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Main advantages of natural gas in transition to less carbon intensive economies

Main advantages of natural gas in transition to less carbon intensive economies
13:00 13-10-2018 | icon 8

Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct.13

By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:

Natural gas has many advantages that can support it as the best partner of renewables in the transition to less carbon intensive economies, especially in the power sector, which drives renewable development, the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) said in its report.

One of the major advantages of natural gas is related to the technical flexibility of gas-fired power plants and their ability to respond rapidly to large variability in renewables’ output, according to GECF.

"Therefore, natural gas is best suited for maintaining the frequency stability of power grids. This flexibility is reflected by three parameters: i) the ramping rate, which represents the speed in adjusting generated electricity to the variation of load imposed by renewables; ii) the minimum load which is the minimum operating threshold for which power plant can operate before shut down; and iii) the startup time," said the report.

Another advantage, according to GECF, is related to the ability of gas power plants to operate economically and competitively under different regimes, including baseload, intermediate load, or peak load regimes. This competitiveness, driven by lower investment costs and higher energy performance, reinforces the flexible role of natural gas in power systems accommodating a large share of intermittent renewables.

"Moreover, the environmental advantages of natural gas can support lower carbon and pollution costs and make natural gas and renewables as part of an optimized solution to reduce emissions in a cost efficient way," said the report.

In addition to technical flexibility and the competitiveness of gas fired power plants, there are also other benefits of natural gas in partnering with renewables, including the flexibility of the gas supply chain through gas storage, LNG, or also through operational flexibility of gas pipelines; the possibility to develop hybrid renewable and natural gas based technologies; potential use of natural gas infrastructure for the synthetic gas produced from excess renewables, which can emerge as a future technology.

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