Solar Energy vs Natural Gas
With global warming and the gradual depletion of reserves, the planet must find other sources of energy before it is too late. That is why more and more people are finding substitutes for fossil fuels as a source of energy. One of the most widespread of these substitutes is solar energy, which replaces natural gas.
Of course, since both of these sources come from natural sources, one cannot help but wonder which is better between solar energy vs natural gas.
This article will define these two natural resources and compare them in terms of efficiency, performance, technology and cost.
Solar Power and Natural Gas
Solar energy is energy from the sun in the form of light. Contrary to popular belief, it is the light, not the heat, emitted by the sun that can be converted into usable energy. The sun emits photons that are received by solar panels, panels that are constructed with photovoltaic cells. These panels are equipped to convert this free energy into chemical and then electrical energy.
Natural gases are emitted by living things, such as plants and animals, as part of the breathing process. Also called fossil gas, it comes from the depths of the earth through fossilized objects such as rocks and animal remains. These objects hold deposits of gas that are used as oil.
Natural gas is essentially considered a fossil fuel in the same way as coal and crude oil. Therefore, it should not be thought of as a renewable form of energy. Because old rocks do not grow on trees and will eventually be depleted, this deposit will somehow be depleted in the future.
What’s more, methane, one of the natural gases considered, is a major contributor to climate change because it traps heat and its presence in the atmosphere causes global warming.
Therefore, in terms of who wins between solar energy vs natural gas to help the planet fight climate change, solar energy is the most environmentally friendly option, as it obtains unlimited and harmless energy from the Earth’s sun, without the need to dig up the earth to get the energy source out. Gas, in its present form, is still a raw component and must undergo further processes to make it suitable for energy production.
Its impurities are removed in a gas plant so that it can be transferred to a power plant. This is why most plants are located near the ocean, as it is a strategic location for digging the natural gas and carrying out the processing.
Solar Power Cost vs Natural Gas
What’s the difference between solar power vs natural gas in terms of costs? Since most of the energy from the grid uses natural gas, and since they are already stable and have been around for a long time, the installation costs to connect to these systems are low.
However, solar systems normally require a significant amount of money to purchase the panels, obtain permits and carry out the installations. Costs may also be quite high today, as there are only a few suppliers worldwide.
In terms of monthly bills, solar energy cost definitely wins over the other. If you have a solar system and are connected to the grid, the energy savings from using panels will outweigh the grid consumption, resulting in a substantial reduction in your energy bill or even its total elimination.
In addition, more and more countries are starting to offer tax incentives to those who opt for solar energy, allowing them to save and recoup their investment within a few years.
As for maintenance costs of solar power vs natural gas, the case may vary slightly depending on the scale. Domestic solar panels are relatively easy to install, as is the electrical wiring. Electrical transformers, if damaged by natural disasters or accidents, can take hours to repair. On the other hand, low light conditions can influence solar yield.
Fossil fuel-dependent power plants are more extensive and require significant manpower and specialized equipment for repair. Solar grids do not require as many supplies for maintenance. Therefore, overall, the former is more cost-effective than the latter.
Solar Energy and Natural Gas Working Together
However, we must recognize that the mining of natural gas and other fossil fuels has been one of the major sources of energy in recent decades. However, with the dissipation of resources, the natural gas cost is expected to rise in the next few years.
Therefore, both solar energy and natural gas can help to power households and infrastructure until the world becomes dependent on renewable energy. This can be achieved by using solar panels as a primary source of grid power and electricity grids as a secondary source.
As renewable sources can become unstable, energy from the grid can step in and maintain continuous power supply. In this way, the consumption of fossil fuels is reduced, and this energy can exist longer. Wind energy can also be used as an additional source. By using the elements that the earth has provided us with, we can better support the planet.
Reducing the consumption of fossil fuels will also mean less greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere and a cooler world. Indeed, it is not necessary to eliminate this baseline energy source, but rather to use both methods wisely.
It is undeniable that the earth is not in the same state as it was a few centuries ago. More and more innovations have been produced, and with this technology-dependent planet, the demand for energy has increased enormously. This makes it difficult for power companies to keep pace.
It also forces us to find new areas to supply ourselves with fossil fuels, and this additional digging can affect the landscape of the planets and lead to the destruction of land and water. That’s why using solar energy as a source of juice is an excellent substitute for natural gas and coal.
It is environmentally friendly and non-exhaustive. It costs a few thousand dollars to install, but the return on investment is guaranteed. Not to mention the return on investment in terms of recovery of the earth, which cannot be paid for by any amount of money. If natural gas and solar energy are both used by every household, the planet will be a better place to live.