The environmental benefits of shale and coal seam gas (CSG) have been highlighted in a new report published in the US Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The report says that electricity generated from shale gas and CSG produces around half the carbon emissions as coal-fired electricity.
This places gas from shale and coal seams – sometimes called “unconventional” gas – in the same ‘low-emission’ category as “conventional” natural gas produced from sandstone rocks.
The report from the US Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis and US National Renewable Energy Laboratory uses harmonised estimates from existing research literature to quantify the life-cycle emissions benefits of using shale gas and CSG for power generation.
The report’s findings should be a significant blow to continued attempts of anti-gas activists to question the environmental benefits associated with expanding natural gas production, including CSG and shale gas production.
With gas displacing coal in the US, the American shale gas boom has already seen that country’s greenhouse emissions decline to levels equivalent to those of about 20 years ago.
But it’s not just the environment that is benefitting. Increased shale gas production is also delivering cheaper power bills for families and creating millions of new jobs in new manufacturing industries.
The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences report can be read at this link.