Natural gas is an energy source that helps make electricity. It is a relatively cheap, reliable energy source. In Europe, about one-third of electricity comes from natural gas. It is like a backup for when the sun does not shine, or the wind does not blow and helps keep the lights on.
Natural gas is used in cars, homes, and businesses. It is extracted from the and gets sent to power plants.
Natural gas turns into electricity through a few steps.
Getting natural gas:
Read more about the generation process:
Combustion: Natural gas is burned in a combustion turbine or a gas-fired power plant. The heat produced during combustion is used to drive a turbine.
Turbine Operation: The turbine is connected to a generator. As the turbine's blades spin, they turn the generator's rotor, creating an electromagnetic field.
Electromagnetic Induction: The spinning rotor within the generator's electromagnetic field generates an electric current through a phenomenon known as electromagnetic induction. This electric current is the electricity that is produced.
Transmission: The generated electricity is then sent through power lines and transformers to increase its voltage for efficient long-distance transmission.
Distribution: After transmission, the electricity is distributed to homes, businesses, and industries through local power grids.
Natural gas is one of the most energy-dense fossil fuels, meaning it contains a large amount of energy per unit of volume. This makes it an efficient fuel for power generation, as a relatively small amount of natural gas can produce significant electricity.
Compared to coal and oil, natural gas is considered a relatively clean-burning fossil fuel as it emits fewer greenhouse gases and pollutants when burned. This makes it a favored option for electricity generation, particularly as a transitional fuel towards more sustainable energy sources.
While natural gas-based power generation is effective and efficient, it is important to note that it is still a fossil fuel contributing to carbon dioxide emissions.