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GIE - Press Release
Record-breaking underground gas storage
net withdrawals in Europe last winter

Tuesday, 11th May 2021

More gas has been withdrawn from European underground storages in the 2020-2021 winter than in any other winter: underground gas storage facilities continue to play an even bigger role in the energy security of Europe.

In Europe, 720 TWh of gas1 was removed from underground gas storage facilities during the 2020-2021 gas winter period2. This net volume is the largest that has ever been withdrawn for the same period since the launch of storage data publication on Gas Infrastructure Europe’s AGSI+ platform. Such a performance eclipses the previous record of 714 TWh set in the 2017-2018 winter marked by a long and intense spell of cold weather dubbed ‘the Beast from the East’3.

Net gas storage withdrawals from 1 October to 31 March (2016-2021)

Source: Gas Infrastructure Europe, AGSI+ platform

Dr Axel Wietfeld, GSE President and CEO of Uniper Hydrogen, explains: “Storage System Operators are perfectly equipped and prepared to withstand extreme weather conditions as we faced in recent months. In Europe, we are blessed with having access to massive underground storage resources – being salt caverns, depleted fields and aquifers. Looking at the situations in Northeast Asia in January and then in Texas in February 2021, these higher net withdrawals reveal how strategic our facilities have been for the reliability of the energy system of our continent”.

Besides ensuring a high degree of resilience and energy security, European storages also bring flexibility to the whole energy system. In a context of global LNG supply glut, they can play a balancing role in absorbing some of the gas surplus. This situation became particularly visible during 2018-2019 winter when Europe started importing LNG at levels not experienced in a decade despite normal gas demand conditions. As a result, historically high storage stocks were held at the start of 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 winters.

Camille Bonenfant-Jeanneney, CEO of Storengy, comments: “It was impressive to see how our storage facilities have enabled a flexible and adaptive supply mix, as experienced globally over the past two years”.

However, an increase in gas demand in Europe and a significant rise in prices in Asia led to record storage net withdrawals in January-February 2021, helping European reserves to regain their historical level averages: on 31st March 2021, underground gas storages were around 30% full, compared to 54% full on the same day the year before.

European gas storage levels (2016-2021)

Source: Gas Infrastructure Europe, AGSI+ platform

Torben Brabo, GIE President and CEO of Energinet Gas TSO, concludes: “It is clear that gas infrastructure operators – LNG terminals, transmission pipelines and storages – are united in their efforts to replenish European gas reserves and I would like to applaud them for their commitment in ensuring European citizens the most secure, reliable and affordable gases, be they renewable or low-carbon and even natural gas in the transitional phase. In a future energy system relying significantly on intermittent renewables, the value of gas storages will progressively become more and more important. Already today, our storage sites can accommodate biomethane, synthetic methane and hydrogen, without extensive network investment for the benefit of society. This is exactly the type of energy transition Europe needs to deliver the EU Green Deal at the lowest cost. We are ready for it”.

-

1 All data in this press release were extracted from Gas Infrastructure Europe’s AGSI+ Transparency Platform, available at: https://agsi.gie.eu

2
Stretching from 1st October 2020 to 31st March 2021.

3 Please see the press release by Gas Infrastructure Europe Return of cold weather triggers large use of gas infrastructure in Europe, 20 March 2018. Available at: https://gie.eu/index.php/about-us/gie-members/13-news/gie/357-pr18march2018

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T +32 495 29 82 90
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Who is GIE?

Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE)is the association representing the interests of European gas infrastructure operators. GIE members are active in transmission, storage and regasification via LNG terminals of renewable and low-carbon gases, including natural gas and hydrogen. Gathering around 70 industry entities from 27 European countries, GIE perfectly embodies the multiple transitional decarbonisation pathways of the EU regions. The association's vision is that by 2050, the gas infrastructure will be the backbone of the new innovative energy system, allowing European citizens and industries to benefit from a secure, efficient and sustainable energy supply.

 

GIE - Press Release
Regulating the hydrogen infrastructure:
GIE sets out views for the future regulatory framework for hydrogen

Monday, 10th May 2021

The regulation of the future hydrogen infrastructure is at the core of today’s energy debates. GIE publishes a position paper presenting the views and recommendations of its 70 members from 27 European countries.

Regulation of Hydrogen Infrastructure

This paper outlines clear policy recommendations that will boost the establishment of the hydrogen economy. It also presents the unique benefits of the gas infrastructure in integrating hydrogen. Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE) represents around 70 members from 27 European countries that own and operate the existing infrastructure, which is ready to be retrofitted and/or repurposed for transporting, storing and importing hydrogen. With the already acquired expertise, the gas infrastructure operators can build and operate new dedicated hydrogen infrastructure in safe conditions. Within the context of upcoming EU legislation, GIE presents policy recommendations to enable the gas infrastructure to efficiently integrate hydrogen, thereby contributing to the targets of the EU Green Deal.

Boyana Achovski, Secretary-General of GIE states: “Gas infrastructure operators are very well-equipped to integrate hydrogen into their systems. If we want to deliver climate neutrality by 2050 and achieving the targets of the EU Hydrogen Strategy, we need a very well-developed infrastructure for hydrogen. The existing gas infrastructure can offer that. Building on the existing gas network guarantees safe transport, storage and import of hydrogen. It also keeps the costs low for society and brings benefits to the whole energy system.”

GIE's key policy recommendations are:

1  

Application of a legislative framework that is coherent with the existing EU Gas legislation

1  

Dynamic regulation evolving with the market and infrastructure development stages

1  

Acknowledge role of gas infrastructure operators to integrate hydrogen into their systems

1  

Framework to guarantee cost-recovery for investments into hydrogen infrastructure

Ralph Bahke, Sponsor of GIE New Gases Area & CEO of ONTRAS Gastransport GmbH explains: “In order to kick-start the hydrogen market in the EU, an appropriate system to regulate the hydrogen infrastructure is needed. We think that the most efficient way is to build on the basic principles of the existing regulation for natural gas, while leaving Member States the flexibility to reflect on national and regional hydrogen characteristics. Now is the time to set the right regulatory framework that will enable a successful ramp-up of the hydrogen economy.”  

Michael Schmöltzer, Chair of GIE Hydrogen Regulation TF & Director of Uniper Energy Storage Austria further explains: “The regulation of hydrogen should recognise the advantages that the existing transmission, storage and LNG infrastructure have for developing the hydrogen infrastructure in a timely, cost-efficient and socially acceptable way and should facilitate the efficient planning, financing and operation of the infrastructure.”

 

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Gabrielle Lelievre
Communication Advisor
T +32 478 78 34 83
gabrielle.lelievre@gie.eu
 
         
 

Who is GIE?

Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE)is the association representing the interests of European gas infrastructure operators. GIE members are active in transmission, storage and regasification via LNG terminals of renewable and low-carbon gases, including natural gas and hydrogen. Gathering around 70 industry entities from 27 European countries, GIE perfectly embodies the multiple transitional decarbonisation pathways of the EU regions. The association's vision is that by 2050, the gas infrastructure will be the backbone of the new innovative energy system, allowing European citizens and industries to benefit from a secure, efficient and sustainable energy supply.

 

 

GIE - Press Release

GIE is proud to be part of ENZA

Brussels, 30th March 2021

The European Net Zero Alliance (ENZA) is an eclectic alliance: it brings together 17 associations from different energy vectors and sectors. Together, we can, we want, we will make climate neutrality a reality.

ENZA was launched today via a successful event. Knowledgeable speakers from the European Commission and the industry provided a good overview of what’s coming next for energy, industry, buildings, mobility, forestry, and agriculture in Europe. 142 participants tuned in to discover the objectives and vision of the alliance. Such attendance reflects the increasing importance holistic approach in decision making.

ENZA Chair Paul Voss stated at the event: “Our members have come together because the easiest and most cost-effective pathway to 2050 climate neutrality is to take advantage of synergies across a range of both sectors and vectors. We hope our cooperation is a living example of this principle translated into practice.” 

Boyana Achovski, GIE Secretary General, explained: “A fair, secured, and sustainable world is around the corner. To make it happened, we need to join forces between regions, sectors, energy infrastructures. It’s now crucial to connect energy vectors and energy-consumers together, and ENZA is the right place to bridge that gap.

She added: “By transporting and storing renewable and low-carbon molecules including hydrogen, GIE operators are part of that good puzzle. With ENZA colleagues, we are innovating and finding solutions to enhance decarbonisation. With the right policies and incentives, we can set the European Union on track towards leaders in hydrogen technologies.”

ENZA calls for 10 guiding principles:


1
 

The achievement of climate neutrality in the EU by 2050 at the latest, through the clear and identifiable achievement of the 2030 target and intermediate energy and climate objectives that will help manage our common carbon budget in a cost-effective way;


2
 

Ambitious short- and long-term targets to incentivise renewable, decarbonised and low-carbon energy production;


3
 

Coherence between current and future legislation;


4
 

Use of existing and new infrastructure for efficient solutions;


5
 

Clear network access rules to leverage synergies between vectors;


6
 

Credible and tradable certificates; technology neutrality;


7
 

Fit for purpose state aid rules to support climate-neutrality;


8
 

Efficient and affordable decarbonisation solutions for end-users;


9
 

Facilitating and integrating decentralised solutions while harnessing Europe’s well-functioning internal energy market.

Meet ENZA members:

  • Bioenergy Europe
  • The European Federation of Local Energy Companies, CEDEC
  • The Confederation of European paper industries, CEPI
  • The European Association for the Promotion of Cogeneration, COGEN Europe
  • The European Biogas Association, EBA
  • The European Federation of Energy Traders, EFET
  • The European Heating Industry, EHI
  • The unified voice of the European renewable ethanol industry, ePURE
  • The European Engine Power Plants Association, EUGINE
  • Euroheat & Power
  • Eurogas
  • EUTurbines
  • The  European Waste-to-Advanced Biofuels Association, EWABA
  • Gas Infrastructure Europe, GIE
  • The association of independent gas and electricity distribution companies, GEODE
  • Hydrogen Europe
  • Solar Heat Europe
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ENZA

Who is GIE?

Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE) is the association representing the interests of European gas infrastructure operators. GIE members are active in transmission, storage and regasification via LNG terminals of renewable and low-carbon gases, including natural gas and hydrogen. Gathering 69 industry entities from 27 European countries, GIE perfectly embodies the multiple transitional decarbonisation pathways of the EU regions. The association's vision is that by 2050, the gas infrastructure will be the backbone of the new innovative energy system, allowing European citizens to benefit from a secure, efficient and sustainable energy supply.

 

GIE - Press Release
 

Wednesday, 21st April 2021

GIE publishes an in-depth analysis of the role of gases and the existing gas infrastructure in supporting Central-Eastern- and South-Eastern- Europe towards climate neutrality by 2050. The research covers 10 EU Member States, including Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.

Methane Emissions Glossary
 
Picture source : GAZ-SYSTEM, Poland

Boyana Achovski, Secretary General of GIE states: “This analysis shows that one thing is clear: there is no one size fits all solution. If we want to deliver climate neutrality by 2050, the specificities of all EU Member States must be considered when designing Europe’s decarbonisation pathways. It will be a mistake if future legislation will ignore this. Only an inclusive and technology-neutral approach will help Europe deliver its 2050 goal. Each Member State will face its own battles and leverage its unique opportunities, but no one should be left behind.”

Ms Achovski explains: “For example, due to their transit character and historical circumstances, countries in South-Eastern and Central-Eastern Europe have their energy mix strongly based on coal. Therefore, the existing gas infrastructure will play an important role when switching from coal to natural gas to hydrogen. Building on our well-developed infrastructure, the gas assets will gradually accommodate growing shares of renewable and low-carbon molecules, including hydrogen. Today, it already provides increased flexibility in complementing the electricity systems by storing a huge amount of renewable and low-carbon molecules. On top of that, our pipelines, underground storage facilities and LNG terminals can be fit for hydrogen with some retrofitting and repurposing.”

Achieving decarbonisation by 2050 requires significant efforts and commitment from all Member States and sectors. The report Decarbonisation in Central-Eastern and South-Eastern Europe: How gas infrastructure can contribute to meet EU’s long-term decarbonisation objectivesbrings forward the decarbonisation potential of the gas infrastructure in that context. It presents multiple pathways in which a future-proof gas infrastructure could ensure resilient security of supply by integrating large volumes of renewable and low-carbon molecules, including natural gas, hydrogen and biogases.

The report highlights:

1   By 2030: Switching from coal to gas is expected to be an intermediate step in transitioning to a zero-carbon economy. Coal-based total CO2 production in the ten selected countries equalled 645,9 Mt CO2 in 2018, which is equivalent to the overall emissions generated in France and Spain (656 Mt CO2).
     
2   By 2050: Renewable and low-carbon gases will complement and slowly replace natural gas. These gases will play a major role in the future energy system as they will secure a baseload energy supply in these regions. Renewable gases like green hydrogen will gradually adopt the role of integrating the electricity and gas sectors, providing more flexibility within the entire energy system.
     
3   The existing gas infrastructure supports the integration of renewable electricity in Europe and reduces the need for large investments into electricity grids – on both transmission and distribution levels.
     
4   In the short-term, natural gas can have an immediate and tangible positive effect on the life of EU citizens: air pollution resulting from burning high-emission fuels (including NOx, SOx and fine particles) constitutes a serious health problem in many communities.
     
5   Each country is moving towards decarbonisation in a different way. The common denominator is the shared awareness of the issues at stake, their urgency as well as a strong push for efficiency.

Piotr Kuś, Sponsor of GIE CH4 Area and GIE board member explains: “The main goal of this report is to raise awareness about the current energy landscape and challenges in Central- and South-Eastern European countries and to showcase these aspects with concrete and actual data. In January 2020, we established a working group to exchange views on the decarbonisation in these respective regions and this platform enables us to provide input to various stakeholders - academia, policy-makers, industry representatives. The discussions and the work so far enabled us to identify the optimal energy transition pathways for the regions.

Mr. Kuś added: “The gas infrastructure plays an essential role in decarbonising the regions, both in the short- and long-term. It provides for the switch from coal to natural gas to hydrogen and it plays a role as an enabler of the energy transition towards low-carbon gases. It brings further benefits via fostering security of supply and establishing a competitive EU energy system. Using the existing gas infrastructure offers a cost-effective solution for customers, which is crucial when fostering social acceptance and cost efficiency towards the energy transition. The coal-based power and heat plants generation causes a high level of pollution on top of CO2 and causes decrease of air quality standards. In that case, natural gas will play an important role as a solution for challenging fast and cost-effective mitigation of air pollution which is caused by a mixture of solid particles and various gases. Their reduction is of crucial importance as some air pollutants like particulate matter and NOx and SOx are poisonous for the people.”

.
    Here is some good reading
for you:
           
      CONFIRMATION Executive Summary  
           
      CONFIRMATION Report  
           
 
         
      Download the Press Release  
      Press Release
(PDF, 220KB)
 
         
      Download the Picture  
      Download high resolution photo
(JPG, 7,5MB)
 
         
 
         
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      Contact us  
         
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      Press contact:
Gabrielle Lelievre
Communication Advisor
T +32 478 78 34 83
gabrielle.lelievre@gie.eu
 
         
 

Who is GIE?

Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE)is the association representing the interests of European gas infrastructure operators. GIE members are active in transmission, storage and regasification via LNG terminals of renewable and low-carbon gases, including natural gas and hydrogen. Gathering around 70 industry entities from 27 European countries, GIE perfectly embodies the multiple transitional decarbonisation pathways of the EU regions. The association's vision is that by 2050, the gas infrastructure will be the backbone of the new innovative energy system, allowing European citizens and industries to benefit from a secure, efficient and sustainable energy supply.

 

GIE - Press Release

Press release | Establishing a common terminology:
a key step to reducing methane emissions

Monday, 22nd March 2021

The whole gas industry joins forces in issuing a glossary on methane emissions. Having such a document is crucial to improve awareness and know-how. It is a tool of reference for the legislative process taking place this year. It also useful for anyone wishing to enhance their knowledge of CH4 emissions mitigation and management.

Methane Emissions Glossary
 
Methane Emissions Glossary - by IOGP / IPIECA / GIE / MARCOGAZ

The European Commission announced that regulation would follow the launch of the EU Strategy to reduce methane emissions last October. The Gas Directive, the Renewable Energy Directive for 2030 climate target and the Delegated Acts of Taxonomy are part of the initiatives updated in 2021. To deliver their goals and make the energy transition happen, all these initiatives need to adopt a common terminology understandable by each actor of the EU ecosystem. By providing high-quality educational material, gas producers together with the upstream, mid-stream and down-stream part of the gas value chain responded to that crucial need.

Francisco de La Flor - GIE & MARCOGAZ Board Member explains: “This tool can be used as a reference for the legislative process by the EU institutions. It can also be useful for the industry and interested parties that wish to follow the process. The use of common definitions will contribute to improve confidence in understanding and to manage methane emission sources.” 

François-Régis Mouton - Regional Director Europe, IOGP 
“The glossary is a great tool that will contribute to the success of the legislative process and its implementation. With an issue as complex as methane emissions, it’s important that everyone speaks the same language.”

The glossary has been prepared after the publication in 2019 of the report coordinated by GIE and MARCOGAZ “Potential ways the gas industry can contribute to the reduction of methane emissions” together with an eclectic selection of contributors from across the whole value chain.  This report enabled to:

  • Identify the challenges and gaps related to methane emissions management,
  • Highlight the need for the creation of a set of harmonised definitions covering the complete gas value chain,
  • Issue an action plan based on the results. This action plan was developed in collaboration with multiple actors from the whole gas industry and is updated on a regular basis.  

 

. LinkedIn
      Download the Press Release  
      Press Release
(PDF, 240KB)
 
      Download the Glossary  
      Methane Emissions Glossary
(PDF, 493KB)
 
         
 
         
    Here is some good reading
for you:
           
      CONFIRMATION Report “Potential ways the gas industry can contribute to the reduction of methane emissions”  
           
      CONFIRMATION Action Plan on Methane Emissions  
           
      CONFIRMATION IPIECA Methane Glossary  
           
      CONFIRMATION COM(2020) 663 final – Communication from the Commission on an EU strategy to reduce methane emissions  
           
      CONFIRMATION Guidelines for Methane Emissions target setting  
           
 
         
      Follow us  
     
LinkedIn Twitter Instagram Facebook Vimeo
 
         
 
         
      Contact us  
         
      GIE  
         
      Press contact:
Gabrielle Lelievre
Communication Advisor
T +32 478 78 34 83
gabrielle.lelievre@gie.eu
 
         
 

Who is GIE?

Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE) is the association representing the interests of European gas infrastructure operators. GIE members are active in transmission, storage and regasification via LNG terminals of renewable and low-carbon gases, including natural gas and hydrogen. Gathering 69 industry entities from 27 European countries, GIE perfectly embodies the multiple transitional decarbonisation pathways of the EU regions. The association's vision is that by 2050, the gas infrastructure will be the backbone of the new innovative energy system, allowing European citizens to benefit from a secure, efficient and sustainable energy supply.
10
May
2021
   
  Record-breaking underground gas storage net withdrawals in Europe last winter Tuesday, 11th May 2021 More gas has been wi...
 
10
May
2021
   
  Regulating the hydrogen infrastructure: GIE sets out views for the future regulatory framework for hydrogen Monday, 10th M...
 
21
Apr
2021
   
  Wednesday, 21st April 2021 GIE publishes an in-depth analysis of the role of gases and the existing gas infrastructure in s...
 
30
Mar
2021
   
  GIE is proud to be part of ENZA Brussels, 30th March 2021 The European Net Zero Alliance (ENZA) is an eclectic alliance: it br...
 
22
Mar
2021
   
Press release | Establishing a common terminology: a key step to reducing methane emissions Monday, 22nd March 2021 The whole ga...
 
24
Feb
2021
   
  24th February 2021 After some exceptionally cold weeks in large parts of the world, with temperatures below the seasonal norm, ...
 
26
Jan
2021
   
  26th January 2021 Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE) hosted its first workshop of 2021 on What legislation for long-term energy st...
 
11
Jan
2021
   
ENTSOG and Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE) publish the System Development Map 2019/2020 Brussels, 11 January 2021 The European N...
 
23
Dec
2020
   
GIE launches Inside Information Platform under REMIT 23 December 2020 Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE) takes a new step forward by...
 
15
Dec
2020
   
  Gas infrastructure is a key enabler for the energy transition 15 December 2020 Today, TEN-E Regulation brings the EU one step...
 
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