Policy Priority: Research & innovations

Research and innovation

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Deploying more decarbonised and renewable energy sources is vital to reaching the EU’s ambitious 2030 targets. Natural gas can make a significant contribution to reducing CO2 emissions while complementing the expansion of renewable energies. Decarbonised and renewable gas has an essential role to play in delivering clean energy for all Europeans.

Additionally, gas can be decarbonised via carbon capture and storage (CCS). It can also be (and increasingly is) produced from renewable sources, providing biogas, hydrogen or synthetic gas from power-to-gas processes.

As the fossil fuel with the lowest CO2 emissions, natural gas can make a significant contribution to reducing overall CO2 emissions, complementing the expansion of energy from renewable sources.

Renewable gas is not necessarily in competition with renewable electricity; rather, it can play a supporting role. Like natural gas, renewable gas can provide electricity backup to variable renewable sources such as solar and wind power. It can play the same role in heating, when electric heat pumps become inefficient at lower temperatures. Combining electricity and gas grids is the best way to create the secure, competitive and sustainable low-carbon energy system of the future.

Creating the low-carbon energy world of the future needs new ideas. While important, electrification is not the silver bullet. Innovative gas technologies, such as power-to-gas, fuel cells and micro-CHP, provide additional solutions for challenges arising from the energy transition.

Power-to-gas, which converts surplus electricity from renewable sources into renewable gas, is an ideal solution to use the existing gas infrastructure as a flexible storage device.

Fuel cells and micro-CHPs are highly efficient technologies that provide secure and clean energy. Both technologies can be used to produce heat and electricity at home, or to provide surplus electricity to a local grid.