Europe has set a clear goal for full decarbonisation by 2050, with renewables-based electricity set to become the dominant energy carrier, and that means fossil gas will have “only a marginal role” in the long run, EU climate chief Frans Timmermans said on Thursday (25 March).
Gas companies in Europe and America are looking at using the existing gas network to serve industrial “clusters” of hydrogen users in sectors like chemicals, cement and steelmaking, adopting a “phased approach” endorsed by the European Commission.
Production of biogas, biomethane and “green” hydrogen will have to skyrocket by at least 1,000% over the next three decades in order to reach the EU’s climate neutrality objective for 2050, an EU official has said.
Bioenergies, including wood, biofuels and forest-based industries, should be recognised under the EU’s draft sustainable finance taxonomy, in line with the recently-updated renewable energy directive, an industry coalition has claimed.
Industry executives argue fossil gas should be considered green when it displaces coal in power generation, sparking fresh controversy around an upcoming EU sustainable finance taxonomy aimed at rewarding investments in clean technologies.
The market for Guarantees of Origin (GOs) linked to renewable gas is currently in its infancy. But with demand building up, industry figures – and environmentalists – are now calling for existing certification schemes to be harmonised and made mandatory across the European Union.
Biomethane production costs are expected to fall in the coming decade as more biogas plants come on stream. But analysts warn that massive cost reductions like in the solar and wind power sector are unlikely and policy measures will be needed to prop up this fledgeling renewable energy industry.
The price of CO2 credits on Europe’s emissions trading scheme needs to rise to around €50 per tonne in order to drive the long-term development of Europe’s biomethane industry, says Marc-Antoine Eyl-Mazzega, a French researcher.
The prospects for biogas in Europe look bright, with conservative estimates pointing to a tenfold increase in production by 2030. However, the industry will need to stay rooted in the local economy and come clean on environmental credentials if it wants to avoid a green backlash, analysts say.
Biogas production remains tiny at the moment in Europe, but the industry has big plans for the future, provided costs can be lowered and environmental issues addressed. In this special report, EURACTIV looks into the challenges and opportunities facing the sector.
A demonstration plant in Germany that converts wind electricity into hydrogen is probably the most emblematic of a series of pilot projects that could radically transform Europe’s energy landscape in the coming decade.
The European Commission, backed by 11 EU member states, refused to sign a declaration on “sustainable and smart gas infrastructure” tabled by the Romanian Presidency earlier this week because the text wasn’t ambitious enough on climate change, EURACTIV has learned.
Natural gas of fossil origin has “no future” in Europe, Greens have warned as EU energy ministers prepared to sign a declaration on Tuesday (2 April) promoting “smart gas infrastructure” as part of a low-carbon energy mix for 2050.
Europe’s electricity and gas operators are currently working on a joint network plan based on a carbon budget which includes zero-emission scenarios for 2050. “And that automatically means there will be no fossil gas in the mix by then,” Jan Ingwersen told EURACTIV in an interview.
The production of so-called green hydrogen from wind and solar electricity is seen as a potential game-changer for the transition to a 100% renewable energy system. But getting there will take some time and some intermediary solutions will be needed, says Daan Peters.
The European gas industry is on the cusp of a green revolution similar to the one that took place in the electricity sector, with a greater variety of low-carbon gases feeding into the grid at the local level, says Jean-Marc...
Britain must entirely get rid of fossil-based natural gas in the coming three decades if the country is to meet its long-term decarbonisation objectives, according to a think-tank close to the ruling Conservative party.
With the European Parliament backing a net zero emissions target for 2050, EU member states will need to further develop their biogas markets to continue to reduce emissions from waste, energy, and transport, write Benjamin Budde and David Newman.
As the debate on the future role of gas in a decarbonised European energy system heats up, Navigant energy experts Daan Peters and Kees van der Leun explain why they see a large potential to scale up renewable gas sustainably.
Renewable methane – whether produced from waste, manure or synthetic sources – could displace at most 7% of natural gas in Europe at the current demand rate, according to a new study by the International Council on Clean Transport (ICCT).
Full electrification does not mean decarbonisation, writes Marco Alverà. Infrastructure which carries natural gas today will be needed in future to carry increasing amounts of biomethane, green hydrogen as well as to store energy more efficiently than power lines or batteries, he argues.
The excess wind and solar electricity generated at times of oversupply could be used more systematically to produce synthetic gas, providing a convenient way of storing renewable energy that would otherwise be lost. The potential is huge, and can be used to heat homes during winter, argues Beate Raabe.