Is Natural Gas good for the environment?
We’re hearing a lot about “renewable energy” and “reducing our dependence on foreign oil” at the moment and if you’re anything like me, you’ll be eager to be doing your bit for the environment.
The ‘big six’ over here in the UK have hiked their fuel prices again and if you talk to any of your friends or colleagues you’ll soon see that energy consumption and savings is a topic that is important to everyone.
Recently I’ve been learning about some of the benefits of natural gas. We don’t have gas in the village where I live but last year a neighbour gave us an old gas stove. We hooked it up to bottled gas and that bottle lasted us over a year. It’s clearly an efficient way of cooking because the heat is so much more controllable than electricity.
Here’s some more about natural gas.
How much was your last electricity bill?
It seems that natural gas costs a fraction of traditional electricity. Check out a site like http://www.saveonenergy.com to discover more.
Used to heat your home, provide hot water or run appliances; it appears gas-based appliances require less power than those that run on electricity, which helps keep that natural gas bill lower. I know from experience that my Mum and Dad’s gas water heaters are far more efficient than my electric immersion tank as you only pay for what you use.
Better For the Environment
The burning of natural gas produces sixty five percent fewer emissions per kilowatt than you get from burning coal. It produces twenty five percent fewer emissions per kilowatt than burning oil.
Accessing the natural gas resources requires less drilling and the refining of gas doesn’t pose nearly the risk that refining oil or coal, making it one of the cleanest burning energy sources available.
While I’m still an advocate for more sustainable sources of energy such as wind, solar and hydro the reality is these technologies are not yet freely available, cost effective or efficient enough to run the average home.
Beneficial For the Economy
Choosing natural gas reduces the dependence on the burning of fossil fuels and foreign oil imports.
This reduces the amount of money the country spends on importing this fuel from overseas and as a customer you should enjoy those savings passed onto you.
I’m realising there are several reasons to choose natural gas in the home but I’m aware this is a contentious topic, especially for a green blog to cover. I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Unfortunatly most of the Natural Gas the UK uses is still imported via the gas interconnector to the Bacton Gas Terminal in Norfolk [were there was a fire a couple of years ago].It is imported from Russia and the Far East so if there is trouble over there the gas suppy could be interupted and the price would go sky high.
@chris levey: Ahhh, thanks for that Chris. I must admit all this is new to me and I’m still trying to weigh up the pros and cons. Thanks for the insight 🙂
I am married to a retired gas engineer. This article got me thinking I have an old hot and cold fill washing machine so the hot water it uses comes from my gas boiler. I understand now all washing machines are cold fill only so the water is heated by electrify which is more polluting and what happens when you have solar hot water. Madness.
Generating electricity by heating steam to turn turbines is embarrassingly inefficient: only 30% or so. So for heating your home of your food you generate much less carbon emission per BTU by burning gas straight.
However, you want to keep a sharp eye on leaks: methane is much more powerful as a greenhouse gas than CO2.
Currently, natural gas is cheap on the world market because of the recent increase in supplies from American shale. But its price has been known to fluctuate wildly. I do believe Mr. Cameron has just given the go-ahead on fracking for gas in the shales under Lancashire, so Britain will soon have its own supply of natural gas – as well as the outcry over the environmental consequences.