Earth And Natural Gas Essay

2332 words - 10 pages

The world currently faces a major problem. This problem is the need for alternative energy sources which can be converted into electricity because the main energy source currently used is coal and the coal deposits will not last forever. The main alternative energy sources that many countries are currently researching are wind, solar, hydro and nuclear. But there is another source of energy that is heavily debated to see whether the pros outweigh the cons. This energy source is natural gas. The main reason for the heavy debate is not the energy source but rather the mining of the energy source through the process of hydraulic fracturing. In this report the following topics will be discussed to get a better understand of natural gas and the hydraulic fracturing process. An overview of natural gas will be discussed. A detail description of hydraulic fracturing process will be provided. The advantages and disadvantages of hydraulic fracturing will also be compared. Finally the report will look at hydraulic fracturing in a South Africa context and weigh all the information before deciding if hydraulic fracturing is advantageous or disadvantageous for South Africa.
The greatest problem of the 21st century is the need for clean energy (type of energy that will not harm environment) to help produce electricity. The reason for this is due to the rapid improvement of technological devices such as electrical ovens, geysers, computers, machines in factories etc. These improvements cause the demand for electricity to increase placing a greater burden on the suppliers of electricity. The reason why coal is a problem is not because of coal reserves being depleted but due to the effects that coal power station has on the environment with all the carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide greenhouse gases that the power stations produce. Currently the world has a 100 year supply of bituminous coal, 457 year supply of sub- bituminous coal and 171 year supply for lignite coal (River Basin Energy Inc. 2013). Although at the rate at which technology advance the amount of coal used will continue to increase and the earth cannot replenish the coal reserves in a short period of time but take millions of years to be replenished by the earth and therefore coal is known as a non-renewable energy source. However the world is currently facing this problem head on by trying to find alternative sources of energy such as wind, solar, hydro, and nuclear. These sources are considered renewable because it is sustainable and will not run out due to the earth replenishing it extremely quickly. But these sources of energy cannot at the current time be harnessed to their full potential. This is why the world is currently looking at natural gas as an energy source.
According to Alberta Energy (What is Natural Gas? 2014) natural gas occurs in nature naturally as a hydrocarbon (Hydrocarbons are chemical compounds that consists of hydrogen and carbon atoms). Natural gas is considered a fossil...

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