The 29th edition of the Gas Forum which took place in Madrid last 6 and 7 October at the CNMC’s premises as part of the presidency of the European Union, discussed the need to assess the future of natural gas in Europe (up until 2030 and as from that date). Specifically, participants highlighted the need to start strategic discussions in the gas sector that address aspects including the impact of decarbonisation policies, developments in the electricity sector, the benefits of energy saving and the use of new technologies. Below is a summary of the main conclusions of this edition as contained in a document available on the European Commission website.
The Forum saw intensive debate on the issues regarding the foundations of natural gas supply and demand in the EU, both for the pre- and the post-2030 periods. Despite differences in modelling and assessments, the Forum agreed on the need to start strategic discussions on this matter. This discussion should be based on an in-depth assessment of the possible drivers and consequences of the respective scenarios on all levels of the EU gas sector value chain. These include the evolution of decarbonisation policies, developments in the electricity sector, improvements in energy efficiency, new technologies for example in the field of gas-to-power or green gas, and market developments.
The Forum welcomed the overall improvements in the EU market operation – as reflected in the ACER Market Monitoring Report 2015 which includes a health check on the wholesale gas market – but noted that in certain markets, this remains unsatisfactory. The Forum also took note of initiatives, such as CESEC and the implementation of the general Network Code, to address these shortcomings. The Forum confirmed the potential of LNG and storage in the context of diversification and the security of the supply, urging further scrutiny on a case-by-case basis to ensure the most efficient use of such an infrastructure.
Article published in: FuturENERGY October 2016