Put coal and nuclear plants at forefront of America’s energy diversity
Generally it’s assumed that natural gas is solving many of our energy problems. Gas is driving down emissions of carbon dioxide by replacing coal in electricity generation. And, thanks to the shale revolution, it is now abundant and cheaper than it has been in the past.
BUT GROWING USE of natural gas poses serious reliability and economic problems that cannot be ignored.
Because of natural gas delivery problems, utilities have shifted back to greater use of coal. During the polar vortex in 2014, when temperatures dropped sharply, more than 90 percent of the increase in power generation during January and February compared to the same period the year before came from existing coal plants. The rest of the incremental power was supplied by nuclear and hydroelectric.