Natural Gas NOW Picks of the Week – November 3, 2018

natural gas now - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

Natural Gas NOW readers pass along a lot of stuff every week about natural gas, fractivist antics, emissions, renewables, and other news relating to energy. As usual, emphasis is added.

Europeans Waking Up to Value of CNG? carries this fascinating little story:

What is the fuel cost of driving from Barcelona to Paris? Antonio Calvo, Head of Sustainable Mobility at Spanish car manufacturer SEAT, gets behind the wheel of a SEAT Leon 1.5 TGI to take on the more than 620 mile drive and calculate how much it costs to get there.

The catch? Calvo is attempting the trip in a gas powered car to evaluate consumption and cost. Compressed natural gas (CNG) is methane stored at high pressure and a fuel which can be used in place of gasoline, diesel fuel and propane/LPG. CNG costs about 50% less than gasoline and emits up to 90% fewer emissions than gasoline

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Upon arrival at the Champs-Élysées, the head of Sustainable Mobility makes his final assessment of the trip: “I covered a total distance of 670 miles and spent only $50, which amounts to an average of 8 pounds of gas for every 62 miles. The cost savings is certainly one of the many advantages of CNG. In fact, if I had made the same trip with a petrol powered car it would have cost me 50% more; and 30% more if it had been a diesel,” he concludes. Compressed natural gas cars are a growing trend, with more than 1.3 million CNG vehicles to be found on European roads, mostly in Italy.

Will politically correct Americans who think we should take our leads from Europe will now see the advantages of CNG? The Eiffel Tower looks a bit like a drilling rig, don’t you think?

And, California, Too?

It’s not only Europe’s eyes that are being opened to the benefit of CNG in lowering emissions:

The California Air Resources Board (CARB), the state’s lead agency on climate change programs, will consider a $483 million funding plan for clean transportation incentives, including natural gas heavy duty engine technologies…

NGVAmerica President Daniel Gage emphasized that “we have a product that was recently recertified in 2018 [CARB and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency], so our product is ready right now.”

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NGVAmerica Truck Example

…Gage cites the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit District as a major transit operator that has tried different alternatives, but more recently has decided to focus on converting its fleet to natural gas. Another metropolitan transit system in Albuquerque, NM, decided a few years ago to go all-electric only to decide that wasn’t working and is now using biofuel and natural gas.

Gas actually gets the job done; isn’t that exactly what we’ve been saying for a long time?

And, Even Bangladesh!

Natural gas isn’t just for snobby Europeans or trendy Californians, though. Poor nations such as Bangladesh are also getting more energy, more efficient energy and cleaner energy from natural gas:

Like many rapidly developing countries, Bangladesh needs more reliable and affordable electricity to power its growth. That’s why the South Asian country is racing to massively increase its power-generation capacity, adding 11,600 megawatts to reach 24,000 megawatts by 2021, according to the Bangladesh Power Development Board.

GE is now giving that plan a boost. The company, which already has 37 turbines in the country capable of generating 2,200 megawatts, said it would develop a new 600-megawatt combined-cycle power plant near Dhaka, the Bangladeshi capital. The plant will use GE Power’s 9HA gas turbine as well as a steam turbine and a generator to produce electricity. When it comes online in 2021, the power station will generate enough electricity to supply the equivalent of 700,000 local homes…

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Dhaka, Bangladesh

GE deployed the first HA turbine in 2016. As the most advanced gas turbines in GE’s portfolio, the machines are already powering the world’s most efficient combined-cycle power plants. A European plant achieved a 62.22 percent combined-cycle net efficiency in 2016, a feat that earned a world record. A different plant in Japan scored a 63.08 percent combined-cycle gross efficiency earlier this year.

The efficiency of this proposed plant, at 62-63%, dwarfs solar and wind, of course, which are more often less than half as efficient. This is why natural gas is winning everywhere in the world. No amount of politically correct preaching about “clean energy” and no amount of foolish subsidies can change the facts; natural gas is the best energy bargain whether you’re measuring in dollars or clean air.

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One thought on “Natural Gas NOW Picks of the Week – November 3, 2018

  1. Quick note on efficiency/utilization/capacity factors of various power generators.

    Utilization is the amount of time a plant is actually used within a timeframe (24 hour day in service is 100% utilization.
    6 hours in service/day … 25% utilization, etc).

    Capacity factor is the amount of electricity ACTUALLY produced versus its 100% utilization at 100% potential.
    Example … 6 Megawatt turbine CAN (theoretically) produce 144 Megawatt hours in a day if it operated all day at 100% efficiency. (Real World numbers are actually at 30% of nameplate capacity, 48 Megawatt hours in this example).

    The efficiency metric is the percentage of electrical output versus the total energy content of the input of the fuel.
    This is a somewhat esoteric principal whose main importance is showing the high “bang for the buck” that modern CCGT plants have over competitors, aka, highly efficient electrical generation.

    Of particular note, ALL wind farm promoters tout the NAMEPLATE capacity of their junk, where Real World perspective is 30% of that, delivered both intermittently and unreliably.

    Hands down, natgas fueled CCGT plants will overwhelm all competitors in the US in generating electricity reliably and economically.

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