van Rootselaar, Sander; Hengstler, Jasmin
The energy sector is a driver in the European Green Deal to reduce carbon emissions. Natural gas represents a solution during the energy transition: as the cleanest hydrocarbon-based energy source, it can be stored in large quantities and provides the flexibility necessary for the increased use of renewable energy. In the long term, natural gas can used as feedstock to produce – in combination with CCS – low carbon (blue/ turquoise) hydrogen. When assessing the environmental footprint of GHG emissions, it is important to be aware of differences depending on the origin. Gas production practices, transportation distance or the transportation type (LNG carriers or pipeline) are relevant parameters. To stimulate a fact-based discussion about the environmental footprint of energy sources, energy companies should embrace the methodology of cradle-to-grave LCA considering several impact categories. Transparency is key to select the optimal options. Financial and regulatory benefits come into play too, since the clean, reliable and cost competitive energy solutions should be stimulated. For these reasons, South Stream Transport commissioned Sphera to conduct a full LCA of the supply of natural gas from Russia to South East Europe and Turkey via the TurkStream pipeline, and the use of the natural gas for electricity and residential heat generation. The results presented here, highlight the comparison of different natural gas supply chains to South East Europe. GHG emissions for the supply via LNG imports generate 61-176 % higher GHG emissions than the supply from Russia via the TurkStream pipeline. This corresponds to a saving potential of 19-48 million tons CO2 equivalent per year for South East Europe and Turkey if natural gas from Russia via the TurkStream pipeline is used instead of natural gas via LNG imports. The study was conducted in accordance with ISO 14040/14044 and was critically reviewed in accordance with ISO/TS 14071 by an independent review panel.