The road to 2050 should be fossil gas pipelines free

04/03/2020 09:03 Energy


All scenarios prepared by transmission grid operators feature very high shares of gas in Europe’s future energy mix.

The transmission grid operators still assume, in a recently published draft scenario, that the EU’s gas demand by mid of the century will be roughly two thirds higher than the demand that the European Commission considers for reaching the 1.5°C objective. With this, anyone can easily justify all kinds of fossil gas projects that will not bring us to Paris targets as quickly as we need.


The EU is allegedly planning its journey to an energy system with net-zero emissions, but it is allowing fossil gas to be part of the trip, as EU legislation charges the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas (ENTSOG) and for Electricity (ENTSO-E) to draw the Ten Year Network Development Plan (TYNDP).


Among others, this masterplan of European energy infrastructure identifies the need for the privileged Projects of Common Interest (PCIs). Recently, Members of the European Parliament were asked to endorse 55 fossil gas projects, as part of the fourth PCI list. Getting the PCI label means gas project developers can expect several hundreds of millions of EU subsidies.


If all these gas pipelines and terminals would be operated during their average lifetime of more than 50 years, they would not only deepen the EU’s dependency on fossil fuel imports, but they would also keep the bloc on a level of greenhouse gas emissions that drives us far beyond what is acceptable on our route to reach the Paris Agreement’s goal to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C.


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