Energy in Our Future Cities
Twenty years ago just over three-quarters of the world’s population lived in urban areas. By the year 2050 cities will be home to over 90% of the earth’s population. Along with essential needs like housing and access to water, the draw on energy will be even greater than it is now. This means we’ll need smarter energy solutions for every home. Here’s what natural gas might look like in that mix.
According to the International Energy Association (IEA) and energy ministers around the world natural gas has a big role to play in cutting down air pollution in countries like China and the US. Natural gas is a much cleaner alternative than other traditional fuel sources. In fact, the city of Beijing committed in 2016 to installing four new gas-fired electricity plants to rely on for the majority of its energy to cut down pollution and the related side effects.
Renewable energy sources currently make up as much as one-fifth of Australia’s electricity and currently about 9% of global electricity (excluding hydro). While new energy sources allow us to do better for the environment, renewables are intermittent, which means they typically don’t work when the sun isn’t shining or wind isn’t blowing. Natural gas ramps up and down quickly (in other words is flexible), which allows it to support renewables when they’re not providing enough energy. Natural gas can also be used to create hydrogen, an emerging energy source that Australia could use and even export to other countries.
Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is increasingly being used or considered as a fuel source for transport. Everything from heavy road transport to ships can be run on LNG, including public transport. Again, this has potentially huge environmental benefits.
This all means natural gas, as a reliable source of energy, will continue to play an important role in secure energy for Australians and for people around the world for some time to come. It also means that it has great potential to act as a complement to renewable energy sources across the board, including hydrogen, solar and wind.
For more on natural gas in the cities of the future stay tuned to Brighter.Explore
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