Press Release: Energy Roadmap 2050 acknowledges the ‘critical’ role of gas
GasNaturally welcomes the European Commission’s acknowledgement of the critical role of gas in the
transformation of the energy system within the Energy Roadmap 2050.
Gas is a no-regrets energy choice that can help the EU to achieve a secure, competitive and decarbonised European energy system. GasNaturally calls for a three step approach: Firstly, an investment climate that fosters a rapid and wide-scale deployment of modern gas-fired power stations replacing more polluting older plants. This is the quickest and most cost effective way to help meet EU emission targets while maintaining a secure supply of energy. Secondly, an increase of R&D investment for gas-related technologies, including carbon capture and storage (CCS). And finally, coordination of the increase in capacity of variable renewables with an increased availability of gas, as backup and standalone energy source.
Lowering carbon emissions through gas, renewables and R&D
GasNaturally takes note of the Commission’s assessment that the power generation sector ‘would have to undergo structural change and achieve a significant level of decarbonisation already in 2030 (57-65%)’ in order to achieve the predicted sharp increase of electricity demand while cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
Deploying modern gas-fired power stations is the quickest and most cost-effective way to meet emission reduction targets.
Indeed, a 2011 study by IHS CERA showed that the instantaneous conversion of all high carbon power generation in the EU to best performance gas power plants could reduce by 58% power sector emissions relative to 1990 levels.
Power generation currently accounts for 1.14 billion tons CO2 equivalent of current EU emissions, according to the European Climate Foundation, which is about 23% of total EU greenhouse gas emissions. Meeting future energy demand, while reducing emissions, will require a range of energy sources. Renewables, such as wind and solar, have an important role to play, and gas is a significant enabler. It is available in sufficient quantities at short notice and can therefore readily supplement the energy supply provided by variable
New gas technologies, such as micro combined heat and power in the residential sector, the use of LNG in
ships, and the use of excess wind energy to produce synthetic methane, are already available or being developed. But more can be done. GasNaturally calls for further R&D investments in low- and zero-carbon technologies, such as innovative gas technologies, CCS and renewable energies. These will pave the way for Europe to meet its ambitious energy goals.
Security of energy supply
For GasNaturally, energy security means access to sufficient and diversified gas supplies as well as being able to fill the energy gap left by the variability of renewable energy sources.
The European Commission acknowledges in the Energy Roadmap 2050 the potential for diversifying European gas supplies and for developing new gas sources. Well distributed gas storage and liquefied natural gas (LNG) infrastructures in the EU provide great flexibility to the energy system.
‘Conventional recoverable gas resources are equivalent to over 120 years of current global consumption’ according to the International Energy Agency. There are abundant worldwide gas reserves and Europe has ready access to many sources.
The Energy Roadmap states that ‘gas fired power stations have lower upfront investment costs, are rather quickly built and relatively flexible in use’.
François-Régis Mouton, Chairman of GasNaturally: “Thanks to lower total costs, gas brings immediate benefits to the whole energy system. Key to the Energy Roadmap’s success will be finding the most cost- effective and fastest way to make decarbonisation acceptable to citizens and companies, and gas can deliver.”
Notes to the Editor
The GasNaturally initiative is supported by Eurogas, Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE), the European Gas Research Group (GERG), the Technical Association of the European Natural Gas Industry (MARCOGAZ), the International Group of Liquefied Natural Gas Importers (GIIGNL), the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (OGP) and the International Gas Union (IGU). Together, these organisations supply hundreds of millions of customers and represent the entire gas chain.
Brussels (+32 (0)486 02 6668).