Representatives of the gas sector addressed these key issues for the sector at the Sedigas 2023 Annual Meeting “Renewable gases, challenges and opportunities for a just and balanced transition” at the Teatro Real in Madrid. The President of Sedigas, Joan Batalla, together with Cristina Lobillo, Head of the European Union Energy Platform, and Sara Aagesen, Secretary of State for Energy of the Ministry for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, were in charge of the institutional welcome.
Natalia Latorre, Energy Transition General Manager at Enagás, took part in the round table “In perspective, present and future of the Spanish gas sector” together with Raúl Suárez, CEO of Nedgia and María Fernández-Argüelles, Gas & Power Southern Europe Senior Manager at BP; with Naiara Ortiz de Mendíbil, Secretary General of Sedigas, as moderator. Latorre stressed the importance of infrastructures to guarantee security of supply, which was brought to light after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. She also mentioned that Spain has increased the capacity of its interconnections by 43% compared to last year.
The senior executive highlighted that Spain has an important role as an exporter of LNG to Europe, especially to countries such as Germany and Italy, and that underground storage facilities in Spain are at 97% and in Europe at 75%. “We are ahead of the REPowerEU benchmark. We are better prepared than last year, and solidarity among member states will remain a key element,” she said. Natalia Latorre said that REPowerEU recognises that in Europe we have access to renewable energy resources and establishes the need for a European backbone network to connect supply and demand.
On the H2Med project, she pointed out that it will enable the export of surplus hydrogen produced in Spain and Portugal to northern Europe: “Renewable gases, and especially hydrogen, are going to be used in decarbonisation, we need a large infrastructure network to ensure security of supply and the deployment of any market”.
Enagás’ Technical Management of the System General Manager, Susana de Pablo, participated in a round table discussion on the challenges and opportunities of biomethane in Spain, together with the General Manager of Europe Pavilion Energy, José Simón; the General Manager of Axpo, Ignacio Soneira; the Head of Business Diversification of Redexis, Miguel Mayrata and the CEO of Nortegas, Javier Contreras; moderated by Laura Ojea, Editor of El Español.
The senior executive mentioned the important contribution of the Guarantees of Origin system for the deployment of renewable gases and highlighted Spain’s potential to become a benchmark in this field. “The great advantage of biomethane is that it is fully interchangeable with natural gas and that gas networks provide the reliability to guarantee consumption that can absorb all production,” said Susana de Pablo.
Furthermore, she mentioned that Spain has proven to have a robust system thanks to its infrastructure, that its grid is ready and that the investments required to adapt it to biomethane are minimal. “The network brings reliability to the project as it connects remote production areas with consumption areas,” she pointed out. “France and Germany have been promoting biomethane for 10 years, in our case we have to grow at a great pace, but the technology is much more advanced, and it is possible with the existing grid in Spain,” she said.
You can watch the full session of the Sedigas Annual Meeting by clicking here.