On top of spiraling prices at the pump for gasoline and diesel fuel, this recent headline grabbed everyone’s attention: Pennsylvania electric generation costs increasing up to 45% on June 1st
“According to the commission, higher wholesale market prices for electricity are being caused mostly by shifts in supply and demand for natural gas.”Brian C. Rittenmeyer / Trib Live / May 9, 2022
It seemed like such a great idea to increase our dependence on methane gas, especially with so much of it underlying Pennsylvania in the Marcellus Shale formation. That sort of ‘Energy Independence’ spin was far more believable before gas pipeline exports ramped up, we saw the latest boom-bust in drilling, elimination of the United States’ 40-year oil export ban in 2015, and crazy price spikes on global commodity markets that have nearly tripled over the past year.
Go figure! With so much methane gas being exported as Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) it’s not like this so-called “home grown energy” was only going to benefit local users. What we’re now seeing, after the construction of more gas peaker plants to replace coal for electricity generation, is a supply-and-demand squeeze on consumers.
In the meantime, we have Pennsylvania politicians ‘under the dome’ in Harrisburg who are not only pushing for more natural gas drilling and use, they are also working shamelessly to ‘kneecap’ renewable energy, like wind and solar. Definitely ‘old school thinking’ if you can even call that ‘thinking.’ They have no vision for a real future, other than being at the ‘beck and call’ of their political contributions.
Meantime, we do see more encouraging headlines like this: Wind and Solar Produced 20% of U.S. Electricity in April
“The trend reflects the global acceleration towards wind and solar energy, which have doubled since 2015 to deliver a record tenth of global electricity in 2021.”Billy Ludt / Solar Power World / May 10, 2022
On the homefront, it’s definitely time for homeowners to rethink solar energy for their personal benefit. Whether it’s rooftop solar panels, which are increasingly more efficient and still benefit from a federal investment tax credit (ITC), or community solar projects with Power Purchase Agreements (PPA’s) for those who don’t have the right roof.