Including an analysis of the current global gas crisis – New report by CEDIGAZ
Underground gas storage is back in the spotlight with the current gas crisis, which once again illustrates its importance for security of supply, especially in Europe. The new 2021 Underground Gas Storage Report published by CEDIGAZ therefore includes an in-depth analysis of the underlying causes of the current crisis and highlights the crucial importance of storage to ensure the flexibility of the gas system. The report also provides an update of key global UGS statistics and regional dynamics at work with a focus on China and Russia.
Current gas crisis: Blame the weather and the market
European spot natural gas prices and Asian spot LNG prices reached all-time highs in October. The steep rise reflects a severe mismatch between gas supply and demand and was caused by a combination of several factors: a strong recovery in gas demand, notably in China, where coal shortages and environmental pressure reinforced the call on gas demand; unplanned LNG supply outages; extreme weather events that put immense pressure on the gas supply system, as well as on hydropower and wind generation; a sluggish recovery in gas production; and lower natural gas storage inventories in Europe.
The Australian government released the National Hydrogen Strategy (the Strategy) in November 2019 and has continued to outline its support for hydrogen through the First Low-Emissions Technology Statement, released in September 2020. The government has stated its commitment to reducing Australia’s emissions through technology investment, rather than through carbon pricing, with the Technology Investment Roadmap a core element of its long-term emissions reduction strategy.
- The government has taken a technology-neutral approach and the Strategy refers to ‘clean’ hydrogen, which includes both green and blue hydrogen.
- The Strategy is export oriented. Building on Australia’s unique assets and its track record in energy exports, it aims to build large-scale supply chains to make Australia a leading exporter of hydrogen energy and technologies, and one of the top three exporters to the promising Asian markets by 2030.
- While primarily focused on the export market, the Strategy looks to initially build a strong domestic hydrogen sector that will underpin Australia’s export capabilities. Hydrogen demand will be concentrated in large hydrogen hubs and will focus on four applications: its use in transport, as industrial feedstock, blended in gas networks and for electricity grid support/energy storage.
- One of the government’s priorities and a key success factor for Australia’s hydrogen industry is to reduce the production cost of hydrogen below AUD2/kgH2 — US$1.4 (‘H2 under $2’).
- From 2018 to May 2021, at least AUD1.5 billion (US$ 1.1 billion) have been awarded or committed to progressing clean hydrogen projects. Support is also provided to CCUS technologies and the creation of CCUS hubs, with the goal of reducing the cost of CO₂ compression, hub transport, and storage for CCS below AUD20/tCO₂ (US$14).