Natural Gas remains the best partner of renewables,says Pierre Chareyre, ENGIE Executive Vice President

Natural Gas has a long and clean future in Europe, according to Pierre Chareyre, ENGIE Executive Vice President. In an interview given to Politico at the Gastech conference in Barcelona, Chareyre predicted that demand could fuel a 100 billion cubic meter gas deficit in Europe by 2030, driving natural gas imports.

During the exchange, Chareyre expressed the opinion that natural gas has a crucial role to play in Europe’s energy transition and therefore gas competitiveness is key to make it happen and for the EU industry competitiveness.And a competitive gas is a result of the competition between pipe-gas and liquid natural gas (LNG), which shall absolutely be maintained.

 “LNG is always going to be physically more expensive than piped gas because it is cheaper to build a pipeline than an LNG chain going from liquefaction back to regasification,” he said.   ENGIE is therefore fully committed to the Nord Stream 2 project, a pipeline that will ship 55 billion cubic meters of gas each year from Russia to Germany, when completed. ENGIE is one of the financial investors of Nord Stream 2 and, despite challenging political conditions, sees the pipeline as a major future resource to import natural gas into Europe. 

To the threat of US sanctions, Chareyre stated “We have guidelines that have been issued by the [U.S.] State Department which allow us to pursue our financial support for Nord Stream 2,”. “If there is a change in the sanction law, we will have to re-examine our position according to the new legislation. For the time being, we have no reason to be specifically worried.”

Chareyre also predicted that by the middle of the century gas could become a totally clean fuel. “Progressively, starting with developed countries, natural gas will be replaced with biogas and biofuel and, going further, hydrogen will play an important role also in the transport sector. We think that by 2050, gas could be 100 percent clean in France for all users, including industry.”

Read the full Q&A here (paying article)