Assessing the Future Role of Gas in a Net-Zero Emissions Energy System

In an article for Rienergia, Navigant investigates potential for the production of renewable gas within the European Union by 2050

A major redesign of the energy system is required to achieve the Paris Agreement target of limiting global temperature increase to well below 2°C. To meet the climate change target, it is sometimes argued that Europe should abandon the gas grid, stop the use of gas, and focus on an all-electric energy system. In addition to this being a challenge to implement, recent analysis by Ecofys, a Navigant company, suggests that the optimal energy transition combines renewable electricity with renewable gas, using existing gas infrastructure.

In an article for Rienergia, lead author Daan Peters of Ecofys, describes the role renewable gas could play in a fully decarbonized EU 2050 energy system. “It is possible to greatly increase the production and use of renewable gas in the European Union”, wrote Peters. “A conservative estimation of the truly sustainable production potential of biomethane produced from a range of agricultural and woody biomass types within the European Union shows that it is possible to produce at least 98 billion cubic metres, or more than 1,000 TWh of energy annually by 2050.”

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