A study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said that the glut of natural gas, coming from newly-developed shale fields in the U.S., has the potential to damage development of renewable energy.
MIT News quotes Dr. Henry Jacoby, co-director emeritus on MIT’s joint program on the science “people speak of [natural] gas as a bridge to the future, but there had better be something at the other end of the bridge. ”
Jacoby authored a report on The Future of Natural Gas.
The study, the MIT News report said, ” found much of what we already knew — which is a good thing — that shale makes a big difference. It helps lower gas prices, it stimulates the economy and it provides greater flexibility to ease the cutting of emissions. But it also suppresses renewables.”
Natural gas production has boomed in the U.S. in the last five years as new technologies have enabled producers to unlock large deposits of gas not only in Texas and Louisiana, but outside the traditional U.S. energy belt in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and New York.
But because natural gas is a favored fuel for electricity generators, it is a threat to wind energy. Natural gas could also be a competitor to biofuels such as biodiesel as trucking companies have experimented with natural gas-powered engines.
At the same time the development of non-corn fed ethanol and other biofuels has come more slowly than envisioned in guidelines written into the 2007 Renewal Energy Standards bill, which calls for half of the 36 billion gallons of renewable transportation fuel to come from non-corn feedstocks by 2022.
The federal government acknowledged at the end of last year that target production for noncorn biofuels would not be met this year.
Meanwhile a new venture funded by Texas billionaire T. Boone Pickens, Clean Energy, has just announced plans for its first network of natural gas dispensing stations at Pilot/Flying J truck stops along major highways.
John Deutsch, who served as Undersecretary of Energy in the 1970s, said in a recent MIT lecture “over the last couple of years I’ve realized that what’s happening with unconventional natural gas [shale] is the biggest energy story that’s happened in the 40-plus years that I’ve been watching energy development in this country.”
Read the rest here: http://blogs.desmoinesregister.com/dmr/index.php/2012/01/16/mit-say...
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