The existing European gas infrastructure, including its 2.2 million kilometres of gas pipelines, storage and LNG facilities, ensure secure energy delivery to all sectors of the economy, and provide the flexibility needed to meet daily, weekly, seasonal variations and peak energy demand. It can also be used to receive, dispatch and carry renewable and decarbonised gas in the future, helping to deliver carbon neutrality.
Clear rules are needed to facilitate the integration of renewable and decarbonised gas into the gas infrastructure, particularly hydrogen. To increase market uptake and maintain the interoperability of the EU gas infrastructure, technical rules should enable and foster the blending of hydrogen and methane in the short and mid-term.
Investments in the gas infrastructure will deliver the deployment of decarbonisation technologies – carbon capture and storage (CCS), power-to-gas, hydrogen and biomethane. They all support the achievement of the 2050 carbon neutrality target.
Gas infrastructure will also carry renewable and decarbonised gas, which will ensure that Europe can achieve its ambition of carbon neutrality in 2050 in a cost-efficient way through new and existing technologies to satisfy end-user demand.
Diversified sources of gas and available infrastructure are healthy for the overall performance of the gas market. LNG plays a major role in diversifying supply and improving energy security. In addition, connects to global gas markets, brings more liquidity and decreases prices for consumers.
Using LNG also contributes to improving air quality: thanks to its gaseous nature, LNG provides a particle free combustion thereby reducing the mass of emitted particulate matter by up to 95% compared to diesel and up to 99% compared to heavy fuel oil operations.
The energy storage challenge cannot be solved by electricity solutions alone. Gas storage can realistically provide the needed flexibility, volume of energy at scale and at the right moment both through gas to power and power to gas solutions.
The existing gas storage capacity ensures that Europe’s heating needs can be affordably met, and that power can be competitively generated at any time.
All solutions will be needed to reach carbon neutrality. This includes decarbonised gas – hydrogen from natural gas in combination with carbon capture and utilisation or storage.
Appropriate policies are needed that enable the transportation of CO2 as a regulated activity, including in an offshore environment. National Regulatory Authorities should be given mandates to oversee such activities. The cross-border transport of CO2 for offshore storage must be enabled.