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This is an excerpt of an article by the Baker Institute, also published by Forbes on February 6, 2017.

One of the most pressing questions regarding energy policy during the Obama administration revolved around whether natural gas or renewable energy was more likely to replace coal in electricity generation within the United States. In May 2016, we argued in a blog post that coal was losing the battle for the electricity future in the U.S. due to three main factors: (1) low natural gas prices stemming from massive natural gas shale resources that became readily available over the last decade, (2) lower prices of renewable energy due to government subsidies and technological innovation, and (3) EPA regulations aimed at negative environmental externalities associated with coal that raise the cost of coal-fired power.

We argued that at the time, only natural gas could provide a suitable source of electricity generation that could replace base-load coal and possess the dispatching flexibility to meet daily changes in demand, thus providing system reliability in the near to medium term. At the same time, we saw renewables as an important element of the energy mix, resonating strongly with environmental policies and climate change mitigation strategies.

But when we wrote our blog post on coal last year, the political environment was diametrically different from what it is today. As the Trump administration takes over, promising the return of King Coal, a review of the energy mix in the electricity landscape is needed.

Anna Mikulska and Michael Maher

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The statements, opinions and data contained in the content published in Global Gas Perspectives are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publisher and the editor(s) of Natural Gas World. 

 


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