I did it, yes… I used artificial intelligence to make this image. Shocked while looking at wind turbines!
Natural gas supply is being clipped across the European regions, as we all know. However, the UK has shown that perhaps renewables could fill that gap in the near future. A record 20.91 GW was produced in December of 2022. The UK’s grid operation, The National Grid’s electricity system operator (ESO), also stated that zero-carbon energy sources accounted for 87.2% of the total power supplied during the month. By the way, zero carbon includes nuclear. However, 60% of energy does come from natural gas (NG) periodically throughout the year. Electric heaters and stoves might be the de facto standard if natural gas supplies continue to be choked.
Skip across the pond, and the USA has similar news to report. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data shows 23% of energy generated across the US from January to October of 2022 came from renewables. This is up nearly 3% since 2021.
The breakdown is interesting. Wind generation made up 9.8% of generation, expanding ~17% over the year. 5% of this power came from solar, which increased its use by ~26%. Solar expanded almost 10 points more. That’s odd… It costs about $2.19 per watt in solar generating hardware VS $1.50 per watt in wind hardware. Perhaps that is better; wind turbines are just bird-killing blenders.
The rest of the renewable generation came from other sources, like geothermal, hydropower and biomass. This reflects an overall bump in renewable generation by 14.26%, dwarfing the generation from traditional sources.
It’s shocking how Texas and western states have sharply increased their renewable generation over recent years. Eastern states, pick up the pace!
Like the UK, the USA depends on 39.4% of its energy derived from natural gas. However, the USA gets its NG from domestic sources, and 32 individual states produce it. Canada also produces a surplus just over the border. So, the USA is fairly energy safe.
This is all fine and good. The world is better for it. But, what about 2023?
Many can speculate. Everyone has an opinion. The consensus of everyone’s prediction is as follows: Renewable energy installations will increase significantly across the planet. Electricity grids will become a bit more unstable. Oil and gas prices will increase. The European Union may face an energy crisis. All in all, we have to reduce our energy needs. Same old message, it seems. At least that crypto mining power draw has gone down a bit.
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