A look at whether natural gas would be defined as clean energy

科学之问:天然气是清洁能源吗?
时间:2018-07-07 单词数:2730

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导读:天然气价格低、储量大,比价格高、稳定性低的风能和太阳能更有优势。但是外界质疑,天然气是清洁能源吗?这一叩问在美国能源界引发激烈讨论。

天然气是清洁能源吗?_ 双语新闻

Natural gas is cheap and plentiful. That makes it an appealing alternative to wind and solar power, which are relatively expensive and erratic. And plants powered by gas emit far less carbon dioxide than those powered by dirty coal. Nearly half of America’s electricity is generated by coal, and electricity generation accounts for 40% of America’s carbon-dioxide emissions. In 2009, the most recent year for which data are available, the country’s greenhouse-gas emissions were at their lowest level since 1995. That was partly due to the bad economy, and partly to the increased use of renewables and natural gas.

天然气价格低、储量大,比价格高、稳定性低的风能和太阳能更有优势。如果用天然气发电,它比用煤发电排放的二气化碳量要少很多。美国有近一半的电力来自煤电厂,而美国二氧化碳的40%来自于发电。我们能得到的最新数字是2009年的,这一年温室气体的排放达到了1995年以来的最低点。一部分原因是因为那一段时间经济萧条,另一个原因就是可再生能源以及天然气的使用量增加。

But some question whether natural gas is really as green as all that. For one thing, fracking uses a tremendous amount of water, a severely undervalued resource inland. And the process gives off methane, a potent heat-trapper. A study led by Robert Howarth of Cornell University found that greenhouse-gas emissions over the life cycle of natural-gas production could actually be considerably higher than those of coal per unit of energy provided. Greater care about methane venting would, of course, reduce that problem.

但有人怀疑天然气是否真得就那么清洁环保。一方面,破裂法需要耗用大量的水,水作为一种陆地上的资源,价值被严重低估。另一方面,这种方法还会释放大量的甲烷,一种极易吸热的气体。康奈尔大学的罗伯特??霍华斯领导的一项研究发现,提供等量的能量,所使用的天然气比所用的碳在整个生命周期里所释放的温室气体大很多。当然,谨慎处置甲烷的排放会减少这种问题。

The chief fear is that the mystery slurry could get into the water supply. In some fracking towns, people have been able to set their tap water on fire. And there have been troubling safety incidents. In late April a big company, Chesapeake Energy, suspended its fracking in Pennsylvania after one of its natural-gas wells blew out and spilled toxic drilling fluid into a nearby creek. France has placed a moratorium on fracking and is close to a full ban.

人们主要担心那种神秘的浆体可能会渗入饮用水源。在一些破裂法开采天然气的城镇,发生了一些安全事故。4月下旬,切萨皮克能源公司在宾州的一个天然气井外溢,致使有毒的液体流入附近小河,该公司的破裂法采气被叫停。法国暂停了该种采气法,不久就会完全禁止。

来源:金融时报爱语吧作者:CNS喻贵良

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