Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Natural Gas

US President Barack Obama
Natural gas has received increased media attention surrounding President Obama's State of the Union address and his talk at the University of Miami this  year, however, while natural gas is often included in the "green" energies it has some additional risks (see below). Some may compare natural gas to biomass/biogas power but these are significantly different in that they can turn natural waste into energy, solving a considerable problem throughout the world, and are above ground posing fewer ecological risks. Regardless of the type of energy, there are advantages and disadvantages to all; learn more about each in their appropriate sections at (Wind, Solar, Hydropower, Geothermal, Biomass, Ocean).

Transportation/Extraction Methods

Natural gas requires highly complex treatment plants and pipelines to deliver gas from the source to the site of use. These pipelines have high maintenance costs because they need to be laid underground and need to be checked regularly for leakage (Learn more).

The extraction of natural gas creates cavities in the ground which can sometimes cause the ground to sink. Before the gas is extracted from a natural gas field, the pressure exerted by the gas helps support the layers of soil above the gas field; when the gas is extracted, the soil pressure increases and cavities are created in the ground (Learn more).

Natural Gas Storage

Environmental Impacts

Natural gas is still a contributor to global warming, although much less so than other fossil fuels, it still releases millions of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year (Learn more).

Naturally occurring natural gas seeps from the ocean floor and can disrupt marine life.  Since pipelines run underground/water, any leaks that may occur can expose marine life to the harmful gas (Learn more).

Gas Leaks

Natural gas is highly combustible because of the high percentage of methane. Therefore, there are high risks that methane explosions occur when extracting and using this gas (Learn more).

If a natural gas leak has occurred, oxygen can be reduced which can lead to dizziness, fatigue, nausea, headache, and irregular breathing (Learn more).

Natural Gas Pipeline
Thank you for taking the time to learn more about renewable energy - Knowledge Is Power! For more information go to or write to us at if you have questions or want to get involved. Have a green day!