Thursday, April 15, 2021
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Green gas crucial for a cost-efficient decarbonisation

The Gas for Climate consortium, consisting of ten leading European gas transport companies and two renewable gas industry associations, is urging for additional EU climate and energy policies in order to position Europe on the road to net-zero by 2050.

“In this time of unprecedented public health challenges and economic pressure, climate change mitigation and economic recovery must go hand in hand,” said the 12 CEOs of the consortium. “In the aftermath of the current health crisis, the required EU and national stimulus packages should also be seen as a three-fold opportunity for Europe. Beyond creating economic growth, stimulus packages can drive forward the energy transition and create sustainable jobs.”

According to its new study, the Gas Decarbonisation Pathway 2020-2050 report, the European Union policy framework must adapt to make the gas infrastructure future-proof in an integrated energy system and a key asset for the sustainable and cost-efficient decarbonisation of the European economy.

In order to achieve a 2030 greenhouse gas reduction target of 55 per cent, and climate neutrality by 2050, a series of investments and innovations have to take place. The European Green Deal could facilitate these developments by stimulating the supply of biomethane and hydrogen by a binding mandate for 10 per cent gas from renewable sources by 2030. Furthermore, it could boost cross-border trade and transport of hydrogen and biomethane, clarifying market rules for green and blue hydrogen including for hydrogen transport.

Lastly, the EU could incentivise demand for hydrogen and biomethane in EU industry and production of dispatchable electricity by strengthening and broadening the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) combined with targeted and time-bound Contracts for Difference.

“Our new study offers a pathway towards cost-effective and resilient energy system integration,” the CEOs continued. “We support the transition to a fully renewable energy system in which biomethane and green hydrogen play a major role in a smart combination with renewable electricity and Europe’s well-developed existing infrastructure. We also recognise that blue hydrogen can accelerate decarbonisation efforts and highlight the ability of biomethane combined with CCS [carbon capture and storage] to create negative emissions.”

Already in the 2020s, biomethane production can be accelerated by increased investments in production facilities and by thousands of farmers implementing innovative concepts of sustainable agriculture to produce biogas through double cropping and by adopting organic fertilisation and precision farming. Also, during the 2020s the first large blue hydrogen projects emerge while a solid business case for green hydrogen develops.

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