Home / Blog / Engineering : How Propane, LPG, and SNG Serve the Emerging Distributed Power Generation Market

Over the years there have been several different methods that have been developed to provide needed electricity and energy sources. Natural gas has become a dominating choice for creating electricity, and as such new uses for this fossil fuel have also emerged. With growing technologies and knowledge has come the increased need for new methods of creating efficient energy sources, and propane, LPG and SNG have become noted sources for new energy supplies. Take a look at the growth of natural gas usage, the new power generation method, and how propane, LPG and SNG serve the emerging distributed power generation market.

Natural Gas Boom

Since the 1990s, natural gas has continually grown as a common fuel utilized for the generation of electricity. Before then, coal was primarily used to harness electrical energy. However, as scientist and the general public realized the polluting dangers of utilizing coal, new, clean methods were sought out to produce energy. Due to its clean-burning characteristics, natural gas has grown and continues to grow as the most common gas-burning fuel. In fact, it is predicted that by 2035, 80% of gas-fired electrical generation will come from natural gas.

Other Fuel Sources

As the use of natural gases has grown and continues to grow, scientists have sought ways to make natural gas more effective. Though it does produce clean energy, much of the energy produced is often released and lost in the process. However, it has been found that new products may be developed through the use of natural gas. Propane, LPG and SNG are common by-products that come from natural gas and have been utilized to produce additional electricity, along with other products. Propane is commonly used for various fueling purposes due to its ability to burn quickly. Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) is a mixture of hydrocarbon gases, which often contains propane. Along with gas-fire fuel, LPG is also commonly used for aerosols, refrigerants and vehicle fuel. Synthetic or Substitute Natural Gas (SNG) is produced through a gasification process of fossil fuels, biofuels, lignite coal, oil shale and renewable electrical energy, and is commonly utilized for fueling cars.

Distributed Power Generation

Along with the fuel used to generate electricity, the methods of generation have evolved as well. Traditionally, electricity has been produced at large electrical plants and distributed to the different locations within the area. However, now there are distributed power generation options. These generators are smaller and are located closer to the location that it will be utilized. This allows different business and organizations to furnish their own energy supply. Many users have found positive results, such as:

  • Greater control over energy distribution and use
  • More reliable energy source
  • Able to power with different fueling options
  • Cuts down on loss during transfer
  • Cost less than purchasing power

These and other factors have helped to propel this emerging market. Especially for businesses, a distributed power generation system proves to be a smart investment. Whether it is utilized as a backup system or a main electrical source, these generators are efficient and increase the users sustainability. As more organizations and businesses realize this, the market is growing and showing no signs of slowing down.

Benefits of Propane, LPG and SNG

With its versatility, distributed generation can be conducted utilizing solar energy or wind-powered systems, along with natural gases. So what makes propane, LPG and SNG such popular choices? There are a few key benefits of utilizing these sources. The most prevalent benefit is that they are the easiest to access of the available clean-burning options. Yes, it could be argued that sun and water power are cleaner power sources, however they are not as easily harnessed. In fact, there have been instances of energy outages in companies that heavily depend upon solar panels as their energy source, and depending upon the geographic region wind energy may not even be a plausible resource. Production of propane, LPG and SNG can be coerced and these fuels are often utilized for this purpose, so they are significantly easier to access for electrical needs.

It is clear to see how propane, LPG and SNG serve the emerging distributed power generation market. They provide easily accessible, clean burning fuel for power generators. As companies and organizations learn the benefits of distributed power generation and have access to the necessary fuel, the market is becoming more popular, is constantly growing and has a strong future outlook.

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