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Pre-Publication Project Energy

The Future of Gas

Update: 03.09.2022

The new EASAC project on the future of gas is building on earlier EASAC work on the decarbonisation of transport and buildings, and on the EU strategy for hydrogen. This project is inevitably involving 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. Until the Russian invasion of Ukraine, gas was widely expected to play a transitional role in reducing GHG emissions from industry, power generation and heating. However, as the war in Ukraine has evolved, it has become increasingly clear that, in the short term, western Europe must not only reduce its consumption of natural gas for environmental reasons but, in order to ensure the security of its energy supplies, it must also take other steps urgently, including finding new suppliers of gas to replace its previously foreseen imports from Russia. 

The EASAC project working group has recognised that the urgent actions needed to keep the lights on, to keep industry working and to keep people warm in the short term could have negative impacts on greenhouse gas emissions.  However, they could also be used to prepare the way for major reductions in GHG emissions in the medium and long terms. 

EASAC is therefore exploring a wide range of short, medium and long term policy, technology and market options for delivering a sustainable transition to a net zero EU energy economy by 2050.  Such options, which may need to be adopted differently in different parts of Europe, 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).

By analysing the available evidence, EASAC will draw conclusions and provide independent advice for policy makers on the future of gas in the short, medium and long terms.  This will take 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 the geopolitical and socio-economic challenges.

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