Natural gas is seen by environmentalists as a “transitional fuel” from coal to renewable energy yet the life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from shale gas could be the same as that from coal-fired generation, so why the transition?
Ontario is closing its coal plants, conventional natural gas is being quickly depleted, and controversial shale gas will be expensive and apparently no better than coal for GHG emissions. Intermittent and variable wind generation needs support from gas or coal since present nuclear is not flexible enough and stored water hydro power, that depends on precipitation, is a valuable reserve and intermediate and peak load provider and cannot be wasted to support wind.
Until new more flexible nuclear comes along low sulfur coal and flue gas clean-up would be a lot less expensive, and carry less risk to Ontario, than going to gas and wind. It’s really time for the Ontario government to rethink this gas and wind thing.