Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted September 29, 2021
Europe’s ongoing energy crisis (noted recently here) should give pause to U.S. policymakers who’re leading a head-long rush to a near future in which Americans’ daily lives and the U.S. economy will be virtually dependent on intermittent energy sources such as wind and solar.
We’ve made the case that dropping natural gas and oil from the U.S. energy portfolio, heavily relying on come-and-go energies, is unwise, bordering on foolishness. It’s disconnected from reality, a reality that’s playing out right now in Europe.
Posted September 15, 2021
We’ve long made the point that natural gas is the essential partner for the growth of wind and solar energy (see here, here and here). You simply must have a partnering energy source, in sufficient quantity, to fuel power generation and maintain reliability when the wind doesn’t blow and/or the sun doesn’t shine.
Just ask Europe and California. Both are experiencing conditions that make this case.
The two also underscore the flaw in policy proposals that exclude natural gas from the future energy mix – as does the Clean Electricity Performance Program (CEPP) now being debated in Congress.
Posted September 9, 2019
One of the things I do often on behalf of API is to speak publicly across the United States, emphasizing how the energy revolution has continued to benefit consumers. On the topic of natural gas and electricity generation, a common thread has emerged: Natural gas has generally led to lower energy-related carbon dioxide emissions and lower electricity prices across the nation.
To those who follow the industry, this may be no surprise given that clean natural gas has supplanted coal as the leading energy source for generating electricity in the U.S. Part of this is natural gas’ competitiveness in the marketplace. Thanks in part to the shale revolution, real natural gas prices at Henry Hub decreased 37% between 2010 and 2018 – and as of August 2019 were down by another 15.6% y/y.
Posted August 17, 2017
In 2017, it would be hard to find very many people who don’t know about Monday’s big solar outage. Here’s hoping everyone safely enjoys the eclipse in all its wonder – while also absorbing what this dramatic sun interruption teaches about the need for reliable energy in our daily lives. And that lesson is that natural gas is the every-day essential partner – partner, not backup – to intermittent energy sources like solar because, as will be underscored on Eclipse Monday, the sun doesn’t always shine.
Posted September 12, 2016
Last month we noted new research showing that because the sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow, the use of renewables by utilities in generating electricity needs a big assist from natural gas. We also pointed out how a rise in electricity generation from renewables this year has been accompanied by record-setting use of natural gas in the power sector. There’s an essential relationship between the two – one that fits with our view that an all-of-the-above approach is the best way to ensure the U.S. economy and American households are well-supplied with energy. A new analysis from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows how this is working in California, a big state with big electricity needs.
Posted July 9, 2015
So, Facebook has posted an announcement that its newest data center near Fort Worth will be 100 percent powered by a wind farm that’s being built near Wichita Falls, Texas. Of the wind farm Facebook says:
Construction on the project is already under way on a 17,000-acre site in Clay County, just 90 miles from the data center, and we expect it to begin delivering clean energy to the grid by 2016. 200 MW is more energy than we will need for the foreseeable future, and we're proud to have played a role in bringing this project to Texas.
No question, this is a good example of one way that big wind figures into an all-of-the-above approach to energy – one in which America ensures its energy security into the future by harnessing all available energy sources.
Posted March 26, 2015
Posted January 29, 2015
Offshore energy is getting lots of attention this week, which is good. Offshore energy is vital to America’s economy and energy security.
This week the Interior Department proposed the first draft of its next five-year program for offshore oil and natural gas leasing, in the 2017-2020 timeframe. While the draft plan doesn’t go far enough, it could include the first Atlantic lease sale in decades, and that would be a positive step. Meanwhile, on Thursday the federal government is scheduled to hold a lease sale for offshore wind in the Atlantic.
All of the above …
That’s more than a rhetorical flourish. America will need energy from all available sources in the future – thus the case for a genuine all-of-the-above strategy. We hope this week’s wind sale is successful.
Energy isn’t a zero-sum game, and neither is energy job creation. Offshore energy development of any kind can generate jobs and raise significant revenue for government. The country benefits and so do individual Americans – you know, folks holding the middle-class jobs everyone wants to support.
Jane Van Ryan
Posted April 8, 2011
Posted March 25, 2011