Article Excerpts 2

More selected excerpts from articles published by Hans.

Origins of a Tsunami called Natural Gas, July 2015

Excerpt – “In efforts replicated in countries around the world experiencing energy scarcity and/or expensive fuels, reducing overall consumption is well understood to be the most cost effective means of increasing energy security. However, in the U.S., blessed with abundant resources and historically cheap fuel, I would argue we as a nation skipped over this recognition as the current energy revolution (‘evolution’ one might say) began to gain steam, and distributed solar thermal was ‘left out in the cold’, where it really excels.

Mozambique LNG Development, Jan 2016

Excerpt – “Although there are many obvious benefits to Mozambique, I unfortunately need to look at African LNG as more symptomatic “solutions” to the endemic inability of African nations to strike long-term mutually beneficial cross & intra-border agreements almost uniformly across all energy sectors, forcing export of energy commodities in contrast to more favorable local off-take development. LNG has entered a buyers’ market, and although it is difficult to look out to 2028 to predict whether this would change, the diversification of our energy supplies, midstream and consumption tends to indicate it will remain so.

Natural Gas Realities – Now, June 2014

Excerpt – To be honest, I am not giving NG a free pass. I’m constantly challenging proponents of increased Natural Gas E&P and global NG reliance, as well as the general O&G proponents championing oil production in the United States which will soon exceed global leaders, Saudi Arabia and Russia. My grounds for challenging the O&G frenzy is the resultant absurdity, where it has become “economical” to waste enormous quantities of natural gas in the US through purposeful flaring. The current situation in the United States is making pre-LNG capable Nigeria look like an amateur arsonist with a lighter standing next to an Apollo rocket at liftoff.

[W]hat I am trying to point out, that questioning the ‘cleanness’ of NG is almost irrelevant and futile. If a beach washes away during a hurricane, do we question how many individual grains of sand were lost or whether it was a riptide or the storm surge that destroyed it? No, because the answers cannot be ascertained with any level of specificity, and at that point, does it matter? Natural Gas is already here, it has arrived like the leading edge of the tidal surge and all indications say it will be part of our energy picture for a long time to come. The real question seems to be, not “How high the surge will rise?” To the contrary, we need to ask ourselves “How far does the low land extend?”

Wind Turbines Increase Domestic Energy Resiliency, December 2016

Excerpt – Some opponents to Lighthouse Wind [New York, USA] claim, “We have a perfectly good coal power plant already; there is no need for turbines.” However, experts in the energy industry acknowledge the biggest threats to coal are the economics of global energy markets and cheap natural gas in the U.S. At least 5 coal companies declared bankruptcy in 2015/6 and utilities across the country have accelerated their coal station retirements for lower cost and more responsive alternatives. In fact, our northern neighbor, Ontario shuttered its last coal station in 2014, meeting its energy needs with lower carbon nuclear, hydro, wind and natural gas.

Why the US Energy Space Struggles Instead of Surging, May 2016

Excerpt – Our systems are complex. Sometimes they work together, other times against one another.  Like the human body, they somehow manage to function efficiently and reliably, with very few hiccups noticed in our daily activities. 

They, our energy systems, are a wonder, a marvel even, of the modern world.

But one thing we don’t have, as astonishing as it may seem for an electric network this size, growing increasingly complex and dynamic with rise of low carbon generation and technologies that can help us reduce our carbon intensity in our consumption; is a blueprint of protocols, not unlike that which allowed the Internet to expand through innovation, from which we can actually make this all work together in harmony, instead of carving out a piece of the pie through a destructive spiral to ‘lowest price wins’.

It’s Time… To Discuss Our Energy Intensity Rationally!, April 2016

Excerpt – “To be honest, in all my traveling in the world the past 5 years, my return to the US on every occasion is not saddened because I am not traveling. It is because I am so damn embarrassed at what I see upon my return; we’ve not changed notably for the better or progressed with all the technological advances we have available to us, but rather we’ve only increased our dependence, our “right” even to live “high on the hog” and assess undo importance to the most trivial of things.  We have increased our valuation of things more so than the value of experience of being a responsible member of the global society.  And the world, this is what I have seen, has written us off and is moving on without us.