Clean energies and circular economies were topics of conversation today (19th March) in gasworld’s latest webinar, sponsored by Nippon Gases Europe, with David Hurren of the BCGA telling viewers, “there’s been a sudden realisation that the gases, especially methane and hydrogen, are a vital part of that transition to net-zero.”

“I’ve seen a huge transformation in thinking during the past decade, and a real acceleration in the last 18 months,” Hurren said. “The Energy Networks Association presented some mixed gas and electric transformation scenarios late in 2019, developed by Navigant Energy, and this highlighted that in the potential for net-zero, gases part of the mix.” 

“Importantly, this could save the UK £13bn a year, in comparison to an all-electric scenario.”

“From my side, I became involved in clean energy around a decade ago. Initially, I was looking at opportunities for hydrogen, which led to a position on the board of the recently formed UK Hydrogen Fuel Cell Association. This, in turn, led me to conversations with the UK HSE (Health and Safety Executive), the safety arm of Government.”

“From speaking to them, I released they’ve got particular concerns around hydrogen and the lack of local codes associated with that. From that BCGA formed a new technical subcommittee to look at those and produce the code of practice in relation to both hydrogen and gas refuelling stations.”

Moving on to speak about opportunities in the biomethane sector, Hurren, explained, “The biomethane sector has grown, and it is growing quickly. There’s a lot of companies that have been traditionally associated with what you might call natural gas industry, that are now coming into this space.”

“I think there are a lot of opportunities here, and I’m sure there’s more we can be doing.”

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Next up was José Ramon Calvo, Marketing Director for Nippon Gases Europe, webinar sponsor. Born in 2019, as a result of divestments related to the mega-merger of Praxair and Linde, Nippon Gases’ footprint spans operations across 13 countries in Europe, serving more than 150,000 customers and more than 300,000 patients.

Not only does Nippon Gases have these huge strengths in gas supply and expertise, many of its major customers are also significant emitters of CO2 and are focused on reducing their carbon footprints – with Nippon actively working with them on many of these projects.

“A circular economy is a natural initiative,” Calvo told gasworldtv. “A circular economy requires a completely different mindset, not only for industry, but also government and every single individual.”

“What is a circular economy for Nippon Gases? It’s innovative, productive, collaborative, multidisciplinary, digital, and it’s committed. At Nippon Gases were are proactively looking for gas-based solutions that enable the industry and the society to contribute and restore a natural balance.”

Carbon capture, another hot topic of the moment, was also discussed by Calvo during his presentation. “Today, everyone is talking about CO2 as part of the problem, but I think it will also be part of the solution. There are technologies to recover the CO2 and use it as raw material to produce other things.”

“I truly believe that CO2 has an important future as part of decarbonisation. We believe that the CO2 when is well and properly used with the right that will contribute to a better future.”

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The final speaker of the day was Stephen Gibbons, Global Market Manager for Continuous Gas Analysers, at ABB Measurement & Analytics, whose job has turned into a personal passion for sustainability.

“Carbon neutrality is, of course, an ambitious goal. But it’s also a really exciting challenge for all of us, no matter how big or small a contribution you can make. ABB has made its own net-zero commitment as a group and has many products and solutions that also help our customers on their journey towards decarbonisation.”

“In the division that I represent, ABB Gas Analysers, we monitor, help and control emissions from thousands of industrial processes around the world. But now, what we’re seeing is that the industrial gases segment plays a central role in decarbonising combustion processes.”

“I would say if the level of activity continues as it is today, then it’s a very encouraging sign for growth going forward,” Gibbons enthused. “There’s so much activity at the moment, and so many interesting studies and projects.”

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