The natural gas facts in Italy
in terms of number of meters installed
of Italy's entire annual
Sources: ARERA 2016 Annual Report, 2015 Eurogas Report “Household gas penetration rates in Europe” and the 2016 National Energy Report published by the Ministry for Economic Development.
Why is it worth choosing gas?
It has a low environmental impact
Among all the fossil fuels, natural gas has the lowest environmental impact. Methane combustion does generate greenhouse gas, but compared to other fossil fuels it has a low carbon content. In fact, with 2.3 tonnes CO2/toe, natural gas has a carbon dioxide emission rate 28% lower than oil and 41% lower than coal, according to the ratios used to calculate CO2 emissions in the Italian UNFCCC inventory, the average values for the years 2013-2015, officially adopted in 2017 by the Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea.
As regards particulate matter, the emissions produced from natural gas combustion are completely negligible (for example, for a domestic boiler the amount of particulate is less than 0.04 g per gigajoule of gas used), especially when compared with much higher emission factors of other common fuels, such as diesel (around 0.1 g per gigajoule), wood (over 250 g per gigajoule) and pellets (from 20 g to 80 g, depending on the pellet quality) [Source: Study by InnovHub – Experimental Station for Fuels, “Comparative study on the emissions from gas, LPG, diesel and pellet equipment”, 2016].
Lastly, natural gas has a lower impact also as regards nitrogen oxide emissions. In a domestic boiler, for example, natural gas combustion produces around 32 g of NOx per gigajoule, slightly lower than the diesel emission factor (which is approximately 34 g per gigajoule) and well below those for wood (over 120 g per gigajoule) and pellets (from 118 g to over 230 g per gigajoule, depending on the pellet quality).
To conclude, among the fossil fuels and biological fuels (wood, pellets), natural gas is today by far the least polluting from every point of view.
The direct use of gas is less expensive than electricity, both in terms of availability and ease of transportation.
If we take 1 cubic metre of gas and burn it in a modern domestic condensing boiler, we can produce over 250 litres of hot water at a cost of around 60 Eurocents. If we use that same cubic metre of gas to produce electricity in one of the most modern power plants and then, after transforming it into electricity, produce hot water in a domestic electric boiler, the quantity of hot water we obtain is just over 100 litres at a cost of around 80 Eurocents.
It’s flexible and indispensable to future energy balance
The demand for energy constantly varies over time, as an oven ring is lit or turned off, a mobile phone is charged, or a TV is switched on. Specifically, electricity supply has to follow demand and at any moment in time supply exactly the quantity of energy demanded by users.
If more energy is demanded than it is available, we all feel the effects. Let’s think, for example, about a power cut or a gas oven with little or no pressure. As energy demand cannot be calibrated to peaks in demand, the system has to have the necessary flexibility to meet varying needs.
This flexibility is typical of gas, which can be extracted and stored for use in response to peaks in demand. And it contributes to the energy balance that renewable sources cannot guarantee.
As it is predictable and storable, natural gas can be a ‘promoter’ of the energy transition, since it can supplement the naturally intermittant renewable energy sources and ensure that peaks in demand are satisfied
Complementarity of the energies
Storage capacity ++
A cleaner energy future
We at Italgas are working for a cleaner energy future, where gas can play a leading role.
Here’s how the entire chain can help.
the best skills
production sources and
using clean energy
Using it in homes
to fuel microCHPs
As clean fuel
for cars, heavy vehicles
for months or years
Doing all this through
in real time
ultimo aggiornamento 14 June 2018 12:44 UTC