Energy Exchange

Satellite data confirms Permian gas flaring is double what companies report

A new analysis of satellite data reveals natural gas waste and pollution in the Texas Permian Basin is two times higher than what industry reports to the Texas Railroad Commission (RRC). In 2017 alone, Permian oil and gas operators burned enough gas to serve all the heating and cooking needs of the state’s seven largest cities. That’s roughly $322 million dollars of natural gas that went up in smoke.

Using National Oceanic and Atmospheric (NOAA) Earth Observation Group satellite data, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) analyzed flaring rates and volumes in the Permian for 2017. The results are eye-opening. The satellite data indicates Permian operators burned 104 billion cubic feet of natural gas—4.4 percent of all gas produced. However, industry only reported 55 billion cubic feet of gas burned to the RRC in that same year.

It gets worse. In the Delaware Basin portion of the Permian, which accounts for about half of all gas produced in the basin, satellite data shows operators burning almost eight percent of their gas. That means some individual operators are wasting even more.

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Posted in Natural Gas, Texas / Comments are closed

New study offers invaluable insights about how to engage utility customers on energy efficient behaviors

When given the choice, more people are choosing to use renewable energy and most are making an effort to be efficient in saving electricity. Increasingly, affordable technologies and the growing availability of smart meter data are making it easier for customers to make a range of unprecedented energy choices. The question is, are these innovations reaching all energy customers? Even the most environmentally conscientious or tech-savvy person needs some help in identifying the best opportunities and support to make these choices a better fit with their lifestyles and long-term goals.

New insights

Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative’s (SECC) newest research offers invaluable insights about making that relationship work. The study, Consumer Values: Moving the Needle on Engagement, reveals the needs and goals of the “selectively engaged” energy consumers, which according to the SECC, comprise about 40 of electricity consumers in the United States that are generally interested but only engage sporadically in energy related behavior. The study also delves into why customers adopt energy efficient technologies and behaviors in the long run and what barriers keep them from doing so, and offers solutions for energy providers and their partners to consider.

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Posted in Clean Energy / Tagged | Comments are closed

Dynegy wants to re-write the rules on pollution and pass the buck to its customers

For the last several years, Illinois’ largest coal-fired electricity generator has sought ways to saddle customers with the cost – and pollution – of propping up its old, dirty coal plants.

One of Dynegy’s tactics is to re-write pollution regulations and boost profits. At a public hearing next week, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and our partners will argue against the rule change and for cleaner, more affordable electricity.

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Posted in General / Read 4 Responses

New report highlights potential for energy storage in North Carolina

North Carolina recently took another key step in its push for a clean energy future with the publication of a long-awaited study on the opportunities, challenges and value of energy storage for the state. The report, which was mandated under the 2017 Competitive Energy Solutions Act (House Bill 589), is the culmination of a year-long research effort led by a multidisciplinary team of researchers from North Carolina State University in partnership with the North Carolina Policy Collaboratory.

The report finds that North Carolina is at a critical juncture in its clean energy future, with energy storage poised to play a key role. However, in order to develop market opportunities for storage and ensure its full benefits are realized, policymakers must take key steps to wisely accelerate the adoption of energy storage in North Carolina.

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Posted in Clean Energy, Energy Storage, North Carolina / Tagged | Comments are closed

Conservative Wyoming rises to the occasion as feds roll over on oil and gas pollution

Lost amid the wrapping paper this holiday season was a very important move in Wyoming to step up and better regulate air pollution from the state’s oil and gas wells. It was one more reason to pop some champagne corks as we rang in the New Year.

Without much fanfare on Dec. 27, Wyoming finalized new requirements that will mean significant reductions in oil and gas air pollution – including methane – statewide. These newly finalized rules require oil and gas producers to regularly check new and modified oil and gas wells and associated infrastructure for leaks, an improvement that EDF and partners like the Wyoming Outdoor Council have been advocating for several years.

And beyond the holidays, the timing of this move could not be better. That is because while Wyoming is requiring twice-yearly leak inspections at new and modified well sites statewide, the Trump administration’s EPA is working to significantly weaken these same leak inspection requirements at the federal level.

The message here is clear: sensible requirements to regularly find and fix leaks make sense in conservative Wyoming, and they should all across the U.S.

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Posted in Air Quality, Methane, Natural Gas, Wyoming / Comments are closed

Without the right policies, energy storage could increase emissions

In December, the six major Independent Systems Operators (ISO’s) across the country filed their plans for creating new market rules and opportunities for energy storage. While the rules will take at least a year to go into effect and the plans are just an initial step, a recent study suggests that this effort may add up to 50,000 megawatts (MW) of storage nationwide in the next decade.

At the same time, many states – like California, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York – are recognizing the potential value of energy storage and are starting to integrate it as a key component of their plans to meet climate and renewable energy goals.

Combined with falling capital costs, these trends suggest a lot of new energy storage in the pipeline. This presents both opportunities and challenges for states looking to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

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Posted in Clean Energy, Energy Storage, Renewable Energy / Tagged , | Comments are closed