Natural gas is the obvious and essential source of energy in the fight against global warming. It is forecast to account for at least 25% of the overall energy balance in Europe by 2040. So what do you have to do to get more natural gas injected into your network and play an active role in reducing carbon in your environment ?
Generating electricity in a gas-fired power plant generates only half the CO2 emissions of a similar plant fueled by coal, at the same time as delivering guaranteed stability of supply to the power distribution grid. Replacing coal with gas or simply not building any new coal-fired power plants would therefore limit the greenhouse gas emissions linked to power generation massively and quickly.
Like natural gas-powered urban heating cooling networks, gas-fired power plants are flexible and reliable units that can respond immediately to dramatic fluctuations in demand to generate electricity, heating, air conditioning and cooling, and do so in every location at any time. Even more importantly, these units efficiently complement sources of renewable energy like wind power and solar power, which are inherently intermittent.
The green gas revolution is underway. Much greater use of these clean and renewable gases is more necessary today than ever before in curbing global warming. Low-carbon and local, the production of biomethane and methane syngas will therefore increase dramatically over the coming years.
Biomethane has the same properties as natural gas, and can be produced on a renewable basis by the methanation of organic waste and biomass. Its greenhouse gas emissions balance is virtually neutral, and it can be injected directly into the supply network. It can be used for heating, cooking, domestic hot water heating or even as a fuel.
Hydrogen represents a very real revolution in the world of energy. It provides an effective solution for storing surplus energy from renewable sources, such as solar and wind power using the electrical process of water electrolysis. This process is referred to as Power to Gas. ENGIE is testing this concept and injecting this alternative gas into the gas supply network through its GRHYD demonstrator in Dunkerque, which currently provides around a hundred new homes with space heating and hot water, and produces Hythane® (a blend of hydrogen and natural gas) to power the VNG bus fleet operated by the city authority.
One step can be added to the process : the production of 100 % methane syngas - which is miscible with natural gas - from hydrogen and carbon dioxide (CO2) by methanation. This other promising "Power to Gas" route allows to recycle CO2 industrial emissions, in the form of methane injected into the natural gas network. It is the objective of the Jupiter1000 program, developped on an experimental basis in in the Fos-sur-Mer port industrial area.