• 2 hours Oil Nears $52 With Record OPEC Deal Compliance
  • 5 hours Saudi Aramco CEO Affirms IPO On Track For H2 2018
  • 7 hours Canadia Ltd. Returns To Sudan For First Time Since Oil Price Crash
  • 8 hours Syrian Rebel Group Takes Over Oil Field From IS
  • 3 days PDVSA Booted From Caribbean Terminal Over Unpaid Bills
  • 3 days Russia Warns Ukraine Against Recovering Oil Off The Coast Of Crimea
  • 3 days Syrian Rebels Relinquish Control Of Major Gas Field
  • 3 days Schlumberger Warns Of Moderating Investment In North America
  • 3 days Oil Prices Set For Weekly Loss As Profit Taking Trumps Mideast Tensions
  • 3 days Energy Regulators Look To Guard Grid From Cyberattacks
  • 3 days Mexico Says OPEC Has Not Approached It For Deal Extension
  • 3 days New Video Game Targets Oil Infrastructure
  • 3 days Shell Restarts Bonny Light Exports
  • 3 days Russia’s Rosneft To Take Majority In Kurdish Oil Pipeline
  • 4 days Iraq Struggles To Replace Damaged Kirkuk Equipment As Output Falls
  • 4 days British Utility Companies Brace For Major Reforms
  • 4 days Montenegro A ‘Sweet Spot’ Of Untapped Oil, Gas In The Adriatic
  • 4 days Rosneft CEO: Rising U.S. Shale A Downside Risk To Oil Prices
  • 4 days Brazil Could Invite More Bids For Unsold Pre-Salt Oil Blocks
  • 4 days OPEC/Non-OPEC Seek Consensus On Deal Before Nov Summit
  • 4 days London Stock Exchange Boss Defends Push To Win Aramco IPO
  • 4 days Rosneft Signs $400M Deal With Kurdistan
  • 4 days Kinder Morgan Warns About Trans Mountain Delays
  • 5 days India, China, U.S., Complain Of Venezuelan Crude Oil Quality Issues
  • 5 days Kurdish Kirkuk-Ceyhan Crude Oil Flows Plunge To 225,000 Bpd
  • 5 days Russia, Saudis Team Up To Boost Fracking Tech
  • 5 days Conflicting News Spurs Doubt On Aramco IPO
  • 5 days Exxon Starts Production At New Refinery In Texas
  • 5 days Iraq Asks BP To Redevelop Kirkuk Oil Fields
  • 6 days Oil Prices Rise After U.S. API Reports Strong Crude Inventory Draw
  • 6 days Oil Gains Spur Growth In Canada’s Oil Cities
  • 6 days China To Take 5% Of Rosneft’s Output In New Deal
  • 6 days UAE Oil Giant Seeks Partnership For Possible IPO
  • 6 days Planting Trees Could Cut Emissions As Much As Quitting Oil
  • 6 days VW Fails To Secure Critical Commodity For EVs
  • 6 days Enbridge Pipeline Expansion Finally Approved
  • 6 days Iraqi Forces Seize Control Of North Oil Co Fields In Kirkuk
  • 6 days OPEC Oil Deal Compliance Falls To 86%
  • 7 days U.S. Oil Production To Increase in November As Rig Count Falls
  • 7 days Gazprom Neft Unhappy With OPEC-Russia Production Cut Deal
Brazil Sees Oil Exports Soar

Brazil Sees Oil Exports Soar

Latin America has seen significant…

Oil Quality Issues Could Bankrupt Venezuela

Oil Quality Issues Could Bankrupt Venezuela

Falling Venezuelan oil quality could…

Solar should Dump Wind and Form an Alliance with Natural Gas

Solar should Dump Wind and Form an Alliance with Natural Gas

Wind needs transmission, and solar doesn’t.

A bit of a revelation to some, maybe, but it actually brings with it great consequences and options for a country’s energy mix.

David Crane, the CEO of NRG Energy, one of the largest energy companies in the US, is a big believer in clean energy, including distributed solar, and recently he described the direction that he thought the US solar industry should be taking.

The basis of the argument is that currently solar is always linked to wind power as another alternative energy, yet wind power requires large tracts of land for the wind farms, and then miles of transmission infrastructure to deliver the power to homes. Solar panels on the other hand can be installed on the roofs of those very homes, doing away with the need for transmission lines.

Related article: MIT Create Solar Cells that Beat the Shockley-Queisser Efficiency Limit

Crane states that wind and solar must accept this fundamental difference and, for the good of solar, separate.

Solar needs different allies, ones who can help homeowners generate, and manage their own power needs enough to be independent of the grid, which can fail and cause blackouts; allies such as energy management companies, Nest for example.

Another ally suggested by Crane, and not the most obvious, is natural gas. Crane says that homeowners with solar panels will need an alternative form of energy for when the sun doesn’t shine, and natural gas is the perfect choice.

However he does not talk of natural gas being burnt in giant power plants, but rather piping the gas directly to homes where microturbines can generate electricity. Homeowners haven’t really felt any benefit from the low gas prices in the US because utilities tend to pocket the extra value, keeping end prices the same. Piping the gas direct to the homes would reduce energy bills massively.

By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com



Join the discussion | Back to homepage

Leave a comment
  • Others on April 27 2013 said:
    Windmills dont need so much land. Each windmill need only around 100 sq. ft. of land in the base can the remaining land can be used for farming.

    In fact windmills can be installed in factories, schools. Fuel cells have much higher conversion efficiency than natgas fired power plant. So installing fuel cells at home, school, stores is also a good idea.
  • Alan on April 25 2013 said:
    The issue is what efficiency can be achieved by small gas turbine generators in people's homes. Large plants can achieve 50% using natural gas (only 50% of the chemical energy is wasted) but it's likely that small domestic machines won't achieve that.

    The article does not mention a related matter that might compensate for lowered efficiency. The wasted energy in power plants is evacuated to the atmosphere, while in the home it can in principal be used for space heating, which would be a big step forward (these schemes have a high capital cost).

Leave a comment

Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News