At the beginning of 2022, the price of natural gas has risen significantly in the filling stations of some Spanish operators, as has been happening in the rest of Europe. However, the transport companies that have made a more determined commitment to decarbonize the transport of people and goods cannot be the ones who pay the highest price of the energy crisis. That is why Gasnam is calling on the Government to give decided support for pioneering companies in sustainable transport in the face of the generalized rise in CNG prices.
Although forecasts indicate that this situation is temporary and will gradually lessen in the coming months, it is currently having a direct impact on the competitiveness of transport companies that have opted for less polluting energy. These companies have been actively contributing to the reduction of CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions for years and yet they are being unfairly penalized.
Gasnam considers it necessary for the different administrations to immediately and decisively get involved in helping the companies that are suffering the greatest damage derived from the drastic increase in prices. The sector recalls that the transition towards non-polluting fuels must make a progressive decarbonization process compatible with cost containment. Natural gas is precisely the only mature solution that had made this possible at a significantly more competitive abatement cost than any other fuel.
In the international transport sector there is a clear consensus on the fact that the adoption now of natural gas technology is an essential step for the progressive decarbonization of heavy transport, through renewable gases such as biogas or blending with green hydrogen.
In addition, Gasnam considers that the lack of a decided policy to promote renewable gas means that in the face of a crisis such as the one currently being experienced, Spain has no alternative. While other European countries such as France, Italy or Germany offer biomethane to carriers in their dispensers, produced locally from their own waste, Spain still does not enjoy this reality, despite having significant production potential.
The lack of development of the adequate regulatory framework has also truncated the aid for the acquisition of heavy CNG/LNG vehicles provided for in the framework of the Recovery Plan, given that Europe requires guaranteeing the supply of biogas to implement the subsidies. CNG or LNG trucks can use biogas without making any kind of modifications to their engines or refueling infrastructures.
According to the report prepared by the independent consulting firm PwC for Gasnam, presented in December 2021, powering the fleet of natural gas heavy vehicles with a mix of renewable gases (biogas and hydrogen) could save between 3 and 7 million tons of CO2 by 2030. For this to be possible, a determined commitment to the development of renewable gases is required, with the appropriate support mechanisms.
For all these reasons, Gasnam reiterates once again to the Government to provide the appropriate solutions for the decarbonization of heavy transport and to consider natural gas as a key vector in the decarbonization process and the necessary bridge to the use of renewable gases without leaving behind to companies that have been pioneers in the fight against climate change.