Main content area

Is there a future for the gas network in a low carbon energy system?

Hickey, Conor, Deane, Paul, McInerney, Celine, Ó Gallachóir, Brian
Energy policy 2019 v.126 pp. 480-493
assets, carbon, carbon sequestration, emissions, energy, models, risk, tariffs, Ireland
This paper evaluates the potential low carbon opportunities for and challenges to the utilisation and financial performance of Ireland's gas distribution network within a series of low carbon scenarios. There has been a limited amount of academic literature published on the future implications of gas demand on gas networks. This paper takes the unique perspective of assessing the stranded asset risk to a utility operating a gas network in the context of a low carbon energy system. Building on established emissions reduction scenarios, a financial model is developed from an integrated energy system model to understand the financial risks associated with continued investment in gas networks. We find that higher network tariffs are required for consumers in the future to cover network costs, even though gas consumption grows relative to current consumption levels in low carbon scenarios with carbon capture and storage.