Energy sources can be split into two categories:
Renewable:those which are produced on an ongoing basis and therefore cannot be exhausted by human use, such as solar, wind, hydraulic, geothermal and biomass energy.
Non-renewable: those which exist in limited supply and which, as a result, once used up cannot be replaced. Non-renewable energy sources include nuclear energy and fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas).
In recent decades, Europe has established itself at the forefront of the fight against climate change, implementing an ambitious environmental programme known as the ‘Triple 20’ which identifies a series of objectives to be met by 2020. These goals include lowering emissions, promoting the use of renewable energies and enhancing energy efficiency.
Natural gas is currently playing a crucial role in this, thanks to its contribution to lowering emissions, the support it provides for renewable energies and its high efficiency, which has led to an increasing demand for natural gas over the other fossil fuels. It is within this context that natural gas is emerging as the cleanest, safest and most efficient of all the fossil fuels, and is currently one of the primary sources of energy.
It also offers other key advantages as a means of achieving the objectives of the Triple 20, including its ability to be combined with various technologies across all sectors; its greater energy return and low level emissions; its abundance and general availability; and its accessible cost.>
Also, natural gas enables the generation of electricity in combination with renewable energy sources. Renewable energy sources are intermittent and require alternative energy generation to ensure continuity of supply when they themselves cannot be used. Today this role is carried out by combined cycle plants (natural gas) and hydraulic plants which automatically come online when it is not possible to draw on solar or wind energy, etc.