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Project manager with 47 years in Oil and Gas EPC
Interests: Climate, paleontology, cosmology,
Recent Activity
Yes, the CO2 sequestration at the well head seems to be a diversion of attention. Burning 3m tonnes of CH3OH derived from methane will produce over 4m tonnes CO2 that is fossil fuel derived and not sequestered. Of course it could be used for chemical production ( to e.g. vinyl acetate via acetic acid) rather than burned.
This implies that active measures will be required to retire automotive "stranded assets" - could be cash for ICE clunkers or punitive gasoline taxes, BAU economics won't get us there.
Natural gas is super cheap at present, and about 1/10th the cost of grid power per Joule. Even if the surplus power to be used by this process is zero cost I would question the economics. Just maybe a negative value for the captured CO2 would balance the books, but I am not holding my breath.
These numbers look pretty strange from a Canadian POV. I have two Golfs, one electric one diesel. Insurance and tax are the same, maintenance is way down on the e-Golf. Admittedly our petrol costs are nearly double, but amortisation of lower ICE car initial cost is the only advantage they have, and the VW ID4 looks like making a big dent in that.
Makes no sense to me. My 2018 e-Golf cost $45k CAD or EUR 29k. My 2004 Golf TDI does up to 1100km range on highways. So much for the "very high combined ranges" and price of the new PHEVs.
Since it is extracting CO2 from ambient air, intermittency is not an issue. However efficiency is, the method is just competing with H2 generation, batteries, pumped hydro etc. Not removing any CO2 overall, since it just goes back where it came from when the hydrocarbon product is burned.
Why on earth burn H2 in an engine rather than using a fuel cell - should be much higher efficiency?
Same maintenance cost for Corolla and Leaf?
Never mind the arguments about carbon uptake by bio-fuel organismss, the problem is fossil fuel consumption in harvesting and processing them.
Something missing from this discussion is the issue of the lifetime of capital assets. Cars last on average 24 years, power plants 50 plus. But we are comparing the impact of new cars (24 years life left) with ageing coal power plants at the end of their useful life. I.E. the cars will outlast the coal plants, and still be there to run on renewables in the not too distant (we hope) future.
The scary thing is that this is the first sign of a burgeoning "hydrogen economy" a mere 20-25 years after such a thing was all the rage. This kind of development cycle does not bode well for the achieving of 2050 decarbonisation targets (which are all too unambitious anyway)
Demonstrating that it can be done is one thing, making it economically viable is much more difficult.
Harvey I read it as being manufacture of the stations. H2 would be generated, presumably, from electric power at the final location of the generator. CJY
It is ironical that they are using renewable energy to produce gas guzzling SUVs and light trucks. Highlights the lack of action on the demand side of the equation. Roll on those carbon taxes.
PSA separation of H2 from CO and CO2 is actually part of the SMR (steam methane reformer) technology for industrial production of H2. Should work fine for CH4 and H2 separation. Gaseous O2 is used in massive quantities for everything from medical applications to steel making.
Harvey Judging by the success of the wars on drugs, terror, poverty etc etc ,the last thing we want is a (US led no doubt) war on GHG. Not to say that putting the world on a war footing would not be great, just the political optics are terrible.
So it all depends on the local (national) policies governing net metering or feed-in rates. Here in Canada I get 400 kWh in August from my 3kW panels, and all of 50 kWh in December, so forget going off the grid. Fixed transmission charges of around $50/month are therefore a fact of life, even if netmetering gets me a small annual credit for excess power. Makes me wonder how long before governments wake up to the huge disparities between consumer incentives in this industry. Would be nice.
Thanks for bringing up Stanley Jevons, so misunderstood by most conservationists these days. The cycle is driven by high prices leading to increased efficiency. Then that leads to more (not less) consumption, driving up prices and here we go again. Bottom line is that not much will change until we get some international support (agreement would be too much to ask for) for carbon taxes, which needs the thorny issue of carbon content of imports to be addressed effectively.
Maybe non-battery based regenerative systems will get some traction now in the US. I am waiting for the moment of disillusion with battery based transport when all those initial generation battery based systems start degrading drastically.
Good discussion, but I do not see any mention of the problems Germany has been having with the "excess" renewable power. So much so that spot market rates went negative, i.e. generating companies were having to pay others to take their power rather than dial down generation. I like the concept of trying to solve two problems (disposal of CCS CO2 and variable renewable power) at once, but suspect the economics won't work overall - per comments above about capital cost and utilisation factor. Negative spot market rates are pretty intermittent after all.
Herman As a long time PM in Canadian downstream (mainly) and upstream projects, suffering the blame for missed budgets and schedules, I would list the following a). Owner pressure to get price and ROI into line to meet hurdle rates for investment in a particular project (as opposed to all the other opportunities being evaluated for limited CAPEX) b). Perennial shortages of engineering, project management and craft labour (particularly in Western Canada). c). Rush to get to market when oil prices signal “go”. All the projects attempt to go at once, leading to (b) above. d). Mismanagement of contractors (as identified by EY in the article). Too many owners try to act as managing contractor, micromanaging the EPC firms they hire. CJY
@HarveyD I was interested in the various values for NA and Venezuelan crudes rather than Saudi light, in view of all the rhetoric being generated by US opponents of tar sands. As you point out other heavy crudes are as bad. The article was not clear on methodology, i.e. how much of the energy input was accounted for (NG use in tar sands, power for pumped wells etc). Sooner we can phase them all out the better, but the SUV driving anti-nuke crowd will delay that as long as possible.
Fascinating and weird. What is the magic number 11.39 g/MJ (see numerous apparently unrelated table entries)? Interesting to see what tar sand opponents make of this (if they fail to succeed in suppressing it).
Mr Steinberg's approach is eminently sensible. Cap and trade does not make sense, look at the EU experience. If it were not for the US Republican hysteria over "no new taxes" a significant increase in federal fuel tax would be the best solution all round. Earned income credit addresses the inequality issue that is going to bite the US sooner or later, much fairer than various government hand outs. (Get your tin hat here).
Fascinating studies, but I would imagine commercialisation would be at least 10-15 years out for the ones that actually make it. However the fact that seed money for R&D is being spread around is encouraging.