Page 32 - European Energy Innovation - Autumn 2015 publication
P. 32
Autumn 2015 European Energy Innovation


Heating our homes: gas
innovation now and in the future

Only one generation From the consumer’s point of with 55% of the demand met
ago, heating in view, the two experiences above by supply produced in Europe
my home-place are worlds apart, yet behind the and Norway. For most Member
of Ireland meant scenes, the same four steps play States in the European Union
cutting peat in the bog and out. In both cases, one needs (EU), having a diverse network
drying it under the sun, before access to an energy source, a way of gas suppliers contributes to
transporting it to the shed for to transport and store the energy national energy security. Eurogas
storing until wintertime. This “turf” until needed, a means to convert firmly believes improved market
could then be used in an open the stored energy to heat and, implementation – supported by
fire or range, with the temperature finally, the ability to control the cross-border infrastructure and a
“controlled” by simply putting less temperature. regional, cooperative approach
or more on the fire. – offers the most efficient way to
Physics dictates that these four enhance supply security.
In today’s Ireland, as in most of steps will remain fundamental to
Europe, most people just “flick home heating. But the need to Renewable gas, in the form of
a switch” for instant heat! The heat homes while producing less biogas, is starting to contribute
introduction of fuels like natural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to diversity of supply. With
gas into the heating system is expected to drive innovation in 15 billion cubic metres (bcm)
has dramatically changed how all four areas. produced in 2013, it supplied
consumers acquire heat and enough gas to heat the
their comfort level (including The gas industry is continuously equivalent of approximately 4.5
better air quality), often in a cost- exploring how it can contribute million households. Continued
competitive manner. to this challenge, while also innovation is expected to improve
meeting consumer expectations the means of production and
Noel Regan, EU Affairs Director, Eurogas for affordable heating and high production efficiencies.
quality customer service. Recent
innovations in gas have delivered Transportation and storage
multiple benefits; a look into of energy
the future reveals even more
possibilities. The ability to deliver gas as
needed is very important
Gas as an energy source to satisfy consumer heating
demand: a typical northern
Natural gas provides almost European household will require
half of home heating in Europe, over eight times more heat in

Figure 1. Natural gas supply in Europe, 2013

Source: Eurogas Statistical Report 2014
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