Investing in the solutions Europe needs

Written by Philippe Sauquet on 2 October 2019 in Opinion Plus
Opinion Plus

Innovative solutions, both technological and legislative, can help enable the EU’s energy transition.

Photo credit: Eurogas


Over the next five years EU policymakers will design the laws and regulations that will shape our climate and energy future. Indeed, European Commission President-elect, Ursula von der Leyen, has committed to delivering a European Climate Law within her first 100 days in office.

As the new Eurogas president I am proud to announce our association’s support for the European Commission’s vision of a carbon neutral economy by 2050.

As one of the first industry associations to endorse this goal, our secretariat will work with legislators throughout Europe to promote policy frameworks that enable a key role for gas in helping progress towards a net zero emissions future.


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With the support of our members, Eurogas advocates a transition that delivers a diversified, economically and environmentally sustainable, energy mix that offers security of supply and allows Europe’s competitive industries to continue to thrive.

Throughout my tenure as Eurogas president I will call on all of our members to work with legislators on timely and innovative solutions, both technological and legislative, and to demonstrate how gas and gas technologies can enable the energy transition.

For example, enhanced integration between gas and electricity markets through sector coupling can enable far greater energy efficiency, while gas infrastructure can enable the mass deployment and storage of renewables through power-to-gas, converting excess electricity into hydrogen.

“Eurogas advocates a transition that delivers a diversified, economically and environmentally sustainable, energy mix that offers security of supply and allows Europe’s competitive industries to continue to thrive”

Finally, in many regions across the EU, gas can still provide quick decarbonisation results when switching from coal-fired power plants.

At Total I manage the gas, renewables and power business. I know that the gas industry will look very different by 2050, particularly through the development of decarbonised and renewable gas.

This can be deployed into peoples’ homes, making use of the existing heating systems that many Europeans already have, while lowering emissions in the residential heating sector.

It can be used in transport, particularly in cities where compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles improve air quality for residents. And gas can help to decarbonise long-haul transport, marine and aviation industries.

Even these measures may not be enough to deliver net zero emissions within the ambitious timeframe set out by the European Commission.

In addition, carbon sinks, such as carbon capture and storage or forestry, will likely also be required to balance remaining emissions. But I am excited about our industry’s potential to help advance the energy transition.

There is no time to waste and I look forward to leading Eurogas as our members and partners invest in the solutions needed to accomplish our future.

 

About the author

Philippe Sauquet is the President of Eurogas.

Eurogas represents the European gas wholesale, retail and distribution sectors and comprises 47 companies and associations from 21 countries.

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