Coal Bed Methane Energy Hope for Cape Breton
The increasing demand for energy across the world makes methane an essential energy source that can be accessed from coal beds in the world. The difference between coal bed methane and conventional sources is that this type of methane is encapsulated within the coal beds through the adsorption process and its extraction is thus essential. In Nova Scotia, the leading energy source for wind power, hydro and coal power plants is Cape Breton. This makes the location a critical gate way to coal bed methane energy. Cape Breton has the immense capacity for the development of renewable energy sources such as wind power, tidal power and biomass (Chatterjee 68).
Despite the presence of sufficient capacity for renewable energy production, coal bed methane extraction from Cape Breton has been advancing progressively in recent years due to the availability of coal at a shallow level which helps to reducing the drilling costs. Because of this, coal bed methane has increased in uses, comprising of up to 10 percent of total energy consumption in the US in 2000 (John 37).
Some of the reasons for the shift towards the use of coal bed methane include ease of transportation and clean energy. Being a source of clean energy, coal bed methane extraction can be translated as an extraction of energy as compared to coal which needs to be combusted first to release energy. Consequently, the environmental impacts of coal bed methane extraction and use are limited.
The extraction of coal bed methane from Cape Breton will also result in the creation of employment and reduction of vehicle fuel prices. With technologies to check greenhouse gas emissions, coal bed methane offers a great opportunity for exploitation by Cape Breton. However, the key challenges that would be faced include impacts on land, surface and underground water pollution.
Chatterjee, Kaulir. Uses of Energy Minerals and Changing technologies. New Delhi: New Age International Publishers, 2006. Print.
John, Squarek. Coal Bed Methane Expands in China. Oil and Gas Journal 1, (2006): 37-40. Print.
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