Utilizing natural gas efficiently

The Star

Re: Power from an unlightly source, Living, April 14
The Greater Toronto Airport Authority is to be commended for implementing combined heat and power to more efficiently utilize natural gas. The least efficient way of utilizing natural gas is to use it to make electricity only, which is only about 40 per cent efficient. The most efficient way to use natural gas is to utilize it for heating only, which can be done with close to 100 per cent efficiency. Once you start using natural gas to make electricity, as well as heat, your overall efficiency goes down, a consequence of the laws of physics, and greenhouse gas emissions go up.
It is also important to remember that natural gas is a valuable non-renewable resource that is used to make plastics, fertilizer, antifreeze, fabrics and hydrogen, among many other things. The uranium used in Ontario’s nuclear power plants, on the other hand, has few other uses. Utilizing it to make electricity will not create a resource deficit in a more useful area and it generates no greenhouse gas emissions.
Michael Ivanco, Society of Professional Engineers and Associates, Mississauga