Optimum Energy Partners

Communicating effectively with the public is key to the success of the natural gas industry. To engage supporters and educate the public about the benefits of natural gas, energy companies must understand the attitudes and motivations of their audiences. They must then tailor their education campaigns to meet these needs. To accomplish this, they must thoroughly understand each audience segment.

Natural gas is a fossil energy source that produces lower carbon emissions than coal and oil. However, no fossil fuel is truly low-carbon. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, natural gas burning is the third most carbon-intensive way to generate electricity. Furthermore, a significant energy company recently backed off its claims about the low-carbon status of natural gas, calling it a myth.

Gas exporters may earn emissions credits by substituting coal in the power generation mix. This is being considered under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. In addition, upstream electrification can decarbonize gas production even further. These factors may help gas exporters become more environmentally friendly and decouple gas branding from oil. Gas exporters can turn environmental pressures into assets by taking advantage of these advantages.

Natural gas is extracted from shale deposits by fracturing the rock. The process is called hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and involves breaking up large cracks in the rock formations to release trapped gas. The natural gas flows to the surface through wells and is piped away to processing plants.

Natural gas can be extracted from shale formations in about 30 states. The Barnett Shale in Texas has been producing natural gas for over a decade. Its discoveries helped establish the technical blueprint for other shale plays in the United States. But as other plays developed, the Barnett Shale has played a less critical role. Another prominent shale play is the Marcellus shale, which stretches across Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

The United States is a large consumer of natural gas. Shale gas accounts for about 14 per cent of the nation's total supply. Production is expected to continue to rise. By 2035, shale gas is projected to represent nearly half of the total natural gas supply in the United States. Compared to coal and oil, natural gas is cleaner-burning and emits lower levels of key pollutants. For example, natural gas combustion produces half the amount of carbon dioxide as coal combustion.

In recent years, natural gas has been replacing coal as the primary source of electricity. As of 2018, gas's share of electricity generation was nearly half of coal's. Moreover, coal consumption has declined significantly in Europe and the United States. As a result, coal-fired power is less than 10 per cent of the nation's total energy consumption. This decline was driven by the increasing use of natural gas and renewable energy efficiency, reducing the demand for coal-fired power.

Another reason to switch to natural gas is its cleaner burning. It emits fewer byproducts per unit of energy than coal and petroleum. In addition, it has half the carbon content and one-tenth the air pollutants as coal. As a result, natural gas can play an essential role in cutting CO2 emissions and air pollution in the near term.

CCS is a technology that reduces CO2 emissions from coal-fired power plants. This technology is being explored worldwide, and the United Kingdom government has committed to supporting the development of the first CCS coal-fired power plant. The technology is already being used in Australia, China and the USA.

The technology can be retrofitted into existing power plants and is viable for tackling sectors with limited technology options. It also has the potential to produce synthetic fuels for long-distance transportation and is a low-cost method of producing hydrogen. As a result, the technology has the potential to reduce further the global economy's carbon footprint and balance emissions from sectors that are harder to tackle.

The combination of biomass combustion and CCS can further reduce industrial CO2 emissions. Biomass absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere and can be burned to generate electricity and fuel. By capturing CO2 from industrial sources and transporting it to deep geological reservoirs, BECCS can achieve a net reduction in CO2 emissions.

To be successful, Natural Gas and Energy Companies need to communicate better to end users. By understanding what the end users want, they can tailor their communications to address those needs. In addition, they need to know how to target their audience to maximize their impact. In doing so, they can create targeted communication and outreach materials that are fact-based and educational. This will help them identify allies and activate supporters.

People are increasingly demanding alternatives to fossil fuels. They don't want to be stuck with high prices and dependence on foreign adversaries. Until now, public sentiment hasn't been reflected in policy discussions. Instead, conversations focus on decarbonizing the economy and reducing energy usage. However, the natural gas and energy industries can help reconcile this conflict between policy and public sentiment.

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