Brussels, February 18th 2019 – Dan Pantilie, CEO of Distrigaz Sud Retele (Romania), Gabriel Sousa, CEO of Galp Gás Natural Distribuição (Portugal), Edouard Sauvage, CEO of GRDF (France), Paolo Gallo, CEO of Italgas (Italy) and Nuria Rodriguez Peinado, CEO of Nedgia (Spain) met Dominique Ristori, Director General for Energy to the European Commission, to discuss how natural and renewable gas can contribute to decarbonize the European economy.
Newly-founded as a European association, GD4S – Gas Distributors for Sustainability calls for a better acknowledgment of innovative gas solutions and existing gas distribution infrastructure in the European decarbonization vision.
The CEOs welcomed the EU Long-Term emission reduction strategy and recalled that the energy mix of the future needs several pillars, including gas, to ensure balance and resilience. Gas energy carrier and distribution grids have indeed key advantages:
- ability to store huge amount of renewable energy and redeliver it during daily or seasonal peak;
- 2 million km of existing grid that are a cost-effective, ready-to-use and low-disruption tool to connect local renewable energy producers to local customers throughout Europe.
Gas distribution grids are a unique and already available European asset that thanks to renewable gas can be used to decarbonize the European economy. Therefore, GD4S calls the Commission to put sector coupling at the centre of its strategy, to effectively combine the benefits of both electricity and gas.
Recalling their commitments in helping the EU to fulfil its climate objectives and the energy efficiency as first principle, the five CEOs have emphasised that gas is an efficient and affordable solution to energy transition, especially in regions with most economic difficulties. Other energy sources, with a higher carbon content and a lower efficiency, should be reduced in order to reach the energy and climate objectives. It’s a way to promote a circular economy.
Regarding the expected revision of the internal gas market in 2020, the CEOs emphasized key requests to allow DSOs to participate in the building of a greener, more decentralized and digitalized network:
- The creation of a specific EU Gas DSO entity to guarantee the equal representation of gas and electricity in the construction of European rules, working closely with the EU electricity DSO entity on several subjects, such as cybersecurity or sector coupling;
- The introduction of renewable gas objectives to accelerate the greening of the gas network: a general binding 2030 objective for the EU and indicative for Member States to integrate renewable gas in the EU gas network, accompanied by sectorial indicatives objectives for heating, cooling and transports would be key drivers for the development of clean gases.
GD4S believes in the potential of renewable gas as a credible solution for the future of the EU energy system and its decarbonization.
The Gas Distributors for Sustainability (GD4S coalition), brings together the five largest gas distribution system operators (DSOs) in France, Italy, Spain, Romania and Portugal. Together we have 86% of gas vehicles in the EU and our companies represent 25 million customers in Europe. Together, we are committed to participate in the EU clean energy and clean mobility and we aim at raising awareness on the potential of natural gas and biogas.
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