Molecules – The Eurogas Newsletter (May 2020)

Editorial – James Watson

Welcome to the May issue of Molecules!

As the warmer weather comes out to greet us, millions of Europeans are also tentatively stepping out again. Across the continent, life outside of confinement is slowly resuming, but nothing will be the same again. This is true for many sectors of our economy; and energy will be no different.

The pandemic has shown how deeply we value our health and well-being, and the extent to which we want to protect ourselves and others in our society. As such we fully support the European Commission’s recognition of a number of Green Deal initiatives in Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s economic recovery package which focuses on the efforts we can make now, for a clean future for Europe.

While the lockdown is easing, we know there is a long and challenging recovery ahead of us. Eurogas Association President Philippe Sauquet recorded a statement this month, discussing steps companies can take to support the European Commission as we move forward from Covid-19.

Europe’s climate commitments were discussed during the second in our Let’s Meet! webinar series, asking Can Europe Achieve Climate Neutrality Without Gas Targets? And our third webinar continued with another challenging debate: Pathways to Methane Emission Reductions.

We have welcomed a new member to the Eurogas Association, Wärtsilä. They join us from Finland, meaning Eurogas now has a presence in 23 different countries.

Closer to home we have welcomed our own new team member, Laura Bosetti, who joins us from the European Parliament. In this issue we include a Team Member Profile, starting with Laura, as part of a new initiative for Molecules to get to know the faces behind the policies.

At a time when networking is limited, we want our readers to know who Eurogas is, what we stand for, and what we are working on to bring about as efficient, cost-effective and clean recovery as possible.

Finally, inspired by the many rainbows we see in windows, Eurogas has launched an art competition, and we include the details of that at the end of this newsletter, along with our exciting upcoming events.

Stay well,

James Watson
Eurogas Secretary General

Opinion Editorial: Philippe Sauquet

Next month, June 2020, will mark my first anniversary as the president of the Eurogas association. At my election one year ago, we could not have predicted the unprecedented changes to our daily lives that have occurred in the last few weeks. Across the association, our thoughts are with those who are battling the virus, and we send our thanks to all those working in emergency and essential services.

This moment has shown the gas industry as a strong partner in a crisis, I am proud of the endeavours by Eurogas members across Europe. Employees have ensured that vital energy supply is still available, distributing energy across the continent to areas where it is needed most. Members have also directly supported local, regional and governments efforts in fighting the virus. For example by providing fuel for emergency services, the ethanol necessary for sanitizing gel, or by suspending energy bills for hospitals and the most vulnerable in society.

As Europe and the rest of the world now make plans to recover from the Covid-19 crisis, we must do so with combatting climate change as our priority, to protect our economy, society, and the health of future generations.

The EU should plan for a recovery that achieves maximum impact. This recovery must continue to provide reliable energy supplies, that can help to relaunch our industry. It needs to support a resilient energy system that can achieve carbon neutrality goals. Most importantly, it must strive to maintain Europe’s leadership in low-carbon technologies, and secure jobs for all Europeans.

With this in mind, many Eurogas member companies, including Total, have announced global climate ambitions of net zero emissions by 2050. Society expects more of the energy system today: major European gas companies are doing more to meet these expectations. We must combine the innovation of new technologies for tomorrow with our knowledge and experience of the energy system today. In short, we must provide more energy, with fewer emissions.

We believe we can do this, and we believe the way to do it is through using a combination of energy sources, including natural, renewable and decarbonised gas, both now, and in the future.

Climate neutrality by 2050 is an ambition that Eurogas fully supports, and I am proud to be the President of the association at this critical time. It is an important time for energy, for energy security. And whatever form our recovery takes, competitive energy will be necessary for us all.

Thank you.

Philippe Sauquet, Eurogas Association President and President of Gas, Power and Renewables, Total

Let’s Meet! Can Europe Reach Climate Neutrality Without Gas Targets?

On 14 May we hosted the second in our Let’s Meet! webinar series, Can Europe Achieve Climate Neutrality Without Gas Targets?

We were joined by Luis Manuel Schultz, Energy Attaché at the Permanent Representation of Germany to the EU, Andreas Graf, Manager for EU Energy Policy at the think tank Agora EnergieWende, as well as Maximo Miccinilli, Director of Energy at the Centre on Regulation in Europe (CERRE)

Our speakers all found that the EU will need gaseous energy up to and beyond 2050 and the discussion demonstrated the growing understanding that molecules – like electrons – need to be part of a clean, climate neutral energy future.

More information on the event, including speaker biographies and the full webinar recording, is available here. A short video showing the highlights from the event, is available here.

Let’s Meet! Eurogas Webinar: Pathways to Methane Emission Reductions

On 26 May we hosted the third in our Let’s Meet! webinar series, Pathways to Methane Emission Reductions.

We were joined by Christophe McGlade, Senior Analyst from the International Energy Agency, Poppy Kalesi, Director of Global Energy at the Environmental Defense Fund, and Eva Hennig, the Chair of the Eurogas Distribution Committee and Head of Energy Policy at Thüga.

More information on the event, including speaker biographies and the full webinar recording, is available here. A short video showing the highlights from the event will be available from 2 June on the Eurogas Twitter page.

Circular Economy: Biogas and the Farm-to-Fork Strategy

Last week the European Commission presented its Farm-to-Fork strategy, part of the flagship European Green Deal policy. While the strategy mainly focuses on making food systems sustainable, tackling climate change and protecting the environment, it also singles out the potential of biogas to reduce methane emissions from agriculture and contribute to the circular economy.

Indeed, biogas production has many benefits that go far beyond the energy sector: it supports jobs, wealth and growth in rural areas, contributes to waste recovery and more sustainable farming, as well as helps EU Member States meet non-ETS targets. The latter is facilitated by the avoidance of emissions from waste and manure. Instead of being discarded or immediately used as fertiliser, they are digested in anaerobic digestors. Anaerobic digestors – the main technology to produce biogas – are mainly manufactured in Europe, contributing to the EU’s leadership in clean gas technologies.

When biogas is upgraded to biomethane, it has the same physical properties as natural gas, except it is a 100% renewable methane (CH4) molecule. Biomethane can be injected into the distribution grid, supplying homes, factories and transport with heat, hot water, and fuel. Several countries are leaders in biomethane production, such as Germany, the UK, Denmark and France. Denmark has already replaced more than 15% of its natural gas consumption with biomethane. France currently leads on biomethane ambitions, with some scenarios indicating the share of biomethane in the gas network can reach 16% in 2030 and up to 73% in 2050. This ambition is today already underpinned through a legal objective to reach 10% of renewable gas in the network by 2030, enshrined into law.

Eurogas believes biogas and biomethane have a central role to play in many EU policy initiatives. They would contribute to the EU’s overall decarbonisation strategy and help deliver on objectives linked to rural empowerment and creating closer local value chains. Having a target for these types of gases would also create a predictable regulatory environment for innovation and investment that is necessary to generate investor confidence and rural involvement in the energy transition, especially as the EU plans a green economic recovery from the Covid-19 crisis.

Team Member Profile: Laura Bosetti

Role: Policy Intern since April 2020. Education: Bachelors in Modern Foreign Languages (English, Spanish and Russian) and a Masters in International Relations and European Studies. Languages: Italian, English, Spanish, Russian, French.

Someone sent me the advert for the internship at Eurogas. They said ‘this is for you.’ My impressions in the first month have surprised me. A lot of young people believe gas is a fossil fuel; it needs to go. But conversation after conversation shows me that this industry’s focus is to look for practical solutions to meet the 2050 goals.

Through university and internships I have spent time in Zagreb, Sofia, and Saint Petersburg. I became really interested in Eastern Europe, the culture and societies and perspectives on life in this area of the world. And I became interested in energy not from a technical perspective necessarily, but from a political point of view.

My previous internship was in the Communications Department at the European Parliament. We wrote a lot about The Green Deal, but from my perspective, it was often very abstract, and the concepts were too disconnected from people’s everyday life. For me, this was the main problem. I don’t think I totally got it. Now I am seeing it from a real and concrete point of view, and I didn’t expect such a practical approach, and I am hearing about solutions I would never have considered before.

I think one challenge for the gas industry is the misconceptions in the public. People know about renewables, and electricity, but they talk about concepts that maybe aren’t realistic or achievable.

Among my peers, I would say the energy industry is more attractive to my female friends than my male friends. I think I know more women that are working in the sector. Possibly because we studied Russian together. But around half of my female friends are employed in energy or energy policy.

Eurogas Art Competition Launched! Europe’s Industrial Energy

The Eurogas Secretariat is launching an art competition, “Europe’s Industrial Energy”. One winner a month will be selected for six months from 1 July 2020 and their work will feature as the cover photo on the Eurogas Twitter page, as well as being promoted across our other channels.

The piece can be a painting, sketch, technical drawing, a blueprint or a photograph, and must depict what the creator considers to show both industrial and energy elements and we would appreciate a short description of the work (maximum of 500 words please) that includes the artist’s name and the piece’s title, as well as the artist’s intention with the piece.

This is a fully inclusive competition. We sincerely encourage submissions from students, school pupils, those working in technical fields, and both amateur and professional artists and photographers in Europe. We will consider all submissions equally.

Please send submissions or any questions to and first submissions gratefully received before 21 June 2020.

Existing or previously published work may be submitted, and we expect the artists to ensure they have the permissions necessary if depicting persons or property. Prizes and copyright fees to be determined.

The Eurogas Team

Coming up – Events

Flame Webinar | 2 June 2020 | 15:00 CET

How well is the US LNG industry responding to 2020’s challenging market conditions? Join the Flame webinar for an in-depth webinar covering shut-ins and cancelled cargoes, the impacts of oil price volatility, the implications of falling spot prices for markets in the long-term, and possible consequences for US projects still in the pipeline.

The webinar will be moderated by Paul Sullivan of Worley, who will be joined by Texas LNG’s Vivek Chandra and ALNGE Pte Ltd’s Principal Consultant, Luc Speeleveld.

Register here. If you can’t make the indicated time, sign up anyway and Flame will send you a link to the recording after the webinar concludes.

EUSEW 2020 and Eurogas Event | 9 June 2020 | 09:30-11:00 CET

Do European industry and consumers need decarbonised and renewable gas to achieve carbon neutrality in 2050?

In the framework of the EU Sustainable Energy Week extended programme, Eurogas will hold an online session with the purpose to provide an in-depth discussion about the role of decarbonised and renewable gas in the energy transition with a focus on European citizens and industry.

The session will explore how can industry decarbonise and what are the best pathways to achieve this in the most cost-effective way. It will also achieve a better understanding of the options for consumers to decarbonise heating and industry to decarbonise its energy use. The focus is on providing answers to questions about what is possible in terms of renewable and decarbonised gas, and also what consumers and industries in Europe need.

CEE SSLNG Conference | 22-23 September 2020

In recent years the SSLNG industry has demonstrated great potential, experts agree that it is still gaining momentum and major gas industry companies are developing and investing in new projects. Vast global natural gas reserves, favorable gas prices and stricter emission regulations are among the factors that make SSLNG so attractive. There is still time to take full advantage of SSLNG, so don’t miss a chance to get latest updates at the 2nd CEE SSLNG Forum in Warsaw on September 22-23. Felicia Mester, Eurogas Policy Advisor for the Wholesale Committee, will be speaking at this event.***

Eurogas Annual Conference | 1 October 2020 | 14:30-18:00 CET

‘A Single Pathway to 2050?’ The Eurogas Annual Conference has been rescheduled from its original date in March. More information will be available in due course.

Flame Conference | 12-13 October 2020

Flame is Europe’s largest and most influential meeting place for the global gas industry, Flame will provide a vital forum for the gas industry to discuss the effects of decarbonisation policy, the security of supply implications of new and existing gas infrastructure, the progress of European gas market integration and the outlook for global LNG supplies.

The conference is renowned for the quality of its speaker faculty, the seniority of its attendees and the scope of its discussions.

Enlit Europe | 27-29 October 2020

Enlit is the new unifying brand for Clarion Energy’s worldwide series of Utility Week and POWERGEN events. A guiding light for the sector that brings clarity to the global energy transformation and defines the roles of all of those involved.

At this conference, the Enlit community will come together for three days in Milan to meet and inspire each other and to develop their discussions and actions into a plan for the coming years.

Click here for more information and join us and 18.000 international power and smart energy professionals, 1.000 exhibiting companies, 40 EU funded projects, and 500 speakers in the Hub Session- and Summit Programme.

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