“Hans On Energy” Article Excerpts

Impacts of Legacy Energy Project Financing Continuation In The Emerging World

Excerpt – “Unfortunately, as “shortsightedness” of global financial houses becomes more acute to these [energy technology] transitioning realities, more “capital export” coal & large hydro, nuclear even, projects will be pushed on the developing/emerging world. Knowledge is power, holding it [new legacy energy projects] back, even more powerful.

South Africa’s Base Load Addiction, June 2015

Excerpt – “Regardless the industrial, commercial and residential mixture of demand the world around, no electrical system plans around a straight line for electricity needs. Wheeling electrons to neighboring countries through the Southern Africa Power Partnership (SAPP) transmission system will not benefit South Africa either. No national economy can operate and grow on intermittent supply. What good would Eskom’s oversupply in the night time do for Botswana, Namibia, Zambia or Mozambique, if they cannot match it during the daytime on their own?

Carbon Intensity Versus The Cost Escalation-Savings Disconnections

Excerpt – “When we talk about energy, there are present two competing primary foci; carbon/energy intensity and the rhetoric of profit versus savings. The former, can be discussed with hard facts and numbers when we look at local scenarios and trends when we make considerations from a macroscopic perspective of the world.  The latter enters the soft sciences of human and individual desires, communications and unfortunately ideological leanings.  My experience with the latter also tells me to shy away at all costs, whether it is politics, religion or climate change, as the rhetorical debates are endless [and wasteful].

2015’s $329 Billion Renewable Energy Investment Is A Big Deal – On The Surface,    February 2016

Excerpt – “Europe continues to plug along in renewable energy deployments. However, at present, the financial impacts of bearing the high costs of early technology deployments and bringing economy of scale confidence to the global markets has impacted deployment rates substantially.  The rates vary from country to country; from steady but depressed increases in Germany and Denmark, to slight increases in France as it has decided to phase down nuclear; to worst case scenarios, zero new deployments in Spain.

Cultural Energy Understanding

Excerpt – “If we were to accept the caveat… that China is a phenomenon of scale, most people, even the Chinese, have a difficult time comprehending, we can categorize the remainder of the world and their understanding of energy into three groups based on several to many contiguous generations of experience. Without going into specific details, knowing historical statisticians could verify the following; and through the removal of individual examinations of the differing forms of governance, which tend to veil more than expose the underlying “boots on the ground” realities, we are left with the influence of energy availability as it manifests itself into the majority cultural identity.

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.

Global Energy Concerns – References

Excerpt – “In my coverage of energy developments and concerns around the world, I call upon diverse knowledge resources to formulate my perspectives. In my attempts to crunch the vast data and information I chew through down to manageable bites, I rarely cite word for word any supporting evidence I am presenting.  But I could not arrive at my perspectives without this valuable information; therefore, here you will find many of those articles and reports helping to correlate these insights on frequently complex global energy concerns.