To ensure that the Dutch government’s sustainability targets are both attainable and affordable, it is essential to include natural gas in the mix. Natural gas is a vital part of the energy mix, now and in the future. It is the least polluting of all fossil fuels and can also be flexibly deployed, enabling the development and optimum use of weather-dependent energy sources such as wind and solar power. Gas-fired power stations can be quickly connected and disconnected, allowing solar and wind power maximum opportunity to be used to the full.
What is more, there are still extensive natural gas reserves to be mined. New technologies are making it possible to extract gas from very small fields and from different rock layers in an economically viable way. Global reserves of natural gas are likely to last for around another 250 years.
Natural gas can also be mixed with green gas obtained from gasification and fermentation to further increase the volume that eventually becomes available. By 2020, the amount of green gas as a proportion of gas consumption in the Netherlands will be 5%. This is equivalent to the gas consumption of over a million households. The government has therefore included the deployment of green gas as a spearhead in its sustainability policy.
A future scenario involving gas will mean a relatively swift and affordable transition towards sustainability. Increased efficiency and the growing availability of green gas, solar and wind power will make the gas roundabout progressively more sustainable.
The booklet 'For a sustainable energy supply. A clear task for natural gas' maps out the three steps towards a sustainable energy supply: 'clean – cleaner – cleanest'.