A new analysis conducted by the Breakthrough Institute found between 2007 and 2013, natural gas-generated energy replaced a large percentage of coal-fired plants.
It is clear to most people, particularly those in the energy industry, that natural gas is booming in production and popularity. However, until now, there has not been a clear picture of how much natural gas-generated energy has grown compared to coal, which is falling in favor due to its association with environmental issues.
Using data from the U.S. Energy Information Institute, the Breakthrough Institute determined the percentage of energy generated by each possible method, such as nuclear, natural gas, coal, wind, solar, etc., for the eight regions on the North American Electric Reliability Council map.
The institute found that from 2007 to 2013, natural gas generation displaced a large percentage of coal generation, but not nuclear or hydroelectric energy generation. Additionally, 80 percent of the reduction in coal-fired energy was in only two of eight NERC regions. Within these regions, natural gas took over for 53 percent of the decline in coal, followed by a reduction in demand for electricity accounted for 40 percent of the decline in coal.
EIA predicts gas-fired energy growth
The EIA anticipates the amount of natural gas-fired electricity to rise to 1,600 million megawatt hours by 2040, which would be a 56 percent increase between 2012 and 2040.