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In addition to familiar uses such as heating, water heating and cooking, natural gas can be used for other tasks in households. These include electricity-generating heating and fireplaces, soapstone stoves and garden barbecues. Natural gas and sunshine make an ideal combination. Ready-made heating systems (natural gas heating, solar power system, combination water tank and controls) are available on the market.

Gas condensation boiler, 44 kW, in a six-apartment building

In the commercial sector, natural gas is suitable for use in places such as bakeries, hotels, laundries, dry cleaners’, car washes, restaurants and roasting facilities.

In industry, natural gas not only generates process and space heating, but also produces heat and electricity (CHP), air-conditions and deep-freezes. It is also ideal for smelting, hardening, drying and curing in sectors such as the metal, cement, glass, ceramics, food and textile industries. The chemical industry also uses natural gas as a raw material.

Dual-fuel burner, 15 MW, on the steam boiler at the Aarberg sugar factory

Natural gas is used for heating, hot-water generation, air conditioning and power generation, thus benefiting places such as churches, hospitals, museums, school buildings, office blocks, swimming pools, industrial kitchens and homes for the elderly.

When it comes to generating electricity, natural gas can reduce CO2 emissions considerably when used instead of coal or oil in power stations. Natural gas can be used to produce electricity centrally in thermal power plants or locally using combined heat and power generation. Although local combined heat and power plants have been in use in Switzerland for a long time, central thermal power stations are currently only at the planning stage.

Rotor on a gas turbine for power generation

The issue of power generation for the future is heavily debated by policymakers and the general public alike.

More information: Scenario for future electricity production with natural gas (PDF/64 KB)