While natural gas is not as clean as renewable energy sources like wind and solar, it is the most environmentally friendly fossil fuel. There is also sustainable natural gas produced from existing waste streams and a variety of sustainable biomass sources, including animal waste, landfills, crop residuals and food waste. Once processed, it is interchangeable with traditional pipeline-quality natural gas. It is carbon neutral, extremely versatile and fully compatible with the already existing pipeline infrastructure.
Burning natural gas for energy results in fewer emissions of nearly all types of air pollutants and carbon dioxide (CO2) than burning coal or petroleum products to produce an equal amount of energy. Natural gas emits 50 to 60 percent less CO2 when combusted in a new, efficient natural gas power plant compared with emissions from a typical new coal plant. Cleaner burning than other fossil fuels, the combustion of natural gas produces negligible amounts of sulfur, mercury, and particulates. Burning natural gas does produce nitrogen oxides (NOx), which are precursors to smog, but at lower levels than gasoline and diesel used for motor vehicles.
The phase out of nuclear and coal fired power generation will need a substitute to fill in the gap in the electricity supply until the target of full renewable generation is realized. Even then cogeneration solutions at the point of use would still be much beneficial to the environment and to the economy. Natural gas has the best potential to serve as that substitute fuel to ease the transition to an all renewable future.
While the electrification of heating would decrease natural gas consumption at the end user, it would require new electricity generation capacity which would be best served by natural gas fired power plants.
Energy efficiency and conservation measures continue to provide the largest benefit in sectors where most of the energy is used. For natural gas that is clearly the industrial sector. Responsible companies around the world are attempting to reduce emissions that are harmful to the environment. Clean burning natural gas can help these facilities achieve their environmental compliance objectives.
Further, it's best to use natural gas directly, instead of converting it to electricity first. That’s where Rotonova comes in with its DHKW solutions.