Is there really a need for more gas infrastructure in Europe to ensure EU energy supply?

One of our latest studies shows that Europe’s current gas infrastructure is already very resilient to a wide range of demand futures and extreme supply disruption cases, with the main exception of the Balkans. The study also finds that a focus on energy efficiency, as well as on an integrated management and planning of gas and electricity systems help meet supply security at significantly lower costs. 

 

Gas security of supply is often quoted at the European level as the reason for new infrastructure projects, particularly since the recent events in Ukraine. Most energy related infrastructure investments are capital-heavy and long-lived (40 years and more), which means infrastructure built today will be part of EU Energy system in 2050. In case of declining gas demand, this leads to a risk for stranded assets.

 

The European Climate Foundation (ECF) commissioned a study to Artelys, Climact and Element Energy on the need for gas infrastructure regarding security of supply issues. Early March, Julien Pestiaux from Climact presented the key findings of this study to more than a hundred people coming from the European institutions, NGOs, TSOs associations, as well as the specialized press.

 

This technical study assesses if additional gas infrastructures (e.g., pipelines, LNG terminals) are needed for various demand scenarios and supply disruption cases in the year 2030. The overall conclusion is that our gas infrastructure is already very resilient and that further investments in such long-lived assets will lead to stranded assets. The study also looked at synergies between gas and electricity infrastructure and finds that significant savings can be achieved through an integrated approach. 

 

Key findings can be summarized as such:

  • Finding 1: Europe’s current gas infrastructure is largely resilient to a wide range of demand futures and extreme supply disruption cases, with the exception of some countries mostly in South-Eastern Europe under specific Circumstances
  • Finding 2: An integrated and regional perspective on gas and electricity systems together helps meet supply security standards at significantly lower costs
  • Finding 3: Demand reduction as a priority; buildings efficiency significantly reduces investment needs
  • Finding 4: Delivering the EU’s 2030 targets can significantly reduce gas imports into Europe
  • Finding 5: New gas infrastructure assets will be superfluous by 2050

 

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A couple of months after the report launch the key messages are now being discussed with a series of stakeholders, mainly with the relevant teams at the European commission and TSOs associations. This study clearly brought relevant fact-based insights to the debate and is likely to contribute to the required change in infrastructure planning and gas projects assessments.

 

Climact is proud to contribute in this way to a more cost-effective energy transition.

 

Complete reports and datasets are available on a dedicated website : www.energyunionchoices.eu

Outreach in the media : here