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Getting off gas

image credit: In this episode, we take a look at our dependence on gas and, with the recent price crisis that swept across Europe, how we can break our grasp on the fuel. Joining Watt Matters this week is Dennis Hesseling from the ACER.
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Blog posts FORESIGHT Climate & Energy

FORESIGHT Climate & Energy publishes weekly feature articles and expert opinions on the solutions and remaining barriers to a clean energy economy. We focus on expert analysis and in-depth...

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  • Dec 17, 2021

From FORESIGHT Climate & Energy, Watt Matters is a podcast all about the energy transition and the shift to a decarbonised economy.

This week, Michaela, Jan and David are joined by Dennis Hesseling from the EU Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER). The last few months Europe has seen rocketing energy prices, bankrupt utilities and questions over Europe’s energy security. Gas prices increased 400% between April and October 2021. Power prices meanwhile increased by 200% — mainly due to the inflated gas prices. In this episode, we talk about what has caused the crisis, how Europe can avoid a similar situation from happening again and how the European Union has reacted. We also touch on the future of gas infrastructure and discuss the idea of whether green hydrogen can act as a replacement.

Listen and subscribe to Watt Matters wherever you get podcasts! Follow us on Twitter at @WattMattersPodor email us at You can also find FORESIGHT Climate & Energy on LinkedIn.

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Dec 17, 2021

Is this type of price volatility simply inherent in relying on a commodity like gas and all that comes with (ebbs and flows in production, geopolitical impacts, etc.), or is there a risk that when shifting from gas to power that power could end up just as volatile as well? 

Jan Rosenow's picture
Jan Rosenow on Jan 4, 2022

Hi Matt, you raise an interesting point. Of course electricity prices also fluctuate but the expectation is that with more electricity from renewables or from fuels based on renewables the dependency on energy imports will fall and ultimately lead to less price fluctuation. Hydrogen produced from renewable energy should have fairly stable and predictable prices because more of the cost is CAPEX of electrolysers and renewable generation for which cost profile is known. This in turn will impact on electricity prices too as more hydrogen is used to replace fossil gas used for power generation. Having said this, on a more granular basis electricity prices will continue to fluctuate and should do so to signal scarcity and encourage flexibility.

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Jan 4, 2022

Hydrogen-to-power prices can certainly be somewhat stable, but the question of course is when will they get low enough to actually compete with fossil fuels (even with carbon pricing)-- what do you think that timeline looks like?

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