There is a clear message in the ascendance of natural gas. Electric utilities note that power generated from natural gas is inexpensive, reliable and clean. By the way, natural gas supplies are almost unlimited.
And there is an added dividend: Due to the shift largely from coal to natural gas, carbon emissions from electricity production in the United States have dropped dramatically and are now at mid-1980’s levels.
The people who build and operate natural gas plants have shown they mean business, as reflected in the remarkable surge in U.S. electricity production to more than 440 gigawatts of natural gas capacity.
For utilities that use growing amounts of gas, this has meant lower costs for consumers. Electricity production from coal has dropped from nearly 50 percent of the total seven years ago to under 20 percent today, while electricity from gas has risen from about 20 percent seven years ago to 35 percent now, according to the Energy Information Administration.
Great article. You did leave out one important paragraph that I really agree with.
"And because gas plants can ramp up quickly, they are able to compensate for a lack of wind and solar energy on days when production from renewables can’t meet demand."
Storage (batteries) are poised to be an effective remedy for the temporary lack of wind or sun generation...and a competitive alternative to natural gas. The carbon comparison between the two is no contest. As time goes on, that will be the determining factor.
Out here in Oregon/Washington, there is already a large push by Environmentalist to ban and remove Wind Turbines due to the Bird Kill caused to the migrating and residential Bird populations.
And old complaint but one with a point. Of course not one that climate deniers would embrace without a good helping of hypocrisy considering the mass specie extinction underway owing to climate change. Globally the trend appears to be toward off shore wind farms. Out there, few bird strikes will be visible. :-) And fish and fishermen may like the added structure. And many fish like to eat birds.
New York awards country's largest offshore wind energy contracts
"The entire north polar ice cap may well be completely gone...in five years."
Well, not quite. But I'm sure you read or heard it described that way from one of the partisan media sites or pundits. Here is the truth of that what Gore said and then a current quote from NOAA,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U. S. Department of Commerce with a link to the source.
Al Gore predicted that Earth’s “ice caps” will melt away by 2014.
In the late 2000s, Al Gore made a series of high-profile statements suggesting the possibility that Arctic sea ice could be completely gone during the summer by around 2013 or 2014.
Gore did not himself make these predictions but said (in some cases erroneously) that others had; Gore never referred to a year-long lack of ice for both poles, but instead largely referenced Arctic sea ice in the summer.
Impacts from climate change are happening now. These impacts extend well beyond an increase in temperature, affecting ecosystems and communities in the United States and around the world. Things that we depend upon and value — water, energy, transportation, wildlife, agriculture, ecosystems, and human health — are experiencing the effects of a changing climate. -NOAA
Search it and you will find the video with audio.
Bias works both ways. Pretty obvious what's going on here.
"Gore did not himself make these predictions but said (in some cases erroneously) that other had;"
Interesting way of looking at it.