An integrated perspective on gas, heat and electricity systems has the potential to improve European energy security and lower energy system costs. A consortium of organizations including E3G, the European Climate Foundation, Agora Energiewende, the Regulatory Assistance Project and WWF commissioned leading energy consultants Artelys and Climact to assess the impacts of taking such an integrated perspective on energy infrastructure requirements to ensure security of supply.
The assessment Energy Union Choices: A perspective on infrastructure and energy security in the transition [PDF, 5MB] – investigates the resilience of the EU gas system and the adequacy of existing capacity under a set of different possible futures and scenarios. The scenarios represent a wide range of energy demand projections and looks at a set of extreme disruption cases. It seeks to answer the questions:
- Which infrastructure investments are lowest risk and regret to ensure resilience throughout the transition?
- Can an integrated view of infrastructure investments (across electricity, gas, heat, demand-side and storage) help meet security of supply challenges at a lower cost?
The modelling finds:
- Europe’s current gas infrastructure is highly resilient to supply shocks; limited investment may be needed in South East Europe
- Integrating gas and electricity systems delivers supply security at lower cost
- Demand reduction and buildings efficiency significantly reduces investment needs
- Delivering the EU’s 2030 targets can significantly reduce gas imports into Europe
- New gas infrastructure assets will be superfluous by 2050
E3G's accomanying report More security, lower cost: A smarter approach to gas infrastructure in Europe [PDF, 1.9MB] explains how these findings reflect against the current appraoch to gas infrastructure and security