What Has Really Reduced CO2 (And It’s Not Renewables)

cost of renewables - Tom ShepstoneTom Shepstone
Natural Gas NOW


If you think CO2 emissions are being reduced by renewable energy think again, because it is natural gas conversions that are actually making a difference.

My post earlier today on the Spotsylvania solar farm fiasco led me to some stats on Virginia electricity generation that illustrate precisely why it is natural gas, not renewables, that is making  difference with respect to CO2 emissions.

During the course of looking over sPower’s propaganda regarding the Spotsylvania solar farm, I discovered this chart in a report on the economic and fiscal contribution of the project:


Virginia Electricity Generation by Source

Notice that, over a period of a decade, Virginia went from 10% natural gas fueled electricity generation to 44%, which is nothing less than astounding. Notice, too, that renewables only show up as a part of the “other” category, which barely registers as an electricity generating source. It was 2% and now, after massive incentives, it’s still only 4%.

Now, look at what’s happened to CO2 emissions in Virginia over the same period based on data from the Energy Information Administration:


Virginia has reduced its CO2 emissions by 18.3 million metric tons over the decade or 15%. Given that natural gas went from 10% of the electricity source fuel mix, while coal dropped from 47% to 18% and renewables hardly changed, we have clear evidence of what happened. Natural gas availability, via the shale revolution, changed everything for the better. Renewables had almost nothing to do with it and no subsidies or massive forest clearings were required. So, there!

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One thought on “What Has Really Reduced CO2 (And It’s Not Renewables)

  1. The chart by itself does not account for any growth in the Commonwealth over that same period. If there was an overlay chart showing the growth rate of Virginia over that same time frame, it would illustrate and magnify the significance of the reduction.

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