The majority of new gas supply infrastructure planned for Europe is not needed, according to a new report.
The new research by energy consultant Artelys and Climact said it provided the first in-depth assessment of how much, and which, gas infrastructure is needed to ensure security of supply in Europe.
The report said that there was €11.4bn (£8.97bn) of savings achievable by avoiding unnecessary development of infrastructure.
The consultants said that the research challenges mainstream assumptions that gas demand will increase, highlighting that European gas demand has already fallen by 23% over the past five years and would continue to fall if Europe reached its energy efficiency and climate targets for 2030.
It also states that there is more than enough infrastructure in place to deal with extreme supply disruptions, with only half of Europe’s existing gas infrastructure being utilised.
It said that it also demonstrated that no new European import or cross-border gas infrastructure is needed to secure supply. The one exception, it said, were select projects in South Eastern Europe to secure the region against a severe Russian-Ukraine gas supply disruption case.
This means it said that mega-projects like Nord Stream 2, the Southern Gas Corridor and the long list of smaller projects in the EU’s Projects of Common Interest list – many of which were eligible for public EU funds – are associated with high stranded assets risk.
E3G director Jonathan Gaventa said: “Being part of the EU market makes the UK more secure in a crisis, even without building new infrastructure. We must grasp the opportunity to build a secure, low carbon energy system and avoid a major stranded asset risk. Gas demand is already falling and by investing in energy efficiency, 80% of gas infrastructure costs can be saved.”