The majority of new gas supply infrastructures planned for Europe is not needed.
That’s according to a report which stated the EU can save €11.4 billion (£8.9bn) by avoiding unnecessary development of gas infrastructures.
It stated there is more than enough infrastructure in place to deal with extreme supply disruptions, with only half of Europe’s existing gas infrastructure being used.
Currently, an average of 32% of existing LNG terminals and 58% of pipeline capacity are being used.
Furthermore, European gas demand has fallen by 23% in the past five years and is expected to keep falling, the report by energy consultants Artelys and Climact and supported by the European Climate Foundation added.
That’s due to increased buildings efficiency, electrification and better integrated infrastructure planning.
It also stated policy makers should be confident that the existing gas system can handle an accelerated coal phase-out in the power sector, like in the UK, without significant new infrastructure investments.
The report added no new European import or cross-border gas infrastructure is needed to secure supply apart from selected projects in South Eastern Europe to secure the region against a severe Russian-Ukraine gas supply disruption case.
In case of gas supply concerns in the continent, the report suggests a smarter integration of gas and electricity systems and demand side management could help meet supply security standards at lower costs.
Christoph Wolff, Managing Director at the European Climate Foundation said: “The report shows that an integrated perspective gas, heat and electricity systems together can deliver significant security and cost benefits. This will become increasingly important as we decarbonise our energy system.”