Pickens Plan


#1

Comments on replacing the natural gas that we use for power generation with wind and then using this natural gas in the transportation sector.Main question will it work for private vehicles on a large scale?


#2

Interesting idea.

Theoretically it should of the distribution system were set up. I’m assuming, of course, that you’re talking about distribution and use as LNG.

I have no idea how large a portion of the gasoline market could be displaced or how much natural gas is available. Perhaps methane from garbage could be part of the equation.


#3

It would takes billions of dollars in infrastructure. Not practical at this time. It’s also unlikely such a wide scale project would be permitted. Most people don’t want a wind farm in their back yards, nor a gas pipeline running through it.


#4

Like oil, the US is a significant importer of natural gas, mostly from Canada. LNG imports from overseas will increase in the future as well, as Lower 48 gas supplies decrease. The Alaska pipeline will add 4.5 billion cubic feet per day and postpone the decline somewhat.

Most additional gas at this time has been earmarked for power generation to meet greenhouse gas reduction targets. This will make the US a major importer of LNG in the future; this gas will be sold at oil-equivalent prices, about 2.5 times the current Texas price of gas, and about 69% of the price of oil.

A remaining major source of gas supply in the US is tight gas in shale formations and coalbed methane. This gas will be very expensive to get out.

Running cars on natural gas is done in several areas; Northern Italy, New Zealand and Malysia, for instance. IT IS NOT IN LNG FORM; that would be prohibitively expensive and dangerous to the consumer. The gas is piped much like normal fuel gas, and carried in high pressure tanks in the car. Range is shorter than propane or gasoline, but otherwise no special technology is needed.

There are several companies in the US and Canada that already make the tanks and conversion kits for cars, light trucks, and busses.

Converting the entire US vehicle fleet to run on gas will tax the overseas supplies; they will have to increase production significantly. Luckily worldwide gas reserves are enormous, but mostly in Russia and the Middle East!

Generating all our electric power with windmills, on the other hand, is ludicrous (nuts). Aside from the low energy desnity per square miles, wind is INTERMITTENT, and can only be relied on as SUPPLEMENTARY power.

Future US power generation will use all sources; clean coal, hydro, solar, natural gas, geothermal, solar, and, yes, some wind.

Most of the natural gas base load will remain home and commercial space heating.

Natural gas (imported)will be priced internationally at just below oil, so the savings won’t be great.

In summary, the Pickens Plan is a half-baked, wishful plan that, if implemented, will move the US energy dependence from Canada to Russia and the Middle East as the major energy suppliers.

The biggest energy resource the US has is coal, and cleaning that up, together with reducing oil consumption, supplemented by renewables, will be the best way forward.


#5

This Pickens plan says that between 20-25% of our power generation comes from natural gas.This is the figure he wants to get from wind,not the whole amount.This guy is 80 years old worth 4 Billion,he is not in it for more money.He claims that a 20% (approx.)reduction in oil imports is worth 300 Billion dollars,and his plan is a stopgap plan to buy us some time.


#6

There is a system already on the market…First, your car is converted to NG. High-pressure tanks are installed in the trunk. At your house, a compressor is connected to your N.G. service line and a refueling hose connects to your car. It takes the small compressor a couple of hours to fill the 3000 (?) psi supply tanks installed in the car…This amount of fuel will provide about 100 mile range. Like electrics, good for commuting but not practicle for long trips…


#7

Replace natural gas generated power with wind power. It may be theoretically feasible but won’t happen as wind farms are heavily litigated by locals and enviros. Texas appears to be an exception. Most other areas lawsuits. With wind farms comes power grids and power transmission lines. Also heavily litigated.


#8

A total of 25 % from wind is feasible if we had some form of energy storage, such as pumped reservoirs that can later release the energy. Denmark is a very windy country with 3.5 million people. They have a plan to get 30 % of their electricity from wind, with vast offshore windfarms. They would still use gas and coal for their base load; you can’t rely 100% on wind.

Backing out oil imports is easier to do by forcing everyone into smaller cars, carpooling, pushing public transit more, and converting some of the vehicle fleet to natural gas and propane. That would chop demand quicker than building all those windmills and converting a large part of the vehicle fleet to natural gas.

The US consumes 9.5 million barrels per day of oil, of which 55% is imported, and at $140/barrel, comes to $266,997,500,000/year or $267 billion for short. Add to this the 13% of gasoline and diesel imported, and we get about $350 billion per year.

I’m not against windmills; we will need them eventually. But to install that many with the usual regulatory delays, etc, is not a stop gap, short term solution. But let’s build some anyway.

I’m not sure Pickens would invest his own money in large scale conversion of cars to natural gas, and go through the lengthy process of building a very large number of windmills.

The forecast for US gas production is for some net increase, sharply rising costs, and more LNG imports from Russia, South East Asia, and the Middle East. All this in the next 10 years.

In other words, there is no quick and easy solution other than shifting oil imports to gas imports. Imports of gas from Canada will reduce quickly in the future (10-15 years), as this country needs gas for its own use.


#9

Our local natural gas company powers many of their company vehicles with LNG but on a large scale I don’t know how well it would work. The downside according to the vehicle drivers is that the vehicles suffer a roughly 30% power loss as compared to gasoline.

It’s very difficult for me living here in Oklahoma and having to listen to the T. Boone crap every other day not to develop a real case of the xxx at this guy.
He’s trying to work a deal to be the sole water provider for the Dallas/Ft. Worth area from his large lakes in west TX.
Great, having one guy controlling your drinking water.

Many of you may have heard on television about T. Boone making all of these huge contributions to his alma mater; Oklahoma State University.
What is not reported is that one of his gifts to the athletic dept. involved using eminent domain to force people out of their homes (about 800 homes I think?) so several practice fields can be built when vacant land is just west of there that the university already owns.

There are other things such as writing employees of the U. up if they leave a digital clock on after hours (consumes too much juice) BUT the new 35 x 135 foot scoreboard with Boone’s name in lights 24/7 will more than make up for that.

The real kicker? These donations, going on several hundred million dollars, have a caveat attached. The caveat is that all of that money must be matched by the taxpayers so thanks a lot for digging deeper into the average guys’ pocket.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, we had to watch the local news do a human interest story on T. Boone’s wife a few weeks ago.
A real babe about 35-40 years old and “no, I didn’t marry Boone for his money”. Right.
After seeing the tour of his mansion maybe he could conserve energy by moving into something smaller; say 3-4k square feet.


#10

Would you have a wind turbine behind your house? A lot of people would have to, and that requires a change in attitude. There are proposals to place them on mountain tops in western Maryland, but the locals don’t what their view spoiled.


#11

People are going to have to decide someday an whether they want to move back into the 18th century of learn to live with Nuclear, wind and solar technologies. Nuclear will have to be the major supplier with wind as a significant alternate source. Solar is still a bit pricey.

Wind farms are more popular than you might think, not just in Texas. There are many more going in the midwest portion of our country, Wyoming, Nebraska and Iowa have a lot of them.

I work for a distribution transformer manufacturer and we are getting a lot of business form these wind farms, and it is a welcome business as most other segments of this market are drying up due to the mortgage crisis and the economy in general. Thanks to the wind farms, we haven’t had to lay anyone off, in fact we were able to add a few jobs when it first looked like a big cutback was coming.

Funny, people objected to cell phone towers at first, but no one wants to give up their cell phones.


#12

Well, when their lights don’t work, they will be able to see the stars at night better too. They can use candles to light their way to the outhouse at night because without power, there is no running water for the toilet.


#13

Well, you know us Americans, “End global warming now, but, don’t make me drive a tiny and slow car”.


#14

OK, LNG means Liquified Natural Gas. It is liquified overseas to transport it economically across the ocean to the US. It is there gasified to normal natural gas. When put in a tank on your car it is CNG, Compressed Natural Gas.

Agree there are a few holes in the Pickens plan, and the implementation schedule, if at all feasible, would hardly make it interim or stopgap.

If Pickens really cared about the big picture he would advocate:

  1. A very stiff gas guzzler tax
  2. Stepped up nuclear power plant licensing
  3. Clean coal R & D
  4. Carbon sequestration in deep underground formations
  5. Stepped up drilling offshore and other frointier areas.
  6. California style Pavly fuel efficiency standards
  7. And, yes, subsidies for conversions to CNG for cars.

#15

I wouldn’t mind. I guess I’m in the minority, but I actually don’t think they look that bad, as long as they keep the wiring and other infrastructure as hidden as possible.


#16

I guess my question is if NG is so plentiful, how come there has been a 65% increase in cost over the past year? Something is not adding up. Personally we need to quit talking about rationing supplies with idiotic ideas like higher cost, carbon taxes, every other day heating/cooling/air conditioning, etc. and start to develop sources that are plentiful for a growing world economy. That’s electric which is nuclear and ethanol that can be made from grass. I don’t totally trust T. Boone, or anyone from Texas at this point.


#17

Agree…he didn’t make his millions by being altruistic. As long as the small bussines man can get in on it w/o an oil tycoon monopoly, anything can help.


#18

I grew up in a country with windmills and US tourists paid good money to come and look at them. Some of the world’s most famous paintings have windmills in them.

If they’re good enough for Don Quijote to tilt at they should be good enough for Americans to look at.


#19

The US coventional natural gas supply is running low; new gas drilled up is much more expensive, and Alaska gas when it arrives in the Lower 48 will be much more expensive yet.

Imported gas from overseas as LNG is now priced at 69% of world oil price, or $20 per million BTUs. So, cheap gas is rapily becoming a thing of the past; 15 years from now, cheap gas imported from Canada under long term contract will be gone as well, since Canada will need it for ist own use.

Although there is lots of gas in the world, it is not in the US and we will have to buy it from overseas (Russia, Asia, Middle East) at world prices. So, don’t built a big, poorly insulated house; it will be a white elephant in the future.


#20

There have been natural gas powered cars in the US for at least 20-30 years. Honda makes a compressed natural gas model, now. In the past they were banned from underground parking garages. A leaky tank could make quite a problem. Natural gas is 90% methane with a few other gases (butane, propane) that the Oil companies weren’t able to strip out. Methane is produced by all mammals. There are more and more situations where farmers are using anaerobic digestion to extract the methane from manure. In some cases, they even sell it to the utilities or burn it to produce electricity.

While wind is obviously intermittent, it is usually windy somewhere, so with a big enough grid and enough wind turbines you ought to get a reliable base figure. One thing you could do with too many intermittent wind turbines is make hydrogen, which you then turn around and combine with carbon dioxide to make methane. Hydrogen is a small molecule and you would need to upgrade our infrastructure to ship hydrogen through pipelines, but we push methane through pipelines all the time.

The bottom line is there is no one silver bullet. Be we have a lot of options. Pick the ones that fit easiest into the existing infrastructure. Methane and wind turbines fold neatly into the current infrastucture. You can even refuel your CNG car at home now. Biodiesel fits neatly into the existing infrastructure. Ethanol is not as good a fit. One last comment. Corn is not the most optimum grain to make ethanol and soybeans are not the best source of oil. Canola and camelina both produce about 25% more oil per acre than soybeans. Ethanol can be brewed from sorghum or cattails for that matter. We live in an ocean of energy; we just have to open our eyes a little bit and be more efficient with what we have.