Gas Markets in Transition in SE Europe


IENE Webinar:

“Gas Markets in Transition in SE Europe”

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

 To watch the full coverage of the Webinar please click here


As part of its events’ programme, IENE will be organizing a half-day online workshop entitled “Gas Markets in Transition in SE Europe”, which will take place on Tuesday, June 8, between 13:00 – 18:00 (Athens time), via livestreaming.

The Webinar will focus on the SE European gas market prospects and challenges bringing together some of the major actors of the region. The Workshop is highly topical since over the last 12 months we have been witnessing the arrival of substantial new gas quantities in SEE from several destinations (e.g. TurkStream, TAP-TANAP, new LNG). At the same time a number of key interconnections are being implemented across the region contributing to increased gas trading and market integration.

Very high on the agenda of the Workshop are the latest developments concerning the role of natural gas in energy transition in view of EU’s so far critical assessment of natural gas in terms of its new taxonomy and the EIB’s binding decision to suspend funding for all gas related projects from 1 January 2021. Therefore, the question surrounding the suitability of natural gas as bridge to an environmentally sustained energy system acquires a new importance as well as its role in gradually reducing GHG emissions by 2050.

If we are to take EC stated energy and climate policies with respect to 2030 targets and beyond at their face value, there is a clear prejudice against any further investment in gas infrastructure in view of its full abandonment over the next 10-15 years and its substitution with hydrogen and other RE-based gaseous fuels. Meanwhile, all countries in SE Europe have firm plans encouraging further gas use for power generation, industrial and commercial use and for domestic applications. Hence, there is a clear conflict of priorities as almost all governments in SE Europe consider gas use as the fastest and most efficient way for decarbonization. As a result we are already witnessing much increased gas use in the region.

As there appears to be a strong inconsistency between pursued EU policy targets with regard to gas use and locally applied policies, which very much favor further gas use, sooner or later this serious policy discrepancy will have to be addressed at the highest level. A strategy correction and associated medium- and long-term action plans shall need to be put in place. Another question arises as to the extent which Brussels is willing to go to prohibit gas use and what fuels is ready to promote in their place? Is hydrogen a real alternative and how is it going to replace gas at competitive cost?     

These are some of the questions that will be hotly debated in the Webinar, while participants will include senior executives from European and SEE energy companies, active in the natural gas markets, including gas TSOs, public and private gas companies, gas traders, academics and other related stakeholders.