Gasunie, TenneT Recommend Grid Goals
European gas and power grids should be more closely interlinked by 2050 to achieve climate targets, according to a new study by Dutch-German transmission system operator TenneT and Dutch gas grid operator Gasunie.
The Phase II – Pathways to 2050 study looks at possible transition paths from 2030 to an integrated energy system in 2050, focusing primarily on Germany and the Netherlands but also looking at Europe in general.
Published on January 22, the study also concludes that power infrastructure must be significantly expanded even after 2030. Gas infrastructure must meanwhile be adapted to transport hydrogen, with a minor expansion also needed.
The planning of power, hydrogen and methane infrastructure should also be undertaken in a timely and integrated manner to avoid stranded assets that drive up costs for energy consumers.
“We need to integrate the gas and electricity grids to achieve the energy policy objectives. To do this we need an integrated European energy system,” TenneT CE Manon van Beek said in a statement. “National energy transitions are important and will bring the first significant steps towards the expansion of renewables. But if we want the energy transition to be timely and affordable, we will need a close political co-operation within Europe.”
“Linking TenneT's network to Gasunie's will provide the flexibility required by the energy system; it will also keep the system reliable and affordable,” Gasunie CEO Han Fennema stated.
The timing, amount, type and location of investment decisions in renewable energy generation play a crucial role in efficient energy infrastructure, the study noted. There must be early and close co-ordination of energy production and consumption with development of integrated infrastructure to ensure the latter is built in time, it said.
Power-to-gas will also play an important role in providing the necessary long-term storage capacity. The study estimates a capacity of 110 GW in Germany and the Netherlands.