Showdown: Solar Energy Vs Natural Gas Energy


Over the past decades, there has been an increase in the use of renewable energy, especially from solar. But even as people make the move to go greener, a lot of industries still depend on natural gas. The use of this fossil fuel has been pinpointed as one of the major contributors to the level of greenhouse gasses. It is, however, most likely to remain a key contributor to the electric grid for a long time.

Industries keep using natural gas energy because they are worried about reliability when it comes to energy generated from the sun. Most of them are also reluctant to invest money into buying energy storage units that can power up plants when there isn’t enough sun.

Natural Gas and the Environment

The world is now more than ever focused on how our existence impacts the environment. As a result, a lot of people are looking into where the energy that powers their homes is coming from. They are also worried about how clean and efficient the energy is.

Natural gas was never a champion in this regard. Its extraction has serious environmental impacts. For instance, as people drill for natural gas, greenhouse gases like methane are released. Methane is thirty times more capable of trapping heat than carbon dioxide.

Apart from drilling, natural gas can also be obtained by a process called fracking. This involves injecting water underground to release gas locked within the earth. This process can lead to contamination of water stored underground.

When the gas is available, you will have to burn it to generate electricity. The burning of gas daily to generate electrical power can have a huge negative impact on the environment. It is said that the average home emits about 7.5 tons of carbon dioxide each year. This certainly can’t be good for the environment.

Advantages of Natural Gas

Natural gas is not all bad, there is also some good that has come out of it. It is the cleanest of all fossil fuels. Compared to coal and oil, it emits lesser amounts of dangerous substances like nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide. It is therefore an option with the least environmental impact when it comes to fossil fuels.

What About Solar Energy?

When it comes to carbon footprint, solar energy takes the medal. It is currently the best and most efficient energy option currently. The use of solar energy does not result in emission of toxic substances. The only energy that is required is used to make solar panel components and install them. Still, the impact can never be compared to that of natural gas.

The technology used to power solar farms can last for about 30 years, which is a considerable amount of time. Apart from the durability factor, it is also a huge plus that the main power source of solar, which is the sun, is a renewable source of energy.

Advantages of Solar Energy

The main advantage of solar energy is that it’s free. There is no drilling needed, all that’s required is sunlight. Furthermore, the price of solar panels has been falling over the past ten years. If you couple that with solar being a squeaky-clean and renewable source of energy, you can see why it will probably win the energy battle in the future.

Many people are choosing solar to power their homes. It is affordable and there are a lot of benefits to it. After all, the sun is free for all. Natural gas only has the advantage of being more reliable, especially in the industrial sector. As solar is becoming more popular, and people are becoming more environmentally friendly, industries might eventually be more willing to invest in energy storage. Until then, natural gas will still be around as an energy option.


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