The MIT Natural Gas Study Discounts NGVs, High Efficiency & Renewable Electricity
The MIT study suffers from too much domination by status quo thinking in both the electric and transportation sectors. The findings discount the potential of demand side management and renewable and high-efficiency distributed power generation to significantly reduce demand growth for electricity supplied from central power stations. The direct use of natural gas for high-efficiency tri-gen, instant water heaters, HVAC and motor fuels is much more cost-effective for the CONSUMER, more efficient and cleaner than replacing coal plants with megawatt scale central natural gas combined-cycle systems.
Wind, solar electric and distributed, high efficiency biomass and natural gas tri-gen plants must not be crowded out by a rush to cheap, inefficient uses of natural gas in inefficient central power stations. The MIT study also understates the potential for natural gas motor fuels to immediately start replacing liquid petroleum-based motor fuels in all types and sizes of motor vehicles, from light-duty to heavy-duty as well as rail.
There is only one legitimate reason why natural gas vehicles may NOT be cost-competitive with gasoline or diesel vehicles at this time; NGVs are NOT mass produced. When OEMs start producing NGVs by the millions to capture economies of scale these cleaner, safer, reliable vehicles will quickly become affordable. Given demand for natural gas motor fuels, fleet and retail NGV fuel stations will crop up like mushrooms. If a reckless rush from coal to natural gas is moderated by rational renewable electric portfolio standards and other state and federal policies that actually start creating integrated energy planning based on emissions and cost performance criteria then consumers will soon be able to enjoy cleaner electricity and cleaner mobility.
Aggressive demand side management, high-efficiency distributed electric power generation, renewable electric power generation and widespread conversion to natural gas vehicles will not only reduce energy costs to consumers NOW but create a solid foundation for even more sustainable energy systems TOMORROW.
David E. Bruderly PE
Bruderly Engineering Associates
Wise Gas Inc.
1221 Molokai Road
Jacksonville FL 32216-3275
Natural Gas the Way to a Greener Energy Future?
Discover Magazine (blog)
Natural gas is a lot better emissions-wise compared to coal, according to a new report, and may serve as a temporary coal stand-in over the coming decades, ...
Wise Gas, Inc.
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