In the morning, during a meeting with the European Commission’s DG Energy, Ditte Juul Jørgensen, the six CEOs stressed the importance of technological innovation and digitisation of gas networks in the decarbonisation processes in Europe
Brussels, 30 January 2020 – The Annual General Assembly of GD4S, the body that brings together the six largest gas distribution operators in Europe, has appointed Paolo Gallo (Italgas) President of the Association for 2020.
Italgas is the most important operator in Italy and the third in Europe. With its 4,000 people, it operates a distribution network that covers a total of over 70,000 kilometres through which, over the past year, it has distributed around 9 billion cubic metres of gas to 7.6 million customers. It is listed on the Italian stock market in the FTSE MIB index of Borsa Italiana. Paolo Gallo has been CEO of the company since August 2016.
The GD4S Assembly was preceded in the morning by a meeting with Ditte Juul Jørgensen, Director General Energy of the European Commission. During the meeting representatives of GD4S – Paolo Gallo CEO of Italgas (Italy), Ion Manescu, Deputy CEO of Distrigaz Sud Retele (Romania), Denis O’Sullivan, Managing Director of Gas Networks Ireland (Ireland), Nuria Rodríguez Peinado, CEO of Nedgia (Spain), Edouard Sauvage, CEO of GRDF (France) and Gabriel Sousa, CEO of Galp Gás Natural Distribuição (Portugal) – presented the association’s views on the key role of gas networks in achieving the EU’s climate neutrality objective and at the same time deepened the Commission’s intentions and forthcoming legislative initiatives on climate-altering emissions, digital strategy, circular economy and sustainable mobility and their impact on the gas market, in implementation of the European “Green Deal” announced by President Von der Leyen.
During the meeting, DG Jørgensen recognised the importance of the role of gas in the process of transition to a de-carbonised economy and the potential of biomethane and hydrogen distributed through gas networks. She also underlined her management’s commitment to the development of initiatives in this direction and committed to working with GD4S as part of the ongoing energy transition processes.
Two other meetings are also on the CEOs’ agenda today: with Aleksandra Tomczak, member of the cabinet of Frans Timmermans, Vice President of the European Commission, and with Kitti Nyitrai, from the staff of Kadri Simson, European Commissioner for Energy. On both occasions, members of the association reaffirmed their intention to support climate-changing emissions reduction targets, in line with the European Green Deal and the National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs) currently being approved.
At the end of the day, Paolo Gallo announced Italgas’ willingness to make its Digital Factory available to GD4S members and to share the results of ongoing experiments on the most advanced technologies adopted by the company.
GD4S – Gas Distributors for Sustainability, based in Brussels, was founded in January 2019. As an association, it is committed to decarbonising the European energy system by 2050 and unlocking the potential of renewable gas and gas networks. Together, the six members of GD4S serve 27.4 million customers, or 20% of the EU gas market.