"Gas is an ideal partner for electricity"
Eurogas Secretary-General, James Watson, answers the questions of EUW Content Director, Patrick Bauduin, about the future of gas and the challenges expected in the sector.
- How can the gas sector help the electricity sector and how will multi-energy systems enable different networks (electricity, gas, heat) to interact with each other?
Gas is an ideal partner for electricity. The unique features of both energy systems can be complementary to each other and can contribute towards developing cost-efficient technological solutions.
Gas technologies provide flexibility solutions to the electricity sector: by storing excess renewable electricity as gas via power-to-gas and by lowering demand via (micro/mini) combined heat and power appliances (CHP) and fuel cells. Gas infrastructure is another solution to the electricity system flexibility as it can balance fluctuations in the power grid. Renewable gas can provide electricity backup to variable renewable sources such as sun and wind.
Using the virtues of electricity and gas is, therefore, the best way to create a sustainable low-carbon energy system.
- What are the challenges we need to overcome to create a competitive Renewable gas market?
Renewable gas can be produced from various feedstocks, such as excess electricity from variable renewable sources, agricultural residues, municipal waste, or sewage, in the form of biomethane. Innovative gas technologies for the production of renewable and decarbonised gases are already available to deliver on decarbonisation.
Eurogas calls for binding 2030 targets for renewable and decarbonised gases at the EU level to facilitate investments in these options and create a competitive market for these energy options. Having a target for low carbon gases would help the EU to achieve a higher share of renewable energy at a lower cost. European targets for renewable and decarbonised gases would give companies and firms an incentive to invest in this type of energy.
- The Netherlands plans to phase out gas completely by 2050. What is your view on this?
The Netherlands is not going to phase out gas – they are examining how to utilize hydrogen in their economy in a very advanced way. The Netherlands could become a leader in the use of hydrogen in the coming years, so there is a strong future for gas in the Netherlands.
In this context, it is widely acknowledged that gas will be part of the energy future to 2050 and beyond. Gas is needed!
- Why should EUW attendees join the Closing Keynote session about the future role of gas in Europe?
Because it will be fun, for sure there will be some controversy and engaging debate. It will also provide information on the pathways to a decarbonized 2050 and how gas will be crucial to achieving our climate objectives.
James Watson will be speaking at the panel discussion Decarbonising beyond renewables: Do we need anything else in Europe? during the Beyond renewable session at the Summit on the 13th of November at 12.20h.
He will be also moderating the Closing keynote session The Future Role of Gas in the European Energy Transition at the Summit on the 14th of November at 14.15h.
Eurogas is a Partner of European Utility Week 2019