Bounding the climate viability of natural gas as a bridge fuel to displace coal

Bounding the climate viability of natural gas as a bridge fuel to displace coal Natural gas has significant potential carbon benefits over coal when used for electricity generation, but these benefits can be offset by emissions of fugitive methane or delays in the adoption of near-zero carbon technologies. We analyze the time-evolution of radiative forcing from both natural gas and coal-based electricity generation by calculating average radiative forcing over an interval of time from greenhouse gas emissions under a range of assumptions for fugitive methane leakage, electricity generation efficiency, and delays in the adoption of near-zero carbon technologies. We find that leakage rates of between 5.2% and 9.9% are required for natural gas to result in greater mean forcing than coal over the next 100 years. We show that natural gas infrastructure with modest leakage could remain in place for 1.5–2.4 times the time interval that coal generation would have persisted prior to replacement with near-zero carbon technologies before the climate benefits of replacing coal with natural gas are negated. Natural gas can serve a viable bridge away from coal-based generation if avoiding longer-term climate impacts is prioritized, fugitive methane emissions are minimized, and the large-scale transition to near-zero carbon alternatives is unlikely to happen in the near-term. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Energy Policy Elsevier

Bounding the climate viability of natural gas as a bridge fuel to displace coal

Loading next page...
 
/lp/elsevier/bounding-the-climate-viability-of-natural-gas-as-a-bridge-fuel-to-t001PLNvB2
Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd
ISSN
0301-4215
D.O.I.
10.1016/j.enpol.2015.07.012
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Natural gas has significant potential carbon benefits over coal when used for electricity generation, but these benefits can be offset by emissions of fugitive methane or delays in the adoption of near-zero carbon technologies. We analyze the time-evolution of radiative forcing from both natural gas and coal-based electricity generation by calculating average radiative forcing over an interval of time from greenhouse gas emissions under a range of assumptions for fugitive methane leakage, electricity generation efficiency, and delays in the adoption of near-zero carbon technologies. We find that leakage rates of between 5.2% and 9.9% are required for natural gas to result in greater mean forcing than coal over the next 100 years. We show that natural gas infrastructure with modest leakage could remain in place for 1.5–2.4 times the time interval that coal generation would have persisted prior to replacement with near-zero carbon technologies before the climate benefits of replacing coal with natural gas are negated. Natural gas can serve a viable bridge away from coal-based generation if avoiding longer-term climate impacts is prioritized, fugitive methane emissions are minimized, and the large-scale transition to near-zero carbon alternatives is unlikely to happen in the near-term.

Journal

Energy PolicyElsevier

Published: Nov 1, 2015

References

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 12 million articles from more than
10,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Unlimited reading

Read as many articles as you need. Full articles with original layout, charts and figures. Read online, from anywhere.

Stay up to date

Keep up with your field with Personalized Recommendations and Follow Journals to get automatic updates.

Organize your research

It’s easy to organize your research with our built-in tools.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve Freelancer

DeepDyve Pro

Price
FREE
$49/month

$360/year
Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed
Create lists to
organize your research
Export lists, citations
Read DeepDyve articles
Abstract access only
Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles
Print
20 pages/month
PDF Discount
20% off