IEA chief Faith Birol take away of the 2019 IEA Energy Outlook read like any EU government energy transition statement: “The energy world is marked by a series of deep disparities. The gap between the promise of energy for all and the fact that almost one billion people still do not have access to electricity. The gap between the latest scientific evidence highlighting the need for evermore- rapid cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions and the data showing that energy-related emissions hit another historic high in 2018. The gap between expectations of fast, renewables-driven energy transitions and the reality of today’s energy systems in which reliance on fossil fuels remains stubbornly high. And the gap between the calm in wellsupplied oil markets and the lingering unease over geopolitical tensions and uncertainties.

Acknowleding that low-carbon hydrogen has seen a recent surge of interest, and referring to its Future of Hydrogen study of July this year the Outlook again referred to its cost issues comparing  the lowest H2 cost options are between $12-25 per million British thermal units (MBtu), to natural gas costs of between $3-10/MBtu.

Gas network capacities in the EU were outlined on November 14 by ENTSO-G in a their map : interesting to imagine hydrogen flowing through these pipes in a few decades: what will the IEA chiefs take be at that stage? Better stop dreaming and getting the work done: if not with the help of silver spiders, green octopus or frogs then by effectively linking these networks: on November 4, 2019 the gas and electricity ENTSOs have published their focus study on interlinkage between gas and electricity systems (‘the Focus Study’).

Since commencing work on their first joint scenarios for TYNDP 2018, ENTSO-E and ENTSOG have further investigated the interactions between gas and electricity systems to improve their Interlinked Model. This model, based on regulation and interactions with EC and ACER, is used by the ENTSOs to reflect sector coupling of the two energy systems.

The ‘Focus study on gas and electricity interlinkage’ report, which was produced by modelling consultancy Artelys for the ENTSOs concludes that interactions between gas and electricity systems are captured by the TYNDP scenarios assumptions. The report also identified specific cases where additional interactions can be related to infrastructure projects.

The conclusions of the study confirm the key role of the scenarios in the assessment process of the ENTSOs TYNDPs. For TYNDP 2020, ENTSO-E and ENTSOG have already improved their scenario building process to account for gas and electricity interactions and will continue to build on stakeholders’ feedback to further improve the new editions.

ENTSOG and ENTSO-E will now work on updating their Interlinked Model based on the recommendations of the focus study.

The Focus study final report and related documents are available on the ENTSO-E website at this link.

On 31 October 2019, the EU executive published its latest list of so-called “Projects of Common Interest” (PCI) for energy, which are intended to promote energy security across borders.

“Electricity and smart grids account for more than 70% of the projects, mirroring the increasing role of renewable electricity in the energy system,” the Commission explained in a statement.

By contrast, the number of gas projects “decreased from 53 two years ago to 32, or 21% of all projects on the PCI list,” the EU executive added, saying “this is in line with the role of gas when meeting the EU’s decarbonisation objectives.”Energy infrastructure projects eligible for EU funding include transmission grids and storage facilities for renewable energies, but also includes 55 natural gas projects,

To put the money where their mouth is executives of some  the world’s top shipping groups were advocating a levy on carbon emissions on shipping on October 31, 2019, in an effort to shape tightening rules on greenhouse gas emissions while providing a means to fund development of cleaner fuel sources.“To meet international shipping’s decarbonisation challenge, the maritime industry needs a carbon levy, it is coming, and we should shape it,” said Andreas Sohmen-Pao, chairman of BW Group at the Global Maritime Forum in Singapore the end of October 2019 . The comments followed closed working group discussions on the need for a levy on carbon emissions from shipping with other executives from companies including Cargill Ocean Transportation, Euronav, Angelicoussis Group, Torvald Klaveness Group, Norwegian bank DNB and mining giant BHP. Maritime shipping, which represents about 90% of international trade, accounts for about 2-3% of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The UN’s International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has a goal to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50% from 2008 levels by 2050.