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Friday 18 Aug 2017 | 07:42 | SYDNEY
Friday 18 Aug 2017 | 07:42 | SYDNEY

America's remarkable energy transition



16 July 2012 12:36

This is one of the more remarkable and hopeful charts I have seen in some time, describing America's energy mix:

Why impressive? Just look at the rate of transition from coal to natural gas. As Alexis Madrigal says in his commentary, 'that's the kind of growth that you tend to see in the high tech industry, not energy.' Transitions from one energy source to another tend to be slow; this one looks incredibly rapid.

One reason that's good news is that gas is less carbon-intensive than coal, and the boom in American shale gas production has helped the US to slash its carbon emissions. This chart should also cheer the renewables sector, because it shows that rapid energy transitions are possible even in the face of an entrenched infrastructure for existing fuel types. Then again, the seemingly vast reserves of cheap shale gas available in America will make it that much harder for the renewables sector to compete.

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