It is now clear to everyone that we have to decarbonize the planet to reverse the devastating effects of the spiking greenhouse gas (GHG) levels. Whether you are in business or just a private homeowner, you need to take all the de-carbonization measures that you can to safeguard the future of our home planet. One key measure that you can take is to start using sustainable, eco-friendly fuel. These include eco-friendly liquefied natural gas (LNG) gas, solar and wind energy for domestic use, and biofuels for conventional internal combustion engines (ICE). The good thing is that you have more than enough reasons for switching to eco-friendly gas.
1. Clean shipping
LNG is a reliable, affordable, eco-friendly marine fuel that’s approved for use in emission control areas (ECAs). It is more efficient too compared with heavy fuel oil as it offers 24% more energy output per ton. A report published by Sphera in January 2020 showed that the use of LNG as a marine fuel (relative to conventional oil-based fuels) cuts greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by the following margins:
- Almost 100% for sulfur oxides. LNG has negligible sulfur emissions.
- Between 85%-95% for nitrogen oxides depending on the type of the cycle engine. Diesel engines emit the highest nitrogen oxides while Otto cycle engines emit the lowest.
- 30% less carbon dioxide than fuel oil and 45% less than coal.
- Almost 100% for particulate matter and other tiny particles. Natural gas evaporates faster than heavy fuel oils upon combustion, which explains the elimination of unwanted particles and residue.
- Other greenhouse gases (GHG) by about 27%.
The culmination of all these benefits of using LNG as a marine fuel is saving the aquatic flora and fauna. Even without EAC restrictions, saving these lives would be worth all the sacrifices you may have to make when transitioning to eco-friendly marine fuels.
2. It’s good for a healthy population
Eco-friendly fuels such as wind, solar, and hydropower are good for public health because they don’t pollute the air we breathe. Polluted air is a top cause of many breathing problems, cancer, heart attack, and neurological damage. Extraction and processing of fossil fuels (e.g. coal mining) also pollute our water bodies, causing cancer and premature deaths. Your switch to clean energy has the potential of saving people millions of dollars in healthcare bills and preventing millions of premature deaths.
3. Reliable supply
Most eco-friendly energy sources are also renewable, inexhaustible, and reliable. Solar energy generation only requires sunny skies and photovoltaic cells. Generating wind power only requires wind turbines and strong winds. Hydropower only requires a hydroelectric infrastructure and fast-moving water. With the right infrastructure and technology in place, all these sources guarantee a vast and constantly replenished supply of clean, sustainable energy. But before we can fully migrate from fossil fuels to green energy sources, we have the option of switching to LNG. LNG is a natural gas and that means consistency and reliable supply. This natural gas is transported in larger quantities than your regular gas because it can exist in liquid form. LNG will keep getting cleaner as its producers and distributors keep investing in energy-efficient equipment. What’s more, with global natural gas reserves estimated at over 7,000 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), we can bet on LNG to meet our energy needs for at least a couple of centuries.
There are natural gas wells in North America, Asia, Europe, and Africa that serve their local markets. Not many countries in the world need to go overseas for LNG. And with updated fracking technologies and more viable drilling sites around the world, we can only expect the supply of LNG to increase going forward. London-headquartered energy giant, BP, produces more than 7 billion cubic feet per day on average. US-based ExxonMobil produces more than 8.5 billion cubic feet per day. Another US-based company, Chevron (CVX), produces over 5 billion cubic feet per day. What’s more, there is significant innovation and investments coming in. AG&P, under the stewardship of Joe Sigelman, is designing floating regasification units (FRUs) in the Far East and floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs) in Senegal. Such development will further advance the production and distribution of LNG, which will make LNG even more affordable.
As for renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, the upfront cost of setting up their production infrastructure are conspicuously high, but their maintenance and running costs are significantly low. Wind, water, and sun are free resources, after all, and they are readily available in any country you can think of. That means although the prices for renewable energy may not be competitive yet, overtaking fossil fuels as the most affordable energy source is just a matter of time.
5. Stabilizing the market
For starters, wind, water, solar, and LNG energy sources are local. Their market isn’t impacted directly by geopolitics, international market fluctuations, and adverse weather in faraway countries. When supply chains were affected by the pandemic, for example, solar energy wasn’t affected significantly. And now that oil and gasoline prices are skyrocketing at the moment due to the war in Ukraine, the war has had no direct impact on renewable energy prices. Such reasons make the green energy market a lot more stable than the global oil market.
Lend a hand in saving the planet and the creatures that live on it. Start your gradual shift to eco-friendly energy sources today and join the effort to avert the ongoing global environmental crisis.