To Have Gas or Not to Have Gas

The New York Times article on the arguments regarding the use of natural gas versus renewable energy sources is interesting on two fronts. First, that the use of coal is fading notwithstanding the absurd attempts by this administration to keep a dying fuel source in business for the sole purpose of getting votes from people who are scared about the future.

natural gas

Secondly, that in at least one instance, a power company has determined that the use of renewable energy and storage is less costly than converting more plants to natural gas. Wow, that is amazing. Not only did the math work, but greenhouse gas emissions will be cut by 90% by 2030.

A valuable component of that example is the clear and very intelligent statement that the cost factors are better because of a full combination of circumstances including geography. Indeed, wind and solar won’t work everywhere, but what a great start.

(And for those who claim it is the subsidies that make renewable energy work, give it up. Please read prior posts comparing the subsidies received by the fossil fuel industry for the past 100+ years…and that are still being received).

Of course the big question is what do we do where renewables are not quite as attractive. That is the question.

Gas produces about 50% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than coal. That is a great start. The question is, is it enough and should we continue to rely on gas when we are making such great strides on renewables? Since a plant built today is going to be in service for about 50 years, we are investing in some improvement when there is more to get.

A tough call to be sure and one that I am not certain that I have the answer to with one exception….Reducing consumption is still the best solution.

Read The Full Article Here:
Limited free access; NY Times subscription may be required.
As Coal Fades in the U.S., Natural Gas Becomes the Climate Battleground

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