Challenges for Natural Gas in the Context of the Energy Union

07/03/2017 - 13:30 to 17:30
Le Bouche à Oreille, Rue Félix Hap 11, 1040 Brussels

The role of natural gas in Europe’s energy future is unclear - both with respect to market developments and policy design.

Gas, in theory, has a number of characteristics that make it well-placed to play an important role in the transition to a low-carbon economy: a lower carbon content than coal; the recent global growth in supply from unconventional sources; the possibility to act as a back-up to renewable energy sources and add to security of supply.

Yet in reality, the role of gas in the European energy mix has declined significantly in recent years. Low prices for both coal and carbon call into question the economic viability of gas-fired power plants. An uncertain future hampers infrastructure investment, with knock-on effects on transmission and storage business models.

It is unclear whether, and if so how, natural gas can retain its competitiveness; how it can contribute to security of supply and to what extent it will support the transition to a low-carbon energy economy in Europe.

CERRE will publish a new research paper to shed light on these issues and set out possible future paths for gas. The paper:

  • Discusses recent changes in the gas sector, as well as in gas and power markets, that may account for its recent decline
  • Analyses current energy regulations in Europe and whether they are suited to cope with the evolving challenges for investors and other market-actors in gas and power markets
  • Discusses where market design and regulation deserve special attention to reap full benefits of natural gas
  • Examines possible regulatory implications that may improve the EU gas sector and its ability to support European Union energy policy goals.

The findings and recommendations of the report will be presented and debated at this CERRE Executive Seminar, bringing together a range of senior industry representatives, policy-makers, regulators and experts.

This event is reserved for CERRE members' representatives and a limited number of non-members.




Chairman's welcome and introduction 

Professor Bruno Liebhaberg

Director General,


Presentation of the findings of the CERRE report "Challenges for Natural Gas in the Context of the Energy Union"

Professor Chloé Le Coq

Associate Professor,
Stockholm School of Economics



Professor Dr Sebastian Schwenen

Chair for Economics of Energy Markets,
Technical University of Munich



Keynote speech

Professor Jonathan Stern

Distinguished Research Fellow & Founder,
Natural Gas Research Programme,
Oxford Institute for Energy 



Panel discussion - "Challenges for Natural Gas in the Context of the Energy Union"
Coffee break
Panel discussion (Continued)


Conclusions and future areas for CERRE research 


Cocktail reception


Walter Boltz

Independent Expert



Sylvie Denoble-Mayer

Vice President, Midstream, Gas Chain,



Thierry Deschuyteneer

Manager, Strategic & Prospective Studies,


Abel Enríquez

Manager, EU Regulatory Affairs,



Yvonne Grösch

Head, Gas Transmission Systems 'Access,
International Affairs, Network Development' Unit,


Céline Heidrecheid

Business Area Manager 'System Development',


Thomas Howes

Deputy Head,
Economic Analysis & Financial Instruments Unit,
DG Energy, European Commission



Emily Leadbetter

Manager, Future of Gas Transmission Programme,
National Grid



Margot Loudon

Deputy Secretary General,



Marco Margheri

Executive Vice President, Institutional Affairs,



Nicola Melchiotti

Head, EU Public Affairs & Regulation,



Bernhard Painz

Head, Gas Department,



Andrey Pestov

Director, Belgium Office,



Graeme Steele

Senior Advisor,



* To be confirmed



Above you will find the slides used to present the CERRE report, along with the slides used by Professor Jonathan Stern during his keynote speech.

Tuesday 7 March 2017, 13.30-17.30,
Le Bouche à Oreille, Rue Félix Hap 11, 1040 Brussels

CERRE members and nominated guests receive priority when registering. All other registrations are provisional until confirmed by email by CERRE. If you have any questions about your registration, or do not receive a confirmation email, please contact