Understanding the Benefits of Natural Gas
Many of us use natural gas for heating our homes and cooking, but did you know that gas also produces about thirty percent of our electricity? That percentage is expected to grow because natural gas has been the number one choice for large new power plants in the United States.
Natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuel and is a highly effective source of energy when used. Natural gas is an abundant source of fuel across the U.S. and extraction methods have led to a rise in shale gas developments making America the world’s leading producer of natural gas.
When understanding the benefits of energy production and how we use it daily, it is important to mention that with the help of natural gas, we are able to meet our growing energy needs for future years to come.
One fuel, many advantages
A few reasons why natural gas is the most important form of energy include:
- Abundant:Gas resources are found in different regions of the world, and the U.S. continues to find more supply.
- Reliable: Natural gas can be accessed whenever it is needed through established networks of pipelines.
- Cost effective: most natural gas appliances cost less to operate than electric sources.
- Clean: Natural gas is the cleanest-burning fossil fuel, with 30 percent less carbon than oil and as much as 60 percent less carbon than coal. Burning natural gas in place of other fuels can reduce emissions and contribute to cleaner air quality.
- Versatile: The versatility of natural gas makes it an important foundation fuel. In our homes, we burn natural gas for heating and cooking.
Many industries depend on natural gas to create process heat and steam, and as a raw material in making petrochemicals and fertilizers.
Natural gas either in liquefied or compressed form is used to fuel transit buses in urban areas. The electricity sector depends on gas to produce a reliable, cost-effective, quick-firing way to generate power.
Supporting the Economy
The development of natural gas brings both economic and eco-friendly benefits to the United States and local communities.
Today, natural gas adds more than $36 billion to the California’s annual economy and supports a quarter of a million good-paying jobs. By 2035, natural gas production is expected to contribute $3.3 billion in annual wages to California workers. In the U.S. as a whole, the natural gas industry employs people in all 50 states supporting direct, indirect and induced jobs.
Both commercial and industrial businesses can benefit and save when they transition to the use of natural gas. In 2012, the average commercial customer saved nearly $2,500 on their annual energy bill due to low natural gas prices, compared to 2008.
According to IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates, Inc.affordable, natural gas can help the nation’s chemicals sector over the next dozen years, creating more than 300,000 jobs and driving half a trillion dollars in production through 2025.
The benefits of natural gas and its production not only help fuel our economy, but promotes clean energy use and production which in turn contributes to clean air and productivity.