13 Jun 2014:
U.S. Energy System Depicted
In New Mapping Tool from Federal Agency
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently launched a mapping system
that allows users to explore the landscape of energy sources and power plant distribution across the nation. Among the most striking visualizations is this map showing the widespread distribution of natural gas power plants, marking the fossil fuel's growing use as an energy source. The U.S. had 1,714 natural gas power plants in 2012, accounting for 30 percent of the country's electricity generation, Vox reports
. Natural gas plants are easier to build and emit fewer pollutants and roughly half as much carbon dioxide as coal-fired power plants. The EIA maps depict numerous aspects of the U.S. power system, including the distribution of wind turbines, large solar installations, nuclear power plants, coal-fired power plants, hydropower stations, and pipelines. More energy maps
are available at Vox, or users can create their own with the EIA's tool.
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The Warriors of Qiugang
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In a Yale Environment 360
video, photographer Pete McBride documents how increasing water demands have transformed the Colorado River, the lifeblood of the arid Southwest. Watch the video.