Study: Natural Gas Plants Release 40 Percent Less CO2

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A new study confirms previous findings that power plants fueled by natural gas release some 40 percent less carbon dioxide than coal-fired plants.

According to the new study, conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, combined-cycle natural gas power plants, which use a combination of natural gas and recycled exhaust heat, release significantly less greenhouse gases than their coal-fired counterparts.

The report helps solidify findings from the Energy Information Agency that substituting natural gas for coal in power generation helped lower power-related carbon dioxide emissions in 2012.

Emissions from the power sector are now lower by 20-40 percent since 1997 because more and more electricity is coming from these cleaner power plants, lead author Joost de Gouw said.

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