The wonderful world of methane 1

Another year comes to a close. We all have a good hard look back at our past sins. Lets not quite do that right now as its the now and the immediate tomorrow we should be concerned with.

Because things are quite a bit different now than they were at the beginning of this year. People start to wake up to the reality of the Climate Alarmist movement’s demands. And especially what their personal price to pay for making their utopian demands a reality would be.

It’s no less than the end of human civilization as we know it. And the emergence of an autocratic dictatorship. 

Why dictatorship you say? 

Because the vast majority of people won’t accept that their quality of life will be severely reduced. Perhaps even to mere subsistence. And politicians advocating such measures won’t get re-elected. This means that only strong coercion will work and a very large minority and sometimes the majority start to understand. 

New wind parks are hard to build now as people don’t want those shredders anywhere close to their homes. Subsidies for Renewables are straining public coffers. Politicians will have to make hard choices between social spending and renewables. Those on Alarmist platforms start to lose elections as happened in Australia. And there will be more of the same.

Lower or even no subsidies for Electric Vehicles made sales figures tank. At the same time, the fracker country in chief produces stellar economic growth with plenty of jobs for everyone. While, at the same time, Canadians suffocate under a thick blanket of regulation. Many look south with envy.

Meanwhile, a new Grand Solar Minimum seems to be upon us and starts to slowly show its effects. This one seems to be bigger and deeper than the Maunder Minimum. It represents the cold peak of the Little Ice Age during which we saw a couple of decades of generalized freezing.

To some its looks almost like a madhouse but there is structure and logic in all this.

Climate Warriors can now see the signs on the wall.  

They grow nervous and must press ever harder to get their pet projects and legislation passed. They can see and feel the resistance on one side and the coming Solar Minimum on the other and they know that once it gets much colder, their script is broken.

So, its smash and grab as long as they can. 

But beyond all this madness, regular people will need something that helps them get through the hard times, through the grand freeze. Economies will need to go on growing. Poor countries will go on trying to lift their populations out of poverty. Now people in developed economies have tasted the fruits of a madhouse renewable economy. Most of them will want to go back and do what works rather than what gives them social media credit. 

That will be coal, that will be oil, that will be nuclear but it will most of all be Natural Gas or Methane as I like to call it.

Most people in developed countries don’t want to go back to coal. It’s easy to use and if there is the right kind of filtering, it’s fine as a source of power. Building new coal blocks when the old ones have been taken down also takes quite some time and money to invest. And developed countries will need solutions fast. Very fast.

Black-outs and brown-outs, as well as load shedding, have a way of concentrating people’s minds on solutions that work for real. Look how fast Californians hit by the black-outs have gone to install diesel genesets.

So, the gut will call for fast solutions and nothing beats setting up gas turbines in this regard. They are fast to set up and their footprint is tiny. They run without producing lots of pollutants so you can set them up in the middle of cities. And they are very safe and technically mature. 


But that’s just more of the same. And that would be boring. Wouldn’t it be?

The way more exciting stuff is going to happen when methane spreads out in earnest onto all domains of energy.

Let’s go two steps back and look at energy as a whole. What do we need energy for?

  1. Produce heat;
  2. Make electricity for our appliances;
  3. Move people and things from one place to the other;

And – of course – combinations thereof.

Coal is a great heat provider. Its energy-dense, easy to store, safe to use and if you apply some tech it can even be fairly clean. At least if you discount the Climate Alarmist script from what clean means.

But it’s hard to use for vehicles. Just look how big those steam locomotives and ships were. Its also rather crappy to use for distributed power and heat production. You need to drag heaps of coal around with you. Not nice.

Nuclear is great for electricity but requires heavy shielding. It’s hard to use for mobility except for the biggest vehicles such as aircraft carriers and giant submarines.

Oil is great for mobility as it’s easy to fuel up and very energy-dense. Plus you can use it for power production plus heat generation. It has taken on a bad reputation over the last couple of years but much of that has been undeserved.

Just like oil, Natural Gas works excellently for all 3 domains and at any scale. It’s fast to set up, clean like nothing else we know and works in the real world and economically so. And it’s rather cheap compared to oil.

That will be the major selling point. Price.

I remember a discussion I once had in the Caribbean on the potential use of LNG on small islands. We discussed small island distribution solutions when someone stood up and said that his poor island could not afford LNG. It’s too expensive. I asked how his island produced power so far and he said that they used diesel generators. I replied that if his island can afford diesel, it sure can afford LNG as its cheaper.

And the current overhang of LNG plus pipeline gas will make sure that it remains that way for quite a while. 

So what’s driving this again?

  1. Availability of cheap NG/LNG for many years now;
  2. The urgent need to patch systems that break down because of the failure of wind and solar;
  3. The urgent need to bring on new stable power generation capacity able to underpin a developed economy;
  4. A Climate Change script that frays everywhere due to deep cold spells in Solar Minimum;

Those 4 drivers will get plenty of entrepreneurs thinking and tinkering. They will want to exploit this situation to their benefit. And the well known eternal circle of economic life is at work again. Many will try, many will fail but those that succeed will make this world a much better place.

Methane will be the energy spinal cord of it all. 

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.