The role of natural gas in the energy transition
Although speaking about fossil fuels and low-emission energy generation may at first seem contradictory, resources such as natural gas can be excellent partners on the road to decarbonisation.Modernising our energy system from top to bottom and effectively reducing greenhouse gas emissions from its production, distribution and consumption is an essential task for the planet's conservation. But it is not an easy goal to achieve, especially given the current high dependence on traditional fossil fuels such as coal and oil.
It should be noted that although many different low-emission energy alternatives are currently being developed, implementing them throughout society is not yet on the horizon. It is therefore necessary to find other ways to renew and decarbonise energy production in the short term.
It is precisely in this scenario where materials such as natural gas can play a crucial role, especially as it is a resource present on a large scale in our energy system and can therefore act as a link between the old production model and the new, fully renewable system that we need.
What is natural gas?
It is an organic compound made up of a mixture of various gases, mainly methane, which is present in more than 95% of its composition, as established by Spanish legislation. It is one of the most widely used energy sources in our country and is commonly consumed in both in the domestic and industrial sectors.
One of its most important characteristics is that, of all the fossil fuels currently in use, natural gas has the lowest environmental impact.
This is the case not only during combustion, but also during extraction, processing and transport. The transformation process from its extraction is also minimal and consists only of a purification phase in which any impurities it may contain are eliminated.
Positive data such as the fact that its CO2 emissions into the atmosphere are half those of coal or that SO2 (sulphur dioxide) emissions are 2,500 times lower than those emitted by fuel oil make natural gas a very practical asset when it comes to advancing in the energy transition. Moreover, it is also considered a green energy by the European Parliament since last July, so its relevance is now more than evident.