Unconventional Gas Development 2.0: Reducing the ‘Environmental Footprint’ Through New Technologies
Innovation in Energy Law and Technology: Dynamic Solutions for Energy Transitions (Donald Zillman, Martha Rogenkamp, Leroy Paddock, and Lee Godden editors), Oxford University Press, 2018
23 Pages Posted: 19 Apr 2018
Date Written: April 18, 2018
Unconventional development has revolutionized natural gas production, an advance that could play a major role in reducing dangerous greenhouse gas emissions implicated in global climate change. However, the ‘net carbon reduction benefits’ associated with natural gas (i.e., fuel switching from coal to natural gas for electricity generation) will dissipate if the environmental footprint of unconventional development is not addressed.
New and currently being researched technologies can help reduce the environmental footprint. For example, new technologies to identify methane leaks in natural gas systems can insure that the carbon benefit is secured. And there are other challenges related to reducing the environmental footprint including improved water management and preventing earthquakes linked to unconventional gas development. One US state, Colorado, has proven that workable efforts can successfully be undertaken to require deployment of new technology to reduce methane emissions. Those efforts were the result of a first-in-the US collaboration involving political leaders, industry, environmental groups, and regulators.
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