Episode 29 — Methane Blows Up Winds Gains — Unintended Consequences — Chapter 9 Part 6

The Thorium Network
4 min readJul 30, 2022


In their excellent Wind and Solar’s Achilles Heel: The Methane Meltdown at Porter Ranch, Mike Conley and Tim Maloney reported:

“Even a tiny methane leak can make a gas-backed wind or solar farm just as bad — or worse — than a coal plant when it comes to global warming. And the leaks don’t just come from operating wells. They can happen anywhere in the infrastructure… In the U.S., these fugitive methane leaks can range up to 9%.

“If the fugitive methane rate of the infrastructure… exceeds 3.8 %, then you might as well burn coal for all the “good” it’ll do you. All in all, the numbers are pathetic — some of the most recent measurements of fugitive methane in the U.S. are up to 10%. But the gas industry predictably reports a low 1.6%.”

Emissions from the latest natural gas-fired turbine technologies. Tests include PM2.5, wet chemical tests for SO2/SO3 & NH3, and ultrafine PM. Strong presence of high concentrations of nanoparticles. Two orders of magnitude higher turbine particle emissions than background.

PM2.5 and ultrafine particulate matter emissions from natural gas-fired turbine for power generation

Eli Brewer(a) Yang Li(a) Bob Finken(b) Greg Quartucy(c) Lawrence Muzio(c) Al Baez(d) Mike Garibay(d) Heejung S. Jung(a)

a University of California Riverside (UCR), Department of Mechanical Engineering, Riverside, CA 92521, USA
b Delta Air Quality Services, Inc., 1845 North Case Street, Orange, CA 92865, USA
c Fossil Energy Research Corporation (FERCo), 23342-C South Pointe Dr., Laguna Hills, CA 92653, USA
d South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), 21865 Copley Dr., Diamond Bar, CA 91765, USA

The sediments in many of the world’s shallow oceans and lakes also release vast amounts of methane from frozen organic matter as it thaws and decomposes. When a Russian scientist searched the Arctic shores for methane, he found hundreds of yard-wide craters, but when he returned a few years later, they were 100 yards in diameter.

Massive Craters From Methane Explosions Discovered in Arctic Ocean Where Ice Melted

In 2014, N. Nadir, of the Energy Collective wrote, “The most serious environmental problem that renewable energy has is that even if it reached 50% capacity somewhere, this huge waste of money and resources would still be dependent on natural gas, which any serious environmentalist with a long-term view sees as disastrous.

“Natural gas is not safe — even if we ignore the frequent news when a gas line blows up, killing people. It is not clean, since there is no place to dump its CO2; it is not sustainable; and the practice of mining it — fracking — is a crime against all future generations who will need to live with shattered, metal-leaching rock beneath their feet, and huge amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere.”

Britain to impose immediate moratorium on fracking

“If politicos impose a carbon-tax, a methane-leakage tax, etc., utilities will build nuclear plants as fast as they can.”

Dr. Alex Cannara

Burning just 1 gallon of gasoline creates about 170 cubic feet of CO2.

Tim Maloney of the Thorium Energy Alliance argues that we should be conserving natural gas because methane is the primary feed stock for ammonia, and ammonia is used to produce nitrogen-based fertilizers, a shortage of which could cause starvation. In addition, closing nuclear plants and expanding “renewables” that require natural gas will substantially increase CO2 and methane emissions.

From THINKPROGRESS, Nov. 2017, “A shocking new study concludes that the methane emissions escaping from New Mexico’s gas and oil industry are equivalent to the climate impact of approximately 12 coal-fired power plants.”

Natural gas has no climate benefit and may make things worse. Methane leaks in New Mexico’s oil and gas industry equal 12 coal-fired power plants.

Joe Romm 13 November 2017

Who will clean up the ‘billion-dollar mess’ of abandoned US oil wells?

Heather Hansman 25 February 2021

As oil companies go bankrupt, who will clean up the ‘billion-dollar mess’ of abandoned, methane-leaking oil wells?


Coming up next week, Episode 30 — Longevity and Reliability



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