“We at Gazprom aim to take gas as fuel to a whole new level.” Alexander Medvedev
Gazprom Export’s Alexander Medvedev has called for action to stimulate the adoption of natural gas as a transportation fuel in Europe. Today, he explains, the most urgent challenges are environmental and economic and gas, a readily available fuel, is a perfect solution for greener and cheaper mobility.
The use of gas in transport already grew by 220% between 2008 and 2012 worldwide, from 13.6bcm to 30.1bcm. The International Energy Agency’s (IEA) recently predicted that by 2018 alone, gas use in transport could increase by nearly 10% to 50bcm worldwide.
Medvedev argues policy makers should realise that investing in the expansion of natural gas distribution infrastructure is more economical than technologies dependent on subsidies. He calls for a predictable legal environment, balanced taxation and standards on fuels. This would help to find the right way for investments needed by the sector.
Additionally, greater familiarization is needed of the benefits of natural gas. Compared to diesel, natural gas powered vehicles cut CO2 emissions by 25% and N2O by 85%. Soot and carbon monoxide are reduced to virtually nothing in gas fired emissions, thus improving air quality and minimizing the impact of transport emission on our respiratory health.
Gas reduces fuel costs also. With €10 (USD 13.80) worth of fuel, a natural gas powered car can go approximately 220 km, compared to 164 km on diesel and just 103 km on petrol. In Europe, €68 to €77 billion (USD 94 to 106 billion) can be saved by 2050 when further developing the use of natural gas in transport compared to a business as usual scenario, according to the European Gas Forum. Trucks and ships have the greatest potential to generate cost savings.
Since 2008, Gazprom, together with E.ON Ruhrgas and many local supporters, have organised the annual “Blue Corridor rally” which gathers natural gas-powered vehicles (NGVs) and puts a spotlight on workable solutions for cleaner and cheaper mobility in Europe. For the first time, the rally crossed from Finland to Sweden on an LNG ferry, a prime example of the environmental and economic benefits of using LNG in shipping, in a heavily polluted Baltic Sea.
Against this background, Gazprom Export welcomed the European Commission’s clean transport package issued earlier this year. This proposal sets ambitious EU targets to promote more cars and fuelling stations using alternative fuels, such as gas. Medvedev calls it an important and necessary signal to the industry and a clear push to develop the right market conditions for CNG and LNG to take hold in European transport.
Now, he says, governments must follow suit.
(Source: Gazprom Export)