Natural gas is going to remain a key component of the European Union’s energy mix in the years to come despite a heavy push towards the renewables. Its role and tasks will, however, be changing and by 2050 gas will have become a “complement” to green energy such as solar and wind – Miguel Arias Canete, the EU’s Commissioner for climate action and energy. Gas is expected to play “an important role in the energy transition” and help the continent to meet its aspirational targets of reaching net-zero emissions by the mid-century.
“But we will not be able to get to 100% renewables overnight,” he said on the sidelines of an energy conference in Norway. “Natural gas offers the flexibility that can complement variable electricity generation coming from renewables” such as wind and solar power, Mr. Canete explained. As such, it will act as a bridge to decarbonize the economy,” the EU leader said. The industry has welcomed the words of the Spanish EU Commissioner.
The idea of ‘gas’ being a ‘bridge’ in the energy shift towards the renewables appeals to the business which is trying to position it as a clean energy source mainly via decarbonized gases like hydrogen, biogas and synthetic methane. “I think it’s time to look at natural gas as more than just a bridge, and more as an enabling partner for the large-scale deployment of renewables well beyond 2030,” commented Nareg Terzian of the International association of oil and gas producers (IOGP). “Decarbonized gas will bring the same value to the energy system in the long term. At the end of the day, we’re going to need both electrons and molecules if we are to be ambitious on climate,” he added.