30 May 2012:
Natural Gas Boom May Halt
Renewable Energy Growth, IEA Warns
A surge in natural gas supplies worldwide could halt any meaningful growth in the renewable energy sector
over the next two decades if governments don’t take action, the International Energy Agency
(IEA) warns. New technologies to extract natural gas, primarily from shale formations using a technique known as hydraulic fracturing, could triple production of unconventional gas globally between 2010 to 2035, to about 1.6 trillion cubic meters, according to a new IEA report
. These new sources of supply will, in turn, help keep prices relatively low, posing an increased risk to renewable energy sources, which are more expensive in part because the costs of greenhouse gas emissions are not part of the calculation of energy costs. “Policy measures by governments for renewable energy have to be there for years to come, as it is not always as cost-effective as it could be,” Maria van der Hoeven, executive director of the IEA, told a conference in London, according to the Guardian
. While natural gas drilling on its face produces about half of the carbon emissions of coal burning, some experts say the methane released during the drilling process may be enough to offset the global warming benefits of switching from coal to gas.
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Tribal people and ranchers join together to stop a project that would haul coal across their Montana land. Watch the video.
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An aerial view of why Europe’s per capita carbon emissions are less than 50 percent of those in the U.S. View the photos.
Ugandan scientists monitor the impact of climate change on one of Africa’s most diverse forests and its extraordinary wildlife. Learn more.
video series looks at the staggering amount of food wasted in the U.S. – a problem with major human and environmental costs. Watch the video.
video goes onto the front lines with Colorado firefighters confronting deadly blazes fueled by a hotter, drier climate. Watch the video.
A three-part series Tainted Harvest
looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup. Read the series.