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Green Energy May Yet Survive Poison of Cheap Gas

Slate -- The cheapest natural gas price for a decade is a boon for American homeowners. At less than $2 per million British thermal units, though, it looks toxic for its already troubled rival, the solar energy sector. But gas isn’t close to chocking the life out of it just yet.

There’s certainly enough bad news to go round. Energy bigwigs at a conference this week identified the rock-bottom gas price as the biggest short-term obstacle to developing greener fuel sources. As if to underline the point, the benchmark gas price dipped to its lowest level since January 2002 as they were talking. Meanwhile, solar plant developer BrightSource Energy pulled its initial public offering on Wednesday, citing poor market conditions. On top of last year’s controversial bankruptcy of Solyndra and the 85


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Submitted Apr 14, 2012 By: angel4me
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jrs4125
Champion Author Indiana

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Message Posted: Apr 16, 2012 7:01:41 AM

ok
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PDQBlues
Champion Author San Diego

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 10:08:04 PM

Ahking: The genie's out of the bottle. Green energy will continue maybe with some hiccups but will continue.

You're far more optimistic then I. As soon as green energy technology begins to make headway, the price of gas will drop and green energy will be yesterday's news. This is a cycle that has been repeated since the late 1970s.
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Ahking
Champion Author Orange County

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 8:18:08 PM

The genie's out of the bottle. Green energy will continue maybe with some hiccups but will continue.
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TripleHs
Champion Author Austin

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 7:39:08 PM

funny, green becomes such a popular word
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36_ACRES_4_SALE
All-Star Author Appleton

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 6:23:05 PM

blame it on obama
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drpepperTX
Champion Author Texas

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 4:47:41 PM

"The cheapest natural gas price for a decade is a boon for American homeowners."

Yeah, the first line kinda gives it away.
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SycamoreISU
Champion Author Indiana

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 4:36:25 PM

I agree with Johntxx that they are likely talking about natural gas, not gasoline.
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Tehbob
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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 4:33:55 PM

hmmm
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md11capt
Champion Author Denver

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 4:04:58 PM

Chocking the life...??!!
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johntxx
Champion Author Texas

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 3:41:58 PM

northeast2,

I believe that his article was talking about natural gas, not oil. In the US, oil is 3.3% of our mix of producing electricity, as evidenced in the chart Fuel Mix for U.S. Electricity Generation.

As for natural gas:

“We estimate that the national inventory of gas reserves is approximately 300 trillion cubic feet,” said Dave McCurdy, president and CEO of AGA. “This ‘on-the-shelf’ inventory is the foundation along with growing national resource estimates that may point to as much as a 100 year natural gas supply in America. This abundance is helping to reduce prices and increase stability for our customers and also ensuring that that natural gas is America’s domestic, clean foundation fuel for now and into the future.”

I think 100 years is a good start.



[Edited by: johntxx at 4/14/2012 4:45:48 PM EST]
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Venzadriver
Champion Author Florida

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 3:28:01 PM

You call THIS cheap gas? I don't think so!
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kag2010
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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 3:25:17 PM

Ok
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ktbaeohana
Champion Author Las Vegas

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 3:25:01 PM

Watch and see.
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joseph000
Champion Author Houston

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 2:39:35 PM

The religious beliefs of market based economics is a recipe for societal suicide, the fact no fossil fuel's price fully reflects all it's costs, most notably pollution, destruction of water tables, etc.
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northeast2
Champion Author New York

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 2:34:21 PM

johntxx "The article fails to mention one of solars biggest disadvantages, we only have 12 hours of daylight per day."

Does it mention that one of oil's biggest disadvantages is that our consumption of it far outstrips domestic supplies and reserves?
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TableTalk
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 2:06:51 PM

It will survive only if the market allows it and/or the Gov't messes up the market and subsides, mandates, etc.
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gizbo123
Champion Author Los Angeles

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 12:55:56 PM

Gov will see to it the nat gas price will go up.
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OHMS
Champion Author Orange County

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 12:33:41 PM

""But gas isn’t close to chocking the life out of it just yet. "" SPELL CHEKKER choked up?
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BUSMAN1105
Champion Author Atlanta

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 11:19:16 AM

WE NEED GREEN ENERGY ALSO UNTIL WE MAKE OMPLETE CHANGE OVER.
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EricBrazil
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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 11:18:18 AM

Ahead of its time still.
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johntxx
Champion Author Texas

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 11:08:06 AM

The article fails to mention one of solars biggest disadvantages, we only have 12 hours of daylight per day. So unless large scale energy storage evolves along with solar becoming cost competitive (w/o subsidies), solar will never provide a reliable 24/7 energy source.
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dgerst
Champion Author South Carolina

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 11:06:21 AM

Natural gas is just a lower emission fossil fuel stepping stone to clean energy.
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jimgraham
Champion Author Akron

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 10:55:18 AM

The headline may well be correct. We really have no idea of what poisons are being introduced with the fracking processes.
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MN1
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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 10:53:06 AM

Ok
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PatAZ
Champion Author Tucson

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 10:30:09 AM

Even the headline is stupid.
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savannahoaks
Champion Author Rockford

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 10:28:44 AM

Green energy has no future without subsidies, cheap gas or not.
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Nicoalbum
Champion Author Ottawa

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 10:26:08 AM

The cheapest natural gas will never be cheap. Everyone wants to rip profits.
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Rehorsehay
All-Star Author California

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 10:22:16 AM

Well see!
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drpepperTX
Champion Author Texas

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 10:16:13 AM

Good question dhdiesel.
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dhdiesel
Veteran Author Riverside

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 10:08:11 AM

And what about "clean" hydrogen fuel, drpepperTX? Not much talk about that anymore. Makes one wonder why all the emphasis on old PV and wind technology. (Japan, Korea, China and the EU are "aggressively" investing in hydrogen cars with plans to commercialize them in 2015 but Obama invests our money in solar)? Oh wait, campaign kick-backs; I forgot...
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fedupMN
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 10:03:22 AM

Not according to my natural gas bill at home, rates just keep rising up, up and away....
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fracknsave
Champion Author Grand Rapids

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 10:03:05 AM

Poison? ROFLOLWTIME

Nothing political or bloggy about this opinion piece.
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200porter
Champion Author Toronto

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 10:02:09 AM

We'll see.
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drpepperTX
Champion Author Texas

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 10:00:54 AM

LMAO, need any further proof that the 'green' enthusiasts cannot tolerate an inexpensive hydrocarbon fuel source???
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gbs1
Champion Author Minnesota

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 9:49:53 AM

Keep the government out of the picture and the green projects will do fine as they have to survive on their own merits.
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mightyace
Champion Author Tennessee

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 9:49:39 AM

Only environmentalists would consider cheap natural gas a bad thing!
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dhdiesel
Veteran Author Riverside

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 9:43:58 AM

The Ivanpah solar plant in California requires 5.5 square miles to set up 392 megawatts worth of generating capacity. A natural gas plant in the same state can produce almost twice that on just 25 acres.

Discovery of the photovoltaic effect dates back to 1839. William J. Bailley invented the first solar collector in 1908, and Bell Labs scientists built the first solar cell able to power everyday electrical equipment in 1954.

A half century later, PV panels still can't compete, even after our govt threw billions of our tax money at it...

[Edited by: dhdiesel at 4/14/2012 10:46:07 AM EST]
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dave27johnson
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 9:41:51 AM

As the article states, "The wholesale price of panels halved last year, as have solar generation prices: a typical long-term contract in California, a sweet spot for the industry, has plummeted from about 17 cents per kilowatt hour in 2010 to as low as 8 cents, according to Green Tech Media. That brings some solar capacity within striking distance of natural gas at around 6 cents."

[Edited by: dave27johnson at 4/14/2012 10:42:30 AM EST]
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vtroger
Veteran Author Vermont

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Message Posted: Apr 14, 2012 9:15:49 AM

I'd switch to NG tomorrow if I could.
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