French and Dutch gas industry: “'Energy transition drives innovation and new roles for gas”


Paris, 7 November 2014 - Over the past fifty years, the Netherlands has established itself as a pivotal player on the European gas market. France on the other hand, is Europe’s leader in natural gas infrastructure as it operates and markets the largest transmission and distribution network. With the 26th World Gas Conference coming up in June 2015,  the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands hosted a bilateral seminar bringing Dutch and French government representatives, industry executives and scientists together to discuss the energy future and the role of gas in it.  

Several decades from now, the energy supply will be more sustainable. A future with highly efficient, intelligent interaction between different forms of energy, following the need of consumer and society. During the seminar ‘Connecting the French and Dutch gas industry’ on 6 November, French and Dutch government representatives, industry executives, scientists and young professionals from the gas industry, discussed topics that are of importance to both the Netherlands and France. These topics were: ‘Power-to-Gas as a strategic tool for more sustainable results’, ‘LNG for shaping the energy future’, ‘Energy efficiency in industrial processes – the factory of the future’, and ‘Area based approaches to industrial efficiency’.

India takes over gas market

Dr. Fatih Birol, Chief Economist and Director Global Energy Economics Directorate of  International Energy Agency, gave a presentation with a bird’s eye view of the new edition of the World Energy Outlook which will be published next week. According to Dr. Birol, the gas market is in a winter sleep. Biggest growth is expected in Asia and even though China is the main driver, India will take over this position in 2020. One of the reasons is that Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) from the US is not entering the European market but the Asian market due to higher prices in that part of the world.  The gas market does not grow in Europe, because of the gas-coal competition and lower prices for coal. Dick Benschop, CEO of Shell Netherlands, stressed that innovation has to come from industry. Benschop referred to the trend of LNG-usage in the transport sector which is happening without any subsidies. Guy Salzgeber, Executive Vice-President in charge of Western Europe, Air Liquide, pointed out the importance for an global European strategy to remain competitive as gas sector. 

World Gas Conference Paris, 1-5 June 2015

Both countries will meet again during the 26th World Gas Conference (WGC) from 1-5 June 2015, when Paris will welcome the world’s energy community. The WGC is organized by the International Gas Union and takes place in a different country every three years. During the triennium between two conferences, over 1,000 industry professionals spend their time studying and conducting research. These results are presented in more than 14 working groups with topics covering the entire gas value chain. The central topic of next year’s conference is ‘Growing together towards a friendly planet’.