At a time when greenhouse gas emission and energy efficiency regulations are being tightened and taxes are rising, gas represents an advantage that contributes to the competitiveness of industrial companies.
GRTgaz helps industrial consumers optimise their use of natural gas both on an environmental and a financial level.
Improving energy efficiency on industrial sites
Gas not only lets users benefit from a dynamic wholesale market and a competitive price in comparison with other energy sources such as fuel oil, it also offers undeniable advantages in today's regulatory and technological environment.
1. Following the emergence of more stringent air quality standards, due in particular to the transposition of the Industrial Emissions Directive, the implementation of particle reduction plans and the caps imposed on France under the National Emissions Ceilings Directive, gas has undoubtedly become the alternative solution. Restrictions on liquid fuels will be tightened under these regulations and dust requirements will be more stringent than in the past (biomass, coal and fuel oil are concerned). Whereas, the burning of natural gas emits neither soot nor dust. This process emits 30% less CO2 than fuel oil and 45% less CO2 than coal, as well as less NOx and very little SO2, which causes acid rain. It is worth noting that both for new and existing boilers as well as in continuous emissions monitoring for certain configurations, natural gas has an emission limit value of 100 mg/Nm3 of NOx.
2. With regards to tax and in the case of industrial companies that have to pay the French 'General tax on polluting activities' (TGAP, Taxe Générale sur les activités polluantes), gas represents a financial advantage as the current rates for SOx emissions and total airborne particles were trebled in 2013.
3. With regards to energy efficiency, 2015 saw the introduction of the Energy Efficiency Directive. Consequently, large companies must now undertake an energy audit every four years. This audit represents a real opportunity to improve a company's industrial processes and lower its energy costs.
Optimising the consumption of natural gas for industry
GRTgaz experts study with industrial companies the best solutions to optimise their use of natural gas and to make savings.
For example, in the case of industrial boiler rooms, four different courses of action may be taken:
1. Monitoring of energy and water consumption. This is the first course of action to be taken in order to accurately identify the distribution of energy among the various user stations and to install the resources necessary to detect any variations in the level of use.
2. Periodic monitoring of boiler performance results by regularly analysing combustion, calculating efficiency and, if necessary, adjusting settings. This monitoring process is essential and, in fact, mandatory for boilers with a rated output of more than 400 kW. Optimising combustion or installing an O2-CO regulator can improve NCV efficiency by 0.5% to 2%.
3. Optimisation and installation of performance-enhancing processes and equipment such as micro-modulating burners, condensers or economizers, and the management of purges, including, if possible, heat recovery during purging.
4. Optimisation of the steam network by insulating pipes, carrying out preventive maintenance on purge valves or by using flash steam. For example, it is estimated that 20% of purge valves prove to be defective each year. However, a leak in a purge valve can result in 5 to 20 kg/h of lost steam.
While these savings are 'conventional' solutions, each boiler room is very often unique. Furthermore, the solution (or solutions) to be retained depends on the characteristics of the site and the manner in which steam is produced and used.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE BOILERn
Site's steam requirements
Annual consumption of ultra-low-sulphur heavy fuel oil
which represents an energy bill of
870 k€ HTT/an
AFTER CONVERTING THE BOILER TO NATURAL GAS
Total energy gain (operating performance, fuel implementation, more efficient burners):
De 5,5 à 9%
After implementing an exhaust heat recovery system, the gas solution offers an additional gain of...
De 4 à 5%
PRICE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO TYPES OF FUEL*, GLOBAL SAVING (EXCLUDING TAX)...
From 35 % to 38 %, i.e. around €320,000 per year (not including savings on taxes such as the TICP, TGAP, etc.)
* Hypothetical energy prices (approximate market prices, February 2016):
INDUSTRIAL PERFORMANCE CLUBS
To meet the specific needs of each consumer, energy efficiency has become a factor in a company's competitiveness. In the future, supply management considerations will go hand in hand with the development of high-performance and energy-efficient consumption practices. Technology, purchasing, operations, regulations, taxation... all of these areas are increasingly, and inextricably, at the heart of discussions held by industry on how to develop its production resources and methods. GRTgaz regularly chairs Industrial Performance Club meetings dedicated to a group of consumers so that they may discuss problems related to their sector (glass, agri-food, etc.) or specific subjects (metering, supply, etc.).
Gas-fired power plants at the heart of energetic mix for the future
D.R. EDF « Centrale à cycle combiné au gaz naturel in Bouchain »
When solar- or wind-based electricity generation is insufficient, gas-fired power plants are the best option to take over and generate top-up electricity while ensuring the lowest emissions and the highest level of efficiency (55% compared to 35% for a coal-fired power plant). GRTgaz contributes to the performance of gas-fired power plants by supplying them with gas in a reliable and a flexible manner, particularly at the time of peak demand.
By connecting the power plant in Bouchain (Nord Pas de Calais), a former coal-fired condemned on several occasions, to the gas network, GRTgaz is supporting an energy transition solution with a future with its partners, EDF and General Electric. It will be the first new generation gas combined cycle power plant in France and one of the most innovative plants in Europe. Compared to a conventional combined cycle plant, its carbon footprint will be 10% smaller and the emission of 350 tonnes of soot will be avoided. A total of 68,000 homes in the coal-mining area of Douai will soon be supplied with electricity generated with natural gas transported by GRTgaz.
It is an emblematic project that paves the way for more projects of this kind thanks to its contribution to balancing the electricity system by becoming a major component within smart grids, tomorrow's flexible and integrated energy system.