Decarbonizing the Austrian energy system by 2050 while using the existing gas infrastructure would be economically more viable than a pathway purely based on electrification.
This is the main finding of a recent study by Navigant commissioned by the Austrian Association of Gas and Heat Utilities (FGW). The energy experts analyzed two different decarbonization paths. On the one hand, Navigant investigated an electricity scenario in which gas is used only at peak power loads. On the other hand, the experts calculated a gas scenario in which the existing gas infrastructure is used right down to gas end devices and combined with electricity.
Significant cost drivers in the case of the electricity scenario are technology costs in the building sector, electrification in the industrial sector, the need for conventional generation capacity and the electricity distribution network.
The study recommends further exploring the use of gas infrastructure, power-to-gas and the optimal allocation of green gas across sectors, and to develop it further with relevant stakeholders on national and European level.