Binding target for renewable gas and future-proof gas infrastructure crucial to achieve cost efficient decarbonisation
New study describes gas decarbonisation pathways from 2020 to 2050 and identifies the required investments to scale-up hydrogen and biomethane.
Large scale production of biomethane and green and blue hydrogen – transported, stored and distributed through existing gas infrastructure – is important to achieve 55% emission reduction by 2030 in a smart combination with renewable electricity.
Coupling the electricity, gas and heat sectors – by linking their markets and their respective infrastructure in a better-coordinated and integrated way – provides the greatest overall benefits for the European energy system.
The European Green Deal can accelerate the transition by (i) mandating 10% gas supply from renewable sources by 2030, by (ii) enabling EU-wide trade and transport of biomethane and hydrogen, and by (iii) strengthening the EU ETS.
Today, the Gas for Climate consortium published the ‘Gas Decarbonisation Pathway 2020-2050′ study by Guidehouse (formerly called Navigant), analysing the transition towards the lowest cost climate neutral system by 2050. Such a fully integrated energy system was described in the Gas for Climate study published in 2019.
This new study highlights that additional EU climate and energy policies are needed to position Europe on the road to net zero by 2050. Its central and aspirational Accelerated Decarbonisation Pathway examines which investments and innovations have to take place in order to achieve a 2030 greenhouse gas reduction target of minus 55%, and climate neutrality by 2050. The European Green Deal can facilitate these developments, which will accelerate emission reductions, create sustainable EU jobs, and create first mover advantages for EU industry by:
- Adapting the EU regulatory framework to make gas infrastructure future proof in an integrated energy system. It will be a key asset for the sustainable and cost-efficient decarbonisation of the European economy.
- Stimulating the production of biomethane and hydrogen by a binding mandate for 10% gas from renewable sources by 2030.
- Fostering cross-border trade and transport of hydrogen and biomethane and clarifying market rules for green and blue hydrogen including for hydrogen transport. A well-functioning Guarantee of Origin system will be crucial in this.
- Incentivising demand for hydrogen and biomethane by strengthening and broadening the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) combined with targeted and time-bound Contracts for Difference.
The CEOs of the twelve Gas for Climate members said: “In this time of unprecedented public health challenges and economic pressure, climate change mitigation and economic recovery must go hand in hand. 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”
“Our new study offers a pathway towards cost-effective and resilient energy system integration. 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 to create negative emissions.”