Renewables vs. Natural Gas: Which Energy Source Will Consumers Demand?

published Dec 21, 2021
2 min read

Eco-consumer demands are transporting the energy sector. While some residents continue sourcing their electricity from the conventional grid, others install renewable systems to shrink their carbon footprints. Power companies began losing customers when individuals started producing energy independently.

Energy professionals developed renewable grid technology using efficient storage systems to meet consumers’ needs. While some researchers predict that the transition will influence higher clean electricity demands, others see the potential rise of natural gas uses. Cost, awareness and accessibility influence utility consumer preferences.

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The Rise of Eco-Consumerism

Environmentalists have reached the public realm, promoting ecological awareness. Sustainability is a global concern that influences technological advancements, infrastructural development and consumption patterns. Researchers found nearly 66% of individuals consider their purchases’ environmental impacts before checking out.

About three-quarters of the millennial generation evaluates the sustainability of their goods and services before making investments. The rising demand for low-impact products influences various industries, especially the energy sector. Globally, about 84% of the power supply comes from fossil fuels like coal and gas.

Fossil fuel companies experience a threat to their stability and longevity as more individuals purchase renewable energy systems. Some natural gas distributors identified the green movement as a way to sell more products. Companies like BP, ExxonMobil and Chevron are greenwashing their gasoline to deceive individuals, increasing consumer rates.

While natural gas is more sustainable than coal, it contributes to rising global temperatures, degrading the global ecosystem. ExxonMobil put out an advertisement displaying its experimental algae-based biofuels to show the potential for future power sourcing. Though the company may support biofuel research, it has no set plans to adopt the low-impact product.

The company also continues distributing high volumes of fossil fuels, making it part of the largest emission-producing industry. Similar companies are painting natural gas as a sustainable alternative to coal. While the energy source produces fewer emissions, it fails to eliminate degradation.

Most consumers can see past greenwashing and identify the key sustainability limitations of fossil fuels. The eco-conscious movement may influence renewable energy demands, contributing to secondhand natural gas consumption.

Where Natural Gas Really Comes Into Play  

The globe is moving through a green revolution, developing sustainable infrastructure to meet emission-reduction goals. Energy professionals can support the Paris Agreement and other pollution regulations by improving the efficiency and accessibility of renewable energy. Manufacturing practices will advance as the demand for clean power dominates utility consumer preferences.

Solar panels and wind turbines produce weather-reliant energy. Individuals can access emission-free electricity when the sun is shining and the wind is blowing. On low-light and windless days, the technologies’ efficiencies drop. Environmentalists identified batteries as a solution to production limitations to increase renewable energy’s reliability and abundance.

Battery-powered grid systems use large-scale storage devices to hold enough electricity, supporting consumers’ demands during peak hours. Developing batteries and expanding renewable energy farms requires production enhancements backed by fossil fuels. Globally, we lack the necessary materials to manufacture clean power devices with emission-free energy.

Secondhand Fossil Fuel Consumption

Because most of the global energy supply derives from fossil fuels, consumers indirectly support natural gas uses when purchasing clean power technologies. Manufacturing facilities use nearly 536,500 British thermal units (Btu) of natural gas per square foot annually. Solar panels and wind turbines contain a small carbon footprint from their production processes.

Conventional transportation practices also contribute to a renewable energy system’s footprint. The global transit sector generates nearly 7.3 billion tons of emissions each year. Natural-gas-reliant vehicles carry turbines and panels from manufacturing facilities to farms and residential properties.

Transporting large systems requires close monitoring to prevent damage during the trip. Many transit professionals use instruments to observe and record conditions throughout the drive. When professionals notice physical changes, they can address issues immediately to improve the stability and efficiency of renewable devices.

Can Individuals Fully Eliminate Natural Gas Consumption?

The United Nations (UN) Paris Agreement aims to decrease the global temperature by 2 degrees compared to pre-industrial rates. Environmentalists at the UN plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to achieve the goal. After exploring the sustainability limitations of renewable energy systems, individuals may question if natural gas elimination is possible.

While limited technologies reduce individuals’ access to zero-emission energy sources, there are ways to achieve carbon-neutrality and improve sustainability.

Meeting Utility Consumer Preferences With Carbon Offsetting and Sequestration

Energy companies and renewable device manufacturers can meet eco-consumer demands by engaging in carbon offsetting and storage. Businesses that capture emissions on-site can store them beneath Earth’s surface. Over time, natural growth cycles may filter the emissions, reducing atmospheric degradation.

Companies can also calculate their monthly emissions from natural gas uses. They may use the data to support carbon offsetting programs and engage in reforestry to filter air pollution. When energy professionals work to minimize their emissions, we move one step closer to achieving global environmental sustainability.

Emily Newton
Emily Newton is a manufacturing journalist who regularly covers the industry trends. She is also the Editor-in-Chief of Revolutionized. Subscribe to read more from Emily.