Natural gas is produced by the breakdown of organic materials deep underground. It can help meet the demand for cleaner energy in many sectors, including the growing demand for power generation.
The use of natural gas for electricity production has proven to be reliable and cost-competitive. New/efficient gas-fired power plants can be built in three years, and the cost of generating electricity from gas is often lower than other power generation options such as coal, wind and nuclear. Natural gas also has higher conversion efficiency than traditional fossil fuels: A modern cycle gas turbine has a conversion efficiency of approximately 60%, almost double that of a standard thermal power station.
Natural gas is less carbon intensive than other fossil fuels, with 30% less carbon than oil and 60% less carbon than coal. And when used for power generation, natural gas emits up to 60% less CO2 than coal, and emissions of other waste products such as mercury, sulfur and nitrogen oxide are also significantly reduced. Over time, the potential deployment of new technologies like Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) could continue to improve the environmental advantages of natural gas.
Thanks to these attributes, natural gas will continue to play an important role for a cleaner energy mix in North America, Europe and around the world.