Making the energy transition happen!

Eurogas scenario study with PRIMES

This study, based on the PRIMES model, envisions a future in which the EU’s agreed climate targets are met. It demonstrates that considerable progress can be made early by tapping the vast potential that natural gas offers by replacing coal, achieving even more ambitious emissions reductions by 2030.

The versatile role of gas - natural, decarbonised and renewable - enables a socially acceptable pathway to 2050, supporting higher shares of renewable energy, while limiting the cost increase for consumers.

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Outcomes of the modelling

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Scenario Overview

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Key findings – Sectors

Gas has a versatile role in reducing emissions from sectors that are difficult to decarbonise: residential, industry and transport.

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Key findings – Costs

A strong push for electrification would result in system limitations and high overall costs. A mix of decarbonisation options is a better approach. The Inovative Gas scenario allows to save €335bn in infrastructure investments between 2015 and 2050.

Total cost for decarbonisation (% of GDP)

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Key findings – Energy mix

Innovative gas technologies, like power-to-gas, enable more renewables, within a comparable cost range.

Conventional Wisdom

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Innovative Gas

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Key findings – CO2 emissions

Delivering more ambitious emissions reduction targets in 2030 provides time for new options towards 2050.

More ambitious emissions reduction

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Gas demand in the modelled scenarios

The versatile role of gas enables a socially acceptable low-carbon pathway to 2050, supporting a higher share of renewable energy, while limiting the cost increases for consumers.

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Scenario approach: PRIMES model

  • he PRIMES model is a model that explores ‘what-if’ questions. It is a modelling system that simulates a market equilibrium solution for each form of energy supply and demand.
  • The market equilibrium is achieved for each 5-year interval and is dynamic over time. Market equilibrium solution means a scenario where demand and supply are equalised, taking into account consumer choice. Prices produced from this cocktail are linked with behaviour by feedback loops.
  • Variability is modelled by 120 typical days of high/low wind and/or sunlight, affecting the operation of the power plants in the model for which fast ramp rates for flexible operation are included. Curtailment of renewable energy production is captured in the model.

Arguable assumptions by PRIMES model:

  • In view of Eurogas, the model underestimates the potential of natural gas to achieve 2030 climate targets.
  • The economic forecast of the European Commission foresees a services-based economy, more unemployment and more elderly people. These, however, do not consider the potential benefit of industry to the wider economy.
  • Very high CO2 prices seem unrealistic and are the result of technology choices that are required to meet the climate targets, resulting in very high shares of renewables.

Policy Recommendations:

10 steps for policy makers to make the energy transition happen.

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