Today in Cleantech

Natural gas takes over from coal, solar and wind climb 11 percent of America’s power, nuclear power sees a comeback — and carbon emissions don’t get tamped down for an extra 20 years or so. Those are some of the conclusions from a report by energy industry engineering and consulting firm Black & Veatch that tries to predict the United States’ energy mix in the year 2035. First off , B&V thinks that natural gas will provide 40 percent of the United States power and coal only 21 percent, a figure that doesn’t match the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s projection of a 21-percent share for natural gas in 2035. For the short term, low natural gas prices are making it harder to pencil out new renewable energy and nuclear power projects, but still, renewable energy will rise from about 50 gigawatts today to 175 GW by 2035, B&V predicts. As for the geopolitics of capping greenhouse gas emissions, B&V says that probably won’t happen quickly enough to reach reduction targets by 2050. We might have to wait til 2070 instead — but let’s not ask the climate scientists what dire predictions might attach to that analysis.