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Plan B - In case Natural gas or Fossil fuels runs out

Aluvaboy
Aluvaboy Member Posts: 29
edited March 30 in THE MAIN WALL
I was wondering if anyone has any thoughts on the situation once we run out of fossil fuels. I just read that petroleum reserves will all be exhausted by 2050. So in another 30 years what should be our game plan as far as home heating is concerned. Move to more moderate climate ? Geothermal? etc. Just curious to know.

Comments

  • Hot_water_fan
    Hot_water_fan Member Posts: 513
    Don’t worry about it. We will not run out of gas or oil. Will we run out of economic gas or oil is a separate question (that’s what reserves for oil companies means). We will use electricity for heating even more than we do now. Not a big deal. 
  • TAG
    TAG Member Posts: 610
    Aluvaboy said:

    I was wondering if anyone has any thoughts on the situation once we run out of fossil fuels. I just read that petroleum reserves will all be exhausted by 2050. So in another 30 years what should be our game plan as far as home heating is concerned. Move to more moderate climate ? Geothermal? etc. Just curious to know.

    Marry money ... solves it all.
    Aluvaboy
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 3,186
    edited March 28

    Don’t worry about it. We will not run out of gas or oil. Will we run out of economic gas or oil is a separate question (that’s what reserves for oil companies means). We will use electricity for heating even more than we do now. Not a big deal. 

    Really? I thought that it would just all of a sudden STOP. You know... Like running out of gas in your car. All the oil wells will stop producing oil on the same day because they will all run out of oil on the same day! You know all the oil wells are connected together underground, so we will all run out at the same time. I know this because I saw this picture on the internet!

    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey.
    Services first oil burner at age 16
    P/T trainer for EH-CC.org
    Hot_water_fanratiodelcrossvAluvaboy
  • DanInNaperville
    DanInNaperville Member Posts: 40
    Easy enough to use electricity from wind or solar to create hydrogen. Then use to hydrogen to make methane (which is essentially natural gas). Do we call it un-natural gas?
    It could be that it's cheaper and easier to use the existing local distribution system of gas pipes vs. digging up enough copper to run big enough cables to every house to support resistance heating.
    Heat pumps are a lot more efficient in warmer temperate zones, and will probably take over in those regions, but their efficiency goes way down with the outdoor temperature. If you switch everyone over to heat pumps in cold climates, you're back at the issue of needing new big copper power lines to every house.
    Big batteries at every house is another way to smooth out the demand curve and reduce the need for peak demand power lines to every house, but those are expensive, too.
    - by the way, there is an incredible amount of natural gas available from sea-bed methane, but that has the same climate problems as any other new gas. Gas synthesized from renewable sources (including nuclear) could pull its carbon out of the air and be carbon neutral.
    Aluvaboy
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 18,918
    As @Hot_water_fan says, we are not going to run out of oil or natural gas -- at least so far as nature is concerned. What will happen is that regulatory and government action will raise the costs enough so that people are forced to turn to other means of staying warm and cooking and moving stuff around and so on. This is a government/regulatory problem, not a geologic one.

    As to what Plan B will be, the enlightened ones have no clue. So -- you'd better have a plan yourself. Nobody is going to come to bail you out. And, honestly, if I lived in an urban or even suburban area, I'd be real worried. As it is, we are on a farm, and my ancestors lived here 150 years ago without any of that stuff, and so can we, so long as no one comes by to expropriate it.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    MikeAmannAluvaboy
  • Aluvaboy
    Aluvaboy Member Posts: 29

    As @Hot_water_fan says, we are not going to run out of oil or natural gas -- at least so far as nature is concerned. What will happen is that regulatory and government action will raise the costs enough so that people are forced to turn to other means of staying warm and cooking and moving stuff around and so on. This is a government/regulatory problem, not a geologic one.

    As to what Plan B will be, the enlightened ones have no clue. So -- you'd better have a plan yourself. Nobody is going to come to bail you out. And, honestly, if I lived in an urban or even suburban area, I'd be real worried. As it is, we are on a farm, and my ancestors lived here 150 years ago without any of that stuff, and so can we, so long as no one comes by to expropriate it.

    So I was wondering (in a few years) if it is a smart move looking for a homestead or similar property in not too cold climate. I live in the North East (New York state) and spend around $500.00 a month on heating the home. Now that I am employed and spouse is working as well, it is not a big deal. Once retired and trying to live on Social Security + 401K savings things could definitely get much tighter!
    Zman
  • Aluvaboy
    Aluvaboy Member Posts: 29
    edited March 28
    TAG said:

    Aluvaboy said:

    I was wondering if anyone has any thoughts on the situation once we run out of fossil fuels. I just read that petroleum reserves will all be exhausted by 2050. So in another 30 years what should be our game plan as far as home heating is concerned. Move to more moderate climate ? Geothermal? etc. Just curious to know.

    Marry money ... solves it all.
    Too old to do that! Should have thought about it 40 years ago!
    Zman
  • Hot_water_fan
    Hot_water_fan Member Posts: 513
    So I was wondering (in a few years) if it is a smart move looking for a homestead or similar property in not too cold climate. I live in the North East (New York state) and spend around $500.00 a month on heating the home. Now that I am employed and spouse is working as well, it is not a big deal. Once retired and trying to live on Social Security + 401K savings things could definitely get much tighter!


    Ha many retirees have found themselves moving to the Sunbelt!
    Aluvaboy
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 2,880
    Aluvaboy said:

    I was wondering if anyone has any thoughts on the situation once we run out of fossil fuels. I just read that petroleum reserves will all be exhausted by 2050. So in another 30 years what should be our game plan as far as home heating is concerned. Move to more moderate climate ? Geothermal? etc. Just curious to know.

    In another 30 years ill be 97, I'll have bigger things to worry about!
    Zman
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 11,988
    50 years ago with the oil embargo etc. they said we were running out of oil and gas
    pecmsgdelcrossvAluvaboy
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,328
    I am not worried, the sustainability folks are just electrifying everything. That will solve the problem, right? :D
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
    pecmsgdelcrossvAluvaboy
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,173

    As @Hot_water_fan says, we are not going to run out of oil or natural gas -- at least so far as nature is concerned. What will happen is that regulatory and government action will raise the costs enough so that people are forced to turn to other means of staying warm and cooking and moving stuff around and so on. This is a government/regulatory problem, not a geologic one.

    There's an unspoken "some" that needs to be prepended to the people that Br. Jamie mentioned above. I'm quite certain that oil & gas will be available—to others. No doubt with very good reasons.
  • Hot_water_fan
    Hot_water_fan Member Posts: 513
    edited March 28
    Another scenario is that oil/gas finds itself uneconomic and is then ditched by customers (ask coal about that). That could be a positive for households.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 18,918

    Another scenario is that oil/gas finds itself uneconomic and is then ditched by customers (ask coal about that). That could be a positive for households.

    It will be, if there is a suitably priced alternative. However, energy demand and usage is strikingly inelastic -- that is, variations in price have remarkably little effect on consumption. We are seeing this in Europe and the UK now -- natural gas prices have tripled recently, but consumption hasn't changed much. What has happened is that less wealthy folks are having to decide whether to eat or stay warm -- and this is giving rise to a certain degree of political unrest.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Robert_25
    Robert_25 Member Posts: 406

    Another scenario is that oil/gas finds itself uneconomic and is then ditched by customers (ask coal about that). That could be a positive for households.

    We can only hope that happens due to innovation (as opposed to raising cost of oil/gas via tax).
    delcrossvAluvaboy
  • Hot_water_fan
    Hot_water_fan Member Posts: 513
    edited March 29
    We can only hope that happens due to innovation (as opposed to raising cost of oil/gas via tax).
    I’m optimistic - my house went from no electricity and coal to gas to heat pump (100% renewable), and energy costs have decreased while quality and capability has increased. 

    It will be, if there is a suitably priced alternative. However, energy demand and usage is strikingly inelastic -- that is, variations in price have remarkably little effect on consumption. We are seeing this in Europe and the UK now -- natural gas prices have tripled recently, but consumption hasn't changed much. What has happened is that less wealthy folks are having to decide whether to eat or stay warm -- and this is giving rise to a certain degree of political unrest.  

    Short term, maybe inelastic. Long term, everything is elastic. I’d bet on the cheapest energy source: right now that’s wind and solar. 

    Aluvaboy
  • delcrossv
    delcrossv Member Posts: 502
    edited March 29
    Wind and solar is hardly the cheapest (absent subsidies). Certainly not in EROI, and that won't change.
    Frankly, with new recovery technologies I doubt we'll be running out of fossil fuels anytime soon. And, when that day finally does arrive, there's enough DU sitting at Savannah River to power the whole US for 750 years.
    Between breeding and seawater extraction, there's enough potential fissile to power the planet until the sun goes red giant.
    Trying to squeeze the best out of a Weil-McLain JB-5 running a 1912 1 pipe system.
  • Hot_water_fan
    Hot_water_fan Member Posts: 513
    Wind and solar is hardly the cheapest (absent subsidies). Certainly not in EROI.
    Talk to ERCOT: the energy only market in Texas which is installing wind, solar and storage at a breakneck pace. They know the real economics ($/kwh). 
  • delcrossv
    delcrossv Member Posts: 502
    They weren't happy a couple of winters ago. And yes, it's subsidized even in Texas.
    Trying to squeeze the best out of a Weil-McLain JB-5 running a 1912 1 pipe system.
  • Hot_water_fan
    Hot_water_fan Member Posts: 513
    Yup natural gas laid an egg in 2021. Either way, they’re all subsidized and the market has decided. Wind and solar are being built. 
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 18,918

    Wind and solar is hardly the cheapest (absent subsidies). Certainly not in EROI.
    Talk to ERCOT: the energy only market in Texas which is installing wind, solar and storage at a breakneck pace. They know the real economics ($/kwh). 
    Really big subsidies involved -- not all of them obvious. And remember this: a subsidy is paid for by someone else, somewhere. In the case of federal subsidies, which are involved, the whole country.

    Yes, the Texans (and others all over the place) are installing wind and solar as fast as they can (and destroying crop land while doing it, but who cares?) -- but they're not fools. If someone wants to give them the money, they'll take it.

    One thing which people forget is that the government can spend money, but it cannot create value. It can only either create new money, which means all the money has less value than before, or it can take money from one place and spend it in some other place.

    And that's the real economics.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    MikeAmanndelcrossvSolid_Fuel_Man
  • Hot_water_fan
    Hot_water_fan Member Posts: 513
    edited March 29
    Really big subsidies involved -- not all of them obvious. And remember this: a subsidy is paid for by someone else, somewhere. In the case of federal subsidies, which are involved, the whole country.
    Agreed! It should be obvious that an incumbent technology will have stacked the deck in their favor (otherwise, why invest in lobbying?). That’s setting aside whether or not you think that emitting carbon for free is a subsidy or not. 

    If a farmer wants to produce solar, that’s their decision. They’re in the money making business. 
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,821

    50 years ago with the oil embargo etc. they said we were running out of oil and gas


    In the 1910's-1920s Charles Kettering had looked into using Ethanol and even mixing Ethanol with gasoline to protect against fuel shortages which they feared would happen in the 1940s-50s.

    I'm going to assume we got a lot better at drilling, so there never was a shortage.

    I'm also going to guess the cost of getting the fuel at one point is going to make it not worth it, rather than actually running out.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • JakeCK
    JakeCK Member Posts: 688
    edited March 30
    Let's talk about the subsidies that oil and gas get.

    Me personally? I have a solar array that has already produced 1mwh for the month. And I've only used 600kwh so far in the same time frame. The only gas appliances I have left are the dryer and boiler. And I'm really contemplating replacing my dryer with a ventless hp version. One less hole in the side of my house too.

    That leaves my almost 40 year old boiler, and replacing that will be hard nut to crack. I need at least 50k btuh at design to heat the house as is. I have new storms windows on order right now, the front porch and old coal bin is getting rebuilt this spring to stop water infiltration and after that I'm going to be insulating the basement walls, air sealing them and the rim joists. Before I can insulate the walls upstairs I need to rewire and decommission the remaining k&t. Same in the attic. After that I'll have to see what the energy demands will be. Maybe I'll be close enough to heat with a heat pump? 🤷‍♂️

    Oh my electric bill for February was $2.33. 
  • Aluvaboy
    Aluvaboy Member Posts: 29
    JakeCK said:

    Let's talk about the subsidies that oil and gas get.

    Me personally? I have a solar array that has already produced 1mwh for the month. And I've only used 600kwh so far in the same time frame. The only gas appliances I have left are the dryer and boiler. And I'm really contemplating replacing my dryer with a ventless hp version. One less hole in the side of my house too.

    That leaves my almost 40 year old boiler, and replacing that will be hard nut to crack. I need at least 50k btuh at design to heat the house as is. I have new storms windows on order right now, the front porch and old coal bin is getting rebuilt this spring to stop water infiltration and after that I'm going to be insulating the basement walls, air sealing them and the rim joists. Before I can insulate the walls upstairs I need to rewire and decommission the remaining k&t. Same in the attic. After that I'll have to see what the energy demands will be. Maybe I'll be close enough to heat with a heat pump? 🤷‍♂️

    Oh my electric bill for February was $2.33. 

    I too have solar panels. I have the leased unit from Sun Run. Monthly lease is $93.00. My Utility still charges $20.00 each month towards service charge (irrespective of surplus generation).
    Zman
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 18,918
    And, folks, guess who's paying for you solar panels and free electricity? All the other **** who don't have panels or can't have panels or can't afford them. Enjoy.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    delcrossv
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 16,285
    It is a good solar time of year here in Utah. Cool sunny days, longer periods if sunshine

    Until AC season rolls around I generate enough for the lighting and daily use

    The SMA app is easy to read and check throughout the day
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,821
    hot_rod said:

    It is a good solar time of year here in Utah. Cool sunny days, longer periods if sunshine

    Until AC season rolls around I generate enough for the lighting and daily use

    The SMA app is easy to read and check throughout the day

    According to @Jamie Hall I guess I get to say "You're welcome". :D
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Hot_water_fan
    Hot_water_fan Member Posts: 513
    And, folks, guess who's paying for you solar panels and free electricity? All the other **** who don't have panels or can't have panels or can't afford them. Enjoy.


    The vast majority of US solar is utility scale - it's cheapest even when unsubsidized. We all benefit from solar on the grid.
  • ron
    ron Member Posts: 217


This discussion has been closed.