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What Is the Global Warming Impact
of Switching Coal Power to Natural Gas?

How much global warming benefit results from natural gas electricity replacing coal-generated electricity depends on how much the natural gas system leaks, how quickly coal power plants are replaced, and how much time passes after replacement begins. Here, the total electricity generated from coal and gas is assumed to stay the same each year, but the fraction generated from coal decreases (at the rate you select). For methane leakage greater than 6 percent, at least two decades are required before any global warming benefit is realized, no matter how rapidly coal is replaced.

Click below on a leak rate and a coal-to-gas conversion rate to explore different scenarios.

Coal-to-gas conversion rate
(% per year):

Methane leak rate (%):