Spanish Secretary of Energy hears benefits of natural gas mobility
Gasnam, Iberian association for the promotion of natural gas and renewable natural gas in the maritime and road transport, had a meeting with the Secretary of State for Energy, José Domínguez, to show their proposals to promote sustainable natural gas mobility and its contribution to two of the great challenges of today’s society: the improvement of air quality and the decarbonization of transport. The meeting was attended by the Vice President of Gasnam, José Luis Pérez Souto; the general secretary, Eugenia Sillero; and the regulation coordinator, Carlos Cuesta. At the meeting, the following topics were addressed: incentives for natural gas mobility, natural gas as a vector for the entrance of renewable natural gas and the need to establish a regulatory framework for this non-electric renewable energy, the expansion of the refueling network and the establishment of competitive tolls for maritime and road transportation. Gasnam explained the need to continue encouraging the substitution of conventional fuels for alternative energies and recalled that NGVs benefited by the 2017 Movalt Plan displaced 81% of conventional fuel consumption, given that it was the most chosen option by the professional fleets. This Plan was an important support for the transport sector, which requires environmentally-friendly vehicles with a mature technology, such as natural gas, to achieve the same performance as conventional fuels. Therefore, Gasnam asked the official that the distribution of grants for sustainable mobility in 2018 considers the needs of road transport (of goods and passengers), as well as of maritime transport that is key to the economic and environmental development of the country. The use of natural gas in maritime transport will contribute significantly to improve air quality in ports and therefore in cities, but the regulatory framework must further advanced. The RD 335/2018, dated May 25, facilitates the LNG bunkering activity, establishing tolls based on the amount of LNG refueled. However, the effectiveness of the measures will arrive once the Ministerial Order is published with the prices of these services. In addition, the toll system should seek formulas to encourage the development of refueling stations for road transport, due to the difficulty in establishing a predictable demand for the stations and, therefore, the appropriate capacity reserve. Gasnam also stressed the importance of biomethane in transport decarbonization, given that it is a fuel with zero CO2 emissions. In addition, it is completely interchangeable by natural gas, allowing it to be distributed using current networks and pipelines. In this scenario, the development of this biofuel for vehicle use requires decisive progress in two areas: encouraging the execution of biomethane generation infrastructure and structuring the appropriate regulatory framework.