Europe can meet its 2050 ambition of reducing its CO2-emissions by 80 per cent compared to 1990, in a faster and more cost-efficient way if natural gas plays a significant part in the energy mix going forward.
In a report initiated by a group of experienced gas players in Europe and delivered to the EU Commission today, 10 December, highlights how this can be achieved:
– We appreciate the scale of the challenge and the necessity of curbing the CO2-emissions. Our contribution is to focus on how Europe can reach its ambition in a practical and economically viable way, says Rune Bjørnson, executive vice president for Natural gas in Statoil.
– To that end it is our belief that natural gas must play a pivotal and constructive part in meeting this challenge.
According to an analysis called the Optimised pathway conducted by the European Gas Advocacy Forum, Europe can meet its 2050 ambition by switching from coal to gas now to deliver significant reductions in CO2 and rely on established technology between 2010 – 2030 to reduce costs and providing more time for alternative technology development.
By doing so the reduction target can be met at a 400-450 billion Euro lower total costs from 2010-2030 if one compares it to the European Climate Foundation roadmap launched earlier this year. Additional cost savings for the period 2030-2050 could most likely also be achieved.
– The reason why gas plays a vital role in the optimised pathway – especially in the power sector – is because it requires low investments, has relative low CO2 emissions and is a reliable and proven technology, says Bjørnson.
– Natural gas should have a key role to play in EU’s long term energy mix as gas is affordable, abundant and a low carbon fossil fuel Bjørnson underlines.
Abundant: Globally, estimates point to more than 250 years of recoverable natural gas resources at current consumption levels.
Source diversity: For Europe is situated within a 5,000 kilometres of 80% of proven worldwide gas reserves which caters for diversification of natural gas suppliers.
Cleanest fossil fuel: Gas is the cleanest burning fossil-fuel. A gas plant emits 50% less CO2 than a modern coal plant and 60-70% less than an old coal plant.
Affordable: In the power sector gas has low capital cost per megawatt installed.
About the European Gas Advocacy Forum
The European Gas Advocacy Group comprises experienced gas players including Statoil, Centrica, Eni, E.ON Ruhrgas, Gazprom, GdF Suez, Qatar Petroleum and Shell.
The group’s study has focused on the periods 2010-2030 and 2030-2050 with a special emphasis on the power sector.
About EU’s 2020 target and 2050 climate ambition:
EU member states have set itself the target of reducing its CO2-emissons by 20 per cent compared 1990-levels by 2020.
In addition, EU member states agreed in 2009 on an ambition for reduction in green house gas emissions of 80-95 per cent by the middle of the century compared to 1990 levels.
Following this, the European Commission and member states have launched consultations on pathways to reach the 2050 ambition.
About natural gas in the European energy mix:
Natural gas is used for many purposes: as fuel for power generation, in residential and commercial contexts for heating and cooking purposes, in industry applications, as feedstock in the petrochemical and agricultural industry and as a transportation fuel.
Natural gas’ attractiveness is illustrated by its rapid climb in the European energy mix – from a zero to 23% share over just 50 years.
Source: Statoil, December 12, 2010