The present, the challenges and the future of gas trading
At the next European Utility Week, the Energy Trading sector will be well represented with loads of interesting presentations and discussions at the Energy Markets Hub theatres. Next to a Power trading Theatre, there will also be a Gas Trading Theatre covering updates on the EU Gas Market Infrastructure, the natural gas and LNG markets and prices and the Renewable Gas Markets.
One of the gas market ambassadors that you will find at this gas trading theatre is Ilaria Conti, Head of Gas at the Florence School of Regulation. I had the pleasure of asking Ilaria a few questions about the European Gas Markets.
Over the past years, a lot of work has been put in improving liquidity, transparency and harmonisation of European Gas markets. How far are we?
The progress achieved in European gas markets since the start of the liberalization process is unquestionable. Trading across national markets used to be a challenge for few and is nowadays made possible thanks to improved liquidity, more reliable price references at hubs and much greater harmonisation and standardisation of processes. Such progress is, on the other hand, not uniform in all EU member states and there’s still some work to do.
What are still the main challenges?
The target of a truly single EU gas market is still to be reached, with a slower implementation of some Network Codes in some EU countries and some gas hubs still struggling to achieve greater liquidity. But these are not the main challenges in my view. Europe has now given itself a new challenging target – decarbonising the EU energy system, which will imply a radical change in the traditional gas structures and processes. Ensuring the sustainability of this new decarbonised system – both in environmental and economic terms – will be the new huge challenge.
How do you see the future of gas trading?
Every change brings new threats and opportunities, so I’m sure that also the energy transition towards decarbonisation in Europe will create new niches that the smartest and quickest actors will be able to seize and exploit.
Traditional gas trading will be more and more delocalised outside of Europe, via LNG – while gas trading in Europe shall be mainly linked to new commodities (such as renewable gases), new processes and new synergies – for example by interacting with partners in other sectors.
Ilaria Conti will chair the morning session on the Gas and LNG Markets on 13 November at the Energy Markets Hub on the exhibition floor. Join us!