Gaseous energy sources are becoming increasingly important: Supply and demand for natural gas have been growing steadily for years. In addition, a flourishing global trade in liquefied natural gas (LNG) is helping regionally oriented markets to converge increasingly. More and more countries are furthermore attempting to accelerate the market ramp-up of hydrogen.
Natural gas (still) plays an essential role in Europe. Compared to other conventional energy sources such as oil or coal, the CO2 emitted by natural gas’s energetic use is relatively low. For this reason, natural gas has the potential to displace coal in the electricity sector or petroleum-based diesel in the heating sector. Moreover, there is already an infrastructure in place – namely storage facilities, transport, and distribution networks – that can also be used in the future for climate-neutral gases such as synthetic methane or biogas.
In the analysis of and consultancy on gas markets, the EWI simulates future imports and gas flows. Furthermore, the institute determines grid congestion, for example, in peak load situations and its effects on the markets. In addition, the model simulations allow conclusions to be drawn about individual infrastructure projects (pipelines, LNG terminals, storage facilities) and make it possible to evaluate them from a business and an economic perspective.
For this purpose, the institute uses its own models TIGER (European gas infrastructure) and COLUMBUS (global gas market). The COLUMBUS model enables the simulation of scenarios on the worldwide price development and the long-term development of the global liquefied natural gas market.
The TIGER model maps the European market and its gas sectors and market areas with a high degree of detail. Thus, for example, statements can also be made on the economic effects of market area mergers or the development of hub price differences. In addition to using the models for application-oriented analyses and studies, it is also possible to acquire commercial licenses for the models, for example, for a company’s internal analysis department.
In various projects, EWI is investigating the role of gas in the future energy system. This research relates to the individual sectors of industry, transport, buildings, and energy and the various gaseous energy carriers natural gas, biomethane, synthetic methane, and hydrogen.