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Gas Week Strasbourg: need to join forces to promote gas use in vehicles
tuesday, 16. December 2014
EU Member States should cooperate intensively with all stakeholders to make natural gas a success as an alternative fuel for vehicles in Europe, said Secretary General Lennart Pilskog of NGVA Europe during an event on natural gas in the European Parliament in Strasbourg on November 25. The event, with a particular focus on CO2 reduction and the role gas can play in transport, was organised by a coalition of gas industry organisations, Gas Naturally.
Pilskog stressed that the recently adopted Directive on Infrastructure for Alternative fuels -- which obliges each EU Member State to come up with a plan for a gas infrastructure by 2016 -- was a “great starting point” to create the much needed network of filling stations for CNG and LNG across the EU.
To overcome stumbling blocks on national level, Member States should be able to draw support from a ‘round table’ of all stakeholders - politicians, the fuel and vehicle industry and also related organisations, such NGVA Europe. “A strong alliance of Member States and stakeholders across Europe is needed to promote a wider acceptance of natural gas as a vehicle fuel in EU”, said Pilskog.
Lennart Pilskog at the GasVisually Exhibition Opening in Strasbourg
Pilskog stressed that the importance of natural gas to reduce CO2 emissions is too often overlooked. “The EU wants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40%. In transport alone a reduction of 40% could be reached by using natural gas blended with 20% renewable biomethane. Only together we can manage to reach the goals of the EU.”
Secretary General Beate Raabe of Eurogas supported Pilskog’s call for closer cooperation and said: “Gas is an ideal fuel to reduce emissions in transport and the technology is available now.”
From the manufacturers side ‘brand president’ Pierre Lahutte of commercial vehicle manufacturer Iveco pointed out that Europe needed to provide “stability and investor confidence for natural gas infrastructure and the users of natural gas vehicles”. Iveco has many years of experience with vehicles powered on natural gas and has consequently been a long standing promoter of a wider adoption of natural gas as a fuel.
Lahutte pointed out that the use of natural gas as a fuel was also addressed during the G20 summit in Brisbane with the approval of the ’G20 Energy Efficiency Action Plan’, to develop ‘multilateral cooperation’ on energy efficiency. Asked by Francois-Regis Mouton, chairman of Gas Naturally and moderator of the event, why gas takes so much time to be adopted and why politicians and manufacturers seem to concentrate on electricity only, Lahutte highlighted that manufacturers can offer both solutions, but that gas was one of the more “promising, sustainable and viable solutions”. He said “the success of natural gas vehicles should not be jeopardized by higher taxes during the infrastructure build-up”.
The importance of a stable investment environment is supported by Adina-Ioana Valean, MEP for the Romanian National Liberal Party (a member of the christian-democrat EPP fraction in the European Parliament. Valean hosted the Gas Naturally event in Strasbourg and said that gas will play an important role in the creation of a European Energy Union, particularly in balancing energy demands in connected markets. She said that gas should also play an important role in reducing CO2.
Valean stressed that European policy-makers should ensure that proposed legislation remains stable and predictable in order to create a stable environment for long-term investment plans. “The energy union cannot be successful without the gas industry”, she said.
Source: NGVA Europe
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