Data & insights
Accelerating the transition
Gases and gas infrastructure are indispensable in meeting climate ambition because of the storage, transport and backup they provide. However, achieving decarbonisation is going to require profound changes across all energy vectors and end-use sectors.
The fastest, most cost-effective, way to decarbonise the gas sector is to incorporate renewable and low carbon gases, like hydrogen and biomethane, into the established system. The existing market and infrastructure must be adapted but offers a lot of value. That’s apparent in the role of mid-streamers in ensuring security of supply and balance, and the way DSOs link decentralised renewable energy production to connected end users.
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The costs of the transition
The DNV Eurogas Pathways study maps the energy transition to 2050. It builds on the European Commission’s 1.5 TECH scenario but shows how we can reach decarbonisation at a lower cost. In fact, we can save €130 billion per year – that’s €4.1 trillion by 2050. These savings can be achieved through more efficient use of gas and electricity infrastructure.
Key Findings of the Eurogas Study, available here:
- Eurogas Slide Deck – Key Findings in a Pathway to European Carbon Neutrality – The Role of Gas
- DNV GL Presentation Slides – Reaching European Climate Neutrality
- DNV GL Eurogas Report – Reaching European Carbon Neutrality Full Report
- DNV GL Executive Summary – Reaching European Carbon Neutrality
In 2021, Eurogas increased its ambition to achieve a fully decarbonised gas grid soon after 2045. Our plan is to do this by scaling up renewable and low carbon gases and tackling value chain methane emissions.
Read more : Eurogas-Statement-on-Climate-Ambition.pdf
Renewable and low-carbon gases
The markets for renewable and low carbon gases, such as hydrogen and biomethane, are still in the early stages of development. The speed of this development is not fast enough. The cost of producing these gases will decrease with economies of scale. In the coming years, more and more end users will buy these gases – blending will let us build the customer base to get there.
Blending hydrogen and biomethane with methane in the existing gas infrastructure does not just serve as an important market development tool. This delivers immediate emissions reductions, decarbonising the grid and the end users sooner than waiting for dedicated infrastructure. Most of gas distribution networks are ready to handle blends or even 100% renewable and low carbon gases.
Along with 14 other EU associations spanning buildings, mobility and power generation, Eurogas is advocating for binding 2030 targets for (i) the greenhouse gas intensity of gas consumed to be reduced by at least 20% and (ii) the increase of the share of renewable gases in the grid by 11%.
Eurogas targets call : Stakeholders_position-renewable-and-decarbonised-gas-targets-for-2030.pdf
These targets offer predictability for investors, equipment manufacturers and end-users as we work towards a gas market, which incorporates hydrogen and biomethane, alongside natural gas. This will speed up decarbonisation, allow Europe to seize climate leadership opportunities, and ensure Europeans have high-quality jobs.
From blue to green with CCUS
The end goal is that green hydrogen (produced from excess renewable energy using electrolysis) is the dominant form in Europe. Blue hydrogen (from natural gas with CCUS) is needed first to build the hydrogen economy. This has been recognised by European Commission’s Executive Vice President Timmermans at the CCUS Forum. Blue hydrogen will help to scale the markets by meeting initial demand from end-users. This economy of scale will help bring down the cost of both blue and green hydrogen. That way, renewable hydrogen can become the most affordable, prevalent form.
Tackling value chain methane
Delivering a fully decarbonised gas sector before 2050 means urgent action is needed on value chain methane emissions. We cannot manage what we cannot measure, so Eurogas is calling for improved processes for Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) and Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR) across the EU. Much of this can be achieved through harmonisation, but some degree of flexibility is also needed depending on local conditions, such as grid type, age of the grid or topography.
Digital solutions to track and report value chain methane emissions are helping . These solutions will support decarbonisation of the networks, while creating quality jobs – part of Europe’s twin green and digital transitions.
A Just Transition
Coal and oil phase out will lead to job losses across Europe and globally. At the same time, there is huge job potential in decarbonising energy systems. Europe has a leadership position to become an exporter of many technologies that are needed for the transition. By moving quickly, we can leverage this potential and create high-quality jobs in manufacturing gas technologies for decarbonisation.
Eurogas is working with the trade union associations, EPSU and IndustriAll Europe, to map the changes ahead. Our study will look at the reskilling and upskilling needs of the gas sector and provide granular insight into barriers to reskilling and upskilling across Europe’s regions.
Read the Eurogas unions statement https://eurogas.org/website/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SSDC-Gas-_EN.pdf