EU plans ‘big increase’ in green gas to meet climate goals

(EurActiv, 7 Jan 2020) Production of biogas, biomethane and “green” hydrogen will have to skyrocket by at least 1,000% over the next three decades in order to reach the EU’s climate neutrality objective for 2050, an EU official has said.

Renewable gases today already represent around 7% of gross inland energy consumption in the EU, said Antonio Lopez-Nicolas, deputy head of unit at the European Commission’s energy department, making them “an important part” of the bloc’s energy mix.

But with Europe now aiming to reach climate neutrality by mid-century that percentage will need to “grow substantially,” the EU official told a EURACTIV event supported by French utility ENGIE last November.

Under EU long-term scenarios for 2050, where global warming is kept below 1.5°C, renewable gases “would reach between 50 and 62.5% of today’s gross inland consumption,” Lopez-Nicolas indicated.

In million tons of oil equivalent, this represents “a big increase from 17 Mtoe to between 200 and 250 Mtoe of renewable gases,” the official told participants at the event – a jump of up to 1,370%.

As impressive as it sounds, getting there is not impossible, Lopez-Nicolas suggested. And the EU doesn’t start from scratch, with new EU targets on renewables and energy efficiency adopted just over a year ago that will facilitate the uptake of renewable gases in sectors such as heating and transport, he said.

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EurActiv, 7 Jan 2020: EU plans ‘big increase’ in green gas to meet climate goals