National Grid has launched a major consultation exercise on the future of gas in the UK energy system.
The system operator thinks gas has a major role to play out to 2050 and beyond, despite carbon targets requiring an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions on 1990 levels by that time.
Grid wants views from industry on how that might play out in order to provide government with ‘no regrets options’ so that policy and investment decisions, which will have a bearing on technology and fuel mix, can be made in time to hit those targets.
Launching its Future of Gas initiative, National Grid asks:
• How should the gas market develop?
• What gas assets will the UK need in the future?
• How does the UK manage the changing requirements of assets, commercial frameworks and arrangements to ensure that the NTS and the gas market frameworks are fit for future options?
• What commercial arrangements does the UK need to consider that encourage the right long term investment from industry parties?
• What services do customers want from the NTS and are willing to pay for?
• What might need to be considered around decommissioning parts of the network?
• What role does National Grid play in providing solutions?
• What role does gas transmission play in the future?
While National Grid sees a long-term future for gas in the transmission system, the firm is currently in the process of selling its gas distribution assets. Meanwhile, Ofgem senior partner for improving regulation, Martin Crouch, told the ADE’s heat conference last week that gas distribution network owners should scale up hydrogen trials – or start to think about building decommissioning funds.