Environmental Benefits


Published on

Published in: Technology, Business
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Environmental Benefits

  1. 1. Natural gas plays an essential role in the nation’s transition to a clean-energy future. Twice as clean as coal and vastly underutilized today, natural gas is found in vast abundance throughout our nation. As a result, it presents the only option of adequate scale to make meaningful improvements over the next 10 years in both reducing our carbon footprint and clearing the air in communities across our country. Natural gas also is an essential partner to the development of renewables, providing clean, reliable back-up power when the sun sets or wind dies down. • When used to generate electricity, natural gas emits half the CO2 emissions of coal, 80% less nitrogen oxides and virtually no sulfur dioxide, mercury or particulate matter. • Natural gas is currently under-utilized for power generation and could be called into duty very quickly to provide cleaner energy and have an immediate pollution-reduction impact. In Colorado, Governor Bill Ritter • Natural gas vehicles emit 25% less CO2 than signed into law the Colorado Clean 1 vehicles that run on traditional gasoline or diesel. Air-Clean Jobs Act. And, it’s going to make the kind of real progress we Cleaner for Power Generation need in communities across this Natural gas emits just over half of the CO2 per megawatt-hour country. They’re going to retire and (MWh) of a coal plant and modern natural gas combined cycle retrofit older coal-fired power plants in turbines emit 60 percent less CO2 per MWh than a typical existing non-attainment areas. It’s going to 2 coal plant. bring down NOx emissions by 80% over the next eight years—and The emissions of CO2 from coal-fired electricity generating facilities are the largest single source of greenhouse gas probably sooner. And, it’s going to do 3 emissions in the United States. In fact, coal-fired power plants so through a greater embrace of low- currently account for 80 percent of all the CO2 emissions from the emission energy sources—among U.S. electric power industry and about 33 percent of all U.S. CO2 them natural gas. And, along the way, emissions. 4 it’s going to add to the more than 130,000 Colorado jobs already If we doubled the utilization of the natural gas capacity to 85 supported by natural gas percent from 42 percent, you could displace about 19% of the CO2 emissions associated with coal power, or 635.651 million metric tons of CO2. This amounts to an 8.8 percent reduction of all 5 CO2 emissions in the U.S. 1 Emissions of Greenhouse Gases Report, Energy Information Administration (EIA), December 3, 2009. 2 Displacing Coal with Generation from Existing Natural Gas-Fired Power Plants, Congressional Research Service, January 19, 2010. 3 2010 U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report, EIA, April 2010. 4 Annual Energy Review 2008, EIA, June 2009. 5 Displacing Coal with Generation from Existing Natural Gas-Fired Power Plants, Congressional Research Service, January 19, 2010.
  2. 2. A Strong Partner for Renewable Energy Natural gas is a critical foundation for the development of renewable energy projects in the United States. Renewable energy sources – wind and solar energy – are intermittent, meaning they can only produce power when the wind is blowing or the sun is shining. For this reason, renewable energy facilities frequently partner with natural gas power plants to ensure that cleaner electricity is reliably provided during peak demand periods. Through the existing, extensive pipeline network and the established connections to the electric transmission grid, natural gas is readily available and accessible to aid the development and viability of renewable energy. Cleaner for Fleet Vehicles After the electric power industry, the transportation sector accounts for 30 percent of U.S. CO2 emissions, with more 6 than 225 million automobiles on the road. Powering more of our nation’s fleet vehicles, from city buses to heavy-duty trucks and light-duty vans, with natural gas can be a crucial step in helping reduce oil imports and promote cleaner air in our communities. According to the EPA, natural gas is the cleanest alternative transportation fuel commercially available today. It 7 produces roughly 25% less CO2 emissions per vehicle mile traveled than gasoline. The fastest way to deliver immediate improvements to our environment is to focus on the busiest and heaviest vehicles—conversion of commercial fleets, municipal trash trucks, transit and school buses, delivery vehicles, taxi cabs and shuttles. These busy vehicles are the largest individual consumers of foreign oil and emitters of pollutants. They also can be supported by a focused, regional fueling infrastructure. Conversions to natural gas vehicles are happening across the country. Los Angeles has 2,800 natural gas buses in operation and Boston, Dallas, Phoenix and Washington, DC also have significant fleets. Major companies including AT&T, UPS and Ryder are similarly embracing NGVs. How much of an impact can this leadership have? Converting just one waste truck from diesel to natural gas is the pollution-reduction equivalent of removing as many as 325 cars 8 from the road. Natural Gas in America’s Clean Energy Portfolio America could realize substantial environmental, economic and national security benefits – including near-term reductions in carbon emissions – by using natural gas more effectively in four key ways: • Increasing the utilization of existing natural gas power plants; • Expanding the conversion of coal-fired generating facilities to natural gas; • Using natural gas as a reliable complement to other alternative energy sources; and • Increasing the use of natural gas as a vehicle fuel. 6 The Impact of a Federal Renewable Portfolio Standard, Wood Mackenzie, February 2007. 7 Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center, U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, last accessed May 28, 2010. 8 The Case for Natural Gas The Most Abundant, Clean And Cost-Efficient American Fuel, An Issue Brief, NGVAmerica, February 23, 2009.