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ECN publication
How can renewables and energy efficiency improve gas security in selected Member States?
Jansen, J.C.; Boonekamp, P.G.M.; Jablonska, B.; Toth, B; Selei, A; Szabo, L.; Kaderjak, P; Resch, G; Liebmann, L; Ragwitz, M; Braungardt, S
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Policy Studies 29-10-2014
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-O--14-057 Other
Number of pages: Full text:
14 Download PDF  

This fact-finding paper seeks to identify recent trends in natural gas use and import dependencies in twelve rather vulnerable EU Member States and to analyse the potential to reduce insecurity of external gas supplies of these countries in the short and longer term up to 2030. It assesses the potential contribution of renewables and energy efficiency to reduce gas import dependency. Main findings include the following ones: • Energy efficiency measures can reduce the gas demand of the assessed Member States on the eastern border of the EU by 14 % while resulting in average net savings of € 3.5 billion per year. For doing so, only a moderate policy intervention is required, meaning that all poli-cy measures currently implemented as well as their upcoming revisions are enforced and a selection of new policy measures is introduced. • A strong deployment of renewables as anticipated in the alternative policy scenarios leads to increases in system costs and support expenditures at EU level but through improved framework conditions (i.e. removal of non-economic barriers) this may even lead to savings in support expenditures for renewables in range of € 2.0-2.1 billion per year in the period post 2020 for the assessed 12 Member States. • The increase in renewables and energy efficiency comes along with benefits related to Europe’s trade balance due to a (significantly) decreased demand for fossil fuels and related imports from abroad. Thus, natural gas demand can be reduced by more than 20% in the assessed countries, if a 30% target for renewables and energy efficiency is aimed for. • From the detailed gas market modelling we can conclude that it seems feasible to reduce Russian dependency on natural gas supply to a very low level without causing skyrocketing natural gas prices in any of the EU member countries.

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