The Gas for Climate consortium published the Gas Decarbonisation Pathway 2020-2050 study by Guidehouse (formerly Navigant), analysing the transition towards the lowest-cost climate-neutral system by 2050.
The study highlights that additional European Union (EU) climate and energy policies are needed to place Europe on the road to net zero by 2050. Its central and 'aspirational' Accelerated Decarbonisation Pathway looks at the investments and innovations that must take place to achieve a 2030 greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction target of -55% and climate neutrality by 2050.
According to Gas for Climate, the European Green Deal can facilitate these developments and create 'first-mover advantages' for the EU industry by:
- Adapting the EU regulatory framework to make gas infrastructure 'future-proof' in an integrated energy system
- 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 biomethane and hydrogen and clarifying market rules for green and blue hydrogen, including for transport
- Incentivising demand for hydrogen and biomethane by 'strengthening and broadening' the EU Emissions Trading System, combined with targeted and time-bound Contracts for Difference.
The CEOs of the 12 Gas for Climate members said in a joint statement: "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 risks, 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 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 carbon capture and storage to create negative emissions."