After many years of dependence on coal and oil, the energy industry is shifting its perspective to cleaner, safer alternatives for the environment. This has turned its sight on natural gas, mostly composed of methane. In the last decade, there has been a dramatic shift for electric power plants going from coal to methane based gases, and with it has come a noteworthy decrease in greenhouse gas emissions.
What are Greenhouse Gases?
To put it most simply, greenhouse gases are gases emitted during energy production that trap heat and make the climate warmer overall. While these gases aren’t inherently bad, they damage the environment when there is an overabundance of them. The overabundance is known to alter the climate, causing melting ice caps and floods. While the science regarding greenhouse gases is often debated, many have adopted a policy of “better safe than sorry.”
How Does This Gas Help?
While methane based gas is better for the bottom line of businesses in the energy industry, a happy side effect has been how it has helped to curb damage to the environment. Production and delivery of these gases are simpler, more cost-effective and less harsh on the environment than for other fossil fuels. Lower cost for companies means that money can be reinvested in initiatives to help the environment.
Most importantly, these gases burn much cleaner than other fossil fuels. Studies have shown that the rise in gas usage has coincided with a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions. Methane based gas releases one of the most prominent greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide, at a rate of nearly half that of coal.
What Does Methane Based Gas Mean for the Future?
Like the lower cost for companies previously mentioned, the intertwining of environmental and economic benefits behind methaned based gases are significant. Nations that previously depended on oil for energy can instead harness gas and even use it to bolster their economies by exporting it. While healing the environment and learning our lessons about its importance is a collective, lengthy process, this is an excellent step in the right direction. Investing in methane based gas for one’s home is an investment in our future.