Natural gas is one of the world’s three major fossil fuel sources. In recent decades, there has been a greater push to transition away from coal and gas as a source of heat and power due to their high pollution levels. Coal and natural gas supplies are also rapidly depleting.
When it comes to discussing the benefits and drawbacks of natural gas, both sides tend to rely on isolated data to support their positions. The true scientific appraisal of an energy source’s viability occurs when all sides are considered.
Natural gas is similar to diesel and gasoline in many ways. It is a fossil-fuel-derived product that is the healthiest, cleanest, and most widely used kind of energy in our daily life. Natural gas is the apparent choice for replacing them as a major energy source, but there are numerous advantages and disadvantages to using natural gas. To determine how viable natural gas is for power, you must weigh both the benefits and drawbacks of the fuel.
1. Gas Energy Is A Major Global Source
Natural gas has grown increasingly popular as a source of energy and heat since it can be mined and used in so many countries throughout the world. To meet the energy demands of the local population, most countries in today’s global civilization rely on coal, oil, or gas as key energy sources. Natural gas can be considered a very reliable power source due to its maturity and widespread adoption across numerous industries.
2. Generally Risk-Free
Natural gas technology and utilization in the energy production process can be considered relatively safe. Despite a few incidences over time, the use of natural gas has not resulted in many fatalities. Natural gas is very safe when compared to nuclear power plant accidents, which can result in enormous amounts of land being contaminated with radioactive elements and thousands of people dying as a result.
3. It’s A Lot Easier To Store
In comparison to other fossil fuels, natural gas is much safer and easier to store. As a result, it is at the top of the list of the most energy-efficient sources of electricity and heating. Natural gas can be stored in a variety of ways, including above ground in liquid tanks or underground, as in the great majority of homes in the United States.
4. Technology That Is More Advanced
Over many decades, natural gas has been a significant source of energy. As a result, it can be considered a well-developed technology that has been refined over time. It can be considered one of the most established power sources we as mankind knows on a worldwide basis as a result of this optimization and maturing process.
5. It Is Not Affected By The Weather
Another but important advantage of natural gas is that it can be used to generate electricity regardless of the weather. In comparison to alternative fuels such as wind or solar energy, natural gas energy production does not require sunlight or wind to function. Natural gas is a very steady power source that might be utilized as a supplement to alternative energies until humankind is able to provide sufficient energy purely through alternative energies.
6. A Plentiful Energy Supply
Despite the fact that natural gas is a finite resource, there is still plenty of it, which might endure for decades or even centuries before it is depleted. As a result, natural gas will remain an important power source in the short term until mankind is able to completely replace fossil fuels with renewable energy sources.
7. More Environmentally Friendly Than Other Fossil Fuels
Although the use of natural gas results in significant greenhouse gas emissions into the environment, it is thought to be less detrimental than the use of other fossil fuels such as coal or oil. if you still wish to use fossil fuels for heating or energy, you should choose natural gas over coal or oil to reduce your environmental impact. However, switching to green energies would be preferable.
8. Compared To Other Fossil Fuels, There Are Fewer Toxic Waste By-Products
While the combustion of other fossil fuels, such as coal, results in the formation of hazardous byproducts, natural gas does not. As a result, natural gas can be deemed to be more environmentally friendly than other fossil energy sources in terms of waste management and hazardous waste creation.
9. Natural Gas Is Available In A Variety Of Countries
Natural gas is a very common energy source because it is found in many countries across the world. Even while access to natural gas may be more difficult in poor developing countries due to a lack of technological advancement, as those countries grow, there will be enough natural gas deposits to reach.
10. It’s Possible To Utilise It To Make Fertiliser
While natural gas is most commonly utilized for energy production and heating, natural gas components can also be used to make fertilizer. As a result, natural gas may be advantageous for agricultural purposes, even if fertilizers should not be used in excess because this might lead to major soil and groundwater pollution.
11. Existing Gas Infrastructure That Has Been Optimised
Because natural gas has been utilized as a key energy source for so long, it has a massive and well-developed infrastructure. This comprises highly efficient mining, transportation, processing, and energy production. Many enterprises and whole industries rely on natural gas as their primary energy source, making it critical to ensure our industrial energy supply in the short term.
12. Source Of Energy That Is Efficient
In comparison to most alternative energies, natural gas can be considered to be extremely efficient. As a result, despite its numerous flaws, natural gas will continue to play a vital role for many years until the energy revolution is complete.
13. It’s Versatile And Can Be Used For A Bunch Of Uses.
Natural gas is extremely versatile and adaptable since it may be used not only for energy production and heating but also for agricultural activities and a variety of other devices. As a result, natural gas is widely used in both residential and industrial applications.
14. Compared To Other Fossil Fuels, It Is Less Expensive.
When compared to oil-based energy generation, natural gas is frequently substantially less expensive per unit of energy. Switching from oil to gas heating could thus be beneficial not just to the environment but also to the economy. However, switching to renewable energy sources such as solar electricity would be even better for reducing your carbon footprint.
15. Job Stability
Currently, the gas industry has a large number of employees. It is critical that natural gas remains an essential energy source in the future in order to ensure or perhaps create new jobs in this industry. It should be noted, however, that people in the gas industry may be able to work in the renewable energy sector if they receive adequate training. As a result, job security in the natural gas sector should be a relatively poor reason for continuing to use this technology.
16. In The Energy Transition Process, This Is An Important Supplement
Even if natural gas may not have a bright future in the long term, it is nonetheless vital as a supplement in the transition from fossil to renewable energies to ensure the energy supply of millions of people throughout the world.
1. Global Warming And Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Natural gas has a number of drawbacks, one of which is that it emits considerable amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Even though greenhouse gas emissions are fewer than those from other fossil fuels such as coal or oil, they are still substantially greater than those from many alternative energy sources.
Because greenhouse gas emissions contribute to global warming, we as a global community should lessen our reliance on natural gas as a primary energy source to keep air and water temperatures from rising too much.
2. Nonrenewable Resource
Gas is also a finite resource that might be termed nonrenewable because it takes millions of years for natural gas to produce. As the result, even though there is enough natural gas left at the moment, we as a species will run out of it. We shall be an insignificant difficulty if we do not make the switch to renewable energies by this time, as our energy supply may be jeopardized.
Fortunately, governments all across the world are working hard to make the switch to renewable energy. As a result, it is expected that in a few decades, we will be able to meet the bulk of our energy demand with renewable resources, and natural gas will become less important as a key energy source.
Our air is polluted with considerable levels of hazardous gases and other poisonous components as a result of the burning process of gas for electricity production. As a result, major health problems may arise, particularly for persons who live in areas with poor air quality and high amounts of pollutants.
Critics of this practice frequently point out that it could result in significant pollution. Because a lot of chemicals are used in the fracking process, it can cause substantial water contamination and soil pollution, which will harm local flora and fauna and possibly poison our groundwater.
4. Depletion Of Ozone
Components of emissions from natural gas energy generation could possibly contribute to ozone layer depletion. The ozone layer shields us, as well as our flora and fauna, from harmful radiation. If this layer is eroded, significant health problems such as cancer may become much more prevalent over time.
5. Habitat Destruction Caused By Mining
Because natural gas is produced from the earth by mining or fracking, vast swaths of land must be used and processed. As a result, many animals may lose their homes and be forced to relocate, potentially causing major habitat devastation. Many florae in the impacted areas may perish as well.
6. Easily Flammable
Natural gas is a highly flammable substance that, in the event of an accident, can do substantially greater damage. If not managed properly, natural gas leaks can result in fires or explosions. It has no color, taste, or odor and cannot be identified by smell unless an odorant is added to it.
Mishandling natural gas, which is extremely combustible, can result in disastrous explosions. That way, people are hesitant to use it in vehicles. The biggest issue with natural gas is that it has no odor, making leaks impossible to detect unless an odorant is added to it.
7. Rainfall That Is Acidic
The production of acid rain is also linked to the emission of hazardous gases. Acid rain can cause major local environmental problems depending on the severity of emissions. For example, because plants are usually extremely sensitive to soil acidity levels, acid rain can cause large reductions in crop yields, which can lead to severe poverty and malnutrition, especially in impoverished developing nations where crop yields are the primary source of food.
8. Loss Of Biodiversity
Natural habitat damage caused by human interference, as represented by natural gas extraction, also suggests a large loss of biodiversity. Many plants may be unable to adapt to these new conditions, resulting in a significant population decline. Furthermore, because many creatures would lose their native habitats, they may become endangered or extinct.
9. Fracking For Natural Gas Could Result In Earthquakes.
Even though it has not been verified, fracking in the context of natural gas extraction is thought to be capable of causing earthquakes. As a result, natural gas extraction has the potential to kill a large number of people while also destroying critical infrastructure. The fracking method is often regarded as being extremely destructive to the environment.
10. Other Countries’ Reliance
Countries that do not have abundant natural gas deposits may have to rely on other countries to meet their natural gas needs. However, economic dependency frequently entails political dependence, which can have bad consequences for the country that is reliant on a particular resource. Countries could reduce their reliance on other countries and so strengthen their political freedom by using alternative renewable energies instead.
11. Gas Prices Are Based On The Global Market
Dependence on fossil fuels, such as natural gas, entails reliance on global market prices for such commodities. As a result, countries that continue to rely on natural gas as their principal energy source in the future may face serious financial difficulties if global gas prices rise dramatically. As a result, switching from fossil to renewable energies may be a good decision both economically and politically.
12. Homeowners face high upfront fees
Furthermore, the initial installation expenditures for natural gas heating for homeowners may be high. A natural gas heating system might cost up to 30,000 dollars to buy and install. As a result, this money could be better spent on alternative green energy sources like solar power, as natural gas may become obsolete in the future.
13. Leaks Are Difficult To Detect
Leaks are difficult to detect since natural gas is odorless and invisible. As a result, most leaks are discovered after it is too late and explosions have occurred. This makes natural gas extremely dangerous, especially for those who are unfamiliar with the resource.
Even while the number of incidents involving the usage of gas heating or energy generation is very low, some individuals die every year as a result of these events. As a result, switching from fossil fuels such as gas to safer technologies such as solar power would not only be good for the environment but might also improve your overall safety.
15. Gas Transportation Could Be Hazardous
There could also be complications with the natural gas transportation process. Because gas is highly combustible, transportation accidents can result in large explosions, causing injuries or even death to a large number of people.
16. There isn’t much room for improvement.
In contrast to much alternative energy, which still has a lot of opportunity for technological developments, natural gas technologies are rather mature and have the minimal possibility for efficiency improvements. As a result, due to efficiency gains in other alternative fuels, natural gas may lose its importance at some point in the future.
17. The Initial Costs Of Building Pipelines Are Relatively Expensive
Even if the cost of energy from gas is very inexpensive per unit, the initial costs of building gas pipelines can be rather high. As a result, the entire expenses of the production and distribution chain may be substantially more than most people believe.
Natural gas infrastructure is particularly expensive since it requires long pipes, specialized tanks, and separate plumbing systems. The cost of long-distance transmission and transportation is higher. The cost of repairing leaking pipes is added to the overall operating cost.