Tag Archives: decarbonised

Energy Doublethink Update April 14, 2023

From Science Matters

By Ron Clutz

First from the Zero Carbon zealots at Resilience Record clean-power growth in 2023 to spark ‘new era’ of fossil fuel decline.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

The power sector is about to enter a “new era of falling fossil generation” as coal, oil and gas are pushed out of the grid by a record expansion of wind and solar power, according to new analysis by climate thinktank Ember.

Wind and solar power reached a record 12% of global electricity generation last year, according to Ember’s global electricity review 2023. This drove up the overall share of low-carbon electricity to almost 40% of total generation.

With even faster growth set to continue this year, Ember says 2022 is likely to mark a “turning point” when global fossil fuel electricity generation peaked and began to fall.

The thinktank forecasts that, by the end of 2023, more than 100% of the growth in electricity demand will be covered by low-carbon sources.

Experts broadly agree that global electricity generation needs to be completely decarbonised by 2040 if the world is to stay on track for its climate targets.

OTOH we have:

This month a 2023 US Energy Outlook from EIA (Energy Information Agency).  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Our projected growth in associated natural gas production is mainly driven by three trends:

♦  Rising oil prices support increased production from unconventional oil formations with significant natural gas volumes.
♦  Many unconventional oil wells are aging, and as these wells age, they tend to produce a higher ratio of natural gas relative to oil.
♦  Associated natural gas resources are becoming more economical, driven in part by provisions in the IRA, which creates penalties for venting and flaring methane and encourages producers to capture more natural gas from oil formations.

We project that associated natural gas production will increase from 7.2 Tcf in 2025 to 8.8 Tcf in the United States by 2050 in the AEO2023 Reference case. In the AEO2023 High Oil Price case, associated natural gas production peaks at 13.6 Tcf in 2035, accounting for 30% of the total domestic natural gas supply. By contrast, in the AEO2023 Low Oil Price case, associated natural gas production falls to 4.2 Tcf by 2050.

Strong continuing international demand for petroleum and other liquids will sustain U.S. production above 2022 levels through 2050, according to most of the cases we examined in our Annual Energy Outlook 2023 (AEO2023). We project that the United States will continue to be an integral part of global oil markets and a significant source of supply in these cases, as increased exports of finished products support U.S. production.

In our AEO2023, we explore long-term energy trends in the United States and present an outlook for energy markets through 2050. We use different scenarios, or cases, to understand how varying assumptions about the future could affect energy trends. These cases include:

  • The Reference case, which serves as a baseline, or benchmark, case. It reflects laws and regulations adopted through mid-November 2022 but assumes no new laws or regulations in the future. It also assumes the Brent crude oil price reaches $101 per barrel (b) (in 2022 dollars) by 2050.
  • The High Oil and Gas Supply case, which assumes 50% more ultimate recovery per well for tight oil, tight gas, or shale gas in the United States compared with the Reference case. It also assumes 50% more undiscovered U.S. oil and natural gas resources and 50% more effective technological improvements than in the Reference case.
  • The Low Oil and Gas Supply case, which assumes 50% less ultimate recovery per well and undiscovered sources, and 50% more effective technological advancement than the Reference case.
  • The High Oil Price case, which assumes the price of Brent crude oil reaches $190/b (in 2022 dollars) by 2050.
  • The Low Oil Price case, which assumes the price of Brent crude oil reaches $51/b (in 2022 dollars) by 2050.

Although domestic consumption of petroleum and other liquids does not increase through 2040 across most cases, production of U.S. petroleum and other liquids remains high because of more exports of finished products. In the High Oil Price case, increased production leads to the most U.S. exports among all cases over the projection period at 9.13 million barrels per day (b/d) by 2050, more than double the 3.9 million b/d exported in 2022. The Low Oil Price case shows the opposite trend with the least 2050 export volumes of 407,000 b/d, nearly 90% less than 2022 exports.

Electric Power Outlook

The figure above illustrates the relationship between installed capacity (left panel) and electricity generation (right panel). Because wind, solar, and nuclear have the lowest operating costs, their electricity generation over time mirrors their trend in installed capacity: slightly declining for nuclear, and increasing for wind and solar. By contrast, natural gas and coal have higher operating costs, and so their generation can vary over time depending on demand levels and the relative operating cost of other technologies.

In our March Short-Term Energy Outlook, we forecast the wind share of the U.S. generation mix will increase from 11% last year to 12% this year. We forecast that the solar share will grow to 5% in 2023, up from 4% last year. The natural gas share of generation is forecast to remain unchanged from last year (39%); the coal share of generation is forecast to decline from 20% last year to 17% in 2023.

The electric power sector includes electric utilities and independent power producers. It does not include generators in the industrial, commercial, or residential sectors, such as rooftop solar panels installed on homes or businesses or some combined-heat-and-power systems.


The statement above concerning capacity and operating costs is simplistic, and could be misleading.  EIA actually has a more realistic method of comparing power sources.  Example below:

EIA has developed a dual assessment of power plants using both Levelized Cost and Levelized Avoided Costs of Electricity power provision. The first metric estimates output costs from building and operating power plants, and the second estimates the value of the electricity to the grid.

More detailed discussion here: