We need natural gas, even if we use biomethane or hydrogen, and if we want to reduce emissions at European level and be less dependent, we need to reduce imports, not production, said Volker Raffel, E.ON Romania’s general manager, on Tuesday.
“It is not a competition between sectors. We need natural gas even if we use biomethane, even if we use hydrogen. If we want to reduce emissions at the European level, if we want to be less dependent, we must reduce imports, but we must not reduce natural gas production in the European Union. We have enough space for these gases, even if we use biomethane,” said Volker Raffel at the Romanian International Gas Conference – RIGC 2023, according to Agerpres.
He emphasized that in Romania investments should not be made in parallel infrastructures, because it would be too expensive for the final consumer, and that the decision should be made where heating will be done with natural gas, where with district heating and where with heat pumps.
“We cannot pay for three parallel infrastructures. I still see the approach as too ideological and not pragmatic enough at the European level as well. They also say we finance natural gas pipelines if you use only hydrogen from the beginning one hundred percent of the volume. That means building gas pipelines us for hydrogen and after 10-20 years to stop using the already existing natural gas networks. This does not make sense. We need to make the decision together how we heat up and this decision needs to be made together at the national level. And together and producers, and the regulator, and the private sector we can find suitable solutions for Romania as well,” said the CEO of E.ON Romania.
He mentioned that, in Germany, in order to stop importing a lot of natural gas, the development of the hydrogen and biomethane sectors started faster, initially with a few small projects, which were later developed, reaching an ecosystem where natural gas, biomethane and hydrogen are used together. Moreover, the company also started a pilot project in Romania and already distributes hydrogen in part of the network it operates.
On the other hand, he pointed out that if we no longer want to use gas in large quantities in Germany and go to heat pumps, photovoltaic panels, to which electric car charging stations are added, then there will be much more investments in networks are needed in the future.
“At the European level, you can see how we invest in the electricity networks, in all the regions where we operate the networks, doubling and tripling the investment amounts in the electricity networks. But we also need to invest in the natural gas networks. (…) We invest much more much more than we have invested in the past years, because the energy transition is happening today, already. We can’t wait any longer,” pointed out Volker Raffel.
The Oil and Gas Employers’ Federation (FPPG), under the high patronage of the Ministry of Energy, organizes the 6th edition of the event Romanian International Gas Conference – RIGC 2023, with the theme “Redefining security of supply. The potential of new technologies for a sustainable energy transition.”