Decarbonization- Role of Gas in our Energy Future_for people who didn't register
Hydrogen-ready gas turbines can play a role in reducing carbon emissions. See how we’re leading the charge.
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF GAS IN OUR ENERGY FUTURE?
Let's explore decarbonization and how natural gas can help bridge the energy gap.
What role does gas play in the energy mix of the future?
What is the role of gas in our future energy mix?
The goal to reduce carbon emissions from traditional power generation assets is driving an increase in power production from renewables.
Renewables’ intermittent nature, however, creates a challenge for the grid. The sun provides energy when it’s directly overhead, but none after it sets.
Similarly, the wind isn’t always blowing hard enough for turbines to produce their rated capacity.
This creates a challenge, especially since electricity can’t be cost-effectively stored in large quantities for extended durations.
The power sector accounts for what percentage of all global CO2 emissions?
Renewables’ intermittent nature creates a challenge for the grid.
We are witnessing a grand transformation in the energy industry
The energy landscape is evolving
Today’s global population consumes about 15 terawatts of power—or the equivalent of all 7 billion people in the world holding 20 100-watt light bulbs. And power needs are continuing to grow. How can we provide that power reliably, affordably and sustainably?
Renewable energy is growing at a rapid pace. In fact, 2 out of 3 kilowatts of new power capacity currently being built is renewable energy. At the same time, the transportation industry is undergoing electrification, which is driving up power demands. Digitization is making the transmission and distribution networks more agile, resilient and reliable. And battery storage is growing. To support this changing energy landscape, we need a wide range of lower-carbon fuels—like natural gas.
Challenges facing the energy industry
The energy industry, its customers and power generators are all facing a number of challenges. Fuel prices are high on the list, accounting for up to 80% of the cost of producing electricity. Government regulators all over the world are demanding lower emissions, with the end goal of zero-carbon power. Reliability is also key: Electricity must be constantly available to support industrialization and modern life. And new technologies are needed all over the world to bridge the energy gap being created by the retirement of coal plants and aging gas plants.
We’re living in the age of gas
Natural gas has never been more abundant. Regions all over the world, especially in the Middle East, have added a lot of natural gas capacity, either through discovery of existing natural gas or an increase in liquefaction (LNG) capacity.
More than 40 countries are now able to import LNG—at the rate of 100 million tons per year—and bring that into their domestic pipeline to generate power. Gas is readily available, affordable, and in many cases, local.
The role of gas in decarbonization
Despite the proliferation of renewable energy, gas will continue to be the largest source of fuel for energy production for years to come—in part because of the global shift away from nuclear and coal-fired plants. Gas turbine technology has proven to be a flexible and responsive way to stabilize the grid while bringing more renewable power sources to the grid. Because it's available in larger blocks of power, can be dispatched in a matter of minutes, and can achieve single-digit NOx emissions, gas power will play a big role for years—if not decades—to come.
Natural gas power is responsible for what percentage of global CO2 emissions reduction?
CUSTOMER NEEDS AROUND THE WORLD
Qatar has a goal of becoming the largest exporter and producer of LNG in the world. The demand for more efficient power generation in the country is pushing the government to consider introducing H-class gas turbine technology for the first time.
Vietnam is experiencing its biggest growth cycle in the past 25 years, with annual growth at 6 percent. The demand for gas in Vietnam is almost double the country’s GDP growth, and its goal is to double installed capacity from 55 GW to 125 GW in the next 10 years. With a push for cleaner energy and coal plants being decommissioned, the trend is towards larger blocks of power and Vietnam plans to import about 6 million tons of LNG per year.
Stricter emissions regulations is driving the need for gas in Belgium which has 21 GW of installed power. With a goal of lower CO2 emissions and the decommissioning of nuclear and coal plants, gas power plants are the most viable option for cleaner, more dependable gas power in Belgium.
Next-generation gas power solutions
A leader in H-class gas turbine technology
GE introduced the first HA-class gas turbine 10 years ago, and since then our engineering teams have been making continuous performance enhancements. Now the fastest-growing fleet of heavy-duty gas turbines, our HA fleet of 44 commercial units has accumulated more than 650,000 operating hours. In total, more than 45 customers have ordered more than 100 of our HA gas turbines.
9HA.02: A progression of our HA platform
Across our HA fleet, each original turbine is put through a rigorous full-speed, full-load (FSFL) validation test at our Greenville, South Carolina facility. This $200 million investment allows us to push the units beyond real-world conditions—running the turbines at 110% of their rated speeds at load, and replicating the harshest conditions, from the Arabian Desert to the mountains of Colorado—all to ensure that our customers have security of supply for their end users.
Our HA gas turbines have earned two world records for efficiency—one for powering the world’s most efficient combined-cycle power plant for EDF in Bouchain, France (achieving 62.2% efficiency on a net combined-cycle basis on a 50 Hz grid), and a second world record for achieving 63.08% gross efficiency on a 60 Hz grid at the Nishi-Nagoya Power Station in Japan.
Your questions answered
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Can gas turbines run on hydrogen fuel?
GE’s gas turbines have nearly 30 years of experience operating on a variety of fuels that contain hydrogen, totaling over 4.5 million operating hours as hydrogen-fueled turbines using concentrations ranging from 5% to 95% (by volume). This includes synthesis gas (syngas), a variety of steel mill gases (i.e. coke oven gas and blast furnace gas), and refinery off-gases. This experience has helped GE become one of the world leaders in the application of fuels containing hydrogen in gas turbines.
According to McCoy Power Reports, 1980-2017, GE has more experience than any other original equipment manufacturer (OEM) in the hydrogen space. In the chart below, you can see that whether it's measured by megawatts (MW) or number of units installed, GE has the largest fleet.
* Per McCoy Power Reports, 1980-2017; Hydrogen containing fuels include BFG, COG, COREX, H2, Refinery gas, and syngas.
Did you know GE’s gas turbines are already using hydrogen as a source of energy? Let GE’s Fuel Guy walk you through how hydrogen can be used as a power generation fuel.
What is the pipeline of project opportunities in the Middle East for gas fired power generation?
“In the short term, the global uncertainty about electricity demand and oil prices had a slowing effect on current plans. We see this in Saudi, Iraq, Kuwait, and Egypt.
Yet, for the mid-to-long term electricity demand from gas in the Middle East will grow by ~50% over the next 15 years, driven by UAE, Egypt and Iraq. Gas is abundant, cheap and more liquefication is planned.
The short-term pipeline will remain strong in the Gulf, Iraq and Bangladesh and we see a longer-term pipeline in currently troubled countries like Libya, Tunisia, and even Lebanon.”
Aba Khalidi, Chief Technology Officer, GE Gas Power MENA & South Asia
gas turbines handle battery storage?
“Yes! In fact, GE recently announced a successful completion of its first-of-its-kind battery energy storage used to “black start” a GE 7F.03 gas turbine at a 180 megawatt (MW) simple cycle power plant in the US. This is the first time GE has achieved a black start of a heavy-duty gas turbine using energy storage.
A “black start” consists of rebooting an idle power plant without support from the grid in the event of a major system disruption or a system-wide blackout. The project will help the customer improve the availability and reliability of its power supply while supporting renewable energy penetration on the grid.”
Amit Kulkarni, VP Product Management, GE Gas Power
Frequent starts/stops can increase a gas turbine’s maintenance costs, so how can they be an efficient complement for renewables?
“We believe that a combination of gas plus renewable generation enables the fastest practical and affordable path to decarbonization of the power sector, a critical step to addressing global climate change. Renewable power generation technologies such as wind and solar are making important contributions to decarbonization.
However, based on our extensive analysis and experience across the breadth of the global power industry, we do not believe this alone can achieve the most meaningful near-term results. Instead, coal-to-gas switching in combination with increased renewables is the quickest path to reducing power sector carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions at scale.
The International Energy Agency has also published a report on the “Role of Gas in Today’s Energy Transitions” in which it considers coal-to-gas switching a “quick win” for emissions reductions, with a near-immediate capability to reduce global power sector emissions by 10 percent and total energy-related CO2 emissions 4 percent.”
Guy Deleonardo, VP Customer Applications, GE Gas Power