Gas Distributors Can Be Strong Contributors to Revised 2030 Climate Targets

15th April 2020

Gas Distributors for Sustainability (GD4S) support the 2030 Climate Target Plan that is part of the European Green Deal proposed by the European Commission. 

GD4S agrees that raising the climate ambition between 2020 and 2030 is necessary to meet the objective of a net zero continent in 2050. Therefore, the renewable energy objectives in the renewable energy directive (RED II) and the energy efficiency objectives in the energy efficiency directive (EED) will need to be increased. As representative of the gas distribution sector, GD4S underlines how our companies can be part of a decarbonisation move that will help to meet enhanced climate targets.

A renewable gas target should be set at the EU level and adapted at national levels considering national features. This target, based on the injection of renewable gas into the grid will not only be useful to decarbonise the network, but also to better maximise production volumes and optimise end use. National Energy Climate Plans should be aligned and based on a coherent approach. These plans should provide the Commission with a view on renewable gas development in each EU Member State and how it will contribute to the objective of climate neutrality.  

GD4S strongly agree with the Commission that the 2030 Climate Target Plan must “increase the ambition in a manner that best contributes to sustainable and inclusive growth, enhances economic competitiveness through accelerating innovation and modernising Europe’s enterprises”. Gas and renewable gas technologies fit this objective.

  • Electrolysers and hybrid heat pumps can be easily produced in Europe and therefore be a vector of Europe’s competitiveness in the world.
  • These technologies are making a contribution to the coupling of gas and electricity sectors and will therefore reduce the need for additionnal infrastructures (reinforcement of electricity grid, electricity peak management technologies), which will be beneficial to energy affordability and security.

GD4S strongly concurs with the Commission that “all sectors of the economy and society will need to contribute” to raising the targets. The gas sector has the advantage to reach different sectors.

  • Biomethane can be injected in the grid easily and this renewable energy reduces agriculture and urban waste. It provides a substitute to chemical fertilizers – through digestate it co-produces – and brings additional revenues to farmers, consequently supporting rural areas. The use of sequential cropping in the process increases carbon capture in soils, while preserving land for food production. These biomass-based products plays the role of natural sinks.
  • Biomethane can also be used as a fuel to decarbonise mobility. BioNGV offers strong CO2 emissions reduction over its lifecycle. To consider this contribution in the Regulations setting CO2 standards for light-duty (2019/631) and heavy-duty vehicles (2019/1242), we urge for the adoption of a common European lifecycle methodology to take for CO2 reduction emissions into account.