The role of gas in the energy mix

The role of gas in the EU’s energy mix has recently reemerged as a highly debated policy topic. Not everyone appreciated that the 1st Package of the Juncker Commission, released last month, was mainly a “Gas Package”.

As Claude Turmes (leader of the Greens at EU Parliament, and rapporteur of former energy packages) put it: Europe does not need more gas; it requires efficiency and renewable energy sources.

Well – the right answer might also depend on the time frame we consider: is-it the 2020 energy mix? 2030? 2050? Or beyond?

Obviously, the Commission’s new “Energy Security Package” showed that gas will stay high on the EU agenda until 2019 and on the next Commission’s agenda too, until 2024. But beyond that?

The once trumpeted “Golden Age for Gas” is starting to look a bit rusty in comparison to a golden future for renewables.

Inevitably, the EU will have to debate and clarify what role gas can play in a European strategy facing a “world energy transition” marked by a successful COP21 summit.  As soon as 2018, energy transition programs will be submitted, discussed and assessed every five years in similar world conferences.

Meanwhile, most of the people debating the EU Market Design reform (to host a massive RES push) think that significant flexibility for the EU power system can be delivered by gas powered plants. Others would enjoy seeing more gas substituting oil in the heating and transportation sectors.

The Florence School is dedicated to following this passionate debate. If you are too, please see our many policy briefs, listen to our podcasts, read about our fantastic “Gas week training”, ended only few days ago. And do join us for our three day course on regulation and integration of renewable energy in May.

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