Natural gas is the conventional energy source with the best climate performance. It releases 25% less greenhouse gases than oil and 30–35% less than coal when burnt, and is virtually dust free. Natural gas already plays a big part in keeping down CO2 emissions. Transportation by safe pipelines that are hidden from view significantly reduces environmental impacts as compared to competing energy sources. Fortunately, the world has vast natural gas reserves, and in the longer term it will also be possible to manufacture gas from renewable energy forms.
There is no way of saving up wind and sunlight, but natural gas certainly can be stored. As a result it can be used to even out the unavoidable fluctuations in renewable energy output. This applies to homes, where natural gas heats the water when the sun goes in. And it goes for public power supplies. The wide swings in renewable electricity feed-in to the grid call for complementary technologies that respond quickly and flexibly to supply shortfalls. In short, natural gas is opening the way for the renewable energy age. It is the natural partner for renewables.
Modern domestic condensing boilers have efficiencies as high as 98%. And natural gas is also an excellent fuel for power generation. Combined cycle gas and steam turbine generating stations are among the most efficient conventional power plants. In combined heat and power configurations they deliver efficiencies of 90%.
From the field development stage through to transportation, storage, and use to generate heat and power, natural gas is a model of safety.
Natural gas plays a key role in Austrian and European energy supply security. Austria’s gas comes from domestic production and imports under long-term contracts with reliable partners. Austria has a well developed pipeline grid, and due to its geographical location it is linked to the rest of the European grid by large transit systems.