News Archives

Jul 2017

  • Watch new GasNaturally President Marco Alvera’s welcome message

    Marco Alverà, President of GasNaturally and CEO of SNAM, explains how natural gas can contribute to reaching the EU’s climate and energy targets by reducing emissions, tackling energy poverty and integrating renewables into the energy system.

    Watch video here

    12 July 2017 - Read more
  • IOGP's Positions on the Clean Energy Package

    07 July 2017 - Read more
  • Gas is one of the safest bets for EU’s energy and climate success

    Europe will need gas to make renewables work. One of my principal aims as the new president of GasNaturally will be to engage with our partners and policymakers and explain why gas is one of the safest bets if we want EU energy and climate policy to be a success, writes Marco Alverà.

    Marco Alverà is the president of GasNaturally, a grouping of European gas explorers, producers and distributors.

    At this stage, the advantages of gas as a cleaner alternative to coal are well known. But there is one aspect which is sometimes overlooked in the pursuit of delivering policy: affordability.

    If consumers have difficulties paying their bills due to costs associated with the greater share of renewables in the energy mix, the transition to a cleaner system could face strong opposition from the public.

    If governments choose this path, they will face a public backlash at some point and will have to slow the adoption of cleaner technologies, jeopardising the overall process. There is a risk that if consumers can’t have affordable heating, they will make their governments feel the heat. Governments need gas to ensure that renewables are accepted by the public. Gas is needed to make renewables work.

    There are a few things we can do, however, to achieve a low-carbon economy at a lower price tag.

    We already know that switching away from coal to gas in power generation – where coal contributes around 80% of the sector’s carbon emissions – will cut CO2 emissions by half. This can be done by restarting existing gas plants and even converting coal plants to gas plants at a limited cost.

    When it comes to heating, electrification raises costs for consumers. In Europe, electricity is three times more expensive than gas per kWh. Despite falling prices for certain technologies, this gap is expected to widen in the years to come as electricity infrastructure needs to be reinforced and large-scale storage becomes necessary. In terms of efficiency, gas appliances are among the most efficient and cheapest to run, especially compared to electric versions.

    Gas – compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) – is also well suited for transport, representing a cost-effective solution for reducing carbon emissions and improving air quality. Beyond the road transport sector, these technologies are also able to deliver environmental benefits for the marine sector, when used in river barges and sea/ocean-going ships.

    Some advocate mass electrification of various sectors as the best way forward. However, this would jeopardise the security of energy supply, restrict choices and unnecessarily add cost to consumers’ bills due to the large investments that would be needed to renew and expand electricity infrastructure in a short time.

    Existing gas infrastructure can carry energy across the continent at a much lower cost than new electricity infrastructure. It can simultaneously provide the option of large-scale energy storage by converting excess electricity from solar and wind sources into synthetic gas.

    R&D funding should therefore focus on emerging technologies, such as carbon capture and storage, power-to-hydrogen or methane, and any other promising, non-mature technologies. Subsidies for mature technologies, which are already competitive, only inflate consumer energy bills and need to be phased out.

    Finally, the safe production of gas here in Europe deserves to be maximised to preserve and extend diversification of energy supplies, create jobs and a strong supply chain, and generate government revenues.

    Our industry is committed to helping the EU achieve its climate and energy objectives. We are also committed to providing affordable energy to consumers. But we will only succeed in modernising our energy system if European consumers support this effort, which is conditional on their ability to pay their bills.

    In short, our objective is clear: to rapidly build a cleaner, reliable and affordable energy system for all consumers. The optimum, direct route to achieving this is by combining natural gas and renewables.

    If we do not get the approach right, we risk alienating consumers, who are crucial in enabling the energy transition.

    Let’s prove that clean energy and affordable bills can go together.

    04 July 2017 - Read more
  • Debate hosted by MEP Adina-Ioana Valean finds gas is key to delivering effective & affordable Clean Energy Package

    A dinner debate on the Clean Energy Package, hosted last night in the European Parliament by MEP Adina-Ioana Valean, Chairwoman of the ENVI Committee, found that gas is a flexible and an affordable fuel which can reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality in all energy sectors.

    In her remarks, MEP Valean emphasised that gas can contribute to achieving the energy transition. “Natural gas, which is still largely produced in Europe, can help in achieving the objectives of the Clean Energy Package in a cost-effective way and reduce emissions in heating, power generation and transport,” said Ms V?lean.

    The newly appointed GasNaturally President, Marco Alverà, who is also the CEO of the Italian gas TSO Snam, added: “The gas industry sees the Clean Energy Package as a key step forward in putting consumers back at the heart of energy policies and reinforcing energy market principles.”

    Mr Alverà further stressed that the most cost-effective way to achieve the EU’s climate and energy goals is to combine gas and renewable electricity. “Ensuring access to both clean and affordable energy is clearly a priority for Europe and for our industry. As the EU prepares to tackle this issue, it will be crucial to keep in mind that gas is three times cheaper than electricity,[1]said Mr Alverà.

    He added that domestic gas production, the existing gas infrastructure, including storage and LNG, help to create a liquid market and provide the flexibility needed to integrate an increasing share of variable renewables into the EU energy mix. “What is more, gas can also be renewable, efficiently transported and stored in the existing infrastructure, thus facilitating Europe’s energy transition,” – concluded GasNaturally President.

    Together with Marco Alverà, GasNaturally and its members will continue dialogue with EU policymakers and stakeholders on the secure and resilient energy system for EU consumers.

     

     
     


    [1] Report ‘Energy prices and costs in Europe’, European Commission, COM (2016) 769 final.

    04 July 2017 - Read more

Jun 2017

  • Snam CEO Marco Alverà appointed first GasNaturally President

    BRUSSELS, June 13th, 2017: Marco Alverà, Chief Executive Officer of Snam, has been appointed as the first President of GasNaturally, the partnership representing the European gas industry.


    “I am pleased and honoured to serve as GasNaturally President,” said Mr. Alverà. “Tackling climate challenge and improving air quality in our communities are two of the most pressing issues of our time. Natural gas can help find a solution to both.”


    “I look forward to fostering the cooperation within our industry and with the renewable energy industry to underline the crucial role that gas can play in producing electricity, heating our homes as well as in powering our transport. Modern technologies are making gas a compelling and readily available fuel to achieve EU 2030 targets and beyond.” – added Mr. Alverà.


    A graduate in Philosophy and Economics from the London School of Economics, Marco Alverà has considerable experience in the natural gas business and, more generally, in the energy sector. During his career, he has held positions of increasing responsibility first at Enel, where between 2002 and 2004 he closely followed the development of the gas business of the company and the IPO of Terna, and at Eni, where between 2005 and 2015 he managed the most important domestic and international matters in the natural gas business. He was appointed CEO of Snam in April 2016.


    “GasNaturally’s members and myself look forward to continuing our constructive dialogue with EU policymakers and stakeholders on the solutions needed to position gas as a pillar of a sustainable energy mix and deliver the energy transition in a way which benefits all and leaves no consumer behind” Mr. Alverà stated.

    Download this press release in pdf here

    13 June 2017 - Read more
  • Eurogas views on the Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Promotion of the Use of Energy from Renewable Sources (Recast)

    06 June 2017 - Read more

Apr 2017

Mar 2017

Feb 2017

  • Implementing the Energy Union – Gas helps turning ideas into action

    The Energy Union was one of the major initiatives that the present European Commission launched when it was appointed in 2014. It even created a specific Vice-President position to oversee its execution.

    More than two years on – and thousands of pages in legislative documents later – the Commission is now getting to grip with the implementation of the Energy Union.

    Listening to the Vice-President for the Energy Union Maros Sefcovic going through his second State of the Energy Union speech, I have to say I feel proud to see how our industry, and GasNaturally, are contributing to turn ideas into action.

    Here are four key elements:

    • Energy poverty: putting the consumer at the centre. Ensuring access to affordable energy is clearly a priority for Europe. As the EU prepares to tackle the issue, it will be crucial to keep in mind that gas is three times cheaper than electricity, according to the EU’s own numbers. And this is certainly not a call to increase taxes on gas, but rather to recall a very important reality.[1]
    • Energy security: Alongside the more traditional gas pipe supplies, new Liquefied Natural Gas terminals are helping to diversify the sources of the EU gas supply. Building on a reliable, existent gas network, the ability to import LNG makes our supplies even more secure (don’t forget: more than half of the gas the EU uses is produced domestically and in Norway).   
    • Energy efficiency: This is really not rocket science - consuming less energy makes it cleaner, more secure and cheaper. A large part of European citizens use gas to heat their homes and their water, which means that a switch to new boilers – that are much more efficient – could save them good money, just as it would limit greenhouse gas emissions.  
    • Decarbonization: I left this last because this is Europe’s ultimate, overarching priority: deliver on its climate ambitions and on the Paris Agreement. The best demonstration that gas can easily help deliver on these goals is fresh data from a joint analysis of two environmental think-tanks, Sandbag and Agora Energiewende: “EU power emissions fell 4.5% in 2016, primarily through a huge switch from coal generation to gas generation,” they said in presenting their most recent report.

    The European gas industry is committed to help Vice-President Maros Sefcovic and his team to deliver on the Energy Union objectives.

    By François-Régis Mouton, Chairman of GasNaturally

    [1]   Report ‘Energy prices and costs in Europe’, European Commission, COM(2016) 769 final. Figure 3 in this report shows that the energy component of average EU household retail electricity prices equals around 75€/MWh, and for industry – slightly over 50€/MWh (Figure 6). Figure 10 shows that the energy component of average EU household retail gas prices accounts for around 35€/MWh, and for industry – slightly over 25€/MWh (Figure 12).

    01 February 2017 - Read more

Jan 2017

  • What future for gas in a decarbonised world?

    Gas markets are at a crossroad. Not long ago, it was common to see headlines such as “Gas, no longer the fuel of choice” or “The golden age of gas: gone for good?” Did that mean the end of gas as a result of the rapid expansion of renewable energy?

    Then, natural gas became known as the “bridge fuel”. Given that natural gas is the least carbon intensive fossil fuel, and that it will take time to scale-up Renewable Energy Sources (RES) sufficiently to meet the Paris Agreement (PA) objectives, some have suggested delivering the energy transition in two stages: first by moving from coal to natural gas, then from natural gas to RES. The latest IEA World Energy Outlook sees gas as the fastest growing fossil fuel and overtaking coal as the dominant fuel in the global energy mix. This is why gas became known as the “transition fuel” or “bridge fuel”.  However, studies[1] have shown that the PA objectives could not be met only by substituting coal with gas. Moreover, it could lock in long lifetime investments in gas, which could become stranded assets as a result of RES growth.

    The rapid expansion of RES does not mean the end of gas or relinquishing its “bridge fuel’ title. There is a third possibility, as in practice RES need gas. Gas and RES are complementary rather than substitute. Implementation of the PA requires full decarbonisation of the power systems. To integrate a high level of renewable energy, power systems need flexibility to cope with the stress resulting from sudden and unpredictable variations in availability, which is characteristic of renewable energy. And gas can provide the solution, as gas fired power generation units have short start-up times and rapid ramp-up rates, which means that they can provide more flexibility to a power system than any other power generation technologies (with the exception of pumped storage hydro). So natural gas is the balancing fuel of choice, to offset unexpected lack of availability of RES units.

    However, natural gas can play the role of balancing fuel only if the gas system is itself sufficiently flexible. In a system with economic dispatching and a low level of RES, gas-fired power generation assets are usually operated to provide base-load or mid-merit power, or, in the case of simple cycle gas turbines, peaking power and gas consumption follows a predictable profile. In a system with high shares of variable RES where gas units are following the variable net load, the demand for gas at system and unit level becomes more variable and difficult to anticipate. The flexibility of gas-fired generators may be limited by the flexibility of the gas supply. To maintain flexibility, gas infrastructure will need the capability to handle sudden up and down swings in gas demand. Gas contracting practices can also affect supply flexibility.

    Moreover, relegating gas to a mere backup fuel implies that much of the existing infrastructure may be underutilised, making it difficult to guarantee the profitability of gas power plants, and therefore attract investors. Capacity Remuneration Mechanisms (CRM) may then be justified. In that perspective, the “Energy Winter Package”, published by the Commission on the 30th November last year, limits eligibility to CRM to plants emitting less than 550gCO2/kWh. Only the most flexible and least CO2 intensive power plants meet that criteria, and they are mostly gas fired. Invariably, most gas-fired plants, with the exception of the oldest OCGTs, meet the criteria.

    So there is a role for gas in a decarbonised world, but not an easy one.  To keep its position, gas has to change, adapt and be flexible. It needs to stay on its toes all the time, watching out for the rapidly declining cost of storage, batteries in particular, that may affect its role both as bridge fuel and balancing fuel, but especially the latter as storage can provide the balancing requirements for the whole power system.

    By Silvia Pariente-David, Energy Consultant, formerly Senior Energy Specialist, World Bank



    [1] Laconde Thibault, Accord de Paris : Quelles implications économiques et technologiques ?, Energie & Développement, April 2016

    UK Energy Research Center, The Future Role of Gas in the UK, February 2016

    25 January 2017 - Read more

Nov 2016

  • The EU Power Market Design: planning for success, without discrimination

    The European Commission’s upcoming proposal for a new design of the electricity market will aim to set the bloc on track for lowering emissions and better integrate more variable renewables.

    To be sustainable and limit the cost on Europe’s consumers, this proposal will have to be well thought-through. Among the essential consideration, policy makers should recognize that using existing flexibility offered by both gas fired power plant and gas infrastructure combined with renewables can form the core of the electricity system. Also, to achieve a truly integrated power market, they should ensure that subsidies are removed and that all the participants in the electricity market can compete on a level playing field.

    Indeed, subsidies for mature technologies should be phased out.  Costs that are currently socialised should instead be targeted at those causing them.

    This can be done through pricing of carbon emissions as well as charging full value for the provision of flexible plants to balance electricity production and also charging full value for transmission.

    However, this is only one half of the story.

    Another important element is non-discriminatory access to the market for all: no-one should be given priority. Along with the responsibility of bearing their costs, all market participants should also be offered the opportunity to generate revenue by providing services, for example in the balancing markets. Similarly, renewables should not be the only ones to be given priority when curtailments are required – the two go hand-in-hand.

    The opening up of the UK gas market in the 1990s is a good example. Initially, new companies entering the market to sell their gas had no responsibility for balancing the system, with the incumbent having to retain responsibility for this. As the market share of the new entrants grew, this position became untenable and they had to take on responsibility of balancing their own portfolios. Crucially, they were also given an equal opportunity to generate revenue from the newly-created balancing market by bidding in flexibility available to them (both on the demand and supply side).

    In today’s electricity market, it will be important to put in place incentives on both suppliers and consumers to balance demand and supply by ensuring that the prices emerging when the two don’t match do reflect the real-time cost of the electricity produced to re-balance that relationship. But, given that flexibility will become increasingly crucial, it will be equally important to open balancing markets to all types of electricity sources, with no discrimination.

    A few other, more technical things need to be done as soon as possible: the introduction of a reference intraday market price before 2020; the shortening of the gate closure time and making full use of interconnection capacity.  Additionally, a European based approach to system adequacy should be adopted with a consistent approach being taken towards assessing the need for and if necessary the implementation of capacity remuneration mechanisms.

     

    “Achieving a level playing field” is an abused expression – including in Brussels. It is however key here: we need to avoid any misallocation of costs and also any discrimination in terms of market access, if we are serious about ensuring that the power sector is able to further reduce carbon emissions, cost-effectively and without distorting the workings of the EU’s internal market. For the power market reforms to be a success, market participants must wholeheartedly embrace this principle rather than argue for exemptions.

    By Malcolm Rice-Jones, Chairman of GasNaturally's Power Generation Task Force

    22 November 2016 - Read more
  • Innovation with Gas

     It is acknowledged that 80-95% decarbonisation will require a bold, integrated approach to building a new sort of energy system. The Energy Union recognises that in order that this transformation is delivered in a secure and affordable way to Europe’s citizens, we need a bold and innovative approach to make it a reality.

    The move towards a future incorporating increasingly large amounts of renewable energy will help us achieve the goals of decarbonisation. However, making best use of the renewable resources available to us and integrating them into our energy system, requires us to look at how we can adapt what we have today to continue ensuring maximum security, reliability and cost-effectiveness in the future.  Trying to achieve deep levels of decarbonisation through electrification alone may prove to be challenging from a technical perspective, increasingly expensive and ultimately unsustainable.

    In this context, the gas industry is embracing a paradigm shift concerning what its infrastructure can and will contribute for a future energy system. Unlike many forms of renewable energy, gaseous energy (i.e. gas in its ‘natural’ and renewable forms e.g. biogas/methane, synthetic gas) is dispatchable and storable. Moreover, gas networks can provide adaptable, responsive, efficient and reliable energy, readily accommodating rapid shifts in demand which often greatly exceed the entire capacity of national electricity transmission systems. Increasingly the gas networks can be, and indeed some already are, transporting renewable gas.

    As more variable renewable energy is deployed in line with the EU’s ambitious targets, innovation will lead to improvements in energy efficiency, demand side response measures and improvements in batteries and other technologies for electricity storage. These are important developments, but alone will not achieve the extent of system flexibility we need to integrate variable renewables and achieve 80-95% CO2 reductions.

    The amount of flexible, daily, and seasonal storage needed to cost effectively integrate more and more intermittent renewable generation will require an energy vector that can reconcile large swings in demand with swings in electricity production from variable renewable sources. Natural gas and its transmission and distribution networks are already providing such a vector. Additionally, substituting coal with gas in power generation can help in reducing CO2 emissions and will have a substantially positive impact on air quality and consequently on human health, especially in urban areas.   In the longer term, Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) could play an important role in a low-emission energy system, further reducing emissions from gas-fired power plants, is currently being tested in other parts of the world. Excess renewable electricity beyond grid capacity, which is increasingly being wasted, can be turned into renewable gas. Moreover, innovative addition of renewably-derived gaseous energy to an integrated gas network with vast storage capacity can put a stop to this wasteful curtailment of excess electricity production.  This unlocks the gates that are currently limiting the deployment of intermittent renewable energy production, while at the same time providing the electricity grid the flexibility to operate effectively within its storage constraints. This is the concept of power to gas, which is gaining increasing attention across the energy world.

    This week is Gas Week in Strasbourg. This year, GasNaturally will hold a number of events focusing on innovation from gas, in partnership with renewables, in power generation, heating and transportation, and the role of gas in improving air quality. The gas industry will showcase what it already does and what it’s capable of delivering in the future through the use of gas as a renewable energy vector to shape the European energy system. From their side, EU policy makers can contribute by ensuring the right framework conditions.

    A resilient Energy Union will only be successful in the long run if the fifth innovation pillar is successful. Indeed, the other four pillars depend on it. Without innovation in a way that provides the needed support to the other pillars, we cannot succeed. Innovation with gas can help us decarbonise faster and at a lower cost than electricity alone. The gas industry is ready to play its part in the EU energy transition. See you in Strasbourg!

    By  Robert Judd, Secretary General of GERG and Kyriakos Gialoglou, Vice-Chairman of GasNaturally

     

     

    21 November 2016 - Read more
  • Three moves to turn COP22 into action

    Last year, it was Paris. The climate change deal – struck by the almost 200 national delegations – has changed the perspective in which policymakers, and industry, look at addressing climate challenge: since then, there is a pre- and a post-Paris Agreement era.

    Now, it is Marrakesh. The almost 200 governments meeting in Morocco’s former imperial city will have to get to the nitty gritty of how to deliver on the commitments they made to fulfil the Paris Agreement .

    As with Paris, I am now really looking forward to going to Marrakesh and speaking at the event that GasNaturally is organizing to focus on how the combination between gas and renewable energy can help face the climate challenge while still providing enough energy for the growing world population.

    Indeed, GasNaturally plans to bring the gas industry’s voice to Marrakesh. We welcomed the Paris Agreement, as it is truly global. Now, we believe that we can help turn words into action. With the three following concrete actions, countries could set themselves on the right path to limit emissions, while providing the energy needed by a growing world population: 

    First: they should ditch coal and switch to gas to produce electricity. Too many countries are still building new coal power plants. Gas-fired power plants emit half the CO2, are quicker and cheaper to build, can benefit from a well-connected, flexible gas infrastructure and can be located close to consumers. Unlike coal, gas emits much less of the major components of outdoor air pollution and almost no particulates: substituting coal with gas would have a substantially positive impact on air quality and consequently on human health, especially in urban areas. 

    Second: they should embrace policies that facilitate the combination of gas and renewables in their energy mix. Renewables are growing exponentially. To deploy wind and solar at the scale we expect, we will need some balancing: another energy source will have to fill the no-sun, no-wind gaps to ensure that electricity production meets demand at all times, preventing blackouts. Gas is the best source of such needed flexibility. A gas-fired power plant can provide additional electricity in a matter of minutes and gas networks are geared to deliver on that flexibility.

    Third: they can prepare for the long term, by politically supporting – today – investments in new technologies to cut emissions even further. Biogas and carbon capture and storage (CCS) are two important examples, as is power-to-gas. We are not starting from scratch: our industry is already significantly investing to develop these solutions, and, with its deep understanding of geology, is best placed when it comes to CCS.

    According to the International Energy Agency’s two degree Celsius scenario, we will use much less coal, but more natural gas in 2040 than we have in 2013, to cover 22% of the world’s primary energy demand. This clearly shows that natural gas has a major part to play in the transition to a lower carbon economy and contributes to the solution we all want.

    By François-Régis Mouton, Chairman of GasNaturally

    10 November 2016 - Read more

Oct 2016

  • Gas Week 2016 to focus on innovation

    Gas Week has become a signature event on the EU calendar, enabling industry stakeholders and EU policymakers to come together and discuss the future of Europe’s climate and energy policy.  This year’s edition will consist of a number of events in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France from 21-24 November.

    Innovative technologies will play a key role in achieving Energy Union and climate goals. With this in mind, Gas Week 2016 aims to highlight how gas can play an active role in driving innovation and new solutions across sectors. 

    Learn more about this year's Gas Week edition here.

    13 October 2016 - Read more
  • Understanding the riddle of who produces the cheapest electricity

    Over the last months, the approval of the Hinkley nuclear power station has stirred a heated debate, in the United Kingdom just as much as in Brussels.

    The discussion put the spotlight on one key question: which technology is able to generate electricity the cheapest?

    The answer will have a significant impact on the way we will produce our electricity in the next decades, with consequences ranging from the cost for consumers to the impact on climate. At the same time, the continued low prices of gas and other fuels and the falling costs of technologies such as solar are bringing new elements to the debate.

    To answer the question, economists typically calculate a levelised cost for each technology with one-off expenditures such as site construction and equipment being spread over the expected lifetime production of the plant they are analysing. To this, they add variable costs (fuel, personnel and maintenance, for example) to get a total quote – in euros per megawatt/hour. This number is in theory comparable across all the technologies being studied.

    However, reality is more complex. Apart from the fairly common discussion about the value of the key assumptions used, two other points are key.

    Firstly, being forced to do these calculations is a sign of market failure (in some cases, reinforced by sizeable support schemes for renewables). If the power generation market was fully competitive, undistorted by subsidy and encompassed all the facets of power supply (for example location, intermittency and carbon footprint) then policy makers would need not worry about developing levelised costs. They would not need to pick winners out of the available technologies as the market would do this for them.

    But because there are market failures – and this is the second point – we need to be sure we compare apples with apples, when we assess levelized costs. For example, power generated by solar panels right where it is used (let’s say in a house) has very different characteristics to the power generated by a centralised coal fired plant.  Simply basing the calculations on the capital and operating costs of the plant ignores issues of location, intermittency and carbon footprint that have to be taken into account.

    These parameters can have a significant impact in calculating levelized costs.

    Here’s an example:

    -To ensure intermittent power supply can have the same characteristics as a dispatchable plant (one that produces electricity continuously), it needs some form of back up.
    -If back up was provided by battery storage, the current cost would be at least €1 million per megawatt.  For a source needing back-up for 60% of the time, this  would lead to an increase in the levelised costs of production by around €25 per megawatt/hour. But for a source needing back-up for 90% of the time, the additional cost would be as high as €98 per megawatt/hour.   

    The location of power production can also have a significant impact on costs. In Germany, last year industry paid, for the use of the power network, between €18 and €64 per megawatt/hour depending on the size and pattern of its consumption. These costs could be reduced significantly or removed all together if power production was located close to demand centres. The recently announced increase in cost of the Sued Link, the “Wind Power Line”, to €10 billion only reinforces the locational value.

    Finally, even though currently it is low, the cost of carbon needs to be taken into account. (At the moment, the cost of carbon only adds a few euros per megawatt/hour to the cost of power produced from coal-fired generators).

    Ultimately, the advent of a fully competitive power generation market in Europe will render the calculation of levelised cost obsolete. But in the meantime, decision makers use them to make policy choices: to make sure they make the best choices, we need to be sure we are comparing apples with apples.

    Malcolm Rice-Jones is the Chair of GasNaturally's Power Generation Task Force

    12 October 2016 - Read more

Aug 2016

  • Accelerating towards a low-carbon future - a young professional's perspective on Europe’s energy future

    Europe’s energy future is, and will continue to be, about mitigating risk. Not only risk to the security of energy supply, or risk to competition and investment. But the larger (and potentially highly detrimental) risk of climate change. So what can we do, in fact WHAT SHOULD WE DO, to make sure that the Europe in 2030 does not resemble a Hollywood climate apocalypse film? Simply put, we need to look at clean alternatives and what is the best way to implement them.

    In the aftermath of last year’s Paris climate agreement, the conversations about Europe’s energy future intensified. Yet, talk is cheap - signing a declaration to limit global warming “well below” 2°C above pre-industrial levels is not enough. It needs to be met with practical policies and a political attitude that encourages individuals, governments, industries, companies and cities to lower their emissions, while ensuring economic growth.

    So where do we start in order to break the status quo and accelerate towards a low-carbon future? Well, a good starting point – one that includes a series of “easy wins” - can be identified in the types of fuels we use to power our homes, economies and cars. And it’s no secret that natural gas is a clean, low-emitting fuel that has diverse applications on its own, as well as a bridging component, a characteristic that other fuels lack. 

    Every day, we use electricity to power our lifestyles and we also use some mode of transportation to get from point A to point B. Using an electric stove in Belgium is not the same as using one in Poland since the majority of electricity generated comes from nuclear, not coal – but it’s one illustration of many. The switch to natural gas in the right sectors and Member States will alleviate the amount of carbon and air pollution emitted.

    As a sector that is responsible for one-third of Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions, decarbonising transport and increasing air quality is vital. This sector in particular would benefit from the use of LNG for maritime and heavy road transportation modes. The number of gas and electric vehicles is expected to increase as well.  But let’s not forget that an electric vehicle can be powered by electricity generated by coal!

    The deadline to achieve Europe’s decarbonisation targets may appear far in the future (2030/2050), but the investment towards this transition needs to take place today.  Within the 2050 Energy Roadmap, it’s clear that coal is responsible for around 80% of CO2 emissions of the power sector and this needs to change. But if tackled, Europe can reap the benefits! As variable renewables (we see that in Brussels the sun does not always shine and the wind does not always blow) and smart grid technology expand, gas serves as a fuel anchor due to its flexibility and immediate availability.

    Witnessing EU policymaking, there are some positive sparks, while other ideas need to be thought through. We need to be mindful that Europe is not isolated, and to make progress towards a low-carbon Europe also requires global momentum. Will this come from the US? Or even China maybe? Regardless of the uncertainty at international level, Europe can be at the forefront of policy creation to bring about tangible change. We need to do better, and we can do better for my generation and younger generations to come. 

    By Paula IwaniukDirector of Communications & Marketing, Young Professionals in Foreign Policy (YPFP) - Brussels

    30 August 2016 - Read more

Jul 2016

  • LNG puts Europe in the middle of the global gas market


    Turning gas into a liquid to transport it more easily is not only changing the way we perceive gas transport, but also the very way we use gas.


     

    Historically, big pipelines have been moving gas from far-away production areas to consumption markets within Europe. These pipelines have a huge capacity, but they are not flexible: you cannot change their route – a situation that often leads to a long-term relation between the producer of the gas and the consumer.

    Now, Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is dramatically changing that picture, as it is turning gas into a commodity that can be moved virtually everywhere around the world.

    At –162°C, gas becomes liquid and it takes 600 times less space than in its gaseous status. Then, LNG carriers – special ships with huge tankers able to handle low temperatures – can carry it anywhere in the world, making it possible to pick the most rewarding markets. And if demand in one market goes down, LNG cargoes can be easily rerouted to more lucrative ones.

    Europe is in a good position to make the most out of this new opportunity, which is in fact an effective way to ensure diversity of gas supply and improve security of supply. There are 21 LNG regasification terminals in the Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean and, now also, the Baltic Sea. Those 21 terminals can regassify nearly 200 billion cubic meters of gas per year – that’s roughly half of the EU gas demand. LNG comes from a variety of countries: Qatar, Algeria, Nigeria, Norway and now also from the United States. Cross-border interconnections are making LNG available directly or indirectly to nearly all European countries. LNG is an effective tool to handle sudden supply and demand variations – for example to supply more gas in case of a sudden spike in demand: with sufficient LNG on the market, the amount of gas available to consumers can increase very fast.

    LNG is a global business, with its own market dynamics; LNG prices are now close to pipeline gas, making it attractive, and opening space for new business opportunities.

    LNG is a cleaner solution for transport and it can help improve air quality, be it in trucks or ships. That’s why the strict sulphur emission limits in the North Sea and Baltic Sea have triggered interest in LNG-powered ships. Since the first ferry, Norway’s Gultra, sailed in 2000, more than 75 ships running on LNG have been built. Experts believe that this number will reach 1000 by 2020. The use of LNG in heavy duty vehicles is also increasing. Currently there are over 2,000 LNG-fueled trucks on the road across Europe, with around 80 refuelling points to service them.

    The deployment of LNG in shipping and in heavy trucks has prompted the development of “small-scale” LNG infrastructure, opening even further business opportunities: tanks and ships for refuelling, LNG truck loading, LNG filling stations, together with the associated logistics.

     

    Thierry Deschuyteneer is Vice-Chair of GasNaturally and Secretary General of Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE)

    Photo credit: GIE

    22 July 2016 - Read more

Jun 2016

  • Gas: Europe’s smart choice for heating

    Did you know that natural gas provides almost half of home heating in Europe, and that heating represents 70% of a household’s energy consumption? The introduction of natural gas into our heating system over the past decades has dramatically changed how we as Europeans heat our homes, businesses and schools, enabling us to live comfortably without emptying our wallets. And we do so while at the same time not compromising the environment. Through the use of modern gas condensing boilers, we can reduce CO2 by 20% compared to traditional gas boilers, while improving air quality since compared to other technologies they emit no PMs, SOX and NOX.

    But the gas industry is looking further ahead. We focus on innovation to better meet the heating needs and consumer expectations of Europeans. The necessity to heat homes while producing even less greenhouse gas emissions is driving innovation in gas for heating further, helping meet national and EU objectives to use energy efficiently while  lowering emissions. 

    You can find out why gas is the smart choice for heating in our latest GasNaturally animation, which was produced together with Eurogas.

    Just one way the gas industry has already demonstrated its innovative thinking and focus on efficiency is through the introduction of new, high-efficiency boilers, which can boost energy efficiency by more than 20% and benefit consumers by lowering energy bills.

    Gas is also a sustainable heating solution, made even cleaner by new technologies such as gas heat pumps, which can capture heat from the air, ground or groundwater using gas in a highly efficient way.

    Another innovative trend is to integrate gas into complete heating and cooling solutions in homes, allowing different energy systems to work together to meet personalised consumer needs. Such a system might combine, for example, a gas condensing boiler and solar thermal panels, or a hybrid unit of a gas condensing boiler with an electric heat pump. This can optimise energy usage, while ensuring that consumers have the heating they need, when they need it.

    Looking ahead, ‘smart’ energy systems will be the cornerstone of these kinds of innovative heating solutions. By using smart systems, we can connect appliances and technologies, offering the benefits of gas and in parallel providing complete flexibility to the consumer. For example, as you may have already seen, ‘connected’ customers can control their home heating remotely through applications on their smart phones. This digitalisation of energy allows consumers to be in the driving seat. They receive value in terms of costs and energy savings and according to their individual needs. At the same time, their choices can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, a win-win situation.

    As one of the most innovative industries in Europe, we will continue to evolve to meet both consumer needs and environmental challenges, and to collaborate across energy sectors to create smarter energy systems in the future. We’re confident that innovations in gas will continue to deliver clean, affordable and more efficient heating and cooling solutions to all Europeans. 

    In fact, we want to maintain our dialogue with stakeholders about the role of gas in heating and increasingly in cooling. For this reason, on 14 June we are organising an Energy Day Workshop. This meeting is taking place at the European Parliament during the EU Sustainable Energy Week. The Workshop is hosted by MEPs Salini, Saudargas and Zanonato. For more details about it do consult the Events webpage of GasNaturally.

    Signed

    Kyriakos Gialoglou

    GasNaturally Vice-Chairman

    EU Affairs Director, Eurogas

    09 June 2016 - Read more
  • Natural gas, driving Europe’s mobility forward

    The Natural Gas Vehicles Association joins GasNaturally, highlighting the industry’s innovation potential.

     

    Natural gas is key to our daily lives: it heats our homes, produces our electricity and powers our industries. It can also be key to fuel our mobility, and make it cleaner.

    That’s why NGVA Europe has decided to join GasNaturally and is looking forward to working with the other members to further raise the profile of natural gas – and gas vehicles – in Europe together.

    Many important developments are currently under way at the political level as well as within the gas industry. They will determine the role that natural gas will play in the fuel mix of the future, and the fuel that will power our transport.

    Natural gas is the most obvious candidate for quick wins today. And together with electricity and hydrogen, it also provides opportunities for integrating more renewables in the transport sector in the future.

    As a fuel, natural gas is already widely available throughout Europe; the products and technologies to use it in vehicles are mature and available on the market; gas infrastructure is well-developed and reliable; renewable Synthetic Natural Gas (SNG), also known as power-to-gas, and further use of blends of natural gas with biomethane are an important focus for energy and automotive companies. Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) can become the preferred solution to reduce emissions from heavy-duty vehicles and ships, while Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) is already being used in cars, vans, buses. Many different models are on the market today from established manufacturers. They can help to reach the target of a 30% CO2 reduction by 2030 in the non-ETS (Emission Trading Scheme) sectors, which include transport.

    To put it simply: natural gas should be at the forefront of cleaner mobility towards 2050. It can reduce noise pollution as well as NOx and PM emissions.

    In fact, policy makers are increasingly more interested in natural gas as fuel. Market rules and technology neutrality should be the starting point of the political discussion. To achieve the ultimate goal of decarbonising our transport in a cost-efficient way, we should take into account costs – of the fuel, the vehicles and the components – and the different levels of a variety of emissions.

    We are still far from that.

    CNG and LNG offer great opportunities for cities in the EU that are increasingly facing air quality issues. For them to take full advantage of such opportunities, we need to bring the market for gas vehicles up to scale. This can happen only if no single winner is picked from the start. All alternative fuels will play a role in the future, different technologies will serve different purposes and natural gas engines need to be able to compete on an equal footing.

    NGVA Europe´s members stand for a proud and ambitious industry, eager to invest, grow and play an important role in providing sustainable mobility for our society.

    As a new GasNaturally member, we look forward to actively contributing to this initiative which highlights gas’ role towards “Make a clean future real.”

    Matthias Maedge, Secretary General

    “The huge potential and benefits of natural gas engines are not sufficiently rewarded”

    01 June 2016 - Read more

Apr 2016

  • Three moves to get the EU power market right

    The European Union will this year have to come up with good ideas on how to best use – and integrate – energy sources as different as wind, solar, hydro, nuclear, coal and gas to produce the cleanest, cheapest and most reliable electricity possible. In short: it will propose how to best design Europe’s future energy market. EU energy ministers kicked off the discussion in April.

    Any decision will have major implications on the energy sources that Europe will use to produce power in the coming decades. The prize of having a low-carbon power sector by 2030 is substantial, with a real opportunity to move the EU significantly towards its target of a 40% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030. 

    For this to happen, the European Commission, whose proposals on the issue are expected by the end of the year – will have to take a number of decisions.

    First: the EU’s power markets need to change, so as to push highly polluting, inflexible coal and lignite power plants, accounting for nearly 75% of the sector’s carbon emissions, into retirement. Existing gas fired plant could generate all the electricity produced by coal and lignite fired power stations by simply increasing their utilization rates from 26% to 68%. Ultimately, new build renewables plant could generate some of this electricity. This would have the advantage of dramatically reducing CO2 emissions, improving air quality and human health while increasing efficiency.

    Second: the new renewable electricity will likely be produced in a different place from where it will be most needed (far from big industries or cities, for example). To ensure that power can easily be transported to where it is needed, sufficient interconnections and transmission lines will be required.

    Given local opposition to overhead lines, such as seen recently in Bavaria (with a typical high voltage transmission project taking 15 years to implement in Europe) and concerns about their exposure to adverse weather, the EU might have to think about using underground cables, which, however, come at a (significantly higher) cost.

    On the other hand, the gas network is already available and can provide energy storage and transportation for the renewable sector, thanks to the conversion of electricity into gas – the so-called Power to Gas. This unique capability can contribute to the decarbonisation of the energy system, while avoiding the huge costs of reinforcing the electricity grid.

    It will also provide an increasingly valuable balancing and flexibility service to the electricity system through management of intermittency. All of this, of course, will have to be combined with efforts to build a truly integrated EU energy market, where sources compete on an equal basis.

    Third: the power system has to have enough flexibility to handle peak demand, making sure that there are no blackouts, even when everyone has lights and air conditioning on, washes laundry, cooks while watching TV etc.  

    For the time being, the EU only needs 65% of existing non-variable (“dispatchable”) capacity to meet peak demand. But this could get close to 100% by 2030 if no new firm capacity is added, as the highly polluting, inflexible plants retire. That’s assuming that power demand continues to stagnate rather than grow, i.e. there is a continued emphasis on energy efficiency to ensure power demand remains decoupled from economic growth and that sectors such as heating aren’t electrified.

    Lowering the peaks in demand by working with consumers to shift their consumption to off-peak periods will contribute, but will be unlikely to provide a complete answer. Power storage, although progressing, is not expected to solve the problem any time soon.

    It is therefore likely that the EU will need to add additional, flexible power plants, able to cover peak demand. Prices – i.e. the prospect of price spikes during periods for which there is a shortage of electricity on offer – should provide the initial incentive.

    But for such an approach to be effective, the market has to be allowed to function properly, with no subsidies distorting price signals.  Providing a financial incentive for having power plants available to handle unexpected variations in demand or supply, even if the capacity isn’t then used (what the sector calls “capacity remuneration mechanisms”) is one option of last resort. 

    If such mechanisms are introduced, they should preserve market competition, reflect the costs incurred by those who develop that capacity and, over time, be harmonised across the EU, in line with current State Aid Guidelines and the EU’s Climate and Energy objectives, and should therefore include criteria to support low carbon intensity, flexibility and reliability.  

    Although these challenges are difficult, they can be solved, allowing us to achieve the prize of a low carbon power sector for Europe. On April 11, EU energy ministers kicked off the discussion on the issue, with some encouraging signs. Now, it’s up to the European Commission to move forward on the right track.

    Malcolm Rice-Jones is the Chair of GasNaturally's Power Generation Task Force.

    Photo Credit: National Grid

    13 April 2016 - Read more
  • GasNaturally joins industry associations in urging the EU to deliver a flexible and dynamic electricity market

    GasNaturally joined other industry associations in writing to EU policy makers this week, highlighting the crucial elements that should define the future EU electricity market. 

    Gas will have a major role to play in a modern, dynamic market, both as a lower-carbon fuel and as the essential provider of the flexibility needed to integrate renewable sources in the energy mix.

    The new design of the power market will be one of the most important energy policy debates in 2016, with the European Commission expected to put forward a proposal later in the year. The market is currently facing many challenges, including depressed prices due to overcapacity, a trend toward re-nationalisation of energy policies, and an outdated set of market rules.

    The signatories of the joint declaration offer solutions for energy market reform. The group, which represents a range of stakeholders across the sector, contends that market design reform should include key elements such as adequate tools to provide price signals, ensuring a balanced approach for supply and demand sources, and implementing a level playing field for flexibility providers.

    You can read the full statement here. 

    06 April 2016 - Read more
  • Presentations from the 5th Annual Member States' Gas Forum

    On 17 March 2016, GasNaturally hosted its 5th Member States’ Gas Forum: The Case for Gas in the Energy Union. The event centred on the the vital role that gas can play in a flexible, innovative and sustainable Energy Union, with a focus on the importance of LNG and storage.

    You can access the presentations from the event by the following speakers in PDF form here:

     

    Panel 1 - Europe in a global gas market: The contribution of LNG and storage

     

    The EU's strategy for LNG and storage

    Dr Joerg Koehli, Team Leader, DG Energy, European Commission

     

    Future Role of Gas Storage

    Lubor Veleba, President, Gas Storage Europe


    LNG: Developments Globally and in Europe

    Roger BoundsVice President for Global Gas, Shell

    ---

    Panel 2 - Moving forward with confidence: Flexibility, innovation, sustainability with gas

    Flexibility, Innovation and Sustainability with Gas

    Sabine AugustinSenior Vice President Regulatory Management, UNIPER

     

     

    The role of gas in sustainable heating: Challenges and solutions in the Netherlands

    Britta van BovenSenior Coordinator Strategy, Gasunie

    04 April 2016 - Read more

Mar 2016

  • Combining gas and renewables can deliver ‘energy miracle’

    A lot is happening in the world of natural gas. Just recently, the European Commission published its gas strategy and the United States exported its first Liquefied Natural Gas. It is a clear sign of the role that gas plays and will have to play in Europe’s energy mix.


    All of this is good news: And it is happening just a few months after the success of the COP21 Paris Climate conference. The political momentum created in Paris will trigger serious action, which will potentially revolutionise the way we think about energy. The present mix of clean technologies and costs however, is still not able to match that political will – nor, for that matter, to meet the energy thirst of a growing world population by itself.

    In short, as Bill Gates recently said, “we need an energy miracle”.

    We are not there yet. But we can start laying the ground for future progress. Natural gas has already delivered improvements in emissions and air quality. Admittedly, the US would have been in a much more difficult position in Paris, were it not for the emission reductions achieved thanks to more gas (and less coal) in producing electricity.

    According to the International Energy Agency’s two degrees scenario, we will have to use more natural gas in 2040 than we did in 2013, to cover 22% of the world’s primary energy demand. The solution to the climate problem is not getting rid of gas, but using it intelligently – for example in partnership with renewables.

    If the EU wants to play the leading role in global CO2 reductions it has always been seeking, it must make the right choices today.  Too many continue to support coal, relying on renewables to offset its huge CO2 harm – wasting most, if not all, the great benefits of hydro, wind and solar. The recent EU communication on ‘The Road from Paris’ would have been a good opportunity to show the way on this point.

    The EU needs to make the most of the post-COP21 momentum and ensure it doesn’t lag behind by supporting outdated energies.

    First of all, it should be clear about phasing out coal: gas emits half the CO2 and much less harmful particles in power production. More importantly, it brings the flexibility needed to integrate renewables – which are by definition variable – in the power market. To encourage that partnership, the EU should design a power system that facilitates the combination of gas and renewables.

    Second: the EU needs to get its approach to gas right. Private investments will be needed, for example, to keep improving the gas network. To commit big money, companies will need clear signals that their products will continue to have a market. Again, a clear move from coal to gas would send that signal, while also encouraging new uses for gas, such as in shipping and heavy duty vehicles.

    Finally, we should continue to pursue a long-term vision by investing now in new technologies that will make that “energy miracle” happen. Our industry is committed to playing its part by developing innovations like biogas, power to gas and, for the longer term, carbon capture and storage (CCS).

    Innovation will foster even more the partnership between gas and renewables that are already building the right steps toward that energy miracle, as numbers are starting to show. According to the IEA, global greenhouse gas emissions were flat in 2015, the second year in a row, even though the global economy grew.

    This is the year of delivery for the Energy Union. Let’s make sure we keep going in the right direction.

    By François-Régis Mouton, originally published in Euractiv.

    17 March 2016 - Read more
  • Recognising the Gas and Renewables Partnership: GN Chairman Francois-Regis Mouton interviewed by Natural Gas Europe

    Now is the time for the gas and renewables industry to make joint proposals on how to design the next generation’s power market in Europe, François-Régis Mouton, the Chairman of GasNaturally, told Natural Gas Europe in an interview.

    If the two industries fail to do that, according to him, “they will miss the train leaving the station...and so will the de-carbonisation of the power sector in Europe.”

    Mr Mouton was interviewed on the gas and renewables partnership and power market design alongside Oliver Schaefer, President of SolarPower Europe, who offered perspectives from the solar industry. The debate around the design of the power market in the European Union is gaining momentum, as the European Commission prepares to make proposals by the end of the year.

    Read the full article here

    14 March 2016 - Read more

Feb 2016

  • GasNaturally welcomes the Commission’s focus on the role of gas in the Energy Union

    Press Release

    Brussels, 16 February 2016: Commenting on the European Commission’s Energy Security Package issued today François-Régis Mouton, Chairman of GasNaturally, the partnership representing the European gas industry, said:

    Gas will be instrumental in meeting not only the EU 2030 climate targets, but also in contributing to advancing the post-COP21 agenda. Any progress will be hard without gas working alongside renewables to replace coal in electricity production and for cost-efficient solutions in heating.[1]

    “If gas-fired power production had stayed at 2010 levels and coal had fallen instead, then European power sector emissions in 2015 would be 15% below what they actually are,” Mr. Mouton explained, citing a recent report[2] by UK-based NGO Sandbag. “The clock is ticking, it’s time to move.”

    The Commission has, however, missed an opportunity by not fully recognizing the role that gas can play in heating. “Gas offers various readily available and affordable options for consumers. High-efficiency, gas-based and hybrid heating options can reduce consumption by between 20-50%. Together with building renovation and renewables-based heating and cooling, these are all part of the solution,” Mr. Mouton explained.

    Gas is a flexible fuel that can meet the specific needs of different customers. Thanks to its combination of high calorific value, low carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and flexibility, it supports and drives innovation. On top of that, gas itself can be renewable, thanks to the development of biogas – which has now reached a level equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of 14.6 million European households[3]. Other innovative technologies can transform renewable electricity into hydrogen and gas, which can both be stored and transported cost-effectively to where they are needed in the existing gas network.

    GasNaturally acknowledges the Commission’s efforts to consider the role of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and storage to make the most out of the EU’s extensive gas infrastructure. Gas helps diversify the mix of energy sources in Europe. More than half of the gas we consume in the EU is produced in EU Member States or Norway, and the rest is imported from a variety of different countries. LNG will help diversify those sources even further and improve both competition and security of supply together with the transmission pipelines, storage facilities and LNG regasification terminals that form the core of Europe’s well-interconnected, integrated and flexible gas infrastructure network.

    GasNaturally’s members look forward to working with the Commission on the next steps needed to build on the Gas Package,” Mr. Mouton concluded. For more detailed information on GasNaturally members’ position on the Energy Security Package, please visit our Associations’ websites via GasNaturally’s members page.

     


    [1] According to the International Energy Agency, in 2013 coal represented 76% of the EU CO2 emissions in power generation, but accounted for only 28% of that generation.

    [3] European Biogas Association, Biomethane & Biogas Report 2015, December 2015.

    16 February 2016 - Read more

Dec 2015

Nov 2015

  • Delivering Europe’s energy needs: gas infrastructure

    It’s a cold December Sunday morning.

    You just woke up, made yourself some nice breakfast and coffee on the stove. It was a bit chilly overnight, but now you raised the thermostat temperature to a comfortable level. You can go ahead and take that nice and warm shower without being afraid of freezing when you come out of it.

    If you’re one of the millions of Europeans who use natural gas appliances at home, you can thank natural gas for ensuring your water is hot, your coffee is ready to brew any given morning, and your house stays warm in the winter. But have you ever wondered where that gas actually comes from, and how it’s delivered to you?

    After gas is produced at the well, whether in Europe or abroad, it’s transported through a complex and well-developed gas infrastructure system that travels into and around Europe. Gas is propelled at a high pressure of 200 to 1500 lbs. per square inch (psi) through an extensive network of steel pipelines, with a typical diameter of 1,2 meters, with engine-powered compressors keeping the gas moving, making its way into storage or entering city gates. Finally, distribution lines carry natural gas to consumers.

    Since Europe’s gas infrastructure has been in place for decades and moving and storing gas is relatively cheap (compared to electricity for example), this accessibility is something many of us with easy access to the gas grid take for granted. However, these pathways require permanent attention, modernization, and linkage. Continuing to develop European gas infrastructure is essential for ensuring Europe’s security of supply, your security of supply, and giving you access to cheaper energy.

    For that purpose, the European Commission has acknowledged that developing gas infrastructure is essential to effectively integrating the different energy markets. Throughout the gas chain, thousands of Europeans are working every day to maintain, improve and further develop this infrastructure to ensure gas is delivered to our homes – safely and with no harm to the environment.

    Believe it or not, gas and its supply to European energy consumers is one of the biggest topics of discussion in Brussels these days. Looking ahead, the Commission has ambitious plans for gas infrastructure as part of its Energy Union package. We support the Vice-President Šef?ovi?’s recognition of gas’ key role in the European energy mix, because everyone needs hot water. And coffee. It’s really that simple.

    Signed

    François-Régis Mouton
    GasNaturally Chairman

    25 November 2015 - Read more
  • Gas: The natural choice for heating our homes

    Gas: The natural choice for heating our homes

    Summer’s gone, and the warm autumn colours will soon fade. Cooler weather’s just around the corner, and soon we’ll need to heat our homes, offices and schools to stay warm this winter. For many Europeans, affordable heating will be essential to maintain quality of life and good health as they endure the darkest months of the year.

    Residential buildings make up the largest portion of Europe’s building stock, with 60-70 percent of EU housing stock dating to 1980 or earlier, and homes have the largest specific consumption (kWh/m2/year). Pair this with low building refurbishment rates, and the result is mediocre energy efficiency and a high financial burden for consumers. This is an opportunity, more and more recognized by policymakers and consumers.

    When using an equally efficient boiler, natural gas produces less CO2 than other fuels, including heating oil, coal, or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). Gas-based heating appliances also partner well with renewables, such as solar energy, to produce heat, and mCHP appliances can enable gas and electricity to work together. With power to-gas, gas-based heating can be a renewable alternative, using the well-established European gas network. This offers opportunities for decentralized gas production while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The need for heating fluctuates greatly, whether we are at home, at work, if it’s cold outside or not. This creates large swings in Europe’s gas system, which is traditionally built to respond to rising and declining heating demands, making gas the ideal partner for renewables.

    GHG emissions can be reduced quickly by maximizing the energy efficiency of gas. Over four-fifths of Europe’s boilers are still older, less efficient makes. By replacing these appliances with newer gas-condensing boilers, or by using hybrid heating systems, Europe can achieve reduced GHG emissions, enhance energy efficiency, and avoid large infrastructure investments.  As gas infrastructure is already well-developed, significant new investment isn’t necessary, like it would be to replace it with other heating fuels. Plus, the vast majority of the gas distribution system is underground, protected from harsh weather conditions, making gas a reliable provider to meet the heating needs of tens of millions of households.

    Affordable and accessible heating throughout Europe will continue to be important for winters to come. The EU Heating and Cooling strategy, which is due to launch in January 2016, should bear in mind these realities, and foster a competitive heating and cooling sector that places consumers’ needs at its forefront.

    Signed

    François-Régis Mouton
    GasNaturally Chairman

    09 November 2015 - Read more

Oct 2015

  • Biogas – Revealing the renewable side of gas

    Today, we often talk about the way gas is helping make a clean future real by partnering with renewables, but we tend to overlook the fact that gas itself can be renewable, in the form of biogas for example. Put simply, biogas offers an easy way to turn waste into energy.

    This carbon-neutral renewable gas, once upgraded to reach the same quality as natural gas to become biomethane, can play a key role in achieving the EU’s 2050 climate goals by reducing the greenhouse gas footprint of natural gas.

    Biogas is produced through anaerobic digestion of  waste or organic matter from a variety of sources. These sources can include waste from landfills, from crop and animal waste, from wastewater, as well as from industry, like the food and drink industry. By producing biogas from these types of waste and thus  creating a valuable energy source we are moving towards a truly circular economy. Farmers, for example, can ferment their leftover crop waste and manure, producing biogas, which they can then use for heating, or upgrade it to biomethane and sell to the local gas grid, and even use to fuel their tractors.  Moreover, the wide range of uses for natural gas can benefit from injecting biomethane into the existing natural gas infrastructure. Finally, farmers can return the organic  by-products from biogas production back into the ground, which has a fertilizing effect on the soil, thus bringing the benefits of biogas full circle. European communities, farmers and industries alike can contribute to the production of biogas, decentralizing energy production.

    In addition to being sourced from various waste products, once produced, biogas can be used in a range of ways – as transport fuel, for generating electricity, for heating homes  – actually, after upgrading to biomethane, it can be used in all applications designed for natural gas, for cooking, gas turbines, and drying.This means European communities, farmers and industries alike can benefit by contributing to the production of biogas, and from its end uses.

    European cities can also stand to benefit from biogas production. This September, Strasbourg welcomed the opening of its first wastewater-to-biogas facility, Biovalsan, with the aim of producing 1.6 million cubic metres of methane from the city’s wastewater each year. At the plant, biogas is produced by sludge digestion, upgraded to natural gas quality (biomethane) and then funnelled into the city’s gas grid.  This exciting pilot project will supply renewable gas heating to more than 5,000 homes locally – just one concrete example of how biogas can serve as a renewable energy source and contribute to the circular economy.

    Finally, biogas also helps secure Europe’s gas supply and diversifying supply sources.

    Thanks to mature technology and existing infrastructure, Europe can and should capitalize on this greener energy source to meet climate goals sooner rather than later. There are currently 15,000 biogas plants across Europe, with about 15 000 000 000 m3 of biogas produced in 2014 alone.  Biogas production numbers continue to grow: Germany leads European countries in production, along with other key biogas producing countries like the UK and France, but more recently central European countries also saw an increase of 18% in the number of biogas plants.

    This all points to a bright future for biogas and biomethane, and their role in demonstrating the benefits of gaseous energy. We’re excited to see what the coming years have in store for gas as a renewable energy source.

    Signed

    François-Régis Mouton
    GasNaturally Chairman

    27 October 2015 - Read more
  • Gas Week 2015 in pictures

    21 October 2015 - Read more
  • Test your energy knowledge - Gas Week Energy Quiz


    Are you the brightest bulb on the Brussels tree? Let’s see how much you really know about energy and energy policy:

     1. What is the biggest source of renewable energy in the EU?

    A. Wind
    B. Solar
    C. Biomass

     2. How much of the EU’s energy consumption is used for heating and cooling?

    A. Ca 10 %
    B. Ca 30 %
    C. Ca 50%

     3. To how many countries is Germany connected to by gas pipeline?

    A. 7 countries
    B. 9 countries
    C. 11 countries

     4. Which is the biggest component of most natural gas?

    A. Ethane (C2H6)
    B. Propane (C3H8)
    C. Methane (CH4)

     5. What was the share of natural gas in EU’s gross inland energy consumption in 2013?

    A. Ca 23%
    B. Ca 33%
    C. Ca 43%

     6. How many houses can a single LNG ship supply for a full year?

    A.    400 
    B.    4,000
    C.    40,000

     7. How much power does a high-pressure pipeline typically transport?

    A.    10 GW
    B.    1 GW
    C.    100 MW

    8. What is the typical diameter of a high-pressure pipeline?

    A.    20 cm
    B.    1,2 m
    C.    4 m

    9. At what temperature is natural gas liquefied?

    A. -162°C
    B. -92°C
    C. 0°C

     

     

    --------------

    ANSWERS:

    1. C

    Source: Eurostat, “Renewable energy statistics”, http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Renewable_energy_statistics

    2. C

    Source: European Commission, Heating and Cooling Roadmap, http://ec.europa.eu/smart-regulation/roadmaps/docs/2015_ener_026_heating_cooling_strategy_en.pdf

    3. C

    Source: Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic, Poland, Denmark + Russia and Norway

    4. C

    5. A

    Source: Eurostat, “Consumption of energy”, http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Consumption_of_energy

    6. C

    Source: Ship of 120 000 m³LNG = 72 Mm³ (gas) = 40000 houses @ 1800 m³(gas)/year

    7. A

    8. B

    9. A

    19 October 2015 - Read more
  • Of tennis players and EU energy: GasWeek 2015

    Dear all,

    This week is a special one: first, we have made it to our second blog, and we can now officially call it a series.

    Second, it is GasWeek!

    With a view to spreading the GoodWord about GasNaturally and stimulating the debate around important issues for the future of the European Union, we are organising two workshops, a pub quiz and a site visit.

    The debates will be very topical, as GasWeek is happening in the run-up to the European Commission’s release of new actions to deliver on the Energy Union (yes, the ‘winter package,’ as we dubbed it in the EU Bubble.)

    Here you can find the full programme, but here’s a taste of what’s to come:

    • Tuesday afternoon: workshop to discuss how natural gas is part of the future EU energy supply, as the best partner for renewable energy. The idea: when the sun isn’t shining and the wind is not blowing, we need an alternative, the least emitting one – it’s called natural gas.
    • After a coffee, security of supply is on the agenda: how Europe’s internal energy market can strengthen that security, leveraging on the EU’s asset of being within reach of most of the world’s gas reserves. The landscape is evolving rapidly: LNG development, big finds in Egypt, US exports, etc.
    • A cocktail/pub quiz/dancing night on Wednesday. Mainly targeted at the European Parliament’s young(er) generations, it will feature drinks, food, a lot of chats and an intriguing prize for the winning team. You’d better check the age of the youngest ever tennis player to win a Grand Slam as that seems to be a recurring question.
    • The site visit on Friday is actually… to the LNG terminal in Zeebrugge, at the Belgian coast. Yes, a visit to an industrial installation can be interesting and fun – and we will make sure there is plenty to see and to learn!

    I hope that inspires you to join us for one (or all!) of our events.

    Looking forward to meeting you in person this GasWeek!

    Signed

    François-Régis Mouton
    GasNaturally Chairman

    13 October 2015 - Read more

Sep 2015

  • Telling the natural gas story

    Dear reader,

    It is my pleasure to introduce you to GasNaturally’s new blog series. Throughout the year, I will provide some food for thought about the European Union, its energy policy and, of course, the role that we think natural gas can and should play – now and in the future.

    We want GasNaturally to be a driving force in helping the EU face its many energy and climate challenges. We are ready to offer a pragmatic and effective hand.

    GasNaturally was established in 2011. Today, via its six member associations, it represents the entire gas value chain in Europe, enabling the industry to speak with one strong voice. GasNaturally is the reference point for facts, figures and information on all parts of that chain.  And we’re based in Brussels, right in the heart of Europe, and a centre for political and economic decision-making.  If you’re not there, you’re not heard. And we have a story to tell.

    The climate is changing; the energy landscape must change as well. In December this year, world leaders will come together at COP21 in Paris to find ways to ensure that global warming does not rise above 2°C. Everyone has a role to play, and our industry is committed to playing its part.

    We firmly believe that natural gas really can ‘make a clean future real’. Its versatile, transportable and flexible nature makes it a reliable partner to variable renewables in power generation and gives it a central role in tomorrow’s energy system.

    Our story is about our product, the people who use it, and those who are behind it. It’s about the producer, the transporter, the installer, the consumer. It’s about the people in labs working on new gas technologies for more efficient homes. It’s about those taking care of gas pipes to make sure we’re warm inside when it’s cold outside. The EU’s climate and energy policies concern everybody and there is an important role for the gas industry to play. That’s why we want to make sure decision-makers see the full picture.

    Over 250 million Europeans enjoy a stable energy supply to warm their homes, use electricity produced from it, and increasingly fuel their cars with it. Natural gas is everywhere, for a reason. It’s lower carbon and affordable. It’s easy to move, store, and the infrastructure is already in place. The gas market is much more liquid, competitive and increasingly international with 70% of all proven global reserves being within economic reach to Europe.

    For all these reasons, we are proud of it, and we do our best to tell others about it.

    As GasNaturally’s elected Chairman, I work alongside our Vice-Chairmen Thierry Deschuyteneer (GIE) and Kyriakos Gialoglou (Eurogas) to tell the story of gas in Europe to policymakers. One way we can share our story is through the launching of this blog – we hope you’ll join us in learning more about natural gas and the central role it plays in Europe’s energy present and future.

    Signed

    François-Régis Mouton
    GasNaturally Chairman

    29 September 2015 - Read more

Jul 2015

  • Statoil Chief Economist presents to Member States' Gas Forum Dinner


    In a private dinner following the Member States’ Gas Forum, Statoil Chief Economist Eirik Wærness presented the Norwegian energy giant’s vision for what the energy landscape could look like in 2040. This was a thought-provoking event, where we learned that energy demand would be driven by a huge increase in Chinese tourists by 2040 and that a lot will depend on progress in battery technology – for energy storage and for the roll-out of electric vehicles.

    Statoil’s Energy Perspectives 2015 presents three scenarios, Renewal, Reform and Rivalry. The most optimistic is the Renewal scenario, calculated specifically to stay within the target of 2°c of global warming since the industrial era. In this scenario gas is a key factor, filling in after coal use is dramatically reduced. Interestingly, the share of energy production that comes from oil and gas remains roughly the same in 2040 as it is today, while the share of renewables grows and coal use decreases. This is all complemented? by a dramatic drive for energy efficiency, which substantially cuts energy consumption.

    The Reform scenario, in which current trends roughly continue, ‘new renewables’ (i.e. wind and solar) jump from their current share of 1% of global energy production to 7%. These intermittent sources of energy require new flexible energy capacity, which takes the form of an increasing share of gas. Coal, meanwhile, drops from 29% of energy production to 25%, which though an improvement, is far more than the 14% share it holds in the Renewal scenario.


    Finally, the Rivalry scenario is one in which domestic concerns overshadow global climate ambitions. A drive for energy security and the economic growth of individual states means that domestic resources are exploited regardless of their carbon content. Coal use grows to 30%, and emissions are higher than both the reform and renewal scenarios.

    Somewhat ironically, the 2040 GDP of the Rivalry scenario is the lowest of the three scenarios, as climate change imposes real costs and challenges growth. Correspondingly, the Renewal scenario has the highest GDP, but was described by Mr Wærness “very challenging”. The outlook, he said, was unlikely to get all of the specifics right in every scenario, but it did present clearly the choices that policymakers must make today, and suggested the very possible outcomes they may have.

    Access the Mr Wærness’ presentation here, and Statoil’s Energy Perspectives here

     

    01 July 2015 - Read more

Mar 2015

  • Six proposals to achieve a true Energy Union: Letter to Heads of State ahead of European Council meeting

    Find below GasNaturally's open letter to the European Council ahead of their March meeting, including our recommendations for the Energy Union. GasNaturally is happy to contribute constructively to the ongoing discussion on the Energy Union, and, signed by the Presidents of all European Gas Associations, this letter is a clear call for Heads of State to recognise the importance of gas in meeting Europe's climate and energy objectives. 

    18 March 2015 - Read more
  • Registration is Open for EGATEC 2015

    Registration is now open for EGATEC 2015

    EGATEC is the leading European Gas Technology Conference jointly organized by Marcogaz (Technical Association of the European Natural Gas Industry ) and GERG (The European Gas Research Group).

    It will gather more than 200 participants from the European energy industry, research organizations, science and governmental authorities to discuss the energy revolution with gas and its challenges for Europe. In addition to panel sessions on innovation in the gas sector, the event will also feature an exhibition of innovative gas technology products and services.

    Visit the EGATEC2015 website to register and stay tuned for more information about the programme: http://www.egatec2015.com/

    09 March 2015 - Read more

Feb 2015

  • Energy Union a clear step forward, concrete action now needed

    The European Commission’s Energy Union strategy is a step forward in creating an energy market fit for the future, in which gas will play a strong role, but effective action is now needed to trigger investment for the benefit of the consumer and the environment, said GasNaturally, the partnership of six associations representing the entire gas supply chain.

    Read the full press release here

    25 February 2015 - Read more

Jan 2015

  • Letter to the Editor - Gas and Renewable Energies, Natural Partners

    Re: Letter to the Editor in response to article “Fossil fuel firms accused of renewable lobby takeover to push gas”, published on The Guardian website on January 22nd, 2015

    Brussels, 26 January 2015,

    Dear Sir,

     As a partnership representing the entire European gas value chain, GasNaturally is regularly speaking to stakeholders, in the energy sector and beyond, to identify the best ways to meet Europe’s energy and climate objectives. In this context, the gas industry is convinced that gas and renewable energies are natural partners for many uses such as power generation, heating and transport.

    As mentioned in recent infographics or videos publicly available on our website, we believe that “[g]as-fired power generation is well suited to provide highly flexible generation to complement variable renewable energy sources, as it is capable of rapid response to changes in demand. If the necessary market conditions and policies are in place, the increased use of gas for power generation will help the EU achieve considerable emissions reductions by 2030. In such a scenario, gas and renewables will grow together, displacing coal from the fuel mix for power generation.” CO2 emissions from natural gas-fired power plants are about half those of coal-fired plants (even one third compared with lignite), and the range of flexibility in terms of start times, ramp-up rates and stable load, makes it the ideal partner for variable renewables. Furthermore, new technologies in the heating sector allow homes to be heated using both gas and renewable energies.

    There is no arrangement in place between the gas and renewable energy industries at present. We do, however, think that to guarantee security of energy supply whilst reducing emissions cost-effectively, the future energy system will need to rely on a varied energy mix in which gas and renewables will play a central role.

     Yours sincerely,  

    François-Régis Mouton

    Chairman of GasNaturally  

    26 January 2015 - Read more

Nov 2014

Oct 2014

  • Open Letter to Heads of State regarding the 2030 Framework

    Today the six constituent organisations of GasNaturally put their names to a letter addressed to the heads of the EU Member States. In it, the position of GasNaturally is outlined ahead of the upcoming European Council meeting, on the 23rd and 24th of October. 

    In the letter, GasNaturally makes four clear points:

    • The EU should opt for a single legally-binding 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target, with a central role for the Emissions Trading System
    • The EU should promote a gas and renewables partnership
    • The EU should support efforts to explore and produce more gas in the EU with appropriate environmental regulatory and fiscal policies
    • The EU should support R&D to bring promising low-carbon technologies to the market

    The full letter can be found here

    For other policy publications from GasNaturally, see our Policy Priorities 2014-2019

    21 October 2014 - Read more

Sep 2014

  • GasNaturally Visits Dunkerque's new LNG Terminal

    On 4 September 2014 GasNaturally invited representatives of the European Commission, European Parliament and Member States to the second largest industrial work site in France, the nearly-completed Dunkerque LNG terminal. After presentations on both the terminal itself, and LNG transportation more generally, invitees had an opportunity to see the public exhibition centre – an area designed to engage the public in this important part of Europe’s energy mix. The subsequent site visit covered both  the ongoing construction, as well as finished sections of the terminal. The visit gave stakeholders a chance to view first-hand the infrastructure of LNG, as well as understand the processes involved that are essential to Europe’s energy security. 

    Some key facts about the LNG terminal:

    • Commercial operations are planned to begin November 2015
    • The terminal will have a capacity of 13 Billion M3 of gas
    • The terminal will boost port traffic by over 7%
    18 September 2014 - Read more

Jun 2014

  • Innovate

    Examples of Good Practice Series


     

    Statoil have released a new page on their website, titled ‘Statoil Innovate’. It is an informative and interactive section of the website which is dedicated to pioneering new ways of finding solutions to challenges. To access the full page, click here.

    ‘Statoil is an international energy company committed to accommodating the world's energy needs in a responsible manner, applying technology and creating innovative business solutions. In Statoil Innovate, we focus on connecting with institutions and companies, big and small, that can help us find solutions to concrete business challenges – bringing something tangible and applying it in a new and pioneering way to our context. If you can contribute with solutions to our challenges, we have the competence, financial instruments and the capacity to make it happen. Welcome to Statoil Innovate.’

    24 June 2014 - Read more
  • Pulse

    Examples of Good Practice Series


     

    EDF Pulse is a new informative programme which aims to shine a light on technological advancement in various projects across the globe. By supporting and highlighting these projects, EDF hopes to encourage innovation and also reward it with the EDF Pulse awards. To access the full page, please click here.

    ‘EDF Pulse shines a spotlight on the projects, personalities and ideas that deliver the benefits promised by advances in knowledge. The concepts are characterized by the boldness of the men and women behind them, all around the world. By supporting the entrepreneurs of these exciting projects, and by opening our eyes and our minds to the world, we hope to encourage progress triggered by innovation. With the EDF Pulse programme, we are standing side-by-side with you, pushing forward development that respects our world and the people in it.’

    24 June 2014 - Read more
  • New OGP Study - NERA report

     

     

     

    A new study commissioned by OGP has recently been released, titled; 'Energy Taxation and Subsidies in Europe: A Report on Government Revenues, Subsidies and Support Measures for Fossil Fuels and Renewables in the EU and Norway'.

    The report, prepared by NERA Economic Consulting, presents the results of analysis that compares the taxation and subsidy regimes applying to oil, gas, coal, wind, and solar power in the EU28 and Norway during the period 2007-2011.

    To read the report, click here. To visit the OGP website, click here.

     

     

    24 June 2014 - Read more
  • ExxonMobil - The Energy Quiz

    Examples of Good Practice Series

     

     

    ExxonMobil launched a new feature in the first quarter of this year – ‘The Energy Quiz’. It gives you a number of different categories to test your energy knowledge, whether it be ‘People & Energy’, ‘Energy Sources’, ‘Using Energy’ or ‘Saving Energy’. The quiz is a prime example of showcasing ExxonMobil’s areas of work whilst also providing an engaging and educating experience. To visit the full campaign page, click here.

     

    17 June 2014 - Read more
  • BP - Trusted Advisor

    Examples of Good Practice Series

     

     

    During May of this year, BP released a video which describes a new technology they employ. It is designed to monitor oil and gas wells. Coming in the form of a series of dashboard-style consoles known as BP Well Advisor, it uses technology developed in part by the Norwegian-based company, Kongsberg. The video is informative and goes into detail explaining the various advantages of the new technology. To access the full page, please click here.

    ‘When companies such as BP drill oil and gas wells, digital technologies make it possible to collect millions of data points relating to pressures, depths, direction and many other variables. But until recently, technologies had not developed that could turn those raw data feeds into information that could be used in real time in the continuing effort to enhance safety and efficiency.’

     

    17 June 2014 - Read more
  • Shell - New Lenses on Future Cities Campaign

    Examples of Good Practice Series

     

     

    Shell has recently launched a campaign displaying the findings of sponsored research into the link between energy use and city type. Labelled as ‘New Lenses’, this project has a well-developed aesthetic feel with easy to understand information displayed in a clear way. Accompanying the study is a infographic of its key findings and a professional video displaying the same tone (uploaded on 30 May). To visit the full campaign page, click here

    ‘Which kind of city are you living in and how will it develop in the future? Urban populations are growing, which presents both great challenges and exciting opportunities. The latest scenarios supplement reveals how we might make our cities more efficient and appealing places to live.’


    11 June 2014 - Read more
  • Gasunie – Supply Chain Interactive Infographic

    Examples of Good Practice Series



    Gasunie has developed a supply chain infographic displaying how natural gas, LNG and biogas eventually reaches the end market, whether that be for industry use or for the private consumer. Promoting the idea of the Netherlands as a ‘Gas Roundabout’, each section links to a separate page of deeper explanation, whether that be explaining how the gas is transported, the infrastructure used, or how Gasunie works in varying participations. To access the full page, please click here.

    11 June 2014 - Read more

Mar 2014

  • GasNaturally shares its views on EU 2030 Framework with Heads of State ahead of European Council

    In view of the upcoming discussion on the 2030 Energy and Climate Framework at the European Council meeting, GasNaturally has conveyed its views on the file in an open letter to EU Heads of State and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy.

    The letter calls upon the Heads of State to support a single legally-binding 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target and to keep the existing Emissions Trading System (ETS) the central EU mechanism for cost-effective CO2 emissions reductions. GasNaturally finally urges the recipients of the letter to redesign the European power system to allow gas and renewables to better partner in electricity generation, helping the completion of the Internal Energy Market.

    GasNaturally strongly believes that with these three proposals, the EU can achieve the goals of its medium- and long-term energy and climate policy.

    For the full letter, click here.

    17 March 2014 - Read more
  • GasNaturally Member GIE confirms EU natural gas supply remains robust

    Thanks to infrastructure investments and the diversification of supply routes, the EU benefits from many natural gas supply options. Therefore, recent developments in Ukraine have not affected gas flows to European countries and the level of gas in stock is high for this period of the year (47% full on 10 March). However, gas infrastructure operators are monitoring the EU security of gas supply closely during the current crisis in Ukraine.

    For more information, please visit the GIE website for their recent press release on the Ukraine crisis (available here). 

    13 March 2014 - Read more

Nov 2013

  • GasPractically: Site visit in Zeebrugge for EU policymakers

    On 15 November 2013 GasNaturally invited representatives of the European Commission, European Parliament and Member States to the Zeebrugge LNG terminal. After a presentation on LNG, the role of Zeebrugge for European gas supply and the technical specificities of an LNG terminal, participants went on a tour of the facilities. It was an opportunity to see the jetty of the terminal, where no less than 1,300 ships unloaded since the beginning of operations in 1987. 

    Some key facts about the LNG terminal:

    • LNG is cooled down to -162°C
    • It takes 12 hours for a ship to unload at the jetty
    • 4 large storage tanks are available before LNG is regasified and sent to transmission pipelines

    For some pictures of the visit, click here

    19 November 2013 - Read more

Oct 2013

  • The October edition of GasNaturally Newsletter is out now!

    It is with great pleasure that GasNaturally presents its Autumn newsletter edition, again providing you with the latest updates on natural gas developments in Europe. Read about the potential of LNG in shipping, understand what CHP is, and get a preview of our Gas Forum for Member States, for the first time ever organised under the patronage of the Presidency of the Council of the EU.

    This time, we have two in-depth interviews with outstanding natural gas experts; Mr. Jean-François Cirelli, Vice-Chairman and President of GDF SUEZ, and Mr. Keisuke Sadamori, Director at the International Energy Agency, who discuss the long-term role of natural gas and the current state of investments into the sector.

    With warmest wishes, 

    François-Régis Mouton, Chairman, GasNaturally

    Click on the link below to view the Newsletter.

    24 October 2013 - Read more

Jun 2013

Apr 2013

Feb 2013

Jan 2013

Dec 2012

Nov 2012

Oct 2012

Sep 2012

May 2012

Feb 2012

Dec 2011

  • GasNaturally Chairman quoted on EurActiv

    A 15 December article quotes GasNaturally Chairman Francois-Regis Mouton chairman, welcoming the Commission’s emphasis on gas and said that the EU executive itself had recognised that its scenarios for gas might be “too conservative”.

    “The success of renewables without gas is hard to imagine and if Europe is serious about significantly cutting CO2 emissions today, replacing higher carbon fuels with gas is the cheapest and fastest way to achieve this,” he told EurActiv”

    16 December 2011 - Read more
  • Europolitics quotes Vice-Chairman Simon Blakey

    A Europolitics article 15 December on Optimistic assumptions lead to positive scenarios quotes Vice Chairman GasNaturally Simon Blakey praising the Commission for recognising the critical role of gas in transforming the energy system and pointed out that “replacing older polluting plants with gas is the fastest way to improve energy efficiency and to achieve significant CO 2 reductions”.

    16 December 2011 - Read more
  • Press Release: Energy Roadmap 2050 acknowledges the 'critical' role of gas

    15 December 2011 - Read more
  • EU energy roadmap for 2050 seen as a ‘missed opportunity’

    European clean energy advocates criticised the European Commission’s energy roadmap for 2050, published today (15 December), as a "missed opportunity" for omitting intermediate targets from the final text.

    15 December 2011 - Read more
  • Energy road map 2050 Optimistic assumptions lead to positive scenarios

    The decarbonisation of the European economy by the year 2050 is technically possible and economically acceptable, stated the European Commission in its ‘Energy road map 2050’, published on 15 December. The total costs of transforming the energy system is more or less the same as if a ‘business as usual’ scenario is followed. However, postponing investments or important policy decisions, eg on energy efficiency, could significantly increase the bill.

    The Commission bases its analysis on illustrative scenarios, created by combining in different ways the four main decarbonisation routes (see table). According to Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger, none of these is likely to be realised in its pure form. Instead, a mix of the projections is expected to materialise, following a debate with a wide range of stakeholders. As a result, he expects to “achieve clarity with investors” on what future strategies are worth pursuing by 2013 or 2014 at latest. He also gave voice to his wish to come to an agreement on a binding, realistic emission reduction target to 2030 within the same period.

    The ‘high energy efficiency’ scenario calculates with a 41% decrease in energy demand compared to 2005. The assessment shows that the reductions significantly improve import dependency but are rather costly for households and difficult to implement when it comes to behavioural changes.

    Under the ‘diversified supply technologies’ scenario, energy sources would compete freely in the market. This implies the lowest costs from the economic actors, would result in great energy efficiency gains and growing shares of renewables (RES), but depends on technological progress of CCS, RES and public acceptance of nuclear.

    The ‘high RES’ scenario is based on a 75% RES share in final energy consumption as a result of strong public support measures, and would result in the highest decrease in import dependency. However, it would lead to the highest electricity prices.

    The ‘delayed CCS’ scenario would allow carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology to achieve its market potentials, and the ‘low nuclear’ scenario presumes a halt of nuclear capacity building in the period. Both score well on costs, but are dependent on the failure of the other’s penetration of the market.

    All of the scenarios, however, are built on optimistic assumptions. They were conducted under the hypothesis that the whole world is acting on climate change, which leads to lower demand for fossil fuels and a decrease of prices (to around US$70 per barrel). They presume the timely construction of all required infrastructure, a continuous improvement of technologies, and a well-functioning internal EU market. Also, the document admits that energy efficiency tends to show better results in a model world than in reality.

    The figures all relate to an expected EU average, with a predicted GDP growth of around 1.5%. The difficulties specific member states may face during the actual implementation, and the construction of their energy mix, are beyond the scope of this document.

    Reactions

    Simon Blakey of Eurogas, vice-chairman of GasNaturally, praised the Commission for recognising the critical role of gas in transforming the energy system and pointed out that “replacing older polluting plants with gas is the fastest way to improve energy efficiency and to achieve significant CO 2 reductions”.

    Lars Christian Hansen of bioinnovation firm Novozymes called for more specificity in the road map.
    “We clearly need binding targets by 2030 for renewables, including for sustainable advanced biofuels as an initial step towards meeting the 2050 objectives.”

    John Harris, vice-president of smart metering company Landis+Gyr, also struck a positive note:
    “The Commission rightly assumes that the significant increase in decentralised generation and renewables mean that demand must follow supply. [...] However, we are still not seeing the technology being deployed in a way that will pave the way for the grid transformation.”

    Electricity representative Eurelectric, whose own projections were taken into account during the compilation of the road map, agrees that climate change will reshape the energy sector and increase the role of electricity. However, it wishes for more elaboration on how cost-effectiveness, security of supply and competitiveness would be achieved, and calls for a diversified energy mix to promote cost-effectiveness.

    The Committee of the Regions warns that local and regional authorities need more help to be able to play their part in reducing energy consumption and switching to more sustainable energy sources. It also rejects the idea of setting Europe-wide targets for the renovation of public buildings. The Cor would leave the decision with the member states.Jean-Pol Poncelet, director-general of nuclear interest group Foratom, stated earlier that despite the decreasing role the road map grants to nuclear energy, “the ratification of new build projects across Europe, the successful completion of the safety and risk reassessment process and the recent endorsement of the nuclear industry’s safety credentials lead us to believe that nuclear will maintain its contribution to the EU’s low-carbon energy portfolio”, which amounts to two-thirds of its CO2-free electricity production today.

    15 December 2011 - Read more
  • Press Release: Gas Makes a Clean Future Real for Europe

    Launch of the ‘GasNaturally’ initiative to demonstrate the importance of gas in the Energy Roadmap 2050.

    GasNaturally, a new initiative and website launched today, will highlight the many benefits of gas in the context of the European Commission’s forthcoming Energy Roadmap 2050. Gas is the cleanest hydrocarbon fuel; it is also an abundant, secure and reliable energy source, making it an attractive, stand-alone energy source as well as the ideal partner for renewables. Gas is flexible, available and can be stored and transported easily in large quantities. Innovative gas technologies and products are being developed today to increase energy efficiency and to provide new solutions that will help Europe achieve its low-carbon economy objectives. GasNaturally is responding to the Commission’s call for an inclusive debate on competitive solutions to ensure security of energy supplies while achieving the targeted CO2 reductions.

    Click here to download the press release.

    06 December 2011 - Read more

Nov 2011

  • Christian Democrats (EPP) hearing - “Building European Energy Diplomacy: External Dimension of Energy Security for Europe”

    On 10 November, the Christian Democrat (EPP) Group in the European Parliament held a hearing on “Building European Energy Diplomacy: External Dimension of Energy Security for Europe”. Speakers including EP President Jerzy Buzek (EPP, Poland) and Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger discussed the importance of Europe’s energy policy and the need for diversification.

    Energy experts, Professor Alan Riley, City University of London and Dr Frank Umbach, Senior Associate for International Energy Security at the Centre for European Security Strategies King’s College London,  expressed their support for natural gas development in Europe.  This view was supported by Commissioner Oettinger who also talked about his concerns regarding Europe’s dependency on natural gas from other countries and highlighted the role unconventional gas could play in addressing this issue.

    Prof Riley spoke of his support for the European Gas Advocacy Forum’s study “Making the Green Journey Work”. He explained how increasing existing EU average load capacity of 45 per cent to 70 per cent would allow for comparative reduction in coal-fired electricity generation and a subsequent reduction in carbon emissions. As detailed in the study, this would be a cheaper than investing in renewable energy sources and is suitable for short-term implementation.  Prof. Riley went on to say shale gas development would help Europe achieve its climate change targets, as well as help balance the energy market providing greater energy security. Dr Umbach looked at the potential sources of natural gas for Europe. Citing the 300 bcm/y of natural gas expected from sources outside of Russia and Central Asia,  as well as supply via Nabucco and the South Stream, Dr Umbach suggested that Europe could face problems related to oversupply in the coming decade.

    10 November 2011 - Read more
  • International Energy Agency publishes World Energy Outlook 2011

    The International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2011 looks at the role of natural gas in future energy supply.  In the special report  “Are We Entering A Golden Age Of Gas?”, the IEA predicts that global demand for natural gas will grow but in what is termed “OECD Europe” supply will decline between 2010 and 2035.  This is supported by data showing that gas output in OECD Europe fell by 20 billion cubic metres (bcm) between 2005 and 2010. Regarding unconventional gas the report says “Unconventional gas now accounts for half of the estimated natural gas resource base and it is more widely dispersed than conventional resources, a fact that has positive implications for gas security”.  Unconventional gas’s share in total gas production is expected to reach one-fifth by 2035 but it will vary from region to region.

    In Europe, exploration has only started in some regions and significant extraction is not expected for a few years.  The authors suggest that in Europe like elsewhere the potential of natural gas and the development of unconventional gas is limited due to incomplete or under developed regulatory frameworks.  In order for unconventional gas to play a significant role in the future European energy supply, environmental concerns must be addressed such as groundwater protection and minimizing the quantity of water used in production.  The report also looks at how reduction in CO2 emissions will affect growth of natural gas, saying it is both a benefit and a hindrance to Europe.  Though natural gas is a good replacement for coal it does not provide sufficient reductions to make it an environmentally viable alternative to renewables or nuclear with the current available technology.   Additionally, natural gas vehicles are not expected to take off as natural gas powered vehicles emit twice as much CO2 in Europe than electric cars.  However, combined-cycle gas turbines which emit roughly half the amount of CO2 emissions of a new coal fired power station are becoming more prevalent in Europe as a means to reduce emissions from power generation.  Overall the report concludes that while the understanding of the potential benefits of unconventional gas is increasing, questions over the environmental impact create uncertainties in particularly in regions where projects are not yet underway.

    09 November 2011 - Read more