New technologies facilitate damage prevention and ensure system availability thus contributing to increase the efficiency of operation and maintenances activities. In recent years, the gas industry has attracted widespread attention in discussions about how to achieve climate protection targets and reduce pollutant emissions. This has been due not only to the fact that natural gas is the most environmentally friendly fossil fuel, but first and foremost to its innovative strength in the area of gas appliance development and in renewable energy production (biomethane). The use of condensing appliances in combination with solar technology or geothermal systems, the field trials of micro-CHP units developed for domestic use and the research on fuel cells span what is a very diverse range of technologies from the environmentally friendly systems already available today to next-generation appliances. In this process, the uninterrupted availability of the infrastructure needed for the transmission and distribution of natural gas is taken for granted, and the technologies themselves only play a secondary role in the public debate and even appear rather static at first glance.
But the opposite is true: Research and development in the gas transmission sector have made a lasting contribution to the proper functioning of the infrastructure and its value. This article looks at innovations from three different perspectives: