A study performed by Navigant for the Gas for Climate consortium was published. While achieving 100% greenhouse gas reduction requires large quantities of renewable electricity, by far the most cost optimal role to decarbonize is by combining electricity with renewable gases such as hydrogen and biomethane. Renewable gas adds value in the heating of buildings, for high temperature industrial heat, providing flexibility in electricity production alongside wind and solar and in heavy transport.
Using around 2900 TWh or approximately 270 billion cubic meters of renewable methane and hydrogen in a smart combination with renewable electricity saves society €217 billion across the energy system compared to reducing gas to an absolute minimum. Existing gas infrastructure is indispensable in transporting this renewable and low carbon gas to the various demand sectors. Gas infrastructure can be used to transport both hydrogen and biomethane in 2050.
The Navigant experts foresee an initial important role for blue hydrogen (carbon-neutral hydrogen produced from natural gas with carbon capture and storage), to grow the developing hydrogen market including in new applications. Towards 2050, with increased levels of renewable electricity and falling costs, renewable green hydrogen will gradually replace blue hydrogen, achieving in the end a fully renewable energy system.
In a joint statement, the CEOs of the nine Gas for Climate members said: “The new Gas for Climate study shows that gas and its infrastructure will play an indispensable role in the future decarbonized energy system together with electricity infrastructures. We support the transition to a fully renewable energy system in which biomethane and green hydrogen will play a major role in a smart combination with renewable electricity while recognizing that blue hydrogen can accelerate decarbonization efforts in the coming decades.”
Gas for Climate was initiated in 2017 to analyze and create awareness about the role of renewable and low carbon natural gas in the future energy system in full compliance with the Paris Agreement target to limit global temperature increase to well below 2 degrees Celsius. To this end, the entire economy has to become (net) zero carbon by mid-century.
Source: Gas for Climate