Quiet, cheaper, environmentally friendly: liquid gas
For heavy lorry traffic, liquefied biogas – so-called bio-LNG – could become an environmentally friendly fuel system. This would reduce CO2 emissions by up to 90%. Nitrogen oxide levels could be reduced by up to 80% and sulphur dioxide emissions could be eliminated in full (100%). But it’s not just the air that could improve with (organic) gas: currently, the prices of LNG at the gas station are much lower than diesel. In addition, there would be less noise as LNG-driven vehicles are quieter. These advantages apply not only to lorries, but would also be conceivable in shipping.
Where gas liquefaction plants are not immediately available in the near vicinity, smaller liquefaction plants – so-called small-scale LNG – could supply fuel. The technical and economic feasibility of such a small-scale liquefaction plant, which would be directly connected to the Austrian transmission system, is currently being examined. This plant could provide liquefied (organic) gas for up to 25 petrol stations or 1,600 truck refuellings per year.
Exploiting potential through research
A second major area where green gases can play a successful role is the space heating sector. Gas is a central component of Austria’s energy supply and can be used for heating water as well as for refrigeration and electricity generation. Around a quarter of all private households are heated with gas. Gas cannot be substituted as an energy source in parts of the space heating market, but heating could also become more sustainable through the use of green gases and could thus contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases.
According to ÖVGW, common gas appliances in Austria’s households are ‘green-gas-ready’, i.e. they also work perfectly with biogas or hydrogen. The increase in the potential hydrogen content from the current 4% to 10% is also being investigated under the Greening the Gas research initiative. In order to fully exploit the potential of green gases and hydrogen for the transport and heat sector, Gas Connect Austria is calling for more opportunities for research and development of new technologies.