Discover the energy source gas

The front runner of energy supply

Popular energy source with strong potential

In a domestic setting it’s more familiar as a fuel for heating: gas as a primary energy source can be used in many different ways and is considered a viable raw material for the future thanks to its low CO2 emissions during combustion.

It is also used as a heat source for thermal processes in trade and industry, as a fuel for electricity generation, or for motor vehicles and ships. Originally a by-product of petroleum extraction, it is now a convertible energy source throughout Europe.

Gas - Flexible and well prepared | Discover conventional energies at RWE

It didn’t take long to discover its great potential, and gas became a source of energy in itself rather than being simply burned off. This is how natural gas makes a decisive contribution to the energy transition – not only in the electricity sector, but also in mobility and especially in the heating market.

But how is energy obtained from gas?

As with many other chemical processes, this is based on combustion of the raw material. The natural gas is ignited under pressure in a turbine, and as it burns it drives the turbine. A connected generator can convert the energy obtained in this way into the end product: electricity.

Gas can also be used as a pure raw material in numerous chemical processes such as the production of fertiliser or hydrogen. Transportation always involves pipelines that are many kilometres in length. However, the liquefied form of the gas – LNG – is transported in huge tankers.

In future, it will be possible to use the existing gas infrastructure to transport biomethane. Technical adaptations will also allow the network to be used to transport hydrogen.

Flexible with short ramp-up times

In future, gas-fired power stations will play an increasingly important role in ensuring a reliable, flexible electricity supply as a non-weather-dependent complement to our wind and solar-based electricity generation. The special advantage of these plants lies in the fact that they can be ramped up to their peak power within a few minutes if necessary. This plays an important role in regulating our electricity grids and at the same time prevents power outages during peak demand.

With power plants located in Germany, the Netherlands, the UK and Turkey, RWE is one of the leading operators of state-of-the-art gas-fired power stations in Europe.

Gas - Flexible and well prepared | Discover conventional energies at RWE

LNG – Liquefied Natural Gas

LNG, the abbreviation that is currently on everyone’s lips, stands for liquefied natural gas. The name is a good clue to what LNG is all about. It is the liquid form of natural gas. To reach a liquid state, the natural gas is cooled down to about minus 160 degrees Celsius (-160 °C). It then only occupies a minimal fraction of the volume of gaseous natural gas – about one six-hundredth, to be precise.

This allows it to be transported in large volumes over long distances. LNG is transported in large tankers which store the LNG in isolated tanks.

What is Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)? | RWE

Once it arrives at the destination port, the primary energy source can either be stored or fed directly into existing gas pipelines. Compared to other conventional primary energy sources, gas causes less damage to the environment. Less carbon dioxide is emitted when it is burned than with other fuels such as hard coal.

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