Natural gas and flexible power generation. Six of the world’s trend-setting projects


Natural gas is seen as a good source of electricity supply for a number of economic, operational and environmental reasons: it is low-risk (technically and financially); it produces less carbon emissions than other fossil fuels; and gas plants can be built relatively quickly in around two years unlike nuclear facilities, whose construction can take much longer.

In line with International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts, natural gas will continue to increase its share of the global energy mix, growing at 2% per year until 2020. Natural gas plants are flexible both in technical and economic terms, so they can react quickly to demand peaks. They can also be ideally twinned with intermittent renewable options such as wind power. Over the course of a month, various spikes in demand have a sizeable knock-on effect on the cost of delivering electricity, so having a source of energy such as gas that is able to cope with these spikes, is a significant advantage.

These advantages enjoy global recognition and there are an increasing number of power generation projects around the world that are trying to make the most of the advantages contributed by natural gas as set out above. And this is why this month’s issue of FuturENERGY – specifically this special report focusing on natural gas and its applications – is reviewing some of the most representative gas power plant projects from around the world. We have selected six projects – one for each continent and two for America (North America and Latin America) – covering gas turbine or gas engine generation, in single or combined-cycle, in a CHP or pure generation configuration, whether for baseload supply or to cover demand peaks…, and all of which were commissioned within the past year or are about to enter into operation. They are all unique in their field for one reason or another, whether due to their efficiency, capacity or flexibility; in short, an example of the most representative gas plants of our times. Read more…

Article published in: FuturENERGY October 2015