During its annual meeting, the Spanish Gas Association Sedigas emphasized the key role played by natural gas to help achieve
the objectives of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development. It did so with Eurogas, the European Gas Association, thus joining
the continent’s gas sector in the fight against climate change. According to Sedigas president Antoni Peris, natural gas plays an important role as a clean energy in contributing to reducing GHG emissions, which stand at 40 percent in Europe, helping reach a share of 27 percent in
renewables, and increasing energy efficiency to 27 percent.
This way, Spain could achieve its emissions reduction goals by launching several fast implementation and low-cost initiatives in
which natural gas is the protagonist. Substituting polluting fuels and electric generation with combined cycles is the key. The transportation sector, both land and maritime, is responsible for 38 percent (2014) of the emissions in diffuse sectors. The use of natural gas in land and
sea transportation could quickly reduce this figure to 25 percent. Similarly, making the transition to modern gas-powered heating systems is a fast and cheap way of reducing emissions in the residential sector by up to 55 percent. Condensing boilers present up to 65 percent higher
efficiency than other competing technologies. The pairing of natural gas and renewables is a solution for the future. Combined cycles constitute a guarantee of stability in the generation sector, as they provide firmness, flexibility, and an already installed capacity. It is also a clean technology, given that increasing gaspowered generation would decrease emissions by up to 66 percent.
Competitive advantages in Spain, such as its geostrategic location in with regards to liquefied natural gas in Europe and the existing nfrastructure system, would greatly contribute to this purpose. As part of the strategy towards a low carbon economy, developing
accurate national development policies will reinforce the “role of gas as a fundamental energy source for decarbonization,” as Secretary of State in Energy Daniel Navia recently stated.
Natural Gas’ contribution to air quality
“Natural Gas’ Contribution to Air Quality” is a study aimed at quantifying the impact of a higher penetration of natural gas in urban road transportation in the residential and tertiary sectors in polluting gas missions that affect air quality in the cities. This research shows that a
higher presence of gas improves local and global air quality, as it is an energy source that minimizes the environmental contamination that is so damaging to human health. In the transportation sector, one of the major causes of decreasing air quality, gas provides an economically efficient and proven solution to drastically reduce air pollution. In fact, substituting 5 percent of diesel-powered heavy-duty vehicles and personal cars with natural gas in Madrid and Barcelona would help reduce gas emissions by up to 5 percent. Natural gas is the widest
used energy source in home and residential heating. Nonetheless, its growth in the cities has taken place by replacing more polluting
fuels with gas. Substituting coal boilers in Spanish cities and 20 percent of LPG and diesel fuel with natural gas would reduce contaminating emissions, especially particle matter (PM) and Sulphur (SO2). On the other hand, if these were substituted with biomass, the air quality would worsen.
Natural gas is intrinsically a clean fuel. Other than climate change, social concern is centered on low air quality in the citie and its impact on people’s health. In addition to low GHG emissions, natural gas is the cleanest fuel since it guarantees a particle-free combustion with zero NO2 emissions; this nitrogen oxide is, along with the particles, precisely what determines low air quality in our cities. Thanks to their low
emissions levels, vehicles powered by natural gas provide the perfect solution to improve air quality in the cities. All of this in addition to their well-known characteristics of availability, reliability, low price, low maintenance, and total recyclability. It is necessary to establish
policies that bet on more ambitious air quality in the cities on the basis of public health and cost savings for natural gas consumers.
Some of these policies include increasing natural gaspenetration in transportation – turning it into an environmental and economically sustainable system – and renovating certain heating equipment, increasing the presence of natural gas at a domestic and tertiary level in the