European energy system will need similar amounts of natural gas in a feasible net-zero future as it does today, shows the study commissioned by the Hydrogen4EU consortium.
Hydrogen4EU is a research partnership aiming to inform on the contribution of low-carbon and renewable hydrogen in reaching the European energy transition goals.
Several partners funded the research.
Among them are BP, ENI, Equinor, ExxonMobil, OMV, Shell, Snam, Total, Wintershall Dea, Zukunft Gas and others.
The scientists considered 2 scenarios of the EU energy system development.
The 1st involves technology diversification and using a wide range of decarbonization technologies.
In this case, the share of gas in primary energy demand will reach 32% by 2050.
Today it is around 25%.
The 2nd scenario means the purposeful development of renewables.
However, even in this case, the gas demand in the EU remains unchanged.
It will be around 26% by 2050.
In this scenario, gas ‘provides important flexibility as a complement to renewables’.
The authors note the importance of using CCUS technologies with natural gas.
They highlight that in the future, the focus of gas consumption will inevitably shift from direct combustion by end-users to the production of hydrogen and electricity.
Dawn Summers, President of GasNaturally and COO of Wintershall Dea, said at the presentation of the study:
• A credible path to decarbonisation will require more than just electrification
• Harnessing the power of both renewables and low-carbon gas will deliver the fastest
The European Green Deal, published in December 2019 by the European Commission, strengthened the previously announced objectives in terms of sustainability, renewable energy deployment and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
It sets unprecedented objectives for the decarbonization of the EU, with a target of net-zero emissions by 2050 and an intermediary 55% reduction of emissions in 2030, compared to 1990.