According to Frans Timmermans, the head of the EU green deal, natural gas will likely be included in the European Union’s energy transition plans because some member states that are currently heavily reliant on coal will require an “intermediary stage.”
“We will have to also invest in natural gas infrastructure,” Timmermans said at the COP26 climate summit in Scotland. “As long as we do it with an eye of only doing this for a period, then I think this is a justified investment.”
“Where, and as long as, clean energy cannot yet be deployed on the scale needed, fossil gas may still play a role in the transition from coal to zero emission electricity. But I want to be crystal clear with you—fossil fuels have no viable future. That also goes for fossil gas, in the longer run.”
Some EU member states, such as Poland and Bulgaria, rely substantially on coal for electricity generation, and they also have sizable mining sectors that must be addressed as part of the transition to net-zero. Natural gas is to be a bridge fuel between the fossil fuel and renewable energy eras.
Environmentalists and EU authorities have recently questioned the position of gas as a bridging fuel, believing that all fossil fuels must be phased out as rapidly as feasible. The EU, on the other hand, is making an effort to emphasise that gas is only a temporary member of the green energy club, not a permanent one.