The latest data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows natural gas has been absolutely killing renewables insofar as CO2 emissions savings.
Natural gas and renewables are natural partners when it comes to reducing CO2 emissions but natural gas has been doing all the heavy lifting according to official calculations by the EIA. This is news that should warm the heart of everyone truly concerned about greenhouse gas emissions.
The EIA recently released an analysis of what’s really contributing to greenhouse gas savings and, specifically CO2 emissions from power generation. Here are the basics (emphasis added):
Two basic factors contributed to lower electricity generation carbon intensity (CO2/kilowatthour) since 2005: substitution of coal-fired generation with the less-carbon-intensive and more efficient combined-cycle natural gas-fired generation, and growth in non-carbon electricity generation, especially wind and solar. This analysis includes estimated CO2 emissions from electricity generated in all sectors. Non-carbon electricity generation includes distributed solar.