Posts Tagged ‘Energy Information Administration’

Subsidies for electricity production in the US show that renewables are far from commercialisation

November 23, 2011

Data for 2010 is now available from the US Energy Information Administration.  Solar and Wind power are still a long way from being commercial with just direct subsidies being equivalent to 7.8 and 5.6 cents/kWh respectively. Indirect subsidies and increased costs for alternate capacity are not included.

My view of subsidies in power generation is that they are usually counter productive and provide windfalls for developers and constructors but rarely lead to benefits for the consumers of electricity.

Factors Affecting Electricity Prices:

The average retail price of electricity in the United States in 2010 was 9.88 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). The average prices by type of utility customer were:

  • Residential: 11.6¢ per kWh
  • Transportation: 11.0¢ per kWh
  • Commercial: 10.3¢ per kWh
  • Industrial: 6.8¢ per kWh

(more…)

The coming gas glut: Shale gas gets going in Poland

September 19, 2011

An estimate of the world’s recoverable shale gas reserves in 32 countries is as at least as much again as the world’s proven natural gas reserves as of 2010. This does not include large parts of Africa and Russia, the Middle East and SE Asia. It does not include known resources within the 32 countries but which have not yet been assessed. Fears of any kind of “peak” gas scenario being attained are rapidly disappearing into the future.

US EIA: The initial estimate of technically recoverable shale gas resources in the 32 countries examined is 5,760 trillion cubic feet. Adding the U.S. estimate of the shale gas technically recoverable resources of 862 trillion cubic feet results in a total shale resource base estimate of 6,622 trillion cubic feet for the United States and the other 32 countries assessed. To put this shale gas resource estimate in some perspective, world proven reserves of natural gas as of January 1, 2010 are about 6,609 trillion cubic feet, and world technically recoverable gas resources are roughly 16,000 trillion cubic feet, largely excluding shale gas. Thus, adding the identified shale gas resources to other gas resources increases total world technically recoverable gas resources by over 40 percent to 22,600 trillion cubic feet.

Outside of the US the recovery of shale gas is being planned in many countries. In Europe the rush to recover and use shale gas is being led by Poland which has been dependant upon its own coal and on Russian gas. The shale is not very deep down and is mainly in thinly populated areas. And now the recovery has started and commercial production should start within 10 – 20 months.

Shale gas is abundant in Poland: map via Wikipedia

Wall Street Journal: Shale gas is burning in Poland after gas firm PGNiG SA torched a flare on one of its rigs. Poland wants to become one of the major players in the European gas market within the next two decades, with the state-controlled natural gas firm starting commercial production in 2014.

PGNiG has begun technical production of natural gas from its shale gas concession in Lubocino, a village in northern Poland, and plans successive drilling as the company hopes to tap the country’s potentially vast unconventional hydrocarbon reserves.

Outside the U.S., Poland is the first country where companies are making a serious effort to develop shale gas, which Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has called the country’s “great chance,” as it could reduce Poland’s dependence on Russia for gas, create tens of thousands of jobs and fill state coffers.

PGNiG now plans to drill horizontally and conduct further fracturing procedures on this concession, which may be completed in 10-20 months and will enable commercial extraction. …….

Prime Minister Tusk Sunday said he was “moderately optimistic” commercial shale gas production would begin in 2014, which would by 2035 free it from its overreliance on Russia’s OAO Gazprom for natural gas supplies and allow it to be a major player in Europe’s gas.

“After years of dependence on our large neighbor, today we can say that my generation will see the day when we will be independent in the area of natural gas and we will be setting terms,” Mr. Tusk said. Poland’s domestically produced shale gas should be competitively priced compared to gas imported from Russia, a government official said earlier. Exploration in Poland won’t pose a danger to the environment, he added.

China and India have not yet even fully mapped all the shale gas reserves they have but plans for commercial gas production from the reserves already known to exist are being prepared. With the slow-down expected in building nuclear plant the gas “glut” comes just in time for the gas based power production that will be needed when the economic recovery is established. Moreover all intermittent, subsidised renewable energy (solar and wind) need capacity back-up and the only viable option is gas based power plants.


%d bloggers like this: