Editorial: James Watson, Secretary General
Welcome to the October issue of Molecules. It has been another busy month with plenty of good events including the World Hydrogen Forum in Amsterdam, the first European Commission forum on Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) and the European Net Zero Alliance’s debut appearance at EU Sustainable Energy Week. We’re pleased to share this podcast from the EUSEW event. You can listen to ENZA Chair and Cepi Director General, Jori Ringman, discuss cross sector cooperation with Eurogas Communications Director, Bronagh O’Hagan.
We also travelled to Munich for one of the first in-person conferences in a long time, the Green Hydrogen Forum at the smarter E. Bronagh joined a panel there to talk about the potential of gas infrastructure for hydrogen in the energy transition. We’ve included the highlights of her intervention below.
With more good news, we’re happy to say that the Ready4H2 project has been launched. It’s an initiative bringing European DSOs together to share their knowledge, experience and policy recommendations to scale up hydrogen production and its network integration. We are very proud to say that some of our members are among the participating DSOs. Tobias Anderson from EVIDA has more detail below.
In the wake of the Commission’s forum, Guloren Turan from Global CCS Institute shares their perspective on how we can gain momentum on this. At Eurogas we see that alongside overall emissions reductions, CCS is a vital tool in achieving climate ambition, scaling the hydrogen economy and keeping industries competitive as they decarbonise.
This month we also hosted a joint event with our social partners EPSU and IndustriAll, and the European Commission’s Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion. We discussed a just and inclusive transition and a roadmap for upskilling and reskilling workers. In case you missed the event, you can rewatch it here.
Looking to the month ahead, we’ll be travelling to Athens on 16 November for our first Eurogas Annual Regional Conference ‘Greece: The Energy Transition and the Role of Gas’. We’ll be discussing the importance of coal to gas switching and regional specificities for the energy transition in Greece. The event will be hybrid, you can join us online or there in person in Athens.
See you there and in the meantime – stay safe,
Bronagh O’Hagan, Communications Director: H2 in the pipe, bottleneck or backbone?
This month, we travelled to Munich for the Green Hydrogen Forum, part of Smarter E Europe. I joined a panel moderated by Olivier Bucheli of the European Fuel Cell Forum to answer the question Is Hydrogen in the Pipe a bottleneck or backbone?
Eurogas is committed to decarbonising the gas sector soon after 2045. In terms of how we can get there, our Pathways study shows a declining role for natural gas by 2050, while overall gaseous energy in the mix would increase 18%. The difference would be made up by renewable and low carbon gases, including hydrogen. To make that a reality, we need to quickly develop the market for hydrogen. Distribution grids are perfectly placed to connect to decentralised renewable energy production on one end, and end-users at the other. Through blending, we can start feeding end uses, increase demand and bring down the costs, including for green hydrogen. To be clear, we do not see blending as the end game, rather as a means to quickly achieve emissions reductions while developing the hydrogen economy.
During the panel, I talked through how the role of gases can be optimised in various sectors. For example, in power generation natural gas turbines offer emissions reductions between 50-70% compared to coal. Turbines can already handle up to 30% hydrogen, and the industry is committed to being capable of 100% co-firing by 2030. Getting hydrogen into the mix in this way now provides immediate emissions reductions with the potential of more to come. These turbines can provide increasingly decarbonised electricity and heat for local networks, during times when renewables need backup.
There are plenty of other applications, I touched on buildings and manufacturing as other sectors where blending will play a role. In the case of manufacturing it will be key to keeping many industries competitive, as they decarbonise. Renewable and low carbon gases will provide decarbonised power and feedstocks, and the development of gas technologies will help create new job opportunities. This is true whether we are talking about blue hydrogen, think of the job potential associated with CCS/CCUS, or green hydrogen where Europe has a climate leadership opportunity in electrolysers manufacturing.
So to wrap up, from Eurogas’ perspective, it is clear that hydrogen in the pipe is not a backbone yet but it’s certainly not a bottleneck. Rather, it is a crucial building block to delivering on our 2030 and 2050 climate ambition.
Bronagh O’Hagan, Communications Director, Eurogas
Global CCS Institute: CCS momentum
Now is truly an exciting time for CCS. The Global CCS Institute’s flagship report ‘the Global Status of CCS’, released on October 12th, shows that in 2021 the global CCS facility pipeline continued to grow for the fourth year in row, increasing by almost a third, year on year. In the first nine months alone, more than 70 new facilities were added to the database, bringing the total number to 135: 27 of which are operating, 4 under construction and the remainder at various stages of development.
When we look at the drivers behind the CCS momentum, undoubtedly themost prominent one is the adoption of more ambitious climate targets and increased action. Net zero commitments by hundreds of countries and thousands of companies have indeed driven home the necessity of CCS and initiated a virtuous cycle. Governments have reacted by strengthening policies to enable private sector investment in CCS. The private sector, seeing a strengthening business case for CCS, is responding by advancing new projects and developing new business models to reduce costs and risks. The role of CCS in supporting the production of low carbon hydrogen and in direct carbon removal, both essential in a net-zero world, is also accelerating investments in CCS.
CCS is a key carbon management tool for natural gas. In fact, most of the earlier applications of CCS were in gas processing, where it is relatively simple and lower cost to inject the CO2 that is stripped from the gas before putting it into pipelines. Natural gas plants combined with CCS provide low-carbon, dispatchable power, which is becoming increasingly important as we have more renewables in the system. There is growing interest and plans to build these, particularly in the US and the UK. Blue hydrogen is becoming a key driver for CCS and indeed of the 71 facilities we added to our database in 2021, 18 of them involve blue hydrogen production. A new, emerging application for CCS is LNG in the liquefaction process and we are seeing several LNG facilities in the US planning to adopt this. Finally, there will be some emissions that we cannot feasibly mitigate, and CCS can help facilitate removing these from the atmosphere.
Whilst the progress we had over the past four years is really encouraging, it is nowhere near enough. If we are to meet our climate targets, CCS capacity needs to increase by a factor of 100 over the next thirty years. This requires governments and businesses to work hand in hand: governments to put in place supportive policies to enable robust business models, and the private sector to step up, invest, build and operate the CCS projects. Thankfully we are starting to see this happen, but we need a lot more urgency.
Guloren Turan, Global CCS Institute
Ready4H2: Exploring hydrogen potential in Europe
Hydrogen is key to the European energy transition and gas DSOs across Europe are a natural part of the rapid hydrogen development expected in years to come. For decades, distribution networks have shown the ability to deliver cost-effective and safe gas transportation and distribution. We have built up extensive knowledge and experience that can contribute to the transformation of European energy infrastructure.
That is why we decided to launch the ‘Ready4H2’ initiative. We want to share existing knowledge on how the gas distribution networks around Europe can support the build-up of a strong hydrogen market. This will create a common European understanding on how to transform gas distributors towards climate neutrality. As DSOs, we want to make sure that our knowledge and experience in working closely with local hydrogen actors is communicated in meaningful policy recommendations.
We need a holistic European approach to developing an efficient hydrogen network. We look forward to working together to share our experiences and best practices to get a clear picture of development pathways for renewable and low-carbon gas injection. Through this project, EU policymakers will have the necessary information and tools to roll out a comprehensive regulatory framework that will work for the benefit of European citizens and the objective of climate neutrality.
The decentralised nature of DSOs is an advantage in local hydrogen production and distribution. We are looking forward to analysing gas grids. We want to understand how the DSOs can contribute to unlocking decentralised hydrogen production and consumption through cost-effective injection solutions.
We believe that DSOs are key to unlocking the scale-up of hydrogen production in Europe. With the Ready4H2 initiative, we will explore how the distribution networks can realise the huge growth potential and deliver the CO2 reduction potential of hydrogen utilisation.
Tobias Fårup Andersen, Evida
A Green Deal for Clean High Quality Jobs and Growth in Europe driven by the Energy Sector?
In the framework of the EU Sustainable Energy Week, Eurogas, industriAll Europe and EPSU co-organised an online event. It looked at the importance of anticipating changes for the workforce and dialogue between employers and workers’ representatives. Our thanks to all involved and everyone who tuned in. Watch the full event above.
Events – Coming up
SAVE THE DATE | Eurogas Annual Conference ‘Shaping the Future of Gas’ | 17 March 2022, 15:00-18:15 (Renaissance Hotel, Brussels)
First Eurogas Annual Regional Conference ‘Greece: The Energy Transition and the Role of Gas’ | 16 November 2021 in Athens & online (10:00-12:35 EET/ 09:00-11:35 CET)
Eurogas, with the kind support of its member DEPA COMMERCIAL, is pleased to announce its first Eurogas Annual Regional Conference ‘Greece: The Energy Transition and the Role of Gas’ taking place on 16 November 2021 in Athens and online (10:00-12:35 EET/ 09:00-11:35 CET).
As part of the event, a visit by bus in the historical centre of Athens starting at 17:15 (EET) and a dinner at 20:00 (EET) are scheduled on 15 November 2021.
Join this event, register here!
Online workshop for Eurogas members | 10 November 2021 (09:30-10:30 CET)
Enea Consulting is pleased present to Eurogas members its “Energy Transition” eligibility evaluation methodology.
Digitalisation of gas distribution networks: a key enabler for the energy transition | 9 December 2021 (09:30-11:00 CET)
GEODE, CEDEC, GD4S and Eurogas are pleased to present you a webinar on ‘Digitalisation of gas distribution networks: a key enabler for the energy transition’ taking place online on 9 December 2021, 09:30-11:00 (CET) (Zoom).
The event will address how innovative digital technologies are contributing to the decarbonisation of Europe, delivering the objectives of carbon neutrality before 2050 and the benefit such technologies bring to the EU in terms of clean tech industrial leadership.
See the programme here and join the conversation!
The annual congress gat | wat is the leading event of the energy associations in Germany, namely BDEW and DVGW and includes participants from political parties, energy and water industry, suppliers and consultancies.
25 October-12 December 2021, online
24-25 November 2021, Köln
Further information on this event is available here.
Eurogas is pleased to be a partner at the gat | wat 2021.
Enlit 2021 | 30 November – 2 December 2021
Enlit is the new unifying brand for Clarion Energy’s worldwide series of Utility Week and POWERGEN events.
At the physical European event, the Enlit community will come together for three days in Milan from 30 November – 2 December 2021 to meet and inspire each other and to develop their discussions and actions into a plan for the coming year. And so the Enlit circle begins: a constantly growing, inclusive and end-to-end forum that addresses every aspect of Europe’s energy transition.
Connect. Inspire. Evolve.
For further information on Enlit Europe, please see here.
Eurogas is pleased to be a partner at Enlit 2021. Eurogas will speak at this event.
Meet Eurogas at the booth 12.G60!