This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Technology News


Shale Shock: Natural Gas May Edge Out Coal as


Nation’s Primary Power Source By Angela Perez Over the past decade, the


natural gas industry in North America has experienced a dramatic renaissance thanks to a combination of horizontal drilling and a shale fracturing technique called “hydraulic fracking.” With this technology, previously unrecoverable gas reserves located in shale formations deep underground are now flooding the market and should continue to do so for several decades. Tis “shale gas revolution”


promises to have a major impact on our nation’s energy future, particularly in shifting reliance from burning coal for power generation. Studies show that the U.S. will overtake Russia as the world’s largest gas producer by 2015, according to International Energy Agency Chief Economist Faith Birol. She notes the resulting cheap domestic supply should lead electric utilities toward a heavier reliance on natural gas for generating power. Given the fact that


consumption of natural gas for electricity has increased every year since 2009, Birol’s predictions appear to be well under way. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), natural gas’s share of electric power generation in the U.S. will increase from 25 percent today to 28 percent by 2035, with renewable energy’s share


12 February 2013


growing from 10 percent to 15 percent and coal falling from 48 percent to 38 percent. However, preliminary 2012 numbers indicate that pace of change may be accelerating. When it comes to electricity,


natural gas is most commonly used to fuel peaking plants— power stations that operate for brief periods during times of high electricity demand – and intermediate plants – those whose output changes in response to changes in electricity demand over the course of each day. Today, gas accounts for about 15 percent of the power produced by generation and transmission cooperatives and 16 percent of all electric cooperative power requirements nationwide.


Over the past two years,


the relatively low price for gas combined with increasing federal and state regulation of power plant emissions have led to natural gas-fired plants being run for longer periods, while many older coal-fired baseload power plants— those that provide dependable electric power year-round at a low cost—are being shut down or converted to gas operations. In fact, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last March proposed a New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) rule that aims to curb the release of carbon dioxide and six other greenhouse gases blamed for contributing to climate change from new fossil fuel-fired power


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100  |  Page 101  |  Page 102  |  Page 103  |  Page 104  |  Page 105  |  Page 106  |  Page 107  |  Page 108  |  Page 109  |  Page 110  |  Page 111  |  Page 112  |  Page 113  |  Page 114  |  Page 115  |  Page 116  |  Page 117  |  Page 118  |  Page 119  |  Page 120  |  Page 121  |  Page 122  |  Page 123  |  Page 124  |  Page 125  |  Page 126  |  Page 127  |  Page 128  |  Page 129  |  Page 130  |  Page 131  |  Page 132  |  Page 133  |  Page 134  |  Page 135  |  Page 136  |  Page 137  |  Page 138  |  Page 139  |  Page 140  |  Page 141  |  Page 142  |  Page 143  |  Page 144  |  Page 145  |  Page 146  |  Page 147  |  Page 148  |  Page 149  |  Page 150  |  Page 151  |  Page 152  |  Page 153  |  Page 154  |  Page 155  |  Page 156