mississippi mud (lignite) to kilowatts, while at the same time sequestering all the carbon that is burned to create the heat, that is used to make all those kilowatts. It would not be easy if the power generator was a conventional steam turbine. Southern is using a higher tech gas turbine plant that is much more fussy about it's fuel supply.

    And Vogtle nuclear? One of the very few commitments in the USA that has not been withdrawn. Breaking new ground!

    I certainly wish them well! Godspeed SO! Your management is heroic.
    Mar 7 10:56 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • In Appalachia, coal struggles to compete with cheap natural gas [View news story]
    Thanks Bermuda,

    I am not familiar with the PJM specifics so I will defer to your wisdom. Did not realize they were light on combined cycle plants.

    The must run comment was meant to reflect what I believe is fact, that wind and solar must be connected to the grid whenever available. Reasonable, given that fuel cost is about $0. 2,500 Mw? Looks like things are getting out of hand! What is the subsidy for wind generation? I thought it was $0.02 per Kw - hr. but memory fades in retirement.

    Of course we often have to run inefficient coal and simple cycle turbines to cover potential loss of wind and solar.

    I doubt the senate can do much about the anti coal regs. Even if the dems lose it. They new senate would have to amend the clean air act to curb EPA regs. I expect the shorts will be OK.
    Dec 3 01:14 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • In Appalachia, coal struggles to compete with cheap natural gas [View news story]
    Thanks Bermuda,

    I am not familiar with the PJM specifics so I will defer to your wisdom. Did not realize they were light on combined cycle plants.

    The must run comment was meant to reflect what I believe is fact, that wind and solar must be connected to the grid whenever available. Reasonable, given that fuel cost is about $0.

    Of course we often have to run inefficient coal and simple cycle turbines to cover potential loss of wind and solar.

    I doubt the senate can do much about the anti coal regs. Even if the dems lose it. They new senate would have to amend the clean air act to curb EPA regs. I expect the shorts will be OK.
    Dec 3 01:07 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • In Appalachia, coal struggles to compete with cheap natural gas [View news story]
    Thanks Bermuda,

    I am not familiar with the PJM specifics so I will defer to your wisdom. Did not realize they were light on combined cycle plants.

    The must run comment was meant to reflect what I believe is fact, that wind and solar must be connected to the grid whenever available. Reasonable, given that fuel cost is about $0.

    Of course we often have to run inefficient coal and simple cycle turbines to cover potential loss of wind and solar.

    I doubt the senate can do much about the anti coal regs. Even if the dems lose it. They new senate would have to ammend the clean air act to curb EPA regs. I expect the shorts will be OK.
    Dec 3 01:06 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • In Appalachia, coal struggles to compete with cheap natural gas [View news story]
    Sorry Bermuda,

    You have at least one of your alleged inaccuracies wrong. Of course the Beaver Valley nuke is a nuke. The author is discussing the coal plant at Beaver Valley as he clearly stated. It is really there! Almost next to the nuke.

    The price of nat gas is driven by supply and demand for the future. There may well be special circumstances when a producer will sell at a bargain spot price to avoid shutting in his wells. It seems probable that Marcellus production has surpassed pipe line capacity. If so, the extremely low price of gas will correct itself when new pipelines are completed.

    The bias against coal certainly doesn't come from Seeking Alpha!. Have you heard of Gina McCarthy? If not, you most certainly will. Your government in Washington has decided to outlaw coal as a fuel for utility power plants. It is taking them a little while, but chances are they will get there.

    As for the PJM grid, we may need a little more homework there too.

    Certainly the grid was / is built to spread the basic supply of electricity throughout the PJM area, and to import power when needed from the surrounding grids. Virtually all of the continuous demand for power is supplied by the most economic operators, fuel cost being the primary consideration for dispatch of base load capacity. Historically, this demand is served by nuclear, coal, and maybe a tiny bit of hydro. Recently gas turbine combined (Brayton and Rankine) cycle plants that operate with 60% thermal efficiency (vs 35% for coal) have been built at lower capital cost than coal or nuclear. These units will fill the base load capacity requirements as the EPA regulations kill King Coal.

    By the way, your government has forced many power generators (and maybe PJM?) to generate power from wind and solar. These units are classified "Must Run" when they are available, day or night regardless of most grid conditions. They are available about 30% of the 8,760 hours in the year. This generation also cuts coal consumption. For the most part, when they are unavailable (70% of the year) their capacity is replaced by nat gas fuelled gas turbines.

    Hopefully this little tutorial will help us gain a better understanding of the King's terminal illness.

    Nov 30 01:05 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Cummins' New 12-Liter Natural Gas Engine Is A Game Changer For Clean Energy [View article]
    Well done Fitz!

    Thank You
    Nov 6 12:34 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Southern Company An Undervalued Stock In The Utilities Sector? [View article]
    The author did not address construction cost overruns. How can you look at SO and not consider the nuclear program and the awful cost of the gasification plant in Mississippi? Do we expect additional government subsidies to bail them out? Does SO have a fleet of coal fired generation plants that will be subject to early retirement thanks to the US EPA and the global warming crusade?

    Please do not accuse the SO of "botching" the gasification plant construction. The decision to build the first full sized coal gasification plant with carbon recapture had to have been a political decision. The extreme cost and the engineering challenge could easily have been recognized (and probably was) from the beginning. If there was any "botching" I would look at those who decided to build it, that would certainly include DOE and EPA as well as SO. I believe the company will survive the coal plant, too early to tell about the nukes.
    Oct 18 11:55 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
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