Gas Infrastructure will be key to achieve the Objectives of the Energy Union
In his speech today at the GIE Annual Conference 2015 in Dublin, Jean-Claude Depail, GIE President, emphasized that gas infrastructure is key to achieve all the five dimensions of the Energy Union: security of supply and solidarity, effective internal market, decarbonisation, energy efficiency, innovation and competitiveness. GIE is willing to work with the European institutions to ensure a competitive, secure and sustainable energy future and the proper role of gas in the future European energy mix.
Today more than 350 delegates from all over Europe met at the thirteenth edition of the GIE Annual Conference. The GIE Annual Conference has become a high-level forum for representatives from industry, policymakers, regulators, academics, journalists and other stakeholders. In the first day of the conference, a session on the future supplies for Europe takes place. In the current security of supply context, speakers describe the developments taking place and how Europe is perceived from outside Europe. The conference also focuses on innovation and gas, showing many technologies being deployed now. The second day will be dedicated to the “Energy Union in practice” with a session on the “hardware”, the still missing infrastructure, and a session on the “software”, the access rules and developments towards a truly functioning internal gas market.
In his keynote address, Jean-Claude Depail reviewed the current challenges and opportunities for the gas infrastructure industry in Europe. He indicated that security of supply was on the top of the political agenda last year with the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Thanks to the strong involvement of the European Commission and infrastructure operators, uninterrupted transit of Russian gas to Europe was secured, while reverse flows from Europe improved supply to Ukraine. He also reminded that a wide policy discussion is going to take place regarding security of supply in Europe.
The role of the three key areas of gas infrastructure – transmission, storage and LNG regasification terminals – to achieve the objectives of the five dimensions of the Energy Union was emphasised. Jean-Claude Depail also stressed that the outcome of the COP21 later this year will be very important for the European industry and for the gas sector. “Indeed, Europe should not have strong ambitions alone as it would reduce the competitiveness of the European economy. Ideally, the EU should review its targets in the light of the outcome of the COP21.”
Mr Depail hopes that the legislative proposals that will be proposed soon will take the right options to ensure the proper role of gas in the future European energy mix.
Regarding investments, the European Fund for Strategic Investment proposed in the context of the Juncker plan is welcomed as a good step towards improving the financial viability of risky projects. GIE calls for a better balance between the short term and the long term and requires that most investments be market-based.
GIE President is convinced that there are real opportunities for the gas and gas infrastructure sector. This year and in the years to come, we will see important policy developments that will impact our industry. “We need to adapt the gas infrastructure to changing policy regulations, changing consumption patterns and changing sources of gas”.
There are many innovative solutions in the gas sector: new production (biomethane), new energy storage (power-to-gas), new uses (gas for transport), new products (micro CHPs, gas heat pumps…) and CCS. The cornerstone of these developments is the existing gas infrastructure. Gas and gas infrastructure are key to achieve our low-carbon energy future.
For more information about the conference and real-time information, please visit www.gie.eu and/or follow us on Twitter (@GIEBrussels, #GIEDublin2015).
Note to Editors
Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE) is an association representing the interests of European natural gas infrastructure operators active in natural gas transmission, storage and LNG regasification. GIE is a trusted partner of European institutions, regulatory bodies and industry stakeholders. It is based in Brussels, the heart of European policymaking.
GIE currently represents 68 member companies from 25 countries. Its internal structure has three columns corresponding to the three types of infrastructure activities represented: GTE (Gas Transmission Europe), GSE (Gas Storage Europe) and GLE (Gas LNG Europe), all of which fall under the umbrella of GIE. This structure allows member companies to speak with one voice on infrastructure topics as well as to build positions on column-specific issues.
To find out more about GIE’s structure and activities, please visit our website at www.gie.eu.
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