VNG's 'green gases' roadmap
Paving the way for 'green gases'
Gaseous energy sources are a vital part of a modern energy landscape and have many different features. In the wake of the progressive phase-out of nuclear power and coal, they not only increase supply security but also offer significant climate change mitigation potential. In future, renewable gases will be able to provide the same performance where natural gas currently flows today – a key requirement for meeting our medium-term and long-term climate targets. VNG is preparing for this future with a roadmap that aims to systematically leverage the decarbonisation and value creation potential of biogas, biomethane and hydrogen.
The green gas strategy is taking shape
It offers numerous benefits in one – like all ‘green gases’, it is carbon-neutral, versatile, storable and capable of being used for the base load. The successful integration of the new biogas plants into the network often also has a social component – the biogas plants operated by BALANCE are primarily located in rural areas. In these mostly economically underdeveloped regions, biogas plants represent an important value-creating factor for local farmers and service providers. BALANCE optimizes the plants it acquires and thus ensures that they can continue to be operated over the long term.
Energy policy efforts in Germany and Europe are predicated on an increased demand for natural gas in the coming years and decades – and on a growing share of climate-friendly gases. There are good reasons for this – green gas can be used in all consumption sectors and can often only be replaced by power at great expense or not at all. Based on these findings, VNG has developed a roadmap for renewable and decarbonised gases.
The company’s extensive investments in an energy source that is already green today – biogas – were both an important step on the way to realising this strategy and a growth driver in 2019.
Ideas for a hydrogen economy
Hydrogen will play an important role in the forthcoming decisions on energy policy for the energy revolution. Using it as a building block of a sustainable energy supply has many advantages – in combination with power-to-gas technologies, it can be used to significant reduce CO₂ emissions across all sectors, for example. Hydrogen is thus ideally suited to compensate for the seasonal fluctuations in renewable energy fed into the grid and to integrate the power sector with other energy- and resource-intensive sectors. Moreover, it can be mixed with natural gas, which can reduce CO₂ emissions, for example in the heating sector. It is also a key raw material for many industries and can be used as a climate-friendly fuel throughout the entire transport sector, including aviation and shipping.
Under the right conditions, hydrogen is a key to the success of the energy revolution – and it is already an important part of VNG’s future strategy, which envisages, among other things, being able to produce, transport, store and sell carbon-neutral hydrogen in the future. Against this background, VNG is systematically analysing promising new technologies related to the fuel in order to develop attractive business models in the hydrogen economy at an early stage.