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Jam Lady

How Different US States Generate Electricity

A look at how the 50 states generate electricity - coal, petroleum, nuclear, hydroelectric, natural gas, wind, water, biomass

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/12/24/climate/how-electricity-generation-changed-in-your-state.html

I am not trying to start any arguments, just found it an interesting look at the changes from 2001 to 2017 for each of the states
Ty Gwyn

I`d be interested in the make up of the Natural Gas,what percentage is from a Fracked source?

As this Natural Gas seems to be the major dictator in the decline from coal,although noting a good proportion of coal generated power is exported from certain states into the grid to other states.


Interesting read,not what we are lead to believe.
Mistress Rose

It is disappointing that so many states are reliant on fossil fuels. It doesn't make a lot of sense in terms of climate change to go from coal to gas, especially if, as Ty says, it comes from fracked sources.

Fracking isn't doing very well in the UK I am glad to say. The one attempt so far, in spite of the government waiving planning permission, keeps generating small earth tremors, and has to stop work. I know that there has been low force fracking in other wells to get more oil out, but the more force you put in, the more effect you will have with earth movements.

Maine seems to be very good on the renewables, but there are so many states that I didn't look through all of them, although New England seems to lead the way.
Hairyloon

It is disappointing that so many states are reliant on fossil fuels. It doesn't make a lot of sense in terms of climate change to go from coal to gas, especially if, as Ty says, it comes from fracked sources.

It makes quite a lot more sense than instinct suggests. I forget how much less carbon emission per unit energy there is from gas over coal, but I recall I was surprised.
Jam Lady

Pounds of CO2 emitted per million British thermal units (Btu) of energy for various fuels:

Coal (anthracite) 228.6
Coal (bituminous) 205.7
Coal (lignite) 215.4
Coal (subbituminous) 214.3
Diesel fuel and heating oil 161.3
Gasoline (without ethanol) 157.2
Propane 139.0
Natural gas 117.0
Ty Gwyn

I found that strange for Anthracite to be a higher omitter of co2 than lignite,when it is well known that a lot more lignite needs to be burned to produce the same heat,its simply economics,lignite is in abundance and its power stations are usually on site as in the case of Germany.


This link verifies that,
https://energyeducation.ca/encyclopedia/Coal_types
Hairyloon

I found that strange for Anthracite to be a higher omitter of co2 than lignite,when it is well known that a lot more lignite needs to be burned to produce the same heat...


It's carbon vs hydrogen innit. You can burn as much hydrogen as you like & it will emit no carbon into the atmosphere (ignoring production & transport), whereas if you're burning carbon, then every but of energy puts carbon into the atmosphere.
Anthracite is a lot closer to pure carbon.
Mistress Rose

Natural gas contains methane and some higher hydrocarbons such as ethane, propane, butane etc. The majority of it is methane. I assume you mean HL that when you burn methane you are burning both carbon and hydrogen atoms rather than just the pure carbon of coal. Hard to write it as I am not too good on the formula keys but;

CH4 +5O2= 4CO2 + 2H2O

rather than C + O2 = CO2 from the carbon in coal

As anthracite is higher carbon than other coals it will produce more carbon dioxide as more of the coal burns and less is left.

It makes sense in that way to go for gas, but only if you have the gas supply readily available. At present in the UK, most of our gas comes from Russia via the continent. There is the possibility that at any time a number of countries have the power to cut off our gas supplies completely. Hopefully it will never happen, but imo always helpful to have an alternative source of power for at least vital supplies.

Makes a great deal of sense though to use renewable resources is the amount of power generated is in excess of the power needed to build the installation (less of course the amount a 'conventional' power station would need.)
Hairyloon

I assume you mean HL that when you burn methane you are burning both carbon and hydrogen atoms rather than just the pure carbon of coal.
Slightly oversimplified, but good enough unless there is a call for the chemistry lesson. Wink
Ty Gwyn

The carbon in Anthracite is the highest of all coals,98% attained in Irish anthracite collieries,

But when one thinks back to the London Smog of the 50`s ,caused by bituminous burning,hence the Smoke free zones that were brought in where only anthracite and its products were allowed to be burnt,the old coking plants were products were abstracted from the bituminous coal,take a look at the pollution around Lignite power stations with the impurities that product belches out.


I`m no scientist and don`t pretend to understand,but been on the land for the most of my life I notice things,we all know that co2 is needed for plants to grow,we are told that there is a lot more co2 in the atmosphere than 50yrs ago,so why do I need to fertilize at the same rate as 50yrs ago,i would have thought with all the co2 it would reduce my need for fertilizer.
Jam Lady

Two different things, Ty Gwyn.

Through photosynthesis, plants convert carbon dioxide and water into sugar.

Plants need major nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and minor nutrients such as calcium, boron, and more. That's where fertilizers come into play.
Mistress Rose

Sorry about the chemistry HL, but I was trying to clarify it in my own head as much as anything.

You are right about the smogs Ty. It was poor burning of low grade coal. In fact most things can be burnt very efficiently using the right sort of fire, but the old open fires left a lot to be desired. I have never been to a place where lignite is burnt, but again, with the right sort of fire, it could be burnt cleanly.

Jam Lady you are right about the other nutrients. Yes, taking in more carbon dioxide does help growth, but the other things are needed too. Son had to clear up after an experiment at a tree station near us where they did tests on raised carbon dioxide levels, and the growth was increased dramatically, but that was with all the other nutrients provided.
Ty Gwyn

Well I`ll have to disagree with you there Chris,Coking/Bituminous coal in a domestic situation can only be burnt efficiently in an open fire due to the tar content,it cakes/binds together and doesn't drop to burn in an enclosed fire.


Lignite briquettes are available in competition with your logs,lol,but unlike logs,lignite briquettes are only suitable for open fires or multi fuel burners ,not log only burners as they need more air flow to burn efficiently.
Mistress Rose

We haven't burnt ordinary coal for a long time, so I am sure you are right Ty. When I was a child, we used to have Welsh boiler nuts for the Ideal boiler and ordinary housecoal for the open fire, so that could be why. We have always had a multifuel closed fire as we keep it in over night with a bit of high grade coal.

There is a lot of competition for our logs; lignite blocks, which I don't think are very common round here, compressed sawdust and those funny things they sometimes sell in supermarkets which contain goodness knows what. People still prefer the real thing though. Very Happy
Hairyloon

Sorry about the chemistry HL, but I was trying to clarify it in my own head as much as anything.

No problem at all. I am quite happy to either give or receive lessons.

Quote:
Jam Lady you are right about the other nutrients. Yes, taking in more carbon dioxide does help growth, but the other things are needed too. Son had to clear up after an experiment at a tree station near us where they did tests on raised carbon dioxide levels, and the growth was increased dramatically, but that was with all the other nutrients provided.

It is only on a bright sunny day that carbon dioxide is likely to become the limiting factor, and then only if water and nutrients are adequate.
Slim


It is only on a bright sunny day that carbon dioxide is likely to become the limiting factor, and then only if water and nutrients are adequate.

Or in a protected growing setting where air flow is reduced (i.e., very large greenhouse) and importantly you can hold onto the CO2 enough to make a high enough concentration around the plants to make a difference.

Because the enzyme "Rubisco" can also latch onto O2 when photosynthesis is going gangbusters and the atmosphere inside and surrounding the leaf begins to have a higher ratio of O2 to CO2, greater CO2 supply is more helpful to C3 plants than to C4 plants which already do a good job of concentrating CO2 at the sites of carbon fixation associated with photosynthesis.

I'm not sure what CO2 and and crop production has to do with this discussion of energy sources however, as the carbon sequestration from increased photosynthesis from higher CO2 levels in the atmosphere is almost negligible on a global atmospheric CO2 scale (I.E., greater photosynthetic capacity won't be taking away our CO2 problem)
Ty Gwyn

To be honest I was shocked how much coal is still being burnt in the US.

Powder River in Wyoming is something else,80ft of a coal seams
which run for miles fault free.
Mistress Rose

As Wyoming still uses mainly coal for power generation you can see why to some extent. I seem to recall that it is also reknowned for being windy, being on the great plains, so an increase in wind power, which is the second largest generator, would make a lot of sense. dpack

coal and uranium seem a bit redundant if you are sitting on top of the yellowstone magma chambers.

there is enough geothermal for more than local needs, they have plenty of gravity and water as well as it being rather bright and breezy.

tried and tested tech, with motivation the state could be fossil free* and energy exporting in a few years but with coal that available it would take anti coal tax or legislation to provide the motivation.

* well not dinosaur free Laughing
Shane

Good idea that, dpack - if they take enough energy out of Yellowstone they could also stop the planet being obliterated when it finally blows! dpack

Good idea that, dpack - if they take enough energy out of Yellowstone they could also stop the planet being obliterated when it finally blows!

im not too sure about that it would take a lot to solidify the magma and plug the thing solid but there are enough semi stable hot rock sites to make geo thermal a very attractive option in the short to geological term

messing with magma has a rather dodgy history although the icelanders are giving it a go now and again.
near the runny stuff is best, in it messes up ones day and drilling rig

wyoming is ideal for fossil and non fossil energy, tis unfortunate that price seems to favour fossil.
Mistress Rose

The advantage with geothermal is that it goes on for years with no major outlay apart from the initial one. The one at Southampton has been going for at least 50 years quite quietly in a car park, and as far as I know has cost very little to maintain. Ty Gwyn

There`s a new estate built up the North East a few years back heated by geothermal,if I remember correctly drilled to around the 3,000 ft mark. Mistress Rose

If there is a hot spot it definitely makes sense, but Yellowstone is just a bit too hot. Very Happy dpack

nah there is plenty of stable but rather warm rock, some dry some wet.

into the magma or in the caldera fractured rocks is a bad idea but into a few hundred C works very well.
Slim

Plenty of steamy hot water bubbling out of the ground along the Rocky Mtns

(Really wish hot springs existed in my half of the country, but also glad for the rarity of seismic activity)
Mistress Rose

Similarly Slim. We did have an earth tremor here when I was a child, and it woke everyone up, but not enough to do any damage thank goodness.
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