Is The Clean Fuel Resource Really Clean

Is The Clean Fuel Resource Really Clean

By Energy CIO Insights | Wednesday, September 18, 2019

To identify the not-so-clean production processes of natural gas is a necessity. Primarily, when the emissions are affecting the climatic benefits during the generation and transmission. 

FREMONT, CA: Domination of natural gas as the fuel for electricity generation is high in the U.S., especially in the northern regions. The expanding economies have predicted the demand of natural gas to rise by 50 percent globally over the next two years.

The reason presumed for the paradoxical rise in natural gas is due to its common perception, a bridge to clean fuel and adoption of renewables to an ultimately low carbon economy. However, this perception is negated by the fugitive emissions of methane generated in the process of natural gas production and transmission. 

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that comprises more than 95 percent of natural gas. If this gas is released into the atmosphere, it is considered to be 85 times more potent compared to carbon dioxide for another 20 years from the emission. Estimations have determined that methane leaks, as little as 3.2 percent in storage tanks, wells, and during delivery systems can cause negative impacts on the climatic benefits of natural gas. 

The data available for the U.S. oil and gas systems indicate a plethora of leak rates, which are higher than the numbers estimated by the USEPA. Since not all natural gas is created equal, the fuel source once in the intrastate pipelines, the responsibly produced, low upstream methane loss is maintained. 

The challenge is to distinguish and incentivize those producers who responsibly work towards eliminating the methane emissions. Many producers, along with emission filtering also maintain minimal VOCs and re-use water. 

By monetizing investments of the producers towards clean generation, reduction in the greenhouse gas emissions can be duly noted. The generation of updated standards and newer certifications will enable a new age of opportunities for marketing the commodities from a cleaner brand. Newer techniques can be formulated for enhanced processing of data and environmental monitoring of the digitized infrastructure and system operations. Distributed Ledger Technology is utilized to connect with the production systems to gain access to broad marketplaces for profitable transactions.

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