Independent European gas infrastructure companies Energinet.dk (Denmark), Fluxys Belgium and Gasunie (Netherlands) have signed a joint declaration aimed at establishing a 100% carbon-neutral gas supply in their networks in 2050.
The joint declaration underlines the commitment of the three companies to make their gas systems instrumental in developing a European low carbon economy.
The common goal will be realised by working on a number of different options. The precise mix of options may vary as the specific energy situation differs for each country, but the companies work towards a shared objective of establishing a 100% carbon-neutral gas supply.
Energinet.dk, Fluxys Belgium and Gasunie will exchange know-how, explore options for joint demonstration projects, and work to facilitate the establishment of a well-functioning renewable gas certificate market in Northern Europe. The companies encourage other parties to join their initiative in order to promote a sustainable gas sector.
Peder Østermark Andreasen CEO of Energinet,dk said: “As unbundled gas infrastructure companies we have a key role in ensuring that the European energy system is developed in a way that leads towards a low carbon economy. We have a long strategic planning scope, in which the green vision of Denmark and Europe in 2050 is a key target. That requires cooperation with like-minded partners.
Walter Peeraer, CEO of Fluxys Belgium said: “In the coming decades gas systems have a key role to play in developing a low-carbon economy towards 2050 in the European Union. They offer excellent opportunities to secure an affordable energy supply to European citizens and companies and, at the same time, facilitate the increase of the share of renewable energy.”
Paul van Gelder, CEO of Gasunie, stated: “The ultimate challenge is to carry out the urgently required transition without unacceptable financial burdens for EU citizens and without jeopardising EU energy security. The availability of well-developed gas networks in Europe will help to accommodate the increasing share of renewable energy.”
The companies point out that increasing the share of sustainable ‘green gas’ (biogas processed into natural gas quality) in the gas infrastructure is one of the main routes towards a carbon-neutral gas supply. This green gas will for instance come from fermentation of biological waste residues and from gasification of solid biomass. In addition the companies mention the possibility of enhancing the potential of gas as an efficient storage medium in case of sustainable energy surplus. For example, by converting excess electricity from sustainable solar or wind production into hydrogen, electricity can actually be stored in gas networks and storage installations. This will help the electricity networks to accommodate the large future amounts of sustainable energy supply. Another way of significantly reducing carbon emissions is facilitating the switch from oil to natural gas in the transportation sector, using compressed natural gas in cars and liquefied natural gas for ships and heavy duty trucks. This requires investment in filling stations and bunkering infrastructure.
As additional options towards a sustainable gas system the declaration mentions the potential use of internationally accepted green certificates as defined by the Clean Development Mechanism agreed under the Kyoto protocol. In the long run CO2 storage could also be used for producing Synthetic Natural Gas (SNG) from excess electricity from variable renewable energy sources. In addition it can be expected that over the next 40 years new technologies will emerge that will help to further reduce CO2 emissions from use of natural gas.
LNG World News Staff, June 15, 2012