Two Green Leaves

Climate Change from the Affected Generation

Natural Gas vs Coal 7 August 2015 | Posted in News

Are Either of Them Clean?

     Natural Gas... Doesn't sound that dirty to me? I mean it has natural in the name. Right? For a lot of people and businesses to stay in the pollution boundaries Natural Gas can't always help, or at least significantly enough. Natural Gas contains parts of methane and roughly half the amount of C02 per megawatt-hour of electricity. So even half the C02 can't help meet some goals. However it is better and thats good to know, but "under the terms of the Clean Power Plan, the most advanced natural gas burning power plants can still emit 771 pounds of CO2 per megawatt-hour of electricity produced."

     Luckily however coal's electricity generation in the U.S. has been dropping since 2009 and more than 180 gigawatts of power plants that burn natural gas have been built since 1990.  To put Coal vs Natural Gas more into scale the electricity from a one-gigawatt of a coal-fired power plant can be replaced by burning one billion cubic meters of natural gas instead, resulting in an annual savings of roughly three million metric tons of C02, I think Natural Gas just won.

    Besides the Greenhouse effect of the two what about air pollution? Coal has sulfur dioxide in it that will cause acid rain, and they have nitrogen oxides that creates smog, both unlike natural gas. Currently there's 1.5 times more potential energy generated for Natural Gas vs Coal in the United States. Because of this, seven percent of coal fired power plants in the United States are quitting their jobs or changing to cleaner better energy this year!

    Natural Gas hasn't only effected coal, nuclear power plants from Florida to Michigan are changing to Natural Gas as well. This isn't as good of a switch as it is from coal to Natural Gas. Nuclear to Natural Gas creates more C02 then had beforehand. And this could also effect wind farms and geothermal power plants to not be built and instead build Natural Gas power Plants. This is even worse, to choose anything over renewables is never as good. 

    In Comparison to coal Natural Gas wins the fight but Natural Gas still creates methane and C02 so whether Natural Gas is good is hard to tell, Being better than coal, but not Nuclear. On a scale of one to ten ( ten being renewable, one being coal ) personally i'd give Natural Gas maybe a four.

    So to conclude. Natural Gas is good not great not bad but some where in the middle. 


                                                                    ~ Charlie

One comment

Haewon, on 09-09-’15 18:57

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