Climate Change, Energy, Sustainability Can Natural Gas Be Used to Create Power With Fewer Emissions?

June 21, 2022
By John Schwartz | The New York Times

Incoming PWH Faculty Fellow Michael E. Mann comments in The New York Times about the limitations of natural gas as a clean energy source.

It wasn’t like it is in the movies. Nobody pulled down a big switch on the wall, producing a satisfying “thunk” and crackle of electricity. Instead, one evening last November, a shift supervisor for NET Power, a clean-energy technology company, clicked a mouse several times in a control room set in a double-wide trailer. With the last click, the company’s generator synchronized with the Texas grid, a major step toward providing power to homes and businesses. Twenty-seven minutes later, the supervisor cut off the connection.

It might not sound like much, but that brief display at this demonstration plant — with a fraction of the capacity of a full-scale facility — showed that a novel way of generating electricity that burns natural gas but doesn’t generate the same greenhouse gas emissions as fossil fuels, could play nicely with the nation’s power grid. ...

“What do you do with that CO2?” asked Michael Mann, a climate scientist at Penn State University. “If it’s used to enhance oil recovery, it’s still contributing to the problems. If it’s buried, how safely and permanently is it buried?”

Read more in The New York Times >>