18 November, 2015

Green gas solves the output challenge in the energy system

As nuclear power is phased out and sun and wind power gain in importance, entirely new solutions will be needed to balance production and the demand for energy. A new study shows that green gas offers major potential in this process along with other key services that the energy system of the future could well need.

Sweden will become a climate-neutral society by 2050, coinciding with the phasing out of nuclear power, which will be replaced largely by renewable energy from weather-dependent energy sources such as wind, sun and waves. By definition, weather-dependence means that we have limited control over production. Energy use by consumers is governed by other factors and to address this, the energy system needs to be balanced.

There is no shortage of renewable energy. The challenge instead lies in finding ways of storing and balancing the system efficiently. The more our energy system is weather-dependent, the greater the challenge.

Martin Ragnar, Research Manager at the Swedish Energy Research Institute, explained: "If we are to succeed in making the transition to more renewable resources we must be able to utilise what gas has to offer more effectively."

A new report 'The role of gas in the future energy system', published by the Swedish Energy Research Institute, states that gas offers many attractive system services – services that the system can offer apart from energy provision. One of the most important services is the capability to increase or decrease power production rapidly in a turbine or motor. The more weather-dependent the energy system, the greater the importance of this capability. Energy storage in chemically-bound form – as gas – is another important system service provided by gas.

Natural gas currently accounts for three per cent of the energy supply in Sweden. One-tenth is green gas although potential studies indicate that domestic production could increase approximately 30-fold through to 2050 via, for example, anaerobic digestion of waste and gasification of forest residue. Gas has an important role to play both in the energy system and in a fossil-free transport sector.

The report can be downloaded at www.energiforsk.se

For further information, please contact:

Saila Horttanainen, Vice President Corporate Communications, Swedegas, phone +46 70 622 76 06, saila.horttanainen@swedegas.se

Martin Ragnar, Research Manager, Energy Research Institute, phone +46 (0)40 680 07 61, martin.ragnar@energiforsk.se

Catarina Jäderberg, Communications Manager, Energy Research Institute, phone +46 (0)8 677 27 19, catarina.jaderberg@energiforsk.se

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