I live in Tunisia, a country of 12 million inhabitants where natural gas (provided essentially by Algeria) is used in power plants. I'd like to know how it is that natural gas can contain so much energy to provide electricity for an entire country, and I'd also like to know approximately how many cubic meters of gas are consumed daily and how many power plants are needed to supply electricity to the whole country.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ See trade.gov/country-commercial-guides/… Stunning, was the first link provided by Google, when searching with "tunisia power plants" $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Jun 27, 2023 at 10:04
  • $\begingroup$ @SolarMike That's a great link, but I think it should be pointed out that different people will get different search results, depending on their search engine, region, previous search history for that IP Address, as well as if the user is using a Proxy/VPN, which may give different search results (see also Filter bubble) $\endgroup$
    – Boolean
    Jun 27, 2023 at 11:17
  • $\begingroup$ @Boolean I had considered vtc as an assignment or homework without sufficient effort... $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Jun 27, 2023 at 11:19
  • $\begingroup$ @SolarMike That's a fair assumption, I had not considered that $\endgroup$
    – Boolean
    Jun 27, 2023 at 11:20

1 Answer 1


The answer to the energy content of natural gas is a matter of chemistry. Natural gas (methane) is $\mathrm{CH}_4$, and Carbon-Hydrogen bonds contain a good deal of energy per bond, which are broken when the gas is burned.

Because it is gaseous, this fuel contains much less energy "per liter" than oil or coal. But choice of fuel for large scale consumption is determined in large part by what is "sitting there," available for burning. There are large reservoirs of this gas in the Earth's crust that can be extracted relatively cheaply.

Finally, of all carbon fuels natural gas is the cleanest and best for the environment, in terms of both carbon dioxide emissions and other pollutants.

The link provided by Solar Mike and other related references on Tunisia can provide the detailed data on the country's power consumption and plant numbers.

  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps instead of "best" for the environment, "least bad"? $\endgroup$
    – Eric S
    Jun 28, 2023 at 2:58
  • $\begingroup$ Big topic, but let's just say if all fossil fuel plants in the world were transitioned to natural gas, the world's air would be a LOT cleaner and less carbon rich. $\endgroup$
    – RC_23
    Jun 28, 2023 at 5:29
  • $\begingroup$ to obtain 1 MW, how much natural gas do you need to burn? and is a single turbine enough? $\endgroup$
    – Aminos
    Jun 28, 2023 at 13:51

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