France's Gas-to-Power Demand Increased by 161% Last Year
France's natural gas transmission operator, GRTgaz, has recorded an increase in gas demand in France in 2015. Overall gross consumption increased by 8.1%, adjusted to 3.4% for climate effects.
The biggest increase was seen in the consumption of gas-to-power by industrial customers, which increased by 161% to reach a total of 10.8% of overall consumption. The transmission operator attributes the increase in industrial demand to "favourable economic conditions."
An increase in electricity supply from gas rather than from coal plants was also very positive for the environment, GRTgaz said in a statement on January 22.
"In 2015, GRTgaz estimates that the use of gas rather than coal in power plants helped prevent 7 million tonnes of CO2," the statement read.
Gas contributed positively to the reduction of CO2 emissions in other ways also, GRTgaz said, with a total of 490,000 tonnes of CO2 avoided through the development of uses of gas and biomethane. GRTgaz attributes this reduction to the conversion of industrial sites from from oil to gas as well as the injection of biomethane to the gas networks.
The increase in consumption comes despite what GRTgaz described as a "particularly warm year" in 2015 and reflects a "significant recovery of the various uses of gas in France," the firm said. The figures reverse a downward trend seen in 2014, when gross gas consumption fell by 16.5% overall.
Speaking at a press conference to announce the figures, CEO of GRTgaz Thierry Trouvé said that the results seen were encouraging for the gas transmission operator as well as for France's environment.
"In 2015, the development of gas use in industry, electricity production and transport, combined with renewable gas injection, significantly contributed to the reduction of CO2 in France," he said. "This balance reflects the practical role of gas and gas networks in the energy transition, and is an encouragement for GRTgaz to pursue its commitment on this track."