Coal, not Gas, as the ‘Bridge Fuel?’

News out of Germany yesterday points to how many nations have been hamstrung by their reliance on natural gas, as supplies tighten and prices whipsaw. Since renewables aren’t quite where they need to be yet, the current crisis, with heating season a scant 12 weeks away, has nations returning to ‘King Coal’ as a so-called ‘bridge fuel.’

Coal ash pit with the reflection of electric utility lines
Stuck in the Past

Who would have thunk that ditching coal for the fracked gas ‘pseudo-savior’ would lead to this conundrum? So it’s back to an “all the above” energy strategy for so many nations caught up in this latest energy squeeze, in spite of rapidly worsening climate change scenarios.

Meanwhile, coal power plants in the United States continue to be shuttered as natural gas peaker plants continue to replace them on the power grid, along with renewable energy gains from wind and solar.

Photos: MITCHELL POWER STATION in Courtney, Pennsylvania before and after being shuttered.

In spite of widespread efforts to reduce global warming methane, emissions have accelerated in their rise over the past decade, following a slowdown that occurred twenty years ago, pre-fracking. Go figure! We’ve also seen huge methane emissions tracked by satellites, with the highest, reportedly from the Raspadskya Mine in southern Russia and the top-10 European coal mine emissions from mines in Poland.

“The coal mining industry contributes significantly to global methane emissions and is responsible for around 33% of all fossil fuel related emissions of methane from 2008-2017.”

Methane detected over Poland’s coal mines” – The European Space Agency
It’s a global fossil fuel conundrum, no matter how you mine, drill or frac it!

Leave a Reply