In a new study for Gas for Climate, Guidehouse assessed the most cost-optimal way to fully decarbonize the EU energy system by 2050 while exploring the role of gas used in existing gas infrastructure. With all energy ultimately becoming renewable, a smart combination of hydrogen and biomethane with electricity would thus promise the cost-optimal route to full decarbonization of the EU energy system.
Using around 2900 TWh, or approximately 270 billion cubic meters, of green hydrogen and renewable methane through existing gas infrastructure across the EU would save €217 billion annually by 2050 compared to an energy system using a minimal amount of gas.
The study is a follow-up from an earlier analysis, which has now been expanded to include hydrogen as well as biomethane, and the additional sectors industry and transport.
In the resulting scenario, the Guidehouse experts foresee an initially important role for blue hydrogen (carbon-neutral hydrogen produced from natural gas with carbon capture and storage), to grow the developing hydrogen market including in new applications. Towards 2050, with increased levels of renewable electricity and falling costs, renewable green hydrogen will gradually replace blue hydrogen, achieving in the end a fully renewable energy system.
For more information, download the study and read the related media coverage.