Among the issues discussed at the meeting were the importance of sectoral alignment to achieve Europe’s climate ambitions towards carbon neutrality and the role that gas distribution networks can effectively play in this perspective.
According to GD4S, “gas infrastructures have functional characteristics that allow them to overcome the typical weaknesses of traditional renewable resources, they can be easily adapted to the variability of energy demand, and, thanks to their extension and storage capacity, they offer the possibility of storing and transporting energy in a cost-effective manner almost anywhere in Europe”.
In this context, the representatives of the association — Narcís de Carreras, CEO of Nedgia (Spain); Paolo Gallo, GD4S General Manager and CEO of Italgas (Italy); Dan Pantilie, CEO of Distrigaz Sud Retele (Romania); Gabriel Sousa, CEO of Galp Gás Natural Distribuição (Portugal); Edouard Sauvage, CEO of GRDF (France) and Leonidas Bakouras, Managing Director of EDA Thess (Greece) — stressed that “the processes of technological innovation and the digitalisation of gas networks are growing significantly in all major EU countries”. According to GD4S, “these processes, in addition to improving the efficiency and quality of the service, are the real enablers for injecting and distributing increasing amounts of renewable gases such as biomethane and hydrogen”.
The GD4S representatives welcomed the European Commission’s commitment to work closely with all energy stakeholders, and specifically with gas distributors, to promote the development of optimal renewable energy solutions in the
context of the Green Deal. In this respect, they confirmed to Commissioner Simson their determination to promote the decarbonisation of the natural gas sector and support the cost-effective and fair development of renewable and decarbonised gases.
To this end, GD4S highlighted “the need to establish European renewable gas objectives at the EU and Member State level to facilitate the development and deployment of renewable gases”. In addition, the chief executives stressed the importance of ensuring that assessments of key technologies are subject to a full life-cycle assessment (LCA) across all sectors to allow for fair comparisons between different energy transition technologies. They also emphasised their request to create a gas distribution entity in the EU, in order to improve coordination between distribution system operators in terms of operations, techniques and planning.
About Gas Distributors 4 Sustainability
Gas Distributors for Sustainability (GD4S) was founded in 2018 as an association and has its headquarters in Brussels. It is actively focused on promoting the process of decarbonising the European energy system by 2050 and seeks recognition of the potential of renewable gases and gas networks. Together, the 7 members of GD4S serve a total of 28 million customers, or 30% of the EU gas market.
We are NEDGIA, the gas distributor of the Naturgy group and the leading natural gas distribution company in Spain, where we operate through our different companies in 11 autonomous communities. We supply natural gas to 70% of consumers, which represents over 5.4 million supply points. Our assets consist of more than 53,800 kilometres of infrastructure that we operate in 1,150 municipalities in Spain. This allow us to safely and efficiently supply natural gas today, and will also allow us to distribute renewable gas and hydrogen in the future. Innovation, proximity and customer service are part of our raison d’être and characterise our activity.