European Green Deal: natural, renewable and decarbonized gas will have a key role in achieving the EU’s GHG reduction targets


European Green Deal: natural, renewable and decarbonized gas will have a key role in achieving the EU's GHG reduction targets

Brussels, 12 December 2019. The GasNaturally partnership believes the European Green Deal is a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate the central role of natural, renewable and decarbonised gas in achieving the EU's GHG reduction targets across a number of sectors, including hard-to-abate ones, in a cost-efficient manner.

We take note of the plans to increase the mid- and long term climate ambitions. In that context, we welcome the focus of the Communication on supplying clean, affordable and secure energy for the EU’s citizens and we reiterate that a fast switch from coal to gas wherever possible, and a significant upscale of renewable and decarbonised gases are the main solutions to achieving the European GHG reduction objectives in a cost-efficient manner, while cutting emissions from a number of sectors, including the hard-to-abate ones.

We welcome that sector integration features high on the list of priorities. We believe that a hybrid energy infrastructure and sector coupling, building on the strengths of both the gas and electricity networks, will form the backbone of a decarbonised EU energy system. Therefore, it will be necessary to ensure that renewable and decarbonised gases have access to an appropriate commercial framework including an EU blueprint for Guarantees of Origin and market-based support mechanisms. There will continue to be a key role for the gas network of transmission and distribution pipelines, underground storage and LNG regasification facilities that will transport and store renewable and decarbonised gases, including hydrogen, to meet demand from the power, industry, residential, heating, road and marine transportation sectors.

The role of gas should not be understated in the upcoming industrial strategy and the initiatives related to the circular economy where the EU's competitiveness and employment levels are at stake. Moving away from gas would require more electricity production for current levels of industrial production than the whole of Europe consumes today. Production of renewable gas will not only help deliver circular economy agenda, but also decarbonise the agricultural sector, while providing positive economic returns for local territories and populations.

We are looking forward to contributing to the development of the air quality initiatives and the sustainable mobility strategy. Gas as a transport fuel offers important benefits to consumers, the air quality - including in ports, and the economy. The most immediate air pollution reductions can be easily achieved with coal-to-gas switch in heating and power generation - gas-based cogeneration should be considered as most effective solution in that respect.

Finally, we welcome the Commission plans to foster innovation through earmarking of important funds under Horizon Europe. Expansion of research, development and implementation projects for technologies with demonstrable GHG-reduction potential, such as production of hydrogen through power-to-gas and gas reformation with CCUS, or biogas, biomethane and bioLPG deployment, will be necessary for the long-term delivery of the Green Deal in cost efficient manner with an added value of fostering the EU's global innovation leadership.

Press contact: Anna Dubowik, +32 2 894 48 23