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Uses of gas

In the commercial and residential sectors, gas is mainly used for space heating and cooling, water heating, and cooking. The continued strong presence of gas in the heating and cooling market can deliver energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and help introduce much more renewable energy into this sector.

Switching to modern gas heating systems is a quick and low-cost way to reduce CO2 emissions. Replacing a traditional oil-fired boiler with a modern gas condensing boiler instantly reduces CO2 emissions by up to 55%. Renewable gas can reduce emissions even further, while achieving efficiencies approaching 100%.

Additional emissions reduction can be achieved by installing gas heat pumps, micro-combined heat and power systems (CHPs) or fuel cells, all of which work well with renewable energy systems such as solar panels. Micro-CHPs or fuel cells enable consumers to produce their own clean, reliable heat and electricity.

Power plants can use gas to generate electricity. Heat and power production from gas is very efficient compared with generation from other fuels. Switching from lignite (coal) to gas reduces CO2 emissions by up to 66%. Overall, Europe has enough spare capacity in gas-fired generation to replace all coal-fired generation.

Combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) technology uses the waste heat from the initial production cycle to produce steam, which can be used to produce electricity.

Combined heat and power (CHP) systems redirect heat that cannot be used for further electricity generation (i.e., waste heat) to supply heat to neighbouring industrial or household customers. The efficiency of a CHP plant running on waste heat can be as high as 90%.

Global and local targets linked to GHG emissions mitigation and air quality improvement are the main challenges that will drive the future of the transportation system. Decarbonising transport will be vital to achieving the EU’s ambitious climate goals.

Developments in transport are already creating a more complex system, in which internal combustion engines and electric motors coexist, both supported by a blend of conventional and alternative fuels, with renewable fuels playing an increasingly important role. Gas is an essential element for future low-carbon mobility. Clean combustion, low CO2 emissions, mature technology, and availability and cost of fuels are key factors to boost the role of gas in both road transport and shipping.