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Is natural gas a renewable or non-renewable source of energy?
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Is natural gas a renewable or non-renewable source of energy?

June 30, 2023
Is natural gas renewable? This gas is considered a transition between renewable and non-renewable energy sources – yet it is not renewable.
Is natural gas renewable?

What are fossil fuels?

What is the definition of non-renewable energy sources?

Fossil fuels are non-renewable energy sources formed from the remains of ancient plants and animals. These fuels, which include coal, oil, and natural gas, have been developed over millions of years through processes like heat, pressure, and decomposition. These sources of energy cannot be replaced once they are consumed. Here are some critical points about fossil fuels:

  • Fossil fuels are primarily composed of carbon and hydrocarbon compounds.
  • They are extracted from underground reservoirs or deposits through drilling, mining, or fracking.
  • Fossil fuels are extensively used for electricity generation, transportation, industrial processes, and heating.
  • Burning fossil fuels releases carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
  • The combustion of fossil fuels also produces air pollutants, such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter, which can harm human health and the environment.
  • Fossil fuels are finite resources and their extraction can have environmental impacts, including habitat destruction and water pollution.
  • There is a growing emphasis on transitioning to cleaner and renewable energy sources to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and mitigate climate change.

What is the definition of renewable energy sources?

Renewable energy sources are naturally replenished within a relatively short period, typically on a human timescale. These sources, such as solar, wind, hydroelectric, tidal, and geothermal energy, harness the power of natural processes or phenomena to generate electricity or heat. Renewable energy is considered environmentally friendly and plays a crucial role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting sustainable development.

Natural gas is renewable or nonrenewable?

What is clean energy?

Clean energy means using power sources that have little negative impact on the environment and help create a more sustainable world. While we aim for zero-emission energy, not all fossil fuels are the same. Natural gas is a fossil fuel that burns relatively cleaner compared to others. It acts as a temporary or "bridge" fuel as we transition to renewable energy.

Is natural gas renewable?

Natural gas is reliable: storing and transporting it is effective, thus the use of this energy is guaranteed. It is non-renewable, but the biggest problem with renewable energy is that we cannot store it effectively.

Natural gas has a pretty good reputation among fossil fuels. While burning this fossil fuel, it emits much fewer greenhouse gases than oil or coal. But we cannot say it is environmental-friendly: it is just less polluting.

Natural gas production and usage

Natural gas is made mostly of methane and formed over millions of years from plants and animals. It is not replenished like renewable energy sources. We find natural gas in different places, on land, and under the sea.

We commonly use natural gas for heating and making electricity. Power plants use gas turbines to create electricity from natural gas,  these plants are efficient and cost-effective.

Compared to coal and oil, natural gas is cleaner. It produces fewer air pollutants and carbon dioxide when burned, which is why it is used more in making electricity and fueling vehicles. However, natural gas is still more polluting than renewable energy sources. It is a temporary solution until we develop better technologies and rely more on renewable energy.

How clean is natural gas?

Natural gas is a "bridge" between non-renewable energy and renewable energy. It is the cleanest fossil fuel, causing less harm to the environment compared to coal or oil. When natural gas is burned, it produces fewer pollutants and carbon dioxide, while still providing similar amounts of energy. That is why it can be used as a substitute for coal or oil in generating electricity, heating, and transportation.

Using natural gas as a “bridge fuel” means we recognize the need for an intermediate step during the transition to renewable energy. While renewable sources like solar and wind power are growing, natural gas can be a reliable and greener option than other fossil fuels. It can work well with intermittent renewable energy sources, acting as a backup when needed. The existing infrastructure for extracting and transporting natural gas also helps us make a smooth shift towards a more sustainable energy future.


Natural gas is the most environmentally friendly fossil fuel because it burns cleaner. In power plants, natural gas emits 50 to 60 percent less carbon dioxide (CO2) than regular oil or coal-fired power plants. It also emits greenhouse gases with a lower life cycle into the atmosphere. However, the combustion also releases methane and lowers air quality.