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Natural gas: friend or foe in Europe’s 2030 emissions target?

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01 July 2020

Natural gas: friend or foe in Europe’s 2030 emissions target?

Report summary

Mention of natural gas as a 'bridging fuel' in the energy transition seems to have gone quiet over the last year or so, as net zero has become the mantra. Hydrogen appears to be the holy grail but will take time to mature. However, Frans Timmermans – the EC’s Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal – has recently outlined the need for natural gas in the “shift away from coal to sustainable energy”. So, is the bridging role for natural gas back on in post-coronavirus Europe? We consider a number of key questions around gas demand and supply that will have a significant bearing on Europe’s emissions performance out to 2030.

Table of contents

  • Executive summary
  • How will the virus impact Europe’s natural gas market in the short-term?
  • Why is supply the bigger concern for gas by the mid-2020s?
  • To what extent will coal-to-gas switching still play a role in emissions reduction by 2030?
  • And what about non-power gas demand in 2030?
  • What rapid changes could bring down emissions and what will take more time?
  • CCUS does not get high priority in the recovery package, is this bad news for natural gas players?
  • Is there any upside risk to natural gas demand out to 2030 given the revised ambitions in the European Green Deal?
  • What other aspects of the energy transition in Europe may impact the natural gas market out to 2030?

Tables and charts

This report includes 3 images and tables including:

  • Total European gas demand – 2019-21
  • Portion of non-power CO2 emissions (EU28+UK) in 2030 by sector
  • Portion of non-power CO2 emissions (EU28+UK) in 2030 by fuel

What's included

This report contains:

  • Document

    Natural gas: friend or foe in Europe’s 2030 emissions target?

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