Fossil fuels have three main sources – coal, oil and natural gas. In many ways, natural gas is considered the least harmful fossil fuel because its combustion results in less pollution and produces less greenhouse gas and sulfur dioxide than coal and oil. Here are other pros in using natural gas:
- Natural gas burns cleaner that diesel or gasoline and releases 45% less carbon dioxide then coal. This means its emissions contribute less to global warming in comparison to coal, which is a widely used energy source all over the world.
- The supply of natural gas is also abundant, as there are said to be a trillion barrels of its reserves in the United States alone.
- Among its industrial uses include the production of ammonia for fertilizers.
- It is said to be cheaper than electricity and more efficient for cooking and heating. Vehicles that run on natural gas are also energy efficient.
- According to Shell, “A gas-fired power station takes much less time to start and stop than a coal-fired plant. This flexibility makes it a good partner to renewable sources of energy such as solar and wind, which are only available when the sun shines and the wind blows.”
- In the case of renewable energy sources, natural gas may be able to provide power during peaking hours when demand is very high. Although nuclear and hydropower plants can run continuously, energy sources like wind and solar will need to be supplemented by other sources of energy.
- Natural gas and gasoline-powered vehicles operate the same way and get the same miles per gallon. However, natural gas costs almost less than half the price of diesel and gasoline.
Fossil fuels have gotten a bad reputation for its impact on global warming and climate change, but many still argue that the world cannot simply stop its dependence on it. The key lies in achieving a balanced mix of fossil fuels and renewable energy. In the long run, maybe the abundance of natural gas, coupled with its ability to emit less damage, will be able to supplement the gaps that renewable energy is still learning to patch.