At DNV, we have recently finalized a study looking at various aspects of implementing LNG as the main fuel supply for distributed power generation and microgrid systems. The study covers key challenges, environmental and economical assessments, as well as a case study for Indonesia.
Over the past year or so we have gotten increasing amounts of questions related to using LNG for all sorts of small scale application. Just a few years ago, if you were building a small scale power plant either for an isolated island or for dedicated industry use, the default fuel supply would be heavy fuel oil or diesel products. If you have this need today, you are likely to search for other alternatives as oil based fuels are becoming very expensive. Very often, the most promising alternative is natural gas.
This study provides an overview of all the components of the required supply chain and the key technical and logistical solutions. Technical challenges with implementing LNG fuelled power generation in microgrids are presented and assessed, and a framework for economical and environmental comparison of such power generation with conventional systems is provided.
A clear conclusion from the study is that by aggregating demand from small consumers that are off grid (industrial and communities on by micro grids), significant environmental benefits can be achieved in a way that in most scenarios also will save money.