Natural gas consists mainly of methane, with a small amount of hydrocarbon gas liquids and nonhydrocarbon gases, and can be found in coal deposits or in sedimentary rocks. Currently, in the US, the natural gas provides 29 percent of energy and heats about half of the homes. However, although the natural gas can be found in the US, unlike other types of energy, and can pollute less, it still causes impact to the environment.
Often described as “clean burning”, the natural gas can emit 50% to 60% less carbon dioxide) if emitted from a new and efficient power plant, than other types of combustions, such as oil and coal, when compared to emissions from typical power plants. Furthermore, natural gas can emit 15% to 20% less heat-trapping gases than gasoline when compared to a typical automobile. On the other hand, the burning of natural gas produces nitrogen oxides (NOx), which can lead to negligible amounts of sulfur, mercury, and particulates.
The use of natural gas has proven to be beneficial for the public health because the reduction of these pollutants has also lessened the number of cases of diseases such as asthma, bronchitis, lung cancer, and heart diseases.
The natural gas energy has proven to be more efficient when compared to other types of energy, with a power plant being 42 percent efficient, while a coal-burning plant is about 33 percent efficient. Furthermore, the annual consumption of natural gas in the US in 2015 was 28.3 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) and is expected to rise 25 percent during the next 25 years. However, the rise may happen faster than expected, because U.S Energy Information Administration (EIA) has proven that the US natural gas reserves have risen 10 percent in 2014, reaching a new record of 389 Tcf.
Although the US is already leading the race for natural gas energy, there are other countries that are following closely behind and leaving other types of energy behind. Israel, for example, has the Delek Drilling partnership which has led the natural gas revolution in Israel to leave behind the years of oil exploration. That way, the natural gas energy is already being used to cover up to 50 percent of Israel’s electricity.
Natural gas is a good and efficient source of energy and has proven to be more reliable than other types of energy, such as oil or coal. Often described as “clean burning”, the natural gas has a weaker impact on the environment and the public health.