Ref. Ares(2018)2264353 - 27/04/2018
Ref. Ares(2019)7759556 - 17/12/2019
Towards the Paris Agreement with Gas
Achieving Europe’s Energy Climate Goals
The energy world is changing rapidly. Businesses, Policy Makers and Citizens are committed to
transition Europe towards a low carbon society by 2050. This is ambitious, but needed to limit
temperature increase and the global warming effects on our planet. GIE believes that gas and gas
infrastructure (transmission, storage and LNG terminals) have to play a key role in this process,
allowing renewable energy sources to be integrated into our system and enabling a cost-efficient
transition while simultaneously providing Europe’s energy system with the robustness to withstand
also the coldest winters.
The way we use Europe’s gas infrastructure will be very different in the future. Europe’s gas
infrastructure can transport and store large amounts of energy across large distances, its flexibility
will be a key feature in our future energy system with a high share of renewables. Also, the gases
transported and stored will be very different and GIE Members are working on innovative techniques
to facilitate all kinds of gaseous energy carriers, from biomethane, sustainably produced within and
outside our borders, via green hydrogen, produced from excess electricity from wind farms or PV
installations to synthetic methane. Targeted infrastructure investments will connect also the remotest
European regions with a liquid and competitive EU gas market, achieving a fully integrated and well-
interconnected market where energy can flow freely across our borders. GIE believes in tailored
solutions to achieve a sustainable energy system, with gas infrastructure central to an integrated,
smart energy system.
Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE)
Whether natural gas, biomethane or hydrogen, gas has unique features needed to
green our energy system.
Reducing CO2 emissions by switching to gas
Substituting coal and oil based fuels with gas can reduce CO2 and small particles emissions, improving
air quality significantly. Well-proven technologies for space heating, transport (e.g. heavy-duty
vehicles, road and sea freight, buses and passenger cars) and highly efficient gas-fired power plants
can decrease CO2 emissions cost-effectively, with very limited infrastructure investments.
Gas is efficient
The gas sector has invested for decades in improving the efficiency of its gas system, from production
to the end-users. Existing pipelines, storages and LNG terminals are today the most cost-effective
way of storing and transporting energy: As an example, the interconnector BBL connects the Dutch
gas market with the British one. Comparable in length, BritNed is a subsea electricity link between
the Netherlands and the UK. To transport one 1kW of energy 100 km costs around 11 EUR via the
BBL gas interconnector. For the same amount of energy, the transport in BritNed costs 230 Euro.
Gas is reliable and abundant
Gas is supplied from a multitude of sources via pipelines or LNG terminals to Europe. About 1/3 is
produced within the EU. With large additional volumes from existing and new origins coming on the
world market in the next years, gas is a very competitive energy source. Within Europe, our gas
infrastructure is mostly so very well interconnected, that prices are converging. Together with LNG
terminals and storage facilities, the gas network contributes to a resilient, stable and flexible energy
Gas provides the flexibility needed to compensate for the variability of electricity produced by
This flexibility will thus guarantee secure electricity to consumers. For gas to play its role a well-
developed and meshed gas infrastructure network as well as storages and LNG terminals is required,
so that gas can flow where it is valued the most. Today in large parts of Europe there is already a
system which is capable to responding to strong demand variability and the integration of green
energy. Apart from enabling the integration of variable renewables such as wind and solar, the
existing gas infrastructure readily allows for the transport of biomethane.
The European Gas System
The transmission pipelines, storage facilities and LNG regasification terminals are at
the heart of our energy system.
Europe benefits already from a well-interconnected has gas network, allows for diversified supplies
from a multitude of suppliers. Some investments might still be required, in order to connect the
remotest regions or to help establishing competitive and liquid markets. Transmission system
operators are providing services in the most efficient manner. Due to its energy density compared to
electricity transmission, gas pipelines constitute the most cost-effective way of transporting energy
both within and across EU Member States. GIE Members are constantly innovating towards a
sustainable future for transmission networks, covering and analysing the injection of renewable
gases, energy efficiency, power to gas and the potentials for gas in mobility.
Gas storages play a major role in providing a unique system value, as an immediate and reliable
flexibility tool. They ensure cost efficient secured gas supplies during normal conditions and cold
winters, when gas demand peaks. With gas storages we have readily available gas volumes in entire
European regions, reliably and swiftly. This is crucial to allow for solidarity between Member States in
security of supply emergencies.
We are expecting that electricity will play a more important role in some important sectors such as
residential heating or transport. This will help us to decarbonize the energy system, but will bring
more flexibility needs to the electricity sector. In such a system, gas storages will be the cornerstone
of energy storage. Massive intermittent renewable energy quantities produced by solar and wind
farm will sometimes produce when electricity is not needed. This extra electricity production can be
converted into renewable gases, for example synthetic methane or hydrogen. These renewable gases
can be stored and used in a cost-efficient manner when the wind does not blow and the sun doesn’t
shine. Biomethane, produced sustainably and locally will also be stored in gas storages, providing
further ‘green flexibility’.
GIE members have in recent years invested into LNG regasification terminals. This connects our gas
infrastructure system to gas reserves around the world. As LNG cargoes can be bought on a globally
traded market, it increases competition at EU gas market and helps with security of supply. Flexible
LNG supplies are ideal for the development and integration of variable renewable energy such as
solar and wind. Through the LNG terminals, LNG can be supplied via trucks or boats in smaller
quantities to customers which are not connected to the gas network. LNG is also playing an
increasing role in reducing CO2 and other harmful emissions from the shipping sector as a low-
emission alternative. Similarly, there is great potential for the use of LNG in road freight transport.
Coupling Gas- and Electricity Infrastructure
Hydrogen/Power to Gas: A process where excess (renewable) electricity is used to produce
hydrogen. Apart from its direct use in e.g. industrial processes, for heat generation or as a feedstock
or in vehicles, hydrogen can be injected to a certain extent into the gas grid and blended with gas for
further distribution and usage. By combining hydrogen with e.g. excess CO2 from biogas production,
it can further be converted into (synthetic) methane. Synthetic methane can be stored, just as
natural gas, either in dedicated storages or in the gas network for later use, without the need to
adapt infrastructures or appliances.
Biogas/Biomethane: Biogas is produced by breaking down matter such as organic waste, e.g.
manure, straw, crops, wood/straw, etc. Biogas is normally used at local level for the production of
heat and power. When upgraded to biomethane it can be injected into the gas network and
transported and utilized just as natural gas.
(Hybrid) Heat Pumps: Gas heat pumps are highly efficient appliances, which combine the great
efficiency of a heat pump with the flexibility and reliability of the gas network, thereby decarbonizing
residential buildings and homes. As such, they facilitate renewable electricity production to play a
bigger role in the domestic heating sector.
Carbon capture and geological storage (CCS) is a technique for trapping carbon dioxide emitted
from large point sources such as industrial plants, compressing it, and transporting it to a suitable
storage site where it is injected into the ground. This technology has significant potential to help
mitigate climate change in Europe and is recognized as an essential technology in many scenarios for
meeting the 2050 Energy and climate objectives.
Small Scale LNG: GIE members are supporting the development of a small-scale LNG market, offering
new and innovative logistic services to their terminal users. These services include, or are planned to
include, the following activities: Reloading, ship-to-ship trans-shipment, LNG truck loading (to supply
off-grid areas/users), rail loading, bunkering activities (terminal- to- LNG fuelled ships, terminal to
bunkering ship), etc.
Mobility: Natural gas has great potentials as a fuel for light/heavy duty vehicles, lorries, buses and
ships. An increasing number of CNG and LNG vehicles at competitive prices are offered to customers.
The number of filling stations is increasing annually. CNG and LNG vehicles allow for large reductions
in CO2 emissions, air pollutants and noise emissions in Europe’s cities and urban areas. LNG as a
transport fuel for ships can besides reducing CO2 emissions, also meet the most stringent air
pollutant emission levels set by the EU and IMO with a reduction potential of 85-90% for NOx and
almost 100% for Sox & PMs. By switching from oil-based fuel to gas in the transport sector both CO2
and air pollutants can be cut significantly. With the increasing amount of green gases, the utilization
of gas as a transport fuel will accelerate the decarbonisation of road and maritime sectors even
GIE’s Policy Asks
Clear, coherent and positive signals from EU policy makers regarding the role of gas in the future
energy mix are an essential prerequisite for a sound investment climate in the gas sector. This also
ensures that the EU gas market continues to be an attractive market in a global context.
The EU needs flexible and integrated energy infrastructure. GIE asks the EU institutions to ensure a
level playing field which encourages primarily market driven investments.
GIE asks the EU institutions to ensure full implementation of the provisions of the 3rd Energy package.
An integrated approach, legislating electricity and gas networks coherently, fosters integration and
addresses the challenges of the energy transition.
The ETS should be the main policy instrument to deliver market based CO2 emission reductions.
Overlapping policies should take into account effects on the quantity/ price of emission allowances.
Every market is different. GIE asks policy makers to consider local and regional challenges at the
corresponding level and to recognize the differences in energy markets across Europe.
GIE asks for sustainable goals which support research and innovation and wide deployment in
technologies such as biogas/biomethane, power to gas and gas for transport. This ensures Europe’s
technological lead in decarbonisation solutions.
Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE) is the association representing the interests of European natural gas
infrastructure operators active in natural gas transmission, gas storage and Liquefied Natural Gas
(LNG) regasification. GIE is a trusted partner of European institutions, regulatory bodies and industry
stakeholders. It is based in Brussels, the heart of European policymaking.
GIE currently represents 68 member companies from 24 countries. Its internal structure has three
columns corresponding to the three types of infrastructure activities represented: Gas Transmission
Europe (GTE), Gas Storage Europe (GSE) and Gas LNG Europe (GLE), who cooperate under the
umbrella of GIE. This structure allows member companies to speak with one voice on gas
infrastructure topics as well as to build positions on column-specific issues.
GIE’s vision is that by 2050, the gas infrastructure will be the backbone of the new innovative energy
system, allowing European citizens to benefit from a secure, efficient and sustainable energy supply.
Gas Infrastructure Europe
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