Study underscores natural gas is an energy powerhouse

The latest study by an independent, market-based think tank regarding the natural gas industry is instructive. The study showed natural gas is eight times more efficient than wind and 16 times more efficient than solar energy.

It showed that over a 30-year period, $1 million invested in wind will produce about 50 million kilowatt hours.

The same million would produce 25 million kilowatt hours of electricity from solar.

Meanwhile, $1 million spent on a shale rig will produce enough natural gas to generate 400 million kilowatt hours over the same 30 years.

And remember, natural gas plants can operate online and 90 percent of the time in the Mid-Atlantic region, while solar and wind run at 17 and 29 percent, respectively.

We favor a diverse menu of energy components for our state and nation that will result ultimately in less and less need for fossil fuel-generated energy.

But any objective assessment tells us Pennsylvania is sitting on an energy asset with its shale deposits, and the gas industry, with the correct environmental checks, is a major asset to its consumers, workers and state economy.

The ascent of wind and solar power is a good thing also. But let’s not kid ourselves. The natural gas industry generates the best payback for the most people.