A Nonrenewable Energy Type
Natural gas, which is primarily methane, is used in the electric power industry, various industrial applications, residential heating, and, to a small extent, as a transportation fuel. In terms of electricity generation for the United States, natural gas is responsible for about 35%, a large growth from only 15% twenty years earlier. In 2015 natural gas overtook coal and is now the primary energy for producing electricity. It is a relatively clean burning energy type and, compared to coal and petroleum crude oil, it contains small amounts of sulfur and nitrogen and no heavy metals such as selenium, mercury, and cadmium. To support the use of natural gas to generate electricity, the United States has about 1,800 plants with close to 6,000 generators and 1.6 million miles of pipelines.
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