Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Oil and Gas News .




OIL AND GAS
A global natural gas boom alone won't slow climate change
by Staff Writers
College Park MD (SPX) Oct 20, 2014


The Hermiston Generating Plant in Umatilla County, Oregon, resides nine miles south of the Columbia River. This 474 MW natural gas power plant generates electricity for consumers, steam for an adjacent potato processing plant, and contributes gray water to farmers. Image courtesy Scott Butner.

A new analysis of global energy use, economics and the climate shows that without new climate policies, expanding the current bounty of inexpensive natural gas alone would not slow the growth of global greenhouse gas emissions worldwide over the long term, according to a study appearing in Nature.

Because natural gas emits half the carbon dioxide of coal, many people hoped the recent natural gas boom could help slow climate change-and according to government analyses, natural gas did contribute partially to a decline in U.S. carbon dioxide emissions between 2007 and 2012.

But, in the long run, according to this study, a global abundance of inexpensive natural gas would compete with all energy sources - not just higher-emitting coal, but also lower-emitting nuclear and renewable energy technologies such as wind and solar. Inexpensive natural gas would also accelerate economic growth and expand overall energy use.

"The effect is that abundant natural gas alone will do little to slow climate change," said lead author Haewon McJeon, an economist at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

"Global deployment of advanced natural gas production technology could double or triple the global natural gas production by 2050, but greenhouse gas emissions will continue to grow in the absence of climate policies that promote lower carbon energy sources."

Thinking Globally
Recent advances in gas production technology based on horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing - also known as fracking - have led to bountiful, low-cost natural gas. Because gas emits far less carbon dioxide than coal, some researchers have linked the natural gas boom to recent reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. But could these advanced technologies also have an impact on emissions beyond North America and decades into the future?

To find out, a group of scientists, engineers and policy experts, led by PNNL's Joint Global Change Research Institute, gathered at a workshop in Cambridge, Maryland, in April 2013 to consider the long-term impact of an expansion of the current natural gas boom on the rest of the world.

The researchers, hailing from the U.S., Australia, Austria, Germany and Italy, went home and projected what the world would be like in 2050 with and without a global natural gas boom. The five teams used different computer models that had been independently developed.

Their computer models included not just energy use and production, but also the broader economy and the climate system. These "integrated assessment models" accounted for energy use, the economy, and climate and the way these different systems interact with one another. The groups each computed projections halfway into the century.

Five for Five
"We didn't really know how our first experiment would turn out, but we were surprised how little difference abundant gas made to total greenhouse gas emissions even though it was dramatically changing the global energy system," said James "Jae" Edmonds, PNNL's chief scientist at JGCRI.

"When we saw all five modeling teams reporting little difference in climate change, we knew we were onto something."

The key, the researchers said, is that the five different models provide an integrated, comprehensive view of the economy and the Earth system.

Swapping out coal for natural gas in a simple model would cut greenhouse gas emissions, a result many people expected to see. But incorporating the behavior of the entire economy and how people create and use energy from all sources affect emissions in several ways:

+ Natural gas replacing coal would reduce carbon emissions. But due to its lower cost, natural gas would also replace some low-carbon energy, such as renewable or nuclear energy. Overall changes result in a smaller reduction than expected due to natural gas replacing these other, low-carbon sources. In a sense, natural gas would become a larger slice of the energy pie.

+ Abundant, less expensive natural gas would lower energy prices across the board, leading people to use more energy overall. In addition, inexpensive energy stimulates the economy, which also increases overall energy use. Consequently, the entire energy pie gets bigger.

+ The main component of natural gas, methane, is a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. During production and distribution, some methane inevitably escapes into the atmosphere. The researchers considered both high and low estimates for this so-called fugitive methane. Even at the lower end, fugitive methane adds to climate change.

The combined effect of the three, the scientists found, is that the global energy system could experience unprecedented changes in the growth of natural gas production and significant changes to the types of energy used, but without much reduction to projected climate change if new mitigation policies are not put in place to support the deployment of renewable energy technologies.

"Abundant gas may have a lot of benefits-economic growth, local air pollution, energy security, and so on. There's been some hope that slowing climate change could also be one of its benefits, but that turns out not to be the case," said McJeon.


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


Related Links
DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
All About Oil and Gas News at OilGasDaily.com






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




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





OIL AND GAS
Pentagon: Bombing ISIS oil targets key focus of strategy
Washington (UPI) Oct 17, 2014
Striking fixed Islamic State targets in Syria, including oil facilities, is part of the strategic effort to cripple the group, a Pentagon official said. The group calling itself the Islamic State is said to be financing itself in part through a regional black market for crude oil. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said U.S. military effort to defeat the group is about hitting where they ope ... read more


OIL AND GAS
Energy Prices and Business Decision-Making in Canada

Strong partnership for the energy transition

Balancing renewable energy costs

Japanese company proposes coal power plant in Myanmar

OIL AND GAS
A brighter design emerges for low-cost, 'greener' LED light bulbs

Revving up fluorescence for superfast LEDs

Lockheed Martin developing compact nuclear fusion reactor

Stanford scientists create a 'smart' lithium-ion battery that warns of fire hazard

OIL AND GAS
New Discovery Will Enhance yield and quality of Cereal and Bioenergy Crops

New ProMOS Bio Software Guides Biogas Plants into the Future

U.S. funding projects meant to make biofuels competitive

Balancing birds and biofuels: Grasslands support more species than cornfields

OIL AND GAS
AREVA introduces SIBAG, the first "serious game" simulator for training nuclear operators

Vattenfall seeks 4.7 bn euros for German nuclear phase-out: government sources

Taiwan reveals new plans to send nuclear waste abroad

France and South Africa sign nuclear energy agreement

OIL AND GAS
Climate talks told to ease rifts as heat busts record

Sheltering habits help sharks cope with acid oceans

Can big data make sense of climate change?

Rising sea levels of 1.8 meters in worst-case scenario

OIL AND GAS
Volvo says will recruit 1,300 in Sweden as sales boom

Hailo taxi app folds in US, looks to Europe and Asia

China auto sales up 2.5% in September: industry group

Tesla unveils new electric car for bad weather

OIL AND GAS
US says Baghdad is not under 'imminent threat' from IS

US drops food, ammunition to embattled Iraqi troops

Triple car bomb attack kills 25 in Iraq town: officials

State-backed Iraq Shiite militias commit 'war crimes': Amnesty

OIL AND GAS



The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news 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 All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.