Oil and gas and coal and nuclear and renewables... Oh My!

OK… Let’s get a perspective on power generation for today and tomorrow. There is no argument that renewable energy sources such as wind and solar are getting ample media exposure. The headlines in Vermont claim that the state can be self-sufficient using solar and wind. Massachusetts and Rhode Island made a significant award last week to Avangrid Inc and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners to develop the largest wind farm off Martha’s Vineyard. We see solar panels on homes sprouting up throughout the region. One would think that fossil fuels will soon take the same path as the Dodo bird with extinction. Well, in using an old saying from Paul Harvey, ‘here is the rest of the story’ as described by Dr. Linda Capuano from the Energy Information Administration.

Click here to see the full presentation. The good news is that the United States as of last year is a net energy exporter from new oil and natural gas exploration. The Bakken Shale in North Dakota, the Barnett Shale in Texas, the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia and the Raton Basin in Colorado are the new energy epicenters. As a result, the economics show that fossil fuels will continue to be the leading source for generating electricity for years to come. Dr. Capuano’s graphs below include hydro generation with renewables and although forecasts do change, it gives a good perspective of reality. 

In closing, it would be in New England’s best interest to take advantage of the energy boom and support a healthy mix of technologies to eliminate double-digit supply rates.

Your Friendly Neighborhood Energy!