Gas for cleaner electricity
Gas provides the backbone for a modern, flexible and clean power system, even more so when combined with renewables.
Gas is an ideal partner for renewable energy sources. It provides the flexibility needed to compensate for the variability of electricity produced through solar or wind. Gas-fired power plants are much more flexible than nuclear or coal-fired power plants. This flexibility guarantees the security of power supply. The EU has an ambition to generate 50% of all power from renewable sources by 2030. Gas-fired power plants are the only large-scale dispatchable source of cleaner energy, which will continue to be key for systems with large shares of renewables because storage, demand-response and interconnection alone cannot provide enough flexibility for such systems.
Gas–fired power plants are the cheapest to build among thermal power technologies thanks to lower land requirements and faster construction timelines. On the basis of capital costs alone, natural gas is a winner. Once permit is granted, a natural gas-fired power plant can typically be built and come online twice faster than solid-fuel power generation sources.
CCS can be efficiently applied to gas-fired power generation to provide reliable, high quality power source with virtually zero CO2, NOx and SOx emissions. The efficiency loss of a CCGT plant equipped for CO2 capture is half that of a coal-fired plant, because it needs a relatively smaller percentage of additional primary energy for the capture of CO2 and because a coal power plant has lower efficiency.