White Paper 3: What future for existing gas network infrastructure in a low carbon world?
In many countries gas networks are used to deliver natural gas to industrial, commercial and domestic consumers to supply energy for a range of end-uses, including space heating, water heating and cooking. However, current utilisation of methane for domestic and commercial energy use is unlikely to be compatible with climate change goals in a number of countries given the carbon intensity of methane combustion and the difficulty in capturing carbon at the domestic and commercial scales. The implication of this is that gas distribution infrastructure may be ‘stranded’ and possibly decommissioned.
Recent research has suggested that options to decarbonise the existing gas grid might be preferable to electrification of heat under certain circumstances. An evidence base is emerging which investigates the options for decarbonising existing gas network infrastructures in individual countries or regions. These options include:
- Supplying bio-methane through existing gas networks
- Supplying low carbon hydrogen through the existing gas distribution network; and
- Using Power to Gas technology to turn renewable electricity to gas for use in existing gas networks.
The final report and other outputs from White Paper 3 will be published here when they become available.