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Panorama du Gaz renouvelable 2019
La revue soGaz #5

Gas system 2017

2017: Gas confirms its importance in the French energy mix and the potential it has in fighting climate change.

Presentation of the national gas system 2017

Presentations of the regional gas system 2017

At 465 TWh, GRTgaz recorded a slight increase of 0.4 per cent in gross gas demand over its transmission network in 2017. Demand from industrial customers connected to the network increased by 5.5%, mainly attributable to electricity production from gas. Existing power stations used 55 TWh of gas (against 46 TWh in 2016 and 8 TWh in 2014). This record level is explained by the fall in the availability of nuclear power stations and the historically low level of hydraulic this year. Demand from customers connected to the distribution networks (residential, tertiary and industrial consumers) is down (-2.9%1) due to the mild weather.

A potential saving of around 36 million tonnes of CO2 by 2030
In France, total gas demand is equivalent to that of the electricity and oil used in the transport sector. The emergence of a decarbonated gas mix added to new uses encouraged by the public authorities could allow France to speed up its fight against climate change by deploying efficient solutions that can quickly be rolled out countrywide. Gas could thus contribute to more than 1/3 of the reduction effort of 97 Mt of CO2 per year that France needs to make to achieve the 2030 target set by the law on the energy transition for green growth2. This contribution will also reduce the deficit in our trade balance and will encourage the development of new industrial sectors of excellence.

Developing gas uses and renewable gases for fighting climate change and air pollution immediately
In industry, nearly 4.3 TWh of gas demand is attributable to new conversions from oil to gas carried out in the past year. Since 2012, considering all the converted facilities as a whole, 1.8 Mt of CO2 have not been discharged into the atmosphere, a contribution equivalent to that of approximately 10,000 wind turbines of 2 MW in the electric mix. If in 2017, all the combustion thermal power plants had been fuelled by gas in France, GRTgaz estimates that such a production base would have resulted in 7 Mt of CO2 not being discharged.  
The dynamism of renewable gas is growing, with at the end of 2017 44 sites injecting biomethane into the gas networks and with 408 GWh of gas injected (+100% compared to 2016). The new stated ambition of the gas operators to increase to 90 TWh the share of renewable gas in the gas mix by 2030, should be reflected as early as 2018 in the commissioning of several tens of new sites including 5 or 6 connected to the GRTgaz network. Gas transport (vehicle natural gas (VNG) and bioVNG) is also continuing its expansion with an increase of 10% in the overall vehicle fleet and 100% in the heavy truck segment; these vehicles benefit from a rapidly expanding fleet of gas refuelling stations, a trend that will continue throughout 2018 with at least a doubling of the number of stations in 2018.

1The fall in demand is -0.4% after correction of climate effects.
2The energy transition law sets a target of a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions between 1990 and 2030.