Gas can play a “vital role” in delivering the ambitious goal of the EU’s Energy Union.
That’s the view of Paul Goodfellow, Vice President of Shell UK and Ireland who believes there is a huge amount of gas that is accessible to the EU market.
He expects the growth of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) production to be “robust” in the region by 2030.
Mr Goodfellow added: “Gas is flexible, secure and affordable. It offers the quickest pathways to deliver the EU’s 2030 gas emissions target and it will merge in the coming decades as a backbone of the European energy mix.”
The EU has set a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030.
Mr Goodfellow believes gas and renewables can support each other within the power system to balance supply and demand as it helps tackle the problem of intermittency of clean energy sources.
“In Spain for example, gas generation ramps up when wind generation is low”, he added.
He also said the “quickest and most affordable ways” to achieve EU targets is by switching from coal to gas and using renewable energy.
Mr Goodfellow added it will reduce emissions “faster” and provide energy security to the system however other important steps should be taken to achieve those targets amid low oil prices which reached a 12-year low in January.
He went on: “A drive for efficiency and improved competitiveness must continue and with greater urgency if the remaining indigenous volumes are to be produced cost-competitively to flow into European markets.”
He also believes carbon pricing is another key factor for the region to switch from coal to gas.
In the UK, the government has planned to close all coal-fired power stations by 2025.