Coal Emissions from U.S. Could Stop in 20 Years
Pushker Kharecha and his colleagues believe that we should follow some practical methods to do away with coal and conventional fossil fuel emissions. We all know that use of fossil fuels leads towards carbon emissions that cause immense damage to our environment. Pushker Kharecha and colleagues voiced similar sentiments in the American Chemical Society’s semi-monthly journal Environmental Science and Technology (ES and T).
They say, “The only practical way to preserve a planet resembling that of the Holocene (today’s world) with reasonably stable shorelines and preservation of species is to rapidly phase out coal emissions and prohibit emissions from unconventional fossil fuels such as oil shale and tar sands.” This group includes scientists, engineers, and architects. They are from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, the Columbia University Earth Institute, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and 2030 Inc./Architecture 2030.
They believe that United States could totally stop emissions of carbon dioxide from coal-fired electric power plants. It is not a tall talk but can be achievable within 20 years. To achieve this target one doesn’t have to depend on some miracle or God send technology. This can be done by using technology that already exists or could be commercially viable within a decade.
The authors suggested some strategies to make that phase-out possible. They ask for elimination of subsidies for fossil fuels. They also suggest about putting rising prices on carbon emissions. They also want major improvements in electricity transmission. They want the utilization of power in the homes, commercial buildings, and appliances to be judicious and efficient. This team is also suggesting for the replacement of coal power with biomass, geothermal, wind, solar, and third-generation nuclear power. Pushker Kharecha and colleagues also want that if nuclear power plants are a success at commercial levels then we should opt for the deployment of advanced (fourth-generation) nuclear power plants. They also advocate of the methods of carbon capture and storage at remaining coal plants.