renewables get cheaper

Started April 11, 2017 at 01:08 am by @Paul Heckbert in Marcellus Shale

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Paul Heckbert
04/11/17 01:08:38AM

Stunning drops in the cost of wind & solar energy have turned the global power market upside down:

Michael Liebreich, chairman of the Advisory Board at Bloomberg New Energy Finance said:

“Well, after the dramatic cost reductions of the past few years, unsubsidized wind and solar can provide the lowest cost new electrical power in an increasing number of countries, even in the developing world,” he said, “sometimes by a factor of two. Instead of having to subsidize renewables, now authorities may have to subsidize natural gas plants to help them provide grid reliability.”

04/11/17 08:08:36AM @joseph-ohio:

Grid reliability is and has always been the name of the energy game.

Now you're talking Mr. Paul.

Seems like you're finally seeing the light.

Good morning Mr. Paul.

Subsidize that Natural Gas and Oil Development !

Paul Heckbert
04/12/17 05:48:27AM @paul-heckbert:

That statement wasn't from me, that was from Michael Liebreich.

04/12/17 09:18:45AM @joseph-ohio:
My bad then Mr. Paul. Guessing then you're still in the dark / not seeing the light.

You really ought to try harder to say / write / post what you mean - otherwise people (like me) may mis-understand / get confused about where you stand !

Ha !

Dave Perotto
04/12/17 10:38:42PM @dave-perotto:

I am an all energy, all the time believer. No subsidies for any type. If solar and wind can stand on their own two feet, then I am all for them. I don't believe they are competitive with natural gas, but could be in the near future. Our energy demand does nothing but grow, so all options should be utilized

Skip Peel - Independent Landman
04/13/17 10:07:40AM @skip-peel-independent-landman:

No subsidies for any type of energy?  The oil and gas industry is about the most heavily subsidized industry in the country and has been for decades.  It is also worth reminding members from time to time that horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracture stimulation technology benefited from significant subsidies from the federal government when even industry critics said it was a waste.  There were critics of those federal subsidies back in the day just as there are critics of subsidies for renewables today.

When it comes to tax-advantaged investments for wealthy or sophisticated investors, one investment class continues to stand alone above all others: oil. With the U.S. government's backing, domestic energy production has created a litany of tax incentives for both investors and small producers.

Several major tax benefits are available for oil and gas investors that are found nowhere else in the tax code.

  • Intangible Drilling Costs: These include everything but the actual drilling equipment. Labor, chemicals, mud, grease and other miscellaneous items necessary for drilling are considered intangible. These expenses generally constitute 65-80% of the total cost of drilling a well and are 100% deductible in the year incurred. For example, if it costs $300,000 to drill a well, and if it was determined that 75% of that cost would be considered intangible, the investor would receive a current deduction of $225,000. Furthermore, it doesn't matter whether the well actually produces or even strikes oil. As long as it starts to operate by March 31 of the following year, the deductions will be allowed.
  • Tangible Drilling Costs: Tangible costs pertain to the actual direct cost of the drilling equipment. These expenses are also 100% deductible but must be depreciated over seven years. Therefore, in the example above, the remaining $75,000 could be written off according to a seven-year schedule.
  • Active vs. Passive Income: The tax code specifies that a working interest (as opposed to a royalty interest) in an oil and gas well is not considered to be a passive activity. This means that all net losses are active income incurred in conjunction with well-head production and can be offset against other forms of income such as wages, interest and capital gains.
  • Small Producer Tax Exemptions: This is perhaps the most enticing tax break for small producers and investors. This incentive, which is commonly known as the "depletion allowance," excludes from taxation 15% of all gross income from oil and gas wells. This special advantage is limited solely to small companies and investors. Any company that produces or refines more than 50,000 barrels of oil per day is ineligible. Entities that own more than 1,000 barrels of oil per day, or 6 million cubic feet of gas per day, are excluded as well.
  • Lease Costs: These include the purchase of lease and mineral rights, lease operating costs and all administrative, legal and accounting expenses. These expenses must be capitalized and deducted over the life of the lease via the depletion allowance.
  • Alternative Minimum Tax: All excess intangible drilling costs have been specifically exempted as a "preference item" on the alternative minimum tax return.

Read more: Oil: A Big Investment With Big Tax Breaks

04/13/17 08:37:47AM @joseph-ohio:
I am also on your bus @dave-perotto - BUT - if any energy source gets subsidized it ought to be oil & gas - AND - historically subsidy happens somewhere to something all of the time (if memory serves).

All only my perspective on matters.

04/13/17 09:31:50AM @joseph-ohio:

Would Federal Subsidy of Oil and Natural Gas Development assist in (let's call it) lease adherence and keeping the industry from tying up development in the courts, I wonder ? 

David Allen Lilly
04/13/17 07:08:51PM @david-allen-lilly:

Renewables get cheaper, maybe, in some cases, yet we are are never going to get to a point where they matter all that much, because it is an impossibility.

Think about it on a global scale, moving man and equipment, manufacturing wants and needs, powering industry and homes, all requiring massive amounts of energy on a scale that renewables cannot even begin to fathom.

It is really just an absolute insanity.

I wish them luck, what could go wrong IF you could power a world with a windmill and a solar cell, it would be great, if it weren't so ridiculously impossible.

If not for fossil fuels the entire world would grind to an irrevocable halt in about half a second.

Skip Peel - Independent Landman
04/13/17 07:15:24PM @skip-peel-independent-landman:

Ever heard of hydro-electric or thermal energy?  Renewables include more that solar and wind.  No one I know is suggesting to do away with fossil fuels tomorrow or twenty years from now.  There is no doubt that renewables will evolve in capabilities and affordability.  To dismiss renewables for the coming decades requires dismissing the evolution of technology.  I am unaware of anyone who has won that bet.

Skip Peel - Independent Landman
04/13/17 08:15:25PM @skip-peel-independent-landman:

Never discount the march of technology.

This device pulls drinking water straight out of the air — and it runs entirely on the sun’s energy

By Chelsea Harvey April 13 at 2:00 PM

 A new kind of water-capturing device could be a game-changer for some of the world’s driest places. It can pull water vapor out of the air at humidity as low as 20 percent — conditions that may be seen in the Sahara desert during its hottest months — and it can operate entirely off-grid, just using the ambient power of the sun.

This means it could provide water for parts of the world likely to be most vulnerable to water shortages under future climate change, including areas afflicted by recurring drought.

According to a description of the new design, published Thursday in the journal Science, a single tissue box-sized device can harvest up to 2.8 liters, or about three quarts, of water in one day at low humidity — that’s a bit more than the half gallon of water experts recommend a person drink over the course of a day.

Barry D
04/13/17 08:38:00PM @barry-d:


This should help with global warming. The major component of the atmosphere is water vapor, which is a well know heat trapping element (not carbon dioxide)

Skip Peel - Independent Landman
04/13/17 08:48:40PM @skip-peel-independent-landman:

I agree, barry.  It seems a day doesn't go by without an article in my news feed concerning new technologies or ongoing advancements in existing technologies.  I have always though that electric light duty vehicles were a slam dunk but that heavy, long haul trucks would require LNG.  Check this out:

Elon Musk Teases Tesla Semi Truck, Pickup

  • By Tom Brant  April 13, 2017 07:06pm EST

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the semi truck will be unveiled in September, while the pickup will be ready in 18 to 24 months.

Tesla trucks are coming: a semi truck will debut first this fall, followed by a pickup next year.

That's according to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who teased the company's plans for trucks in a series of tweets on Thursday. He said that a semi truck will be ready in September and that Tesla will unveil a pickup truck in 18 to 24 months.



04/14/17 07:51:18AM @bpm:

Skip, I read about the Tesla truck myself, and I'm interested in seeing what he comes up with.  However, I am very skeptical of it's practicality.  Tech has to evolve, and it's going to start with something, but I would think this will be limited at best.  I wonder about the cost, the range, the weight, and driver appeal.  (I know a lot of folks kind of chuckle at "Bubba", and you would think driver's concerns of appearance don't matter, but there's a reason fleets got away from ugly trucks years ago. Driver attraction and retention are very big issues) 

Skip Peel - Independent Landman
04/14/17 08:50:20AM @skip-peel-independent-landman:

It is quite possible, even probable, that those electric semis will not have a driver.  Long haul trucks are especially suited as they are capable of carrying a large weight of batteries as opposed to a car and many don't make deliveries along the way.  Freighters only need a to be loaded at their point of origination and unloaded at their destination. 

04/14/17 08:56:40AM @bpm:

That is true, as the autonomous thing could be a possibility.  On some cargo's, the weight wouldn't be a problem, but it would limit others.  It may work out on some dedicated runs, but I still see lots of questions.  Not saying it won't happen, but it will be interesting to see how. 

David Allen Lilly
04/14/17 10:06:33AM @david-allen-lilly:

Imagine, if you will, a semi run  by batteries pulling a load along any highway or interstate, on a hot summer day, sinking a foot into the asphalt due to the entire weight of said semi powered by batteries.

I am not saying these newer technologies using green or renewable power will never to anything as much as I am saying if you were to somehow quantify the total amount of energy required to power the world for a single day and then represent these energy sources as a percentage of that total you will have to move left of the decimal more digits than most people will understand.

People like Heckbert and obama are selling a lie at the expense of reality, the reality is that the future is fossil fuel energy will always be required to power the world to the very largest extent.

These people are insane, stupid or lying to you by telling you otherwise.

They are committed to the lie of man made global warming killing us all and leaving the planet a smoldering, lifeless ball of nothing UNLESS you and I join them at the hip in their insanity.

I deal in the real world and sanity, and truth.

Natural gas in the future, on the largest scale and the most economical manner of powering a world that requires  massive amounts of energy.

Skip Peel - Independent Landman
04/14/17 10:08:55AM @skip-peel-independent-landman:

My imagination does not include conspiracy theories nor denial of scientific facts.

David Allen Lilly
04/14/17 07:25:14PM @david-allen-lilly:

"conspiracy theories"


I reside in a place called reality. I do not stray far from it because I like things to be defined, grey areas get everybody so lost they soon lose and memory of any other place.

The environmentalists are selling silliness and nonsense, to put it as nicely as I can. All this is a package, man made global warming, green and renewable energy replacing fossil fuels to run the world, gobbleddy gook, most of it.

I am a consumer and an environmentalist in my own right. I am a tree hugger, or rather a tree planter, as it were. Today the kids and I planted over 100 more white pines, I can plant more, quicker, without them but they need to learn just like my Dad taught us when I was a kid. We planted 7000 in a season in 1982 and I haven't stopped.

But most of this stuff people like Heckbert peddle is just not sensible. You and I, or at least I, cannot possibly research these complicated matters to contradict over simplified half truths about replacing fossil fuels.

I am not against green or renewable energies as much as I am against leading people to a belief based on faulty "facts" peddled by people with many axes to grind against the status quo.

These people start with a mindset unalterably opposed to fossil fuels, period. In most cases they are anti-capitalists and of leftist ideology. Everything they say and do is subject to their utmost loyalty which again are anti-capitalism and leftism. Everything starts there with them and every end is worth whatever means or cost. It is simply illogical on every level to profess the things they profess.

If you were to take an honest read of Mr. Heckbert's "contributions" to this site you would easily see most of it is unproven propaganda existing in an echo chamber of like-minded individuals.

That is not conspiracy and it sure as heck aint denial, as I am most firmly rooted in reality because I seek reality no matter its' comfort level.

Lets meet back here in 50 years and see how much the needle has moved your way.

Skip Peel - Independent Landman
04/14/17 08:13:47PM @skip-peel-independent-landman:

Mr. Heckbert appears to me to be immune to facts regarding hydraulic fracture stimulation in particular and in thrall to the misconceptions of the hard greens.  It would be nice if all issues could be black and white but the real world is predominately shades of gray.  Those that deny man influenced climate change and consider it a conspiracy are likewise immune to the facts.  The science is irrefutable and the global agreement of nations regarding climate change is the exact opposite of the definition of a  conspiracy.

Barry D
04/14/17 08:05:14PM @barry-d:


Electric is interesting, but is still fossil fuel based.

Why aren't we finding more ways to efficiently fuel vehicles with Natural Gas?

Fed Ex and UPS are working on a nationwide system of fueling stations.

Why not cars and trucks?

04/14/17 07:50:21AM @joseph-ohio:
How much Federal subsidy does Tesla enjoy I wonder ? ?
Skip Peel - Independent Landman
04/14/17 09:38:23AM @skip-peel-independent-landman:

I imagine you can google the question of any subsidies Tesla might receive from the federal government.  I doubt you will find much as electric car companies, and that includes practically every major car manufacturer, get indirect subsidies from states that provide rebates or tax breaks to individuals who purchase electric cars.  Tesla has had to overcome much to get to this point as this USA Today editorial points out.

Tesla: champ of capitalism

These days there is nothing particularly unusual about high-flying tech companies. They often take off like rockets, sometimes falling back to earth, but sometimes achieving lofty heights and reinventing whole industries.

Thirteen years ago, for example, Facebook was a couple of guys in a dorm room. Today, its valuation of $404 billion is larger than the annual economic output of Thailand.

But electric car maker Tesla, which briefly surpassed General Motors this week to become America’s most valuable auto company, brings something new to the conversation. No company has had to fight harder for the right to do business as has Tesla.

When Tesla introduced its pricey Model S in 2012, the company was banned in much of the country from selling its cars directly to consumers. Its business model called for cutting out the middleman, but state laws required it to go through entrenched networks of dealers.

After years of litigating and legislating, Tesla has managed to eliminate, or get around, many of

the laws. But it is still barred from opening sales and service centers in Texas, Michigan, Utah and Connecticut. Several other states, including New York and New Jersey, have placed caps on the number of centers it can have.

Despite these restrictions, Tesla has made remarkable progress, if not yet profits. Its Model S has rivaled high-end cars offered by the likes of Mercedes Benz and BMW. And its $35,000 Model 3 is set to begin limited production later this year. Within a month of its unveiling it had received nearly 400,000 pre-orders.

Its biggest accomplishment, however, has been its dogged and largely successful defense of free enterprise. Tesla has gotten as far as it has by doing what Detroit never did: challenging blatantly anticompetitive laws that states passed decades ago to protect auto dealers.

When it started its battle, Tesla was in such a weak position that it was reduced to opening “galleries” instead of sales centers in many states. At these galleries customers could look at a Model S, touch it and sit in it — but not test drive or buy it.

Over the next five years the company would fight a tenacious, state-by-state battle to get exceptions,

exemptions and waivers allowing it to do business. Now it is going for all the marbles. A federal suit it filed in Michigan last fall challenges the constitutionally of state laws that mandate a role for middlemen in car sales. A win for Tesla could end many of the games dealers play with state legislatures. It might even spread beyond cars to other industries known for monetizing their political sway.

At a market capitalization of more than $50 billion, Tesla (with 0.3 percent of the domestic auto market this year) might well be overvalued, as some stock analysts have suggested. Or perhaps GM (17.1 percent of the market) and Ford (15.2 percent) are undervalued.

In any event, the main point is that Tesla has overcome substantial technological and political obstacles to get as far as it has. At a time when too many companies routinely abuse their customers, cook their books or use politicians to shield them from competition, it’s enough to drive home renewed faith in capitalism.

Editorial  — USA Today


Barry D
04/14/17 08:06:10PM @barry-d:


More subsidies than you want to know about.

04/14/17 12:15:20PM @joseph-ohio:
Maybe the future for the general public / common consumer is basically all electric across the board with electricity generated by Natural Gas but also renewables. Oil primarily for plastics, lubrication and a much lesser amount of Deisel and Gasoline ?
Just guessing out loud here as I continue to struggle wrapping my head around things.

Skip Peel - Independent Landman
04/14/17 12:24:07PM @skip-peel-independent-landman:

joseph, fossil fuels other than coal should be primary energy sources for decades to come.  Natural gas demand will increase as it becomes more readily available globally.  Technology will allow for cleaner burning combustion engines and improving MPG efficiency.  The oil and gas industry is not going anywhere but they do have to plan how to evolve to still be in business fifty years from now.  I suspect that many will evolve to be suppliers of energy generated in multiple ways, not just fossil fuels.  At some point I think it likely that there will be many instances of "stranded reserves" where proven reserves are too expensive to produce when compared to the cost of competing energy sources.

Barry D
04/14/17 08:09:35PM @barry-d:


In fact Exxon-Mobil is one of the largest, if not the largest, U.S. companies involved in the development of alternative forms of delivering energy.

Barry D
04/14/17 08:07:17PM @barry-d:


why not make home compressors affordable to fill cars fueled by natural gas?

04/14/17 08:20:08PM @joseph-ohio:

Automobiles / Pickups / SUVs / Heavy Trucks / Rail Engines / Planes / Pleasure Boats / Ships all fueled by Natural Gas; along with whatever support equipment / infrastructure that would be required all make instinctive intuitive sense to me - but that's only my instincts / intuition writing here . Would like to see more movement along those lines but thinking ease of earning that first dollar profit prevails. Need commitment from the industry.

Skip Peel - Independent Landman
04/14/17 08:32:23PM @skip-peel-independent-landman:

There is a basic principle that retards greater use of CNG and LNG for light duty vehicles.  Owing to the pressure required for CNG storage it must be held in a cylindrical tank.  That takes up about one third to one half of the trunk space in most cars and a meaningful portion of the bed in pickup trucks.  If technology would allow for a tank to be built into the frame of the chassis so that no trunk or bed space was sacrificed, there would be a lot more natural gas powered vehicles here in NW LA.  LNG storage is more like gas or diesel and requires large tanks that are easily accommodated by long haul semi trucks but are far too bulky for light duty vehicles.

04/15/17 03:57:39PM @joseph-ohio:
"Never discount the march of technology."
04/14/17 09:48:07PM @joseph-ohio:
Time for industry genius to engage.

Giddyup !

But, there's that 1st profit dollar to consider too; which I think will prevail (as it always does); but, hopefully not for too long !




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