At the EUROFORUM Annual Conference on Natural Gas in Berlin, WINGAS Managing Director Ludwig Möhring called for Germany to demonstrate political resolve in matters of climate control.
Berlin. "There are sufficient areas in which natural gas, along with renewable energies, will play a key role in the future as an important energy source for the benefit of society and in the interests of climate protection", says WINGAS Managing Director Ludwig Möhring during the Gas Talk at the 20th EUROFORUM Annual Conference on Natural Gas in Berlin. This is true of the heating market, even though this market may be in a slow process of decline, and also of the electricity and more particularly of the transport sector. Unfortunately, there is a lack of political backing.
The situation with regard to long-term investment in Germany is now "a major problem for investors". The federal government urgently needs to inspire greater confidence in investors.
Gas can be put to efficient use, is environmentally friendly, and can be ideally combined with renewable energies. "There is gigantic potential for natural gas", according to Möhring. "All it needs is to be exploited – particularly in the heating market". Currently, three of four heating systems due for replacement in Germany run on natural gas. In new buildings, the EnEV 2014 Energy Saving Ordinance will make life difficult for gas heating as of 2016: The annual average electricity mix expected for 2016 was assumed when the primary energy factor of electricity was lowered from 2.6 to 1.8. As a result, heat pumps were suddenly better placed than gas heating systems. Although in winter, when little renewable energy-based electricity is available, heat pumps are operated with a high proportion of coal-fired electricity (lignite and anthracite) from the heating market. "This situation cannot be reconciled with the aims of climate protection", opines Möhring. "We also need to use gas in new buildings because it is the most efficient and affordable solution for house owners".
Climate protection goals must be pursued not just in the heating sector but also in the electricity sector. "If we seriously want to save CO2 in the electricity sector, we must move away from coal", says Möhring, who is encouraged by recent announcements along the same lines by Federal Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks. The transport sector offers potential for gas in the form of compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles, liquefied natural gas (LNG) vehicles, and in the shipping industry.
"Natural gas is part of the climate protection solution in Germany", Möhring stresses. "What we need is political resolve in climate control issues".
At the start of November, the EUROFORUM Annual Conference was held for the twentieth time in Berlin. On all three days of this anniversary event, talks and discussions revolved around current topics in the natural gas sector. National and international experts contributed their views on future developments in the industry and made themselves available for discussions with conference participants.
Excerpts from the Gas Talk with Ludwig Möhring on the question "Living in Paradise or Living on the Edge?" can be viewed here (in German only):