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Power United States

No Fossil Fuel-Based Generation Was Added To US Grid Last Month (arstechnica.com) 123

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: In the U.S., two types of electricity generation are on the rise: natural gas and renewables. If one of those is set to make a bigger mark than the other this year, it's natural gas: in 2018, natural gas-burning capacity is expected to outpace renewable capacity for the first time in five years, according to data from the Energy Information Agency. Although natural gas additions are expected to overtake renewable energy additions in 2018, forecasts for renewable energy additions to the grid roughly match what we saw in 2017. Natural gas is overtaking renewables not because renewable energy adoption is slowing, but more because natural gas facilities are seeing a considerable boom.

In fact, barring any changes in the EIA numbers, natural gas, wind, and solar generation are the only electricity generation sources that will be added to the U.S. grid in any consequential manner in 2018. Battery, hydroelectric, and biomass facilities make up the small percentage of "other" sources that are expected to come online this year. Renewable energy also started off the year strong. According to the EIA, "in February 2018, for the first time in decades, all of the new generating capacity coming online within a month were non-fossil-fueled. Of the 475 MW of capacity that came online in February, 81 percent was wind, 16 percent was solar photovoltaic, and the remaining 3 percent was hydro and biomass."

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No Fossil Fuel-Based Generation Was Added To US Grid Last Month

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  • And it will be for crypto mining.
  • What? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 110010001000 ( 697113 ) on Sunday May 20, 2018 @10:36AM (#56642566) Homepage Journal
    Natural Gas is a fossil fuel. Who writes this stuff?
    • Hey, my gas is natural, and I'm not a fossil yet! Now get off my lawn. But before you go, pass the beans... [youtube.com]
    • Re:What? (Score:5, Funny)

      by burtosis ( 1124179 ) on Sunday May 20, 2018 @10:53AM (#56642622)

      Natural Gas is a fossil fuel. Who writes this stuff?

      Yea, but it's natural and everything natural is good for you right? Good thing we have those 30% tariffs on solar panels, they are so full of artificial chemicals that they are the cheapest power around but it just isn't worth the risk to the environment. /s

      • Re:What? (Score:4, Informative)

        by PolygamousRanchKid ( 1290638 ) on Sunday May 20, 2018 @11:04AM (#56642668)

        Yea, but it's natural and everything natural is good for you right?

        Well, the author of the article seems to think that natural means that it is organic and vegan, and you can buy it at a higher price at Whole Foods, compared with conventional gas.

        Score one for PETG . . . People for the Ethical Treatment of Gas.

        The whole article raves about natural gas . . . but then claims that no fossil fuel based energy was added to a the grid.

        I had to face-palm myself so hard that I nearly knocked myself out!

        • Re:What? (Score:5, Informative)

          by religionofpeas ( 4511805 ) on Sunday May 20, 2018 @11:16AM (#56642712)

          The whole article raves about natural gas . . . but then claims that no fossil fuel based energy was added to a the grid.

          Yeah, it's very poorly written article. There are a number of separate things: 1) no gas plants were added in the month of February. 2) other gas plants will be added in the entire year of 2018. 3) no coal/nuke plants are being added.

    • Re:What? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Halo1 ( 136547 ) on Sunday May 20, 2018 @10:56AM (#56642632)

      It's in the last two sentences of the summary:

      According to the EIA, "in February 2018, for the first time in decades, all of the new generating capacity coming online within a month were non-fossil-fueled. Of the 475 MW of capacity that came online in February, 81 percent was wind, 16 percent was solar photovoltaic, and the remaining 3 percent was hydro and biomass.

      Granted, the "Last Month" is wrong. It was three months ago.

    • That part of TFS stuck out to me like it was bolded.

      I kept looking for a clarification.

      One idiot said, "Hey ... it's 'natural.' "

      Goddam.

    • by Sique ( 173459 )
      Natural gas is not necessarily fossil. Swamp gas for instance is Natural gas, but not fossil.
      • by tepples ( 727027 )

        What fraction of natural gas used for electric generation comes from swamp gas or other renewable sources?

        • What fraction of natural gas used for electric generation comes from swamp gas or other renewable sources?

          Somewhere between jack, and shit [eia.gov]: literally 11 billion kWh from landfill gas, and 1,273 billion kWh from natgas. I'm sure you knew that, but it's gratifying to be able to find the figures.

      • by e3m4n ( 947977 )

        i think fossil fuel is a name being used as a placeholder for hydrocarbons.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 20, 2018 @11:09AM (#56642692)

    Obama's war on Coal, especially Clean Coal, ended so all the Coal Miners should have gone back to work, and mined Coal, which is America's number one best product.

    As we all know, the sun does not work, it is only shining half the day at best, and wind can't work, the air is far too small, you can't even see it. And besides, Obama was behind it, and we all know that Obama was a Kenyan and Kenya is home to Chewbacca, and Chewbacca hates America. That is why he kept us from building our nuclear waste storage site on Tattoonine. Even though nobody except a bunch of fat, welfare moms lives there.

    In conclusion, this report is wrong. Trump's America is now coal and nuclear powered, and it is the biggest and best.

    • Obama's war on Coal, especially Clean Coal, ended so all the Coal Miners should have gone back to work, and mined Coal, which is America's number one best product.

      Wars tend to leave countries and economies in ruin and it takes a long time to bring them back.

      As we all know, the sun does not work, it is only shining half the day at best, and wind can't work, the air is far too small, you can't even see it.

      You're thinking like an environmentalist.

  • I'm surprised that there aren't tons of coal burning plants being built or brought back online. /s

    Most of the coal burning plants around here have already been torn down, or replaced by a much smaller scale/footprint natural gas generating plants.

    There is a push for solar, and wind farms, I'd like to see more emphasis on storage.

  • If you're adding more natural gas generation you're adding more fossil fuel generation.
    • How about reading all the way to the bottom of the summary...

      According to the EIA, "in February 2018, for the first time in decades, all of the new generating capacity coming online within a month were non-fossil-fueled. Of the 475 MW of capacity that came online in February, 81 percent was wind, 16 percent was solar photovoltaic, and the remaining 3 percent was hydro and biomass."

  • battery (Score:4, Insightful)

    by markdavis ( 642305 ) on Sunday May 20, 2018 @01:15PM (#56643140)

    >"Battery, hydroelectric, and biomass facilities make up the small percentage of "other" sources "

    Sorry, but "battery" is not a "source" of electricity, it is just a storage of one.

    >"Of the 475 MW of capacity that came online in February, 81 percent was wind, 16 percent was solar photovoltaic, and the remaining 3 percent was hydro and biomass."

    Kewl! Reduction of fossil fuel usage is great for everyone, regardless of ideology or party. Energy independence, sustainability, and long-term cost control (because it doesn't "run out") are vitally important to security, peace, and the economy. Everything else is icing on an already delicious cake :)

    • Sorry, but "battery" is not a "source" of electricity, it is just a storage of one.

      When it's providing energy, it's a source.

      • >"When it's providing energy, it's a source."

        And when you are charging it, it is a drain. What, will we just charge it with other batteries? I don't think that will help with actual sources of power.

        Listing "battery" as a power "source" when comparing to fossil fuels, nuclear, biomass, wind, solar, geothermal, hydro, makes no sense at all. If it is being listed as ways to improve power distribution, reliability, or even help cut costs, then great- but that is not what the summary says.

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