Gaseous fuels will play a very important role in the integrated EU energy sector in the next decades, but the composition of different gaseous fuels will differ among the EU Member States. It will depend mostly on local potential for cost-effective biomethane or hydrogen production. Therefore, specific targets on the national level should be carefully considered. Technology neutral support for biomethane and hydrogen uptake is necessary for each EU Member State to deliver their own transition and decarbonisation pathway.
In case of the Member States that have to switch from coal power and heating sources to other, less emitting sources, gaseous fuels serve today as the only economically and technically feasible way to meet increased GHG emission reduction goals. Although developments on the hydrogen technologies is rapid, it remains unclear, to what extent renewable hydrogen will be able to replace natural gas in all EU Member States, especially in power and heat production. Most likely, at least in some Member States, natural gas will be still needed in 2030 to secure stability and reliability of the electricity grid by providing flexibility and back-up for intermittent RES.
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