The important role of natural gas for the promotion and success of energy transition was underlined by the General Manager of EDA THESS, Mr. Leonidas Bakouras, during his speech yesterday at the Renewable & Storage Forum organized by energypress (October 13-14).
The promotion and utilization of renewable gases, as well as the digitalization and sustainability of the networks were the main topics of his address. Mr. Bakouras stressed that natural gas is transforming through the necessary changes and adjustments in light of the green energy transition. In this context, he suggested that the recent undertaking of the Greek gas networks by Italgas will highly contribute – thanks to its advanced knowhow – to the further digitization of the networks and the development of renewable gases.
Renewable gases: The future of the distribution networks
Identifying the perspective of renewable gas integration (biomethane, SNG and hydrogen) in the energy mix of the next decades, EDA THESS is adjusting its networks to achieve energy transition, without however compromising energy security of its customers. As Mr. Bakouras mentioned, biomethane can replace more than 20% of the current natural gas demand.
In this context, EDA THESS has started performing research and studies revealing high potential for biogas and biomethane production in the areas of EDA THESS.
The existing wide geographic dispersion of the distribution networks, in conjunction with the deployment of new networks near agricultural waste production units, are favoring the sustainability of green networks. Another factor in the “equation” is the cost-effective connection of the injection points for the integration of renewable gases, that enhances circular economy and creates opportunities for the generation of additional income from waste recovery.
A central pilar in the strategy of EDA THESS is the digitization of the networks. As a distribution network operator, the company has already taken important steps to this end, the General Manager of the Company said.
Among others, the digitalization of the networks allows for:
- The introduction of new Participants, further enhancing the production of renewable gases
- The monitoring and management of the gas mix quality for the optimal integration of renewable gases
- The rapid transformation of the energy markets, upgrading the market and launching new products.
All this results in increased necessity for bilateral real-time information exchange. In this scope, EDA THESS is using smart sensors, smart meters and digital communication technologies.
EDA THESS: member of the European organization GD4S
Finally, the General Manager talked about the membership of EDA THESS in the powerful European organization “Gas Distributors for Sustainability” GD4S, where the Company is cooperating with the leading energy companies of Europe.
The President of the Organization is Paolo Gallo, CEO of Italgas, which is expected – as Mr Bakouras mentioned- to highly contribute to the further digitization of the networks and the development of renewable gases after its recent introduction in the Greek market.
As for its membership in the international organization, EDA THESS promotes – both at the European and national level:
- The strategic importance of the development of natural gas infrastructure as an activity harmonized with the taxonomy of sustainable investments
- The crucial role of the distribution networks in energy transition
- The establishment of the legislative and regulatory framework for the integration of renewable gases (biomethane, hydrogen) in the distribution networks.
- The exchange of best practices and know-how
Mr. Bakouras also talked about the role of the Distribution Systems’ Operators. The priorities are the following:
- Guaranteed stability of the distribution system
- Cooperation between all the stakeholders of the system
- Assurance of the gas mix quality
- Application of technological innovations reducing the methane and pollutants’ emissions
- Optimization of the networks’ capacity management
With regard to the company, EDA THESS serves more than 400 thousand consumers and distributes 5.1 million MWh annually. The strategic plans of the company include 8.8 million euro investments for the digital transformation of the company, rising the digital maturity index of its main business operations from 48% in 2020 to 75% in 2025.