Renewable gas pivotal to reaching net-zero GHG in Europe

If Europe is to reduce it greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by the middle of the century, renewable gas used in existing gas infrastructure could play an important role, according to a newly published study.

To comply with the Paris Agreement to keep global warming below 2°C, Europe must meet this net zero GHG goal.

The new study, published by the Gas for Climate initiative, aims to set out a plan to meet this target in a cost-effective way. It argues that renewable gas deployed in the existing infrastructure can be combined with renewable electricity to limit the cost of the energy transition.

It is possible to scale up renewable gas production between now and 2050 to more than 120 million cubic metres annually, the report states. This capacity would include both renewable hydrogen and biomethane.

According to the study, using this renewable gas in existing gas infrastructure for the heating of buildings to produce ‘dispatchable’ electricity as a complement to wind and solar, and to fuel heavy transport, could save about €140 billion annually by 2050, compared to a future energy system without gas.

“We want to facilitate a large scale-up of EU produced renewable hydrogen and biomethane that is transported, stored and distributed through existing gas infrastructure to be used in our energy system in a smart combination with renewable electricity,” the Gas for Climate members say in a joint statement.

“This will help Europe to meet the Paris Agreement target at the lowest possible costs while enhancing Europe’s energy security.”

Initiated in 2017, the Gas for Climate group is made up of seven European gas transport companies, and two renewable gas industry associations – the European Biogas Association and Consorzio Italiano Biogas.

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