Yale study finds it's renewables that are the "bridge fuel" - to a fossil-powered future
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- Feb 21, 2020 10:17 pm GMT
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No surprises here. In Is Abundant Natural Gas a Bridge to a Low-carbon Future or a Dead-end?, Yale researchers Kenneth Gillingham and Pei Huang find "a market-driven abundant natural gas supply can provide substantial reductions in air pollution but does not considerably reduce CO2 emissions in the longer-term, especially relative to a moderate carbon price."
Researchers found renewables "eat their own lunch" - that they will eventually be overtaken by the cheap natural gas on which they depend today:
"...although abundant natural gas supply results in welfare gains both with and without carbon pricing scenarios, it does not reduce CO2 emissions significantly over the projected period. This is because cheaper natural gas replaces not only coal but also renewables. On the other hand, natural gas is relatively effective in reducing air pollution from burning [other] fossil fuels. This implies that abundant natural gas should not be seen as a “bridge” to a low-carbon future, but rather as a source of welfare improvements."
The oil-based economies of Texas, California, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana will benefit from a higher penetration of renewables. But in the long run, they're a waste of precious time and resources for fighting climate change - and with changes to climate predicted to last at least 100,000 years, we're in it for the long run.