The Future of Gas
The new EASAC project on the future of gas will build on earlier EASAC work on the decarbonisation of transport and buildings, and on the EU strategy for hydrogen, and will inevitably involve work on other fuels and on the integration of energy systems, as well as on the main sectors of energy demand.
Gas is currently used differently in different parts of Europe and can play a transitional role in reducing GHG emissions from industry, power generation and heating. In many Western and Northern European countries, gas has already replaced coal for power generation and for heating buildings, and policies are being evaluated for phasing out the use of gas wherever possible. In contrast, in some Eastern European countries, coal is still used for power generation and for heating, and the use of gas in place of coal is therefore seen as an important next step in the process of reducing GHG emissions.
EASAC will explore the available policy, technology and market options in different parts of Europe for delivering a transition from a fossil fuel economy that includes the use of gas to a low carbon EU energy economy. Such options include electrification, and the use of biogas, green hydrogen, and other sustainable energy vectors as well as electricity storage, heat storage, and carbon capture and storage (CCS). Looking to the future, when a large part of the electricity supply all over Europe will come from renewable energy generators, EASAC will review the special roles that gas may be able to play in generating electricity when the wind is not blowing and the sun is not shining.
By analysing the available evidence, EASAC will draw conclusions and provide independent advice for policy makers, that takes into account the important geographical differences across the EU that will affect the future of gas as well as the emerging integrated systems management experience, emerging and innovative technologies, and socio-economic challenges.