The world is facing some major challenges in the field of energy. Global demand is increasing, while the emission of greenhouse gases, such as CO2, is giving rise to climate change. A transition towards a more sustainable energy supply is therefore necessary. As part of the gas value chain, we are keen to contribute to this transition. We currently do this in various ways; for example, by developing sustainable business activities, dealing responsibly with the environment, and reducing our own carbon footprint. In our policies, we also support the Dutch government’s objectives: 20% less CO2 in 2020 (compared to 1990), annual energy savings of 2%, and 14% sustainable energy generation in 2020.
Gas value chain
As a natural gas transport company, we play an important role in the gas value chain, which stretches from production to user applications. It is a chain that links together gas producers, suppliers, shippers, national and international network operators, gas transport companies, industries and power stations connected directly to the national grid, as well as end-users and domestic households.
Cooperation within the chain
In this continuously changing market and society, cooperation within the chain is crucial. We participate in both ‘horizontal’ and ‘vertical’ cooperation. We take part in a wide variety of relevant international, national, regional and local partnerships. They focus on many different aspects of the gas value chain, such as the exchange of knowledge and best practices, the development of clean and efficient energy applications, and the development of the green gas market in the Netherlands.
We also take part in a number of national and European working parties (including the CEN and ISO standardisation committees) aimed at establishing standards and norms for gas transport management systems. A good example of cooperation in this field is PIMS, which we developed in-house. This is a tool for determining and managing pipeline integrity. We have signed cooperation agreements with many other gas transport companies, which has resulted in various of these parties also implementing PIMS.
We also participate in several ‘vertical’ collaborations in the field of energy, such as GIE, ENTSOG, Marcogaz, EDI and Energy Valley.
We are dedicated to promoting green gas as an efficient and sustainable energy option. It is the Dutch government’s target to have five billion m3 (48.8 billion kWh) of green gas being used in the country by 2030. Gasunie is eager to contribute to the development of the green gas market in the Netherlands; we are active in the feed-in of green gas and its certification. The Netherlands’ strong infrastructure will provide a solid foundation for this, and enable us to take the next step towards a more sustainable energy supply.
Biogas from fermentation and gasification has a huge production potential for the future. As production increases, we shall see green gas hubs being built – centralised facilities to which biogas producers are connected. In these facilities, biogas will be upgraded to natural gas quality, and will then be transported through our gas transport network and regional networks and delivered to industrial and domestic users as green gas.
Investing in a market that is not yet well-developed naturally involves risks. However, we are keen to promote the development of a green-gas market, and have therefore been working with others to develop ways in which green gas can be safely fed into our network. The market has shown a great deal of interest in feeding gas into our national transport network, also via green gas hubs. Here, too, we play a facilitating role; for instance, by participating in the Green Gas Taskforce.
Vertogas, one of our subsidiaries, is an autonomous and independent company that facilitates the trade in green gas through its certification system. Vertogas certificates state the origin of the green gas and the types of biomass used in its production. This provides green-gas traders and customers with a guarantee that they are dealing with genuine green gas. A recognised green gas certification system is essential for the further development of the green-gas market. The Dutch Gas Act (2013) recognises Vertogas as a certification authority for green gas. This legal status will take effect in 2014.
Cars that run on green gas release less CO2 and fine particles than cars that run on other fuels. In 2012, as a part of our footprint reduction policy, we started to ‘greenify’ our fleet of vehicles. We initiated a pilot project with 21 company vehicles used by staff to maintain our gas transport network. In due course, we aim to have our whole fleet of 284 vehicles running on green gas. Reports so far are positive. We also give employees who are eligible for a lease car the opportunity to choose a lease car that runs on green gas. In 2013, several employees already availed themselves of this opportunity.