What role is there for gas in the European energy system over the next decades? Some believe the EU must give priority to coal-to-gas switching. Others see no role for natural gas at all in the long run and argue that EU policy must promote only “renewable” gas. An Energy Post panel debate in Brussels, sponsored by Nord Stream 2, saw conflicting views sound off against each other. Meanwhile, a new “Gas for Climate” initiative proposes a 10% renewable gas target for 2030. Sonja van Renssen reports on the start of a new debate in Brussels. “Even three or four years ago, the answer of how gas contributes [to decarbonisation] would have been easy: just stop burning coal, start burning gas and you’ll be fine,” said Martin Lambert, a researcher at the Oxford Institute of Energy Studies (OIES) and former Shell manager in a keynote speech at Energy Post’s debate on the future of gas in Brussels on 27 September. “In Shell at the time we spoke about the three “A’s” – gas was good because it was affordable, available and acceptable.” “Recently, that’s all changed,” he continued. “Post-COP21 the world needs to decarbonise.” At the debate, Jonathan Gaventa, senior associate from independent climate and energy think tank E3G, put it bluntly: “If we’re aiming for zero emissions, there can be no emissions from unabated gas.” (Unabated gas meaning fossil gas without CCS.) In other words, Gaventa suggested that EU policy should focus on phasing out natural gas at some time in the future.
Energy Post 24th Oct 2018 read more »