A mountain to climb? Tracking progress in scaling up renewable gas production in Europe
In the last couple of years there has been increasing recognition by key players in the European gas industry that to mitigate the risk of terminal decline in the context of a decarbonising energy system, there will need to be rapid scale up of decarbonised gas. This has led to several projections of the scale of decarbonised gas which could potentially be supplied by 2030, 2040 or 2050. This paper, joint with the Sustainable Gas Institute at Imperial College, London, considers the very significant rate of scale up and the significant cost reductions contemplated by such projections. Based on a database of actual announced projects (both committed and in earlier stages of development) for production of decarbonised gas, it then considers the extent to which project activity is consistent with meeting the ambitious projections. It identifies a significant gap in current levels of activity, largely because there is not yet sufficient economic incentive for investors to develop the required projects. It is intended that this paper will form the basis of continued tracking of the level of activity over the coming years, to help inform industry players of further actions which may be required.