Press Release: Green energy market needs strong gas network

Brussels, 23 January 2017: “Low-carbon, efficient and renewable energy that EU citizens can enjoy without sacrifices can only be achieved if a strong gas network is in place”, says Eurogas Secretary General Beate Raabe on the occasion of the presentation by the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas (ENTSOG) of the 2017 edition of its Ten-Year Network Development Plan.

“The Ten-Year Network Development Plan is a reminder that the well-performing gas network we already have in Europe today is an invaluable asset in achieving the EU’s climate and energy goals. Eurogas agrees with ENTSOG that the projects on which final investment decisions have been taken will make a significant contribution to completing that network and that additional projects are only needed in some specific
areas”, Ms Raabe continued. “Such projects should be supported by the market.” Whilst the ENTSOG’s scenarios, in which the EU climate targets are met, result in either an increase or decrease of gas demand by 2030, the indigenous production decline leads to imports increasing or remaining stable (TYNDP – Main report, p. 236). What are the benefits of reinforcing the grid?

Sustainable energy

Switching from coal and oil to gas in power generation, heating and transport vastly reduces emissions of carbon dioxide – up to 50% in power generation – and pollutants such as nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulphur dioxides (SOx) and particles, and it increases energy efficiency. It does so with much less impact and at lower cost than electrification because the existing gas infrastructure, including pipelines, LNG terminals, storage facilities and power plants, require less investment. Moreover, a condensing gas boiler can be bought at a third of the price of an air-heat-pump to heat a family home and is thus a greater incentive to tackle renovation. Over time, the share of renewable gas, such as biomethane and synthetic gas from power-to-gas, can be increased.

Security of energy supply

The current cold winter demonstrates that EU citizens who have access to the gas grid and have opted for gas heating enjoy warm homes. Bulgaria is experiencing an electricity crisis. In Germany there was so little wind and sun in December that thermal power generation had to give its best. The gas grid is flexible and can efficiently balance the large differences in energy demand between summer and winter, be it for heating or to ensure security of electricity supply if sufficient gas power plants are in place.

Diversification of gas supply

Diverse sources and diverse supply routes are essential to optimise both price competition and security of gas supply. The decline in EU indigenous production is being compensated by external supplies arriving as Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) and by pipeline. More LNG terminals have been commissioned in recent years. Major pipelines are being built, such as the Southern Corridor that will carry gas from Azerbaijan to Turkey and the EU, or are in planning. They all confirm the continued importance attached to natural gas in the EU energy mix. In the longer term, renewable gas can increasingly be added.

Note to Editors: Eurogas is an association representing 43 companies and associations engaged in the wholesale, retail and distribution of gas in Europe. Eurogas provides data and information relevant to EU decision makers and opinion formers in making the right policy choices.
Press contact: Kathleen Sinnott,, tel. +32 2 894 48 09
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