This is an update about Non-Emissions Technology (NET) regarding natural gas as an energy source. Gas is already the cleanest burning fossil fuel, and now power plants are being built which will in addition entirely eliminate CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. Mark Whittington has the story at Washington Examiner Natural gas is about to become the world’s biggest green energy source. Excerpts in italics with my bolds
When politicians who are alarmed about climate change think about green energy, they tend to be fixated on solar and wind power. However, thanks to a recent merger announced between NET Power and Rice Acquisition Corp II, natural gas is about to become the leading source of green energy, supplanting solar and wind.
NET Power has developed a new natural gas power plant technology called the Allam cycle.
Conventional natural gas plants burn natural gas to heat water, which then turns the turbines that generate electricity, emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. An Allam cycle plant uses the carbon dioxide to turn the turbines and then sequesters it for sale to customers that use the CO2 for everything from fuel to building materials to food. NET has successfully run a test plant in La Porte, Texas, since 2018.
The NET Power process was demonstrated at our 50MWth test facility in La Porte, Texas which broke ground in 2016 and began testing in 2018. Since 2018, NET Power has conducted three extended testing campaigns and successfully synchronized to the Texas grid in the fall of 2021. NET Power has achieved technology validation, hit critical operational milestones, and accumulated over 1,500 hours of total facility runtime as of October 2022. La Porte will remain a crucial resource for ongoing technology enhancements.
Rice Acquisition is a decarbonization solutions special-purpose acquisition company. Its merger with NET will create a new, publicly traded company called NET Power Inc.
NET already has six Allam cycle power plants, each capable of generating 300 MWs of electricity in various stages of development — four in the United States, one in the United Kingdom, and another in Germany. The company believes that the sky is the limit as far as how many power plants it can build — perhaps thousands. It anticipates being able to replace older, more polluting power plants with its newer, nonemitting models.
Ironically, the company notes that a provision of the much-maligned Inflation Reduction Act contains tax incentives for the kind of carbon capture technology it is preparing to unleash on the world. The provision may be one of the few good things about the Inflation Reduction Act.
The advent of natural gas as a true green energy source will upend
the politics of climate change and energy production.
Hitherto, the Biden administration and some countries in the European Union have sought to limit the production of fossil fuels because they emit greenhouse gasses. However, governments around the world that are chasing a renewable green energy dream will no longer have an excuse to do so once the NET emission-free plants come online.
Green New Dealers such as Bernie Sanders may label carbon capture, along with nuclear power, as a “false solution,” but NET Power is about to prove them all wrong. Natural gas power plants have advantages that wind and solar lack. They run 24/7, night or day, rain or shine, windy or calm, without any need for battery storage. Natural gas power uses less land than wind and solar farms do. Solar and wind have hidden environmental costs, from the difficulty of recycling fiberglass turbine blades to the effects on wildlife of utility-scale wind and solar arrays.
Emerging energy technologies such as carbon capture are more likely to address the problem of climate change than resorting to “renewable energy” by government fiat. The free market, with perhaps some indirect government incentives, will more likely lead to a world in which the energy we need to operate a technological civilization can be generated without emitting greenhouse gasses.
Carbon capture will not be the only energy technology of the future. New, safer nuclear power plants will be in the mix. The development of a new magnet at MIT and the recent breakthrough at Lawrence Livermore point the way to clean, limitless fusion energy in the coming decades.
The Green New Dealers want to impose a future of limits on all but the very wealthiest.
Their excuse is that such a future is necessary to save Earth from a climate catastrophe. But one suspects the real reason is that rationing energy is a way for them to control people and maintain power.
Fortunately, private companies and the engineers and scientists who work for them are working to thwart the plans of people such as Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). The Green New Dealers despise free markets, but the same economic system that has brought such prosperity to the world is going to solve climate change and the energy crisis forever.
Natural gas burns clean, meaning it produces no mercury vapors, sulfur dioxide, or particulate matter, and a reduced amount of nitrogen oxide. It also emits half the CO2 from burning coal, and 1/4 the CO2 from oil combustion. Of course, far from being a pollutant, CO2 is plant food and any added to the atmosphere from any source is a boon to the biosphere essential to human and animal life. The warming case against emitting CO2 is unfounded, as I have explained previously: Global Warming Theory and the Tests It Fails.
The impact of this innovation is primarily political and economic, dismantling the rationale for banning natural gas power plants. The planet will warm or cool regardless of the negligible effect from CO2 emissions.
via Science Matters
January 19, 2023 at 09:56AM