When different energy sources are measured on an apples-to-apples basis, nonconventional natural gas is the big cost winner, while renewables require oil prices well above $100 a barrel to produce the same amount of energy.Agreed. Advantage: shale!
The chart measures the cost of developing 11 different types of energy projects to receive the same amount of energy as a barrel of light oil, or $/boeenergy. The cost includes CO 2 emissions, which are priced at $50/tonne. For example, offshore wind becomes viable at about $342/boe-energy and solar voltaic becomes viable at about $429/boe-energy.
As the lowest-cost source of energy and the most environmentally friendly of the hydrocarbons, abundant natural gas is well placed to become the largest source of energy on the planet.
What they don't tell you about renewables[:] Solar power is generated only when the sun shines, wind energy is generated only when the wind blows and there is no practical way to store the electrical energy they generate to balance a broad-based electrical grid.
To replace the current global oil production of 84.4 million barrels per day with corn ethanol production, it would take a corn field the combined size of the United States, China and India -- an area that is greater than the currently used arable land in the world.
To replace the coal-fired electricity in the United States, it would take solar panels that would cost $4.4 trillion. The limiting factor is the inability to store the power generated during sunny periods for use throughout darkness and times of cloud cover. There is no current technology to store this amount of electricity.
Some 149 million people per year could be fed with the feedstocks now being used for ethanol production in the United States.
(via Maggie's Farm)