Mark Fulton (United States of America)
Managing Director, Global Head of Research, DB Climate Change Advisors - Deutsche Bank
Natural Gas and Renewables: A Secure Low Carbon Future Energy Plan for the US
A significant switch by the US electricity sector from coal to natural gas would be the most secure, least cost approach to lower emissions. (Burning natural gas creates approximately half the amount of CO2 compared with coal). When combined with further renewables and nuclear deployment, this plan would involve a reduction in coal's share of energy generation from 47% currently to 22% by 2030. This would make the current administration's targets of a 17% over all economy-wide reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and an 83% reduction by 2050, realistically achievable. And these reductions would be realized by using domestically abundant and secure sources of energy based on known technology that can easily be deployed at reasonable cost. Importantly, our energy plan ensures a reliable electricity system that is not only much cleaner but also more environmentally sustainable. We emphasize, however, that efficient coal units, renewable and nuclear energy must remain as important components of the over all electricity generation portfolio. We envisage wind and solar energy, for example, increasing to 14% of US electricity generation by 2030 compared to just 2% today. A large-scale switch from coal to natural gas in the US has become possible largely thanks to the major increase in supply from unconventional shale gas. Increasing supply is causing a long term fall in the price of natural gas, making it a far more economic fuel than in the past. We believe shale gas is environmentally sustainable with best practices. And because it is domestically abundant it also provides a high level of energy security.
Link to doc.: http://www.dbcca.com/dbcca/EN/_media/NaturalGasAndRenewables.pdf