Molecules – The Eurogas Newsletter (Summer 2019)

Supporting a Carbon Neutral 2050 – New Eurogas President Philippe Sauquet

Over the next five years EU policy makers will design the laws and regulations that will shape our climate and energy future. Indeed, the designated President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has committed to submit a European Climate Law during her first 100 days in office.

As the new Eurogas president I am proud to announce our association’s support for the European Commission’s vision of a carbon neutral economy by 2050. As one of the first industry associations to endorse this goal, our secretariat will work with legislators throughout Europe to promote policy frameworks that enable a key role for gas in helping progress towards a net zero emissions future. With the support of our members, Eurogas can sucessfully advocate a transition that delivers a diversified, economically and environmentally sustainable energy mix, that offers security of supply, and allows Europe’s competitive industries to continue to thrive.

Throughout my tenure as president I will call on all of our members to work with legislators on  timely and innovative solutions, both technological and legislative, and to demonstrate how gas and gas technologies can enable the energy transition.

For example, enhanced integration between gas and electricity markets through sector coupling can enable far greater energy efficiency, while gas infrastructure can enable the mass deployment and storage of renewables through power-to-gas, converting excess electricity into hydrogen. Finally, in many regions across the EU, gas can still provide quick decarbonisation results when switching from coal-fired power plants.

At Total I manage the gas, renewables and power business. We know that the gas industry will look very different by 2050, particularly through the development of decarbonised and renewable gas. This can be deployed into peoples’ homes, making use of the existing heating systems that many Europeans already have while lowering emissions in the residential heating sector. It can be used in transport, particularly in cities where compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles improve air quality for residents. And gas can help to decarbonise long-haul transport, marine and aviation industries.

Even these measures may not be enough to deliver net zero emissions within the ambitious timeframe set out by the Commission. In addition, carbon sinks, such as carbon capture and storage or forestry, will likely also be required to balance remaining emissions.

But I am excited about our industry’s potential to help advance the energy transition. There is no time to waste and I look forward to leading Eurogas as our members and partners invest in the solutions needed to accomplish our future.

Philippe Sauquet, President Eurogas Association

Eurogas Summer Party – A Renewable Gas BBQ 10 July, Brussels

The Eurogas summer party proved a fun event last week, with a number of original twists! Over 200 guests from companies around Europe, as well as European institutions, NGOs and media outlets attended the party, which included a competition between two chefs, both cooking on renewable gas.

Thanks to all who attended and made the evening so enjoyable!

To be as environmentally friendly as possible, guests were given sustainable bamboo straws for drinks, all served from glass bottles to reduce plastic waste. Music from a jazz guitar ensemble and the conversation of guests filled the air while the chefs cooked delicious and locally produced barbeque food.

The Smarter-E Conference: Getting Ready for Next Year! 17-19 June 2020, Munich

Power to gas will have a role to play in reaching the EU’s long-term decarbonisation targets, and I therefore value the discussion of its potential and to consider also its contribution to the increased sectoral integration that will be necessary to achieve decarbonisation of the energy sector in prestigious and well-known gatherings such as the Smarter E Europe in Munich!

Paula Abreu Marques, Renewables and CCS, European Commission

The 2019 Smarter E exhibition focused on how to develop an advanced, sustainable energy system using storage integration, innovation and sector coupling. More than 50,000 visitors from 162 countries attended as almost 1400 exhibitors covered 100,000m² of exhibition space. The event is Europe’s largest platform for the energy industry, and hosts interesting and insightful conferences debating the energy transition in parallel to the exhibition halls.

In 2020, Eurogas would like to repeat our own excellent experience, as well as offer members the opportunity to promote the ‘Power-to-Gas’ aspect of their business. Your presence would help to highlight the Power-to-Gas technologies and generate interest among visitors and exhibitors, all of whom are seeking new energy solutions and informed discussion and debate.

Eurogas has agreed with the organisers of Smarter E Europe that a Power-To-Gas section will be created, with stalls from Eurogas and member companies.

Eurogas Study: A Pathway to 2050

Eurogas has launched a study on the role of gas in a Paris-compatible EU energy future. In November 2018 the European Commission brought forward its vision for the future of our energy system in 2050, with seven pathways examining the role of different energy sources. In all pathways an important but varying role is outlined for gaseous energy supply.

The study will assess the potentials of natural, renewable and decarbonised gas and how they will support the achievement of the EU’s climate ambitions.

Eurogas will partner with DNV GL for this project. A final report is expected in October.

Gas Terminology – What’s In a Name?

As the EU is gearing up its ambitions to reduce climate change and reduce GHG emissions, stakeholders and policy makers increasingly agree that the energy transition requires using every available solution. Failure to do so would result in missing those objectives and ambitions.

In this context, the gas industry is working together with stakeholders to clarify which solutions exist to decarbonise the EU economy. Renewable gases already exist as a category and are outlined in the renewable energy directive; renewable hydrogen, biomethane and synthetic gas from renewable sources may require clarification with respect to the end use as some of these seem excluded. Two other categories are being proposed, namely decarbonised and low carbon gases. The latter refers to hydrogen produced from decarbonised hydrocarbons through CCS, at an efficiency of more than 60% compared to Steam Methane Reforming without Carbon Capture and Storage. The former, decarbonised gas, refers to hydrogen produced through the most efficient available technologies and capture, with over 90% efficiency. Through the organization of a roundtable to discuss with stakeholders from the policy-maker, regulatory, technical, industry and NGO side, as well as a presentation and subsequent discussion at the Madrid Forum in June, the industry hopes to create clarity and consensus around the solutions which can help pave the way for a decarbonised energy system of the future.

Sector Coupling, Florence School of Regulation Workshop Florence, 5-6 June

When the debate around sector coupling started taking shape in the policy discussion in Brussels a few years ago, one of the first institutes to take a clear stance on the topic was the Florence School of Regulation. As a forum for debates around the future of energy policy, the FSR quickly set up roundtables on the topic and after clarifying that sector coupling was the increased interconnectedness between electricity and gas whilst sectoral integration outlined the impact of several sectors on the energy system in the future, a second roundtable was convened.

This year, the discussion focused on how the development of Power-to-Gas could be facilitated. P2G, refers to the new type sector coupling; rather than the classical flexibility brought by producing electricity from gas, P2G allows for the conversion of electricity into hydrogen through electrolysis technology. This then allows for easy transport of hydrogen, easier storage, and efficient final use in certain key sectors such as industry and transport.

The debate focused around how to help the technology develop and what barriers may currently be hampering the development. Parties concluded that the technology should be market driven but were more or less open to regulated operators building and maintaining such assets for a certain amount of time if there is no market pick up.

Other solutions that could simplify the uptake were avoiding tariff layering for the use of a unit,  requirements for coordinated planning between electricity and gas grids, and that the aim of planning should always be to provide the cheapest solution to decarbonise the system for the final customer.

Coming up!

The 5th edition of Eurogas Central and Eastern European Conference (CEEC), taking place on 7-8 October in Riga is organised with the kind support of Latvijas Gāze and Conexus Baltic Grid. This event will address the issue of “The Baltic Region: Setting the pace for gas market integration”, with a particular focus on the functioning of the regional gas market, as well as the potential of LNG and the value of storage.

Join us for the interesting and engaging debate!
Register by 20 September here.

The International Biogas Congress & Expo (22-23 October, Brussels) aims to bring together leading producers, suppliers, regulators and other engaged organisations over a two-day period. High-level speakers, experts in their field, will address a range of topical issues relating to the biogas sector.

Andreas Guth, Eurogas Policy Director will speak on 22 October.

The European Annual Gas Conference (EAGC) remains Europe’s most renowned commercial & strategic gas conference, attended by over 300 of the most senior executives from the world including major energy customers and end-users, IOCs, NOCs, TSOs, traders and policy-makers as the preferred platform to network with peers, review trends, question policy and agree future strategy.

This event will take place from 5-7 November 2019  in Paris.

James Watson, Eurogas Secretary General will lead a roundtable at this event on 6 November 2019 on “Renewable & Decarbonised ‘Green Gas’ Strategies”.

The European Utility Week with co-located event POWERGEN Europe 12-14 November, Paris
Eurogas is pleased to be a partner of this year’s edition of the European Utility Week and POWERGEN Europe.

The European Utility Week is a large end-to-end energy industry event.  With an expected audience of over 18,000 international power and smart energy professionals. POWERGEN Europe attracts attendees from all of the largest and most influential power providers, utilities, governments and solution providers. It has established itself as the centre point for the power generation sector.

ACI’s 5th Future of Biogas Europe Conference will be taking place in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, on 13 – 14 November 2019.

The two day event will bring together senior executives and experts from the full value chain to provide a forum for all parties active in the field of anaerobic degradation of organic matter and renewable energy production in the form of biogas. Power producers, technology providers, agricultural sector, food and beverage industry, waste industry and leading technology and solution providers are all impacted by the development of Biogas.

The conference will provide a forum to discuss the latest challenges and developments making an impact on the industry.

Andreas Guth, Eurogas Policy Director speak on 13 November 2019.

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