Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is one of the sources of energy whose use has grown the most in recent years. It is a clean fossil fuel and its combustion produces steam and a very limited amount of CO2.
One of the applications of LNG is the production of thermal energy for civil and industrial uses, employing natural gas in areas not yet interconnected through the national grid system. This permits us to reduce the use of other fossil fuels which produce more pollution, are more dangerous and generally more expensive, such as diesel fuel and liquid petroleum gas (LPG).
The first natural gas distribution plant fueled by regasified LNG in Italy was in operation in Molveno (TN) till the end of 2017. The analysis of the plant parameters and the cost-benefit evaluation underlying its implementation made it clear that the distribution of regasified LNG through an isolated network system can be both an effective and functional tool to develop the natural gas distribution.
In Italy there are about 1,300 non-methane municipalities which are not serviced. Several Municipalities required the evaluation of this type of supply to the Public Contracting Units that are working through tenders for the assignment of the distribution service of natural gas.
The Ministry of Economic Development indicated the construction of off-grid network powered by regasified LNG as a positive path for the development of the natural gas distribution system.
Extending the tariff equalization system to the LNG-fueled plants could be a good model. If the cost of distribution of regasified LNG through an isolated network is not distributed at a macro area rate, it will be difficult to develop this clean technology.
In Europe operators and infrastructures for LNG bunkering are multiplying. The Italian market final LNG uses has increased about 150 % in 2017 compared to 2016.
The driving sector is the distributor network for heavy vehicles but others uses can be employed: gas distribution networks fueled by LNG isolated units (off-grid) to serve industrial and civil uses.