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Exit from natural gas is a prerequisite to achieve ambitious climate goals

State of Green
By State of Green, April 28, 2020

Denmark must free itself from using natural gas to reduce emissions by 70 per cent within ten years, argues new report.

The Danish district heating network supplies most households in Denmark with low-carbon energy. Two thirds of Danish homes get their heating this way. The last third, however, rely on other heating sources, one being natural gas.

However, natural gas in heating needs to be phased out by 2030 in order to achieve the Danish 70 per cent reduction target, concludes a new report from Ea Energy Analyses. The report also presents a roadmap to phasing out natural gas in households and the retail industry.

One of the members of the report’s steering committee is Danish Energy who underline that natural gas is not part of a future green society:

“We will not realise the green transition and fulfil the 70 per cent target without doing away with fossil fuels – this includes putting an end to natural gas in heating and not installing new gas boilers,” said Kamilla Thingvad, Head of Department at Danish Energy.

Other than Danish Energy, the report was conducted under the leadership of a steering committee with representatives from Danish District Heating Association, Evida, TEKNIQ, Energinet and Biogas Danmark.

-Related solution: Biogas in the Natural Gas System

Heat pumps and district heating to replace natural gas by 2030

In short, the report from Ea Energy Analyses concludes that natural gas is a thing of the past. Particularly as a source for individual heating. The alternative, according to the report, is to increase the use of heat pumps and biogas, while expanding the district heating network. The expectation is that by 2030, the production of biogas should be able to replace natural gas throughout all sectors.

According to the report, the best socio-economic solution for households and retail is that most of the heating is covered by heat pumps. For the remaining 20-30 per cent, it will be possible to switch to district heating.

The Danish Climate Partnership for Energy and Utilities stressed in its recent recommendations to the Danish government that a fossil-free energy and supply sector in 2030 will by itself be enough to reach half of the 70 per cent target. This includes phasing out natural gas.

To phase out natural gas, Ea Energy Analyses recommends six scenarios: increased CO2-taxing of natural gas, a requirement of an increasing share of biogas in the gas mix, subsidies for heat pumps and district heating, nudging through campaigns, payment to scrap old natural gas boilers or requiring old gas boilers to be replaced by heat pumps, district heating, hybrid heat pumps and electric heat after 2025.

 

Sources:

Ea Energy Analyses (in Danish)

Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities (in Danish)

Danish Energy (in Danish)

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