Perspective

Natural gas is already making an important contribution to reducing CO2 emissions as the greenest fossil energy source. As part of the energy transition, politicians have set ambitious targets for reducing CO2 emissions. These targets were confirmed at the Paris Climate Conference. This is the perspective: the manifold possible uses of natural gas are associated with a very high CO2 reduction potential, which can be exploited quickly and cost-effectively.

Natural gas ensures energy supply & protects the climate

Natural gas is needed by industry, commerce, trade, households, transport, as well as to generate electricity. Therefore, a sustainable, secure and cost-effective natural gas supply will remain important in the future. Nevertheless, the German natural gas market is characterized by dynamic changes. Increasing use of high-efficient technologies in the heating market will reduce natural gas consumption in this area, but electricity generation is forecasted to increase the demand for natural gas. The power energy consumption will, however, remain constant. In particular, the demands on the natural gas infrastructure remains high and will even increase as a result of the integration of renewables.

Intelligent sector network enables the energy transition

Accomplishing a successful energy transition is one of the major social, industrial, political and entrepreneurial challenges that Germany is currently facing. Gasunie's natural gas transmission network in northern Germany runs exactly where the power generation from regenerative sources registers the highest growth rates and it is still growing rapidly. Gasunie has recognized the associated opportunities and is therefore committed to initiatives as sector coupling and the intelligent combination of gas, electricity, heat and mobility infrastructures. Developing this offers great potential.

The power-to-gas technology is of great importance here, while it presents a practical solution for connecting previously separate infrastructures. The gas infrastructure basically offers the opportunity, not only to transport very large amounts of energy, but also to store it. This provides a solution for the large-scale removal and storage of regenerative generated electricity. Even today, more energy is being transported through the gas grids in Germany than through the electricity grids.

In discussions with all key stakeholders, Gasunie argues that fossil natural gas can be gradually replaced by CO2-neutral, synthetic gas. On this basis, the gas infrastructure makes a significant and economically meaningful contribution to the future energy system. We are also convinced that, in addition to CO2-neutral, synthetic gas, hydrogen also represents an alternative. As a gas infrastructure operator, we have repeatedly shown in the past that switching from one gas medium to another may be laborious, but in any case manageable. In the conversion of town gas to low calorific L-gas and then to H-gas with high calorific value, we have made it possible. Hydrogen, synthetic gas or biogas are the next logical steps for us to a future energy system.

Study showing the value of a gas infrastructure

Gasunie together with the other German TSO's have published a study examining the effects of using the existing gas infrastructure (storage and pipelines) and then transporting generatively produced "green" gas based on the 2050 energy system. This study took all consumption sectors into account, the value added stages and the respective system costs. The results are clear and are now confirmed by other studies.