Christoph Riechmann, Director in Frontier’s energy practice, spoke today at the European Commission Energy Infrastructure Forum in Copenhagen. Christoph presented the key results of a Frontier study commissioned by the trade association of German pipeline operators, FNB Gas, on the future role of gas infrastructure in a decarbonised economy. He emphasised that the existing gas infrastructure in Germany can make a significant contribution to achieving a comprehensive energy transition (“Energiewende”) and fulfilling climate targets. Christoph concluded that, compared with universal electrification of all end-use applications, the continued use of gas networks and storages combined with the use of “green gas” (made from renewable electricity – “power-to-gas”) will:
- Result in significantly lower overall costs to consumers
- Promote customer acceptance
- Increase security of energy supply
Professor Klaus-Dieter Borchardt, Director at the European Commission’s Directorate B on the Internal Energy Market, pointed out that the study makes an important contribution to the debate to a consumer-focused energy transition.
Results of the FNB Gas study were also presented at the FGW Future Forum “Greening the Gas” in Vienna yesterday by Matthias Janssen, Manager in Frontier’s energy practice. Matthias discussed its relevance for Austria, stressing that the country is facing similar challenges on its way to decarbonising the electricity system and at the same time trying to electrify its heat, transport and industry sectors. Similar to Germany, the existing gas infrastructure in Austria can and should play an important role in making this change happen. In particular, Austria’s huge gas storage volumes can help match energy demand – with substantial peaks in winter time – with energy supply, which will be increasingly centred in the summer months due to higher photovoltaic capacities.
Markus Mitteregger, CEO of RAG, an Austrian gas storage company, emphasised that RAG is encouraged by Frontier’s calculations, and sees big potential for future growth of green gas storage. He also presented a pilot project where RAG is investigating the capability of its storages to store green hydrogen.
Frontier regularly advises public authorities and private companies on climate policy and energy design issues.
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