The role of trans-European gas infrastructure in the light of the 2050 decarbonisation targets.

October 2018

The required sharp decrease in CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 may drastically reduce the share of natural gas in the European energy mix. This study into trans-European gas infrastructure looks into possible futures for gases (including biomethane and hydrogen), next to electricity. The study takes an ambitious decarbonisation scenario as starting point. Taking into account the long life of gas infrastructure assets such a forward looking exercise is essential.

The study provides an overview of existing storylines derived from extensive literature research. Based on this, three own storylines are developed for possible developments of the gas sector in Europe until 2050. It looks at the likely use of the different gases in the different demand sectors: energy, industry, built environment and transport and the role of electricity. The report then assesses the consequences of these possible developments for existing and planned trans-European gas for six selected Transmission System Operators and the readiness of three selected national regulatory regimes in a significantly changing energy landscape. It gives some suggestions for the way in which the energy transition could be approached by regulatory authorities.