At a meeting with Dominique Ristori, they showed him the main challenges for the sector and the potential of renewable gas as a credible solution for the future of the energy system and its decarbonisation.
Brussels, 19 February 2019. The CEO of NEDGIA, Nuria Rodríguez, attended a meeting in Brussels with the European Union Director-General of Energy, Dominique Ristori, together with the CEOs of the leading gas distribution companies in Europe (Italgas, Distrigaz Sud Retele, Galp Gás Natural Distribuiçao and GRDF) to discuss how natural gas and renewable gas can contribute to economic decarbonisation in Europe.
These companies make up Gas Distributors for Sustainability (GD4S), which seeks greater consideration of the innovative technical solutions offered by natural gas and existing distribution infrastructures for achieving European commitments on economic decarbonisation. The association is committed to the potential of renewable gas as a credible solution for the future of the energy system and its decarbonisation.
The CEOs from GD4S praised the long-term emissions reduction strategy of the EU and recalled that, to guarantee balance and resilience, the energy combination of the future will need to be based on an energy mix that includes gas.
In fact, existing infrastructures and distribution networks offer a number of fundamental advantages in this regard:
- The capability to store a large quantity of renewable energy and release it based on daily or seasonal peaks in demand.
- The existence of two million kilometres of efficient and ready-to-use gas network infrastructures with the ability to connect producers and local renewable energy customers throughout Europe.
Gas distribution networks are therefore a unique European heritage that is already fully available and, thanks to the gradual increase in the availability of renewable gas, could be used to facilitate the European economic decarbonisation process.
In this context, GD4S is calling on the European Commission to position gas at the heart of its strategy, alongside electricity, in order to effectively combine their benefits.
By recalling the support already expressed to the EU for achieving the climate and energy efficiency goals, the members of GD4S stressed that gas is an efficient and affordable solution as a transition energy, especially in economically disadvantaged regions, and that it is also a way to promote the circular economy.
Creation of a sustainable, decentralised and online energy network.
As regards the review of the directive on the internal gas market expected for 2020, the CEOs made a number of key requests to allow distribution systems operators to participate in the construction of a more sustainable, decentralised and online infrastructures network.
They particularly underlined the need to:
- Create a specific EU body to represent natural gas distributors in order to guarantee fair consideration of the gas and electricity sectors in building the system of European regulations and to work in close collaboration with the specific body for electricity distributors on such issues as information security and sector coupling between the two energies.
- Establish a series of renewable gas goals for 2030, of a binding nature for the EU and indicative for Member States, tied to other specific goals for its use in heating, cooling and transport, with a view to accelerate its development and the gas network transformation process into a more sustainable network.
Gas Distributors 4 Sustainability
GD4S represents the most important stakeholders in the gas distribution sector in Europe, which serve 25 million customers and represent 20% of all European natural gas consumers. One of its objectives is to share approaches and best practice experiences in each of their respective markets in order to improve the quality of services provided to consumers.
NEDGIA, the gas distribution subsidiary of the Naturgy group, is the leading company in natural gas distribution activity in Spain. The company supplies natural gas to 70% of all consumers in the country: it has over 5.4 million supply points and has more than 53,400 kilometres of network in almost 1,150 Spanish municipalities.