. Energy News .

Study: Cheaper gas lowered emissions
by Staff Writers
Cambridge, Mass. (UPI) Feb 27, 2012

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

Fewer emissions from U.S. power plants in 2009 were the result of cheaper prices of natural gas, reducing the industry's reliance on coal, researchers say.

As the United States tumbled into economic recession in that year, CO2 greenhouse gas emissions also fell by 6.59 percent relative to 2008, but the recession was not the main cause, researchers at Harvard University said.

Instead, the primary factor in the reduction in emissions from power generation was a decrease in the price of natural gas, which allowed the industry to reduce its traditional reliance on coal, they said.

The economic model used to determine this also suggests emissions could be cut further by the introduction of a carbon tax, with negligible impact on the price of electricity for consumers, the researches reported in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.

"Generating 1 kilowatt-hour of electricity from coal releases twice as much CO2 to the atmosphere as generating the same amount from natural gas, so a slight shift in the relative prices of coal and natural gas can result in a sharp drop in carbon emissions," environmental studies professor Michael B. McElroy said.

"That's what we saw in 2009," he said, "and we may well see it again."

Researchers said their model identifies the relationship between the cost of electricity generation from coal and gas.

"When the natural gas prices are high, as they were four years ago, if the gas prices come down a little bit, it doesn't make any difference," study lead author Xi Lu said. "But there's a critical price level where the gas systems become more cost-effective than the oldest coal-fired systems."

Related Links
Powering The World in the 21st Century at Energy-Daily.com

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

TransCanada in new push for US pipeline
Ottawa (AFP) Feb 27, 2012
TransCanada Corp announced Monday it would go ahead with construction of part of its Keystone XL oil pipeline that does not require US presidential approval, a stretch from the state of Oklahoma to the US Gulf Coast. The company also said it will resubmit its proposal for the entirety of the pipeline from Canada's oil sands to US Gulf Coast refineries that was rejected last month by US Presi ... read more

Controller Announces Bill to Drive Private Sector Energy Retrofits

10 Advantages to Supporting Geothermal Energy

Ireland to sell Bord Gais energy business

Obama defends energy policy

China urges Khartoum to resolve S. Sudan crisis

Nuclear Iran would 'choke' world economy: Israel PM

BP discussing $14 bn settlement: report

TransCanada in new push for US pipeline

Yorkshire officials OK Hull turbine plant

Wind farm on hold over bald eagle concerns

Golden eagles found dead at wind farm

Japan firms plan wind farm near Fukushima: report

Making droplets drop faster

Advanced Solar Photonics Introduces Grid-Tied Inverters to PV Equipment Line

China aims to boost domestic solar sector

SolarCity and Shea Homes Introduce the "No Electric Bill" Home

India slap cases on aid groups over nuclear row: reports

India freezes aid group funds over nuclear protests

Study Confirms Low Levels of Fallout from Fukushima and Enhances Knowledge

India PM blames foreign NGOs for anti-nuclear demos

Green fuel versus black gold

Biofuel said a sustainable fuel source

Plant toughness: Key to cracking biofuels?

Maize hybrid looks promising for biofuel

Launch of China's manned spacecraft Shenzhou-9 scheduled

Shenzhou 9 To Carry 3 Astronauts To Tiangong-1 Space Station

China to launch spacecraft in June: report

Is Shenzhou Unsafe?

EU wants tangible outcome at Rio climate conference

Classic Maya civilization collapse related to modest rainfall reductions

10th century writings give climate clues

Himalayan Sherpas lament climate change devastation

Memory Foam Mattress Review

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement