Contributing to a CO2 neutral gas supply: On the road to 2050 – what role for renewable gases and gas infrastructure?

Climate change requires urgent action and the ultimate challenge is to carry out the required transition towards a greener future at affordable cost for EU citizens and in line with EU energy security perspectives. The EU has set itself a long-term objective of becoming climate neutral in 2050, which is enshrined in its recently published Communication for a “Clean Planet for All”.

According to the European Commission, gas will be critical for the transformation of the energy system. The Green Gas Initiative (GGI), partnering with NET4GAS, is a consortium of 7 European gas Transmission System Operators, TSO (Energinet, Fluxys, Gasunie, Gaznat, GRTgaz, Ontras and Swedegas) that have signed a joint declaration and committed themselves to the main objective of contributing to a CO2 neutral gas supply by 2050. As such, the GGI welcomes the publication of the Commission’s Communication on a “Clean Planet for All”.

The members of the initiative consider that the availability of well-developed gas networks in Europe and the complementary function of renewable gases and natural gas vis-à-vis other energy forms make gas and gas infrastructure well positioned to meet the challenges ahead.

Along the journey to 2050, the role of gas and gas infrastructure will evolve. As part of this evolution, gas infrastructure will transport decreasing quantities of natural gas, making way for increasing quantities of renewable and decarbonised gases produced at the local level. GGI believes the combination of using biomethane, power-to-gas solutions and using gas as an alternative fuel for road and maritime transport can play an important role in contributing to the EU’s long term climate and energy objectives. On the other hand, and within the context of discussions on the next EU Multiannual Financial Framework, some argue that continuing to invest in gas and gas infrastructure is incompatible with the EU’s long-term climate objectives.

EURACTIV organised this high-level workshop where Frontier Economics presented highlights from their recent study on the future role of gas infrastructure in a decarbonised Europe, followed by an exchange of views on the evolution of the gas infrastructure business on the road to 2050 and the challenges related to the uptake of renewable gases.

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