There is no doubt about the fact the in the long list of materials used as fuel, natural gas does rank among the top choices. The reason for this is that natural gas comes with numerous advantages that conventional sources of fuel don’t have. Over the years, its usage has increased because of numerous factors like it being a cleaner fuel than fossil fuels and that it is much easier to transport than them too. Even though in India the most commonly used form of gas is LPG or liquefied petroleum gas, natural gas is making its entry into the market. For the moment, the lion’s share of natural gas is used by the industrial sector and a very tiny amount is used in residential sectors however, the projection is that by 2025 this consumption will increase dramatically. Having said that, it is now time to explore what the advantages and disadvantages of natural gas are.
Advantages of Natural Gas
Some of the most common advantages of natural gas are:
Easy to Deliver
If we look at the current mode of delivery of gas to homes in India, we notice a lot of metal cylinders changing hands. Should natural gas take over as the preferred fuel for cooking, its delivery would be much easier since all that is needed to deliver natural gas is a network of pipes.
Cleaner Than Oil
The uses of natural gas can also extend to fuel for motor vehicles where is has a distinct advantage over oil in the fact that this gas burns in a cleaner way as compared to petrol or diesel which makes it more environmentally friendly.
Safer to Use
A big fear with LPG is that when it leaks it lingers in the air making the area rather unsafe. With natural gas such fears can be put to rest since it’s lighter than air nature will ensure that it dissipates quickly in the event of a leak.
When compared to things like propane gas, natural gas provides more energy when it burns, which makes it much more efficient.
Current estimates of the amount of natural gas available say that it will outlast crude oil and its products.
Disadvantages of Natural Gas
Even though natural gas is a cleaner and more efficient fuel than oil there are some distinct disadvantages to the use of natural gas and some of them are particular to India.
The problem in India is that we don’t have vast reserves of natural gas which means that most of the natural gas that is consumed by us has to be bought from other countries. Such constant purchases can turn into a rather expensive proposition over time.
In a time when we know fuel oil is running out and we are scrambling to find alternate sources of energy, natural gas does not come across as the best option because it too is a non-renewable source of energy.
Since natural gas contains high amounts of methane in it, it is quite combustible and call for extreme care to be taken while handling the gas.
Even though natural gas is easier to store and transport, it has one big disadvantage. Its volume happens to be four times that of petrol which makes it more expensive to store since more needs to be spent on additional storage.
Even though it is lighter than air and can disperse easily, a big danger with natural gas is that since it is colorless, odorless and tasteless, should it start leaking, detection of the leak is very hard. Advantages of Natural Gas
Natural gas is a mixture of a lot of elements including methane. Since methane is the most useful component for combustion, getting natural gas ready for use requires the removal of almost every other component. This process can produce a lot of by-products like helium, sulphur and carbon dioxide which can be dangerous in themselves.
All said and done, it can be considered that natural gas can serve as a viable alternative to other fossil fuels till such time as something more efficient can be found.
News About Advantages and Disadvantages of Natural Gas
PM Invites Oil, Natural Gas Exploration By Foreign Firms
The Prime Minister has invited foreign firms to invest in oil and natural gas exploration in India. At the inauguration of Petrotech 2016, the PM talked about the advantages of investing in India, whose economy is slated to grow five-fold by 2040.
Assuring foreign investors that the days of cumbersome rec tape are over, he invited them to launch renewable energy projects in the country as well, with the aim of making these more affordable and widespread.
The government is also seeking to ensure all homes have electricity by March 2018, and is providing piped natural gas connections to over 10 million households as well.
The emphasis on LPG as a form of fuel is part of a campaign to encourage the use of safe fuel for cooking, especially across the hinterland that has so far been relying on traditional fuel such as firewood.
9th December 2016
Chandigarh Houses to Receive Piped Natural Gas
MP Kirron Kher announced today that the Minister for Petroleum and Gas Dharmendra Pradhan will be inaugurating a Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Piped Natural Gas (PNG) project in Chandigarh’s EWS House in Sector 49. The CNG project will be launched from Sector 44. SK Sharma Project Manager for Indian Oil Adani Gas Private Limited said that after Sector 49 it will begin the Piped Natural Gas service in sectors 50, 51, 52 and Dhanas. The company aims to provide the entire city with Piped Natural Gas within the span of one year. The company has laid close to 31 kilometers of pipeline near the outer region of Chandigarh. Piped Natural Gas will cost less than Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) for domestic use as it will come with a separate government subsidy. The connection will initially cost residents Rs.56,000, which includes a refundable security deposit. Residents will be able to opt for one of three schemes: rental, EMI or Upfront. Residents in Sector 49’s SBI Housing Society have received connections and are awaiting gas supply. The project will initially start will 200 houses and will expand from there on.
8th November 2016
Gas4India Campaign to Increase Natural Gas in Energy Mix
A new campaign Gas4India has been launched by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. This campaign aims at promoting the use of natural gas in India. This can be achieved by increasing the ratio of natural gases in the energy basket of India. Presently, natural gases make up 6.5% of the basket. Initiatives have already been taken by the government to implement a gas chain. Reforms will also soon be introduced to promote the campaign. Social media will be used extensively to engage citizens. Hyper-local offline events will also be held to make connections with consumers. The target set to increase the share of gas in the energy mix is 15%. The initiative to drive India towards a gas-based economy will bring in huge investments in this sector. There will also be a number of jobs created with this move.
6th September 2016
India will Increase Natural Gas to 15% in Energy Mix
India has plans to make alterations to the energy mix and include a higher proportion of natural gas. Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Mr. Dharmendra Pradhan said that the current mix includes 6.5% of natural gas, and this would be increased to 15%. There has been no timeline set to achieve this figure. However, a new campaign called “Gas4India” will be launched soon and will promote the use of LPG in India. Public and private sector companies are partnering to promote the campaign. The campaign will make full use of social media, offline events, hyper local events, workshops, discussions and cultural events. Considering the various technologies available for the conversion of sewage, high ash content coal, bio waste, husk, bagasse and other feedstock into gas, this move makes sense economically. The government is already promoting LPG across the nation and is setting up the infrastructure for gas.
6th September 2016
Natural Gas Forecast for India Looks Positive
The natural gas forecast for the country is looking increasingly positive with the government undertaking a slew of measures to promote LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) in India.
With the aim of tapping into the 1.25 billion strong market, the government has announced measures such as the development of shale networks as well as sanctioning new shale exploration in the country and a more liberalised gas regime.
These measures are projected to increase India’s natural gas output by almost 60% within the next four years, resulting in a reduction in the burden on localised gas demand.
With LNG being a safer and more environment friendly option to the current gas options, this would positively impact the country’s ecology.
17th June 2016
Mumbai to Start Using Natural Gas for Crematoria
The Brihan Mumbai Municipal Corporation recently announced that it is planning to convert its 44 wood and electricity based crematoria in the metropolis to piped natural gas based complexes. This novel move will definitely contribute in saving electricity bills in addition to protecting trees and environment. The BMC currently manages 44 crematoria, out of which 11 run on electricity with 14 Muslim and 11 Christian cemeteries at 54 locations across Mumbai. The electric crematoria have to be regularly closed down for maintenance and the new move will change that.
6th July 2016