Posted October 01, 2018 08:05:18 You may think you know the difference between natural gas and coal, but that’s only part of the story.
And if you don’t know it yet, the world is not so far away from a new era of energy scarcity.
A new report from Carbon Tracker International predicts that by 2035, global CO2 emissions will be 40% higher than they are now.
And even though coal-generated electricity is now far more carbon-intensive than natural gas-generated power, carbon dioxide emissions are expected to drop dramatically in the next few decades.
This is due to the fact that coal power plants will increasingly be converted to cleaner natural gas technology.
“There’s not enough natural gas to go around,” said Robert Sivak, director of the Carbon Tracker program at the non-profit Environmental Defense Fund.
“But that doesn’t mean you can’t use some of the new technologies that are coming, because you can make use of those resources.”
So how do we get around this?
How can we stop burning coal and build new, cleaner sources of electricity?
The answer, according to Carbon Tracker, is to use natural gas as the “main” fuel source for electricity generation.
The organization estimates that if we replace our current coal-powered power plants with natural gas, we would be able to cut our CO2 pollution by more than 80%.
That’s because coal is a cleaner fuel than natural-gas.
According to the World Resources Institute, natural gas produces only about 10% as much CO2 per unit of energy produced as coal, while natural gas emits less than 30% of CO2.
“Coal-fired electricity is a big problem,” Sivar said.
“It’s not the problem of a few years ago.
It’s a problem that will get worse in the coming decades.”
This article originally appeared on Wired UK and was republished with permission.