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TRIMIS

A state-of-the art review on the development of CNG infrastructure and mapping / digitalisation of the natural gas transmission network in Estonia

PROJECT

A state-of-the art review on the development of CNG infrastructure and mapping / digitalisation of the natural gas transmission network in Estonia
Original Language Title: 
Gaasi tanklate infrastruktuuri arendamise ja maagaasi jaotusvõrgu kaardistamise / digitaliseerimisega seotud ajakohane ülevaade Eestis.

Background & policy context: 

In recent times, the increased accessibility of natural gas vehicles and filling stations has meant that natural gas vehicles have become progressively essential as a way to reduce our dependency on oil and address the issues of transport emissions and air pollutants. 

Ordinarily, natural gas has a lower energy density compared to diesel and gasoline. To maximise its energy density and offer a longer driving range for vehicles, natural gas should either be compressed and stored in high-pressure tanks or cooled and stored in highly insulated cryogenic tanks.

There are fundamentally three types of CNG stations: 

  • Fast-fill
  • Time-fill 
  • A combination of the two. 

Typically, retail stations use fast-fill and fleets that have central refuelling and the ability to fill overnight use time-fill. The costs of installing natural gas infrastructure varies based on size, capacity, and the type of natural gas:

  • LNG (liquefied natural gas)
  • CNG (compressed natural gas)
  • or both. 

It also varies in the way the natural gas is dispensed (fast-fill or time-fill).

In Estonia the first documented attempts for establishing filling stations, a CNG network, can be traced back as far as 2004, when individuals related to the driving school industry in South Estonia, had the idea to build CNG filling stations. Eesti Gaas AS sells two products at its filling stations - CBM (compressed biomethane) and CNG. The chemical composition and quality of the two products are the same and both are suitable for a CNG car. In addition, LNG is used in transport but there are currently no LNG stations in Estonia. Passenger cars mostly use CNG. There are currently eight filling stations in Estonia and three filling stations are under planning.

Understanding the local gas grid is often the first step in the development of gas refuelling infrastructure. The present gas network creates a lot of opportunities to add new filling stations. The systematic digitalisation of the natural gas transmission network in Estonia began in 2000 and was mostly completed by 2006. Nevertheless, in the following years work continued in the refinement and specification of the gas refuelling infrastructure.

Furthermore, the project covers some background principles related to the EU Project of Common Interest (PCI) in and around the Gulf of Finland and a major infrastructure project in and around the Baltic Sea, which aim to better interconnect energy networks towards a single energy market in Europe.

 

Objectives: 

In Estonia, in order to reduce emissions from transport, efforts are focused on increasing the use of forward-looking vehicle technologies, alternative fuels, and improving vehicle efficiency.

However, there are several barriers which slow development, and they include:

  • the high emission mitigation when compared to other sectors;
  • the high retail price of alternative fuel vehicles;
  • the high cost of non-food-based biofuel production;
  • the lack of infrastructure or access to the natural gas transmission network.
Methodology: 

This project has been prepared with the intention to increase knowledge in the area of natural gas vehicles and the fuel supply infrastructure in Estonia. It includes reviews of technical reports, peer-reviewed scientific publications, and various websites, informed by experience from the oil and gas industry.

Key Results: 
  • In this project, the state-of-the-art gas technologies in transport have been reviewed, including the advantages and disadvantages of natural gas vehicles, market driving forces and the barriers for the development of natural gas vehicles.
  • Most commercial passenger and light duty natural gas vehicles are either dedicated fuel (CNG) or bi-fuel vehicles that run on gasoline and CNG; without losing the ability to drive on gasoline. The driving range of most bi-fuel cars in CNG mode is about 400 km. And most commercial heavy duty natural gas vehicles are devoted (CNG/LNG) vehicles or dual-fuel (CNG/LNG and diesel) vehicles.
  • The main emissions benefits of natural gas vehicles over diesel and petrol cars are: reduced CO2 emissions, nearly zero particulate matter emissions, decreased NOx emissions, and decreased hydrocarbon emissions at equal fuel economy. However, the high added vehicle cost, limited model variants, and deficiency of infrastructure are some of the challenges facing the natural gas vehicles market.
  • The availability and access to CNG filling stations are of extraordinary importance for the development of the natural gas vehicles industry.
  • As a mature but emerging technology, Estonia successfully promotes natural gas vehicles and has created favourable conditions in the starting period to push the technology using different policy instruments; market-based and regulatory based policies. Regulatory-based policies include: easing the bureaucracy associated with project approval for CNG filling stations; establishing standards, regulations and certifications programs for the industry; demanding emission regulations in metropolitan areas.
  • In Estonia there are 21 acts that give rise to restrictions and about 100 features that must be collected. Objects that give rise to restrictions are any land objects that give rise to a restriction zone (42 different zones) and can be spatially identified (X,Y,Z). An example of such a feature is utility networks. 23 different utility network companies share data with the Estonian Land Board, starting from the year 2005. One of these companies is the major natural gas company in Estonia - Eesti Gaas AS.
  • Restrictions: legal grounds for the natural gas transmission network have been and are Law of Property Act article 140 to 141 - a restriction pursuant to law is valid without entry in the land register and Land Cadastre Act article 12 - the cadastral registrar shall enter the location of objects which give rise to restrictions on the restrictions map.
  • In this project, the state-of-the-art gas technologies in transport have been reviewed, including the advantages and disadvantages of natural gas vehicles, market driving forces and the barriers for the development of natural gas vehicles.
  • Most commercial passenger and light duty natural gas vehicles are either dedicated fuel (CNG) or bi-fuel vehicles that run on gasoline and CNG; without losing the ability to drive on gasoline. The driving range of most bi-fuel cars in CNG mode is about 400 km. And most commercial heavy duty natural gas vehicles are devoted (CNG/LNG) vehicles or dual-fuel (CNG/LNG and diesel) vehicles.
  • The main emissions benefits of natural gas vehicles over diesel and petrol cars are: reduced CO2 emissions, nearly zero particulate matter emissions, decreased NOx emissions, and decreased hydrocarbon emissions at equal fuel economy. However, the high added vehicle cost, limited model variants, and deficiency of infrastructure are some of the challenges facing the natural gas vehicles market.
  • The availability and access to CNG filling stations are of extraordinary importance for the development of the natural gas vehicles industry.
  • As a mature but emerging technology, Estonia successfully promotes natural gas vehicles and has created favourable conditions in the starting period to push the technology using different policy instruments; market-based and regulatory based policies. Regulatory-based policies include: easing the bureaucracy associated with project approval for CNG filling stations; establishing standards, regulations and certifications programs for the industry; demanding emission regulations in metropolitan areas.
  • In Estonia there are 21 acts that give rise to restrictions and about 100 features that must be collected. Objects that give rise to restrictions are any land objects that give rise to a restriction zone (42 different zones) and can be spatially identified (X,Y,Z). An example of such a feature is utility networks. 23 different utility network companies share data with the Estonian Land Board, starting from the year 2005. One of these companies is the major natural gas company in Estonia - Eesti Gaas AS.
  • Restrictions: legal grounds for the natural gas transmission network have been and are Law of Property Act article 140 to 141 - a restriction pursuant to law is valid without entry in the land register and Land Cadastre Act article 12 - the cadastral registrar shall enter the location of objects which give rise to restrictions on the restrictions map.

 

Partners: 

Eesti Gaas AS

Gaasivõrgud AS

Elering AS

Organisation: 
Geo-Mode
Address: 
P.O. Box 1886
Zipcode: 
0124
City: 
Oslo
Contact country: