US Coal Replaced By Clean Energy and Methane

US coal use is falling fast, and predicted to go below 40 percent this year, as electric utilities switch to cheaper natural gas and clean energy, reports Jonathan Fahey at the Associated Press.  New Environmental Protection Agency pollution standards mean that many more old, dirty coal plants will be forced to close over the next few years. Meantime, methane, that is natural gas, is replacing it in part. While methane emits about 45% less greenhouse gases than coal when burned,  mining methane releases so much of this potent greenhouse gas into the atmosphere that it is little if any improvement over coal, recent past studies have shown, as reported in previous Climate Change Reports. The good news is that clean renewable energy, both solar and wind, increased its production faster than natural gas in 2011, reports Zachary Shahan at Clean Technica, replacing more of the coal gap. Rapidly falling clean energy prices, combined with indications that proven gas reserves will supply cheap US gas for only one to two decades, indicates, reports Stephen Lacey at Clean Technica, that clean energy will increasingly replace even natural gas.

Sources:

 http://www.beaumontenterprise.com/news/article/US-coal-use-falling-fast-utilities-switch-to-gas-3628027.php#ixzz1xgTCpwnJ US coal use falling fast; utilities switch to gas. America is shoveling coal to the sidelines. The fuel that powered the United States from the industrial revolution into the iPhone era is being pushed aside as utilities switch to cleaner and cheaper alternatives. Associated Press

Don’t Believe the (Natural Gas & Anti-Clean-Energy) Hype, Zachary Shahan, http://cleantechnica.com/2012/04/02/natural-gas-vs-renewable-energy-growth/

Cheap Natural Gas Won’t Kill Renewable Energy Growth (3 Reasons Why), Stephen Lacey, Clean Technica, http://cleantechnica.com/2012/02/22/cheap-natural-gas-wont-kill-renewable-energy-growth-3-reasons-why/

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About melharte

Mel (Mary Ellen) Harte is a biologist (PhD) and climate change educator. She co-authored the free online book, COOL THE EARTH, SAVE THE ECONOMY, available at www.CoolTheEarth.US, and writes the CLIMATE CHANGE THIS WEEK column at the HuffingtonPost. Living summers in the alpine Rockies, she is on the frontlines of watching what climate change can do. Her diagnostic digital photographs of wildflowers have appeared in numerous publications.
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