Sep 04, 2018Clean Energy Future

How Natural Gas Stabilises Renewable Energy Supply

As the world’s population grows and climate change becomes an increasingly real threat, cutting greenhouse gas emissions is a cause we all can and should support. Renewable energy sources are vital to a sustainable future our earth.

But what happens when the sun doesn’t shine enough or the wind doesn’t blow? Brazil provides a great example of how to deal with this.

Brazil uses hydropower to provide up to 90% of its electricity when there’s sufficient rainfall. But it uses gas-fired power generation to support renewables during peak energy times and in cases of drought.

In 2015, Brazil suffered an extended drought which decreased the availability of hydro-powered energy by as much as 20%. Natural gas provided an important back-up and stabilised energy supply for the nation’s 200 million residents.

In Australia, existing infrastructure has the potential to use gas as a partner for renewable energy sources. This means that mass power outages – which happened in South Australia when the state didn’t receive consistent enough energy from wind generation – are less likely to happen. It also means that, in the short-term, renewables will be more affordable.

Australia has natural gas in abundance, which makes it a perfect fit to work with renewable energy uptake to decrease carbon emissions and combat the onset of climate change.

To read more about Brazil’s hydropower and natural gas partnership see Shell’s investigative report.

We all want to do our part in taking care of the planet. Renewable energy sources like solar and wind are helping us to do that more effectively. But what happens when energy from renewables isn’t enough? That’s where natural gas comes in. Natural gas provides a low carbon alternative to traditional fossil fuels and is the best solution we have to lowering household emissions in a cost-effective way.