It’s well known that natural gas is delivering clear environmental benefits including cleaner air and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. But what many people don’t realize is that natural gas is playing a big role in the growth of renewables, too.
And you don’t have to take our word for it. Those who are actually producing our nation’s renewable energy have said that natural gas is a partner, rather than an adversary, in the growth of the industry. As Rhone Resch, CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, said: “Natural gas and renewables complement each other very nicely…”
Resch is certainly not alone. Academics as well as national and international agencies have pointed to the harmony between gas, wind and solar:
- Richard Muller, Berkeley Professor: “Cheap natural gas can also make it easier for solar and wind energy to further penetrate electricity markets by providing the rapid back-up that those intermittent sources require.”
- National Renewable Energy Laboratory: “Power generation based on natural gas offers the flexibility and increased dispatchability that complements renewable energy power generation”
- International Energy Agency: “Natural gas has an important role to play in complementing low-carbon energy solutions by providing the flexibility needed to support a growing renewables component in power generation.”
The simple fact is the sun isn’t always shining nor is the wind continuously blowing. That’s when natural gas compliments these energy sources, providing the baseload power they need to operate. Thanks to directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing, the U.S. supply of natural gas will continue to help power renewable energy sources for the long-haul.
Check out EID’s new infographic – Harmony Between Renewables & Natural Gas – to learn more about how the industry supports wind and solar power.