Methods for Determination of Methane Emissions of the Gas Distribution Grid

Date: 15:30:00 - Nov 29 2017
Speakers: Ms Charlotte Große

To achieve the goal of keeping the increase in global average temperatures to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, the issue of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is of fundamental importance. The national GHG inventories keep track of emissions and are set up to follow the mandatory reporting for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). These inventories also include records on diffuse emissions from the natural gas sector. The creation of these inventories is challenging because of the constrained accessibility of data and inconsistent data processing in Europe.

The project "Analysing the Methods for Determination of Methane Emissions of the Gas Distribution Grid" was initiated by members of the project committee on gas distribution of the European Gas Research Group (GERG) in November 2014. Representatives from gas companies and associations of seven European nations (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland) provided information from which a benchmark for existing methods of determining methane emissions was made.

Every analysed approach for emission estimation shows strengths (e.g. consideration of many parameters that influence emission estimation) but also comprises weaknesses (e.g. complex database necessary) to various degrees. A Combination of the promising elements extracted from the existing methods is recommended, and selected elements need to be further improved. At the same time, a good balance of effort and benefits is important for the feasibility and acceptance of the method. 

The development of a pan-European estimation method is crucial regarding the current situation of discussion on the environmental friendliness of natural gas. It is important to unveil the positive developments already achieved as well as future reductions regarding methane emissions from the gas infrastructure. Moreover, a unique method will provide consistent data which would facilitate the comparison between the different countries within Europe.

For these reasons, the second project phase was initiated in October 2016 with the title "Development of an Accurate and Consistent Method for Methane Emission Estimation from the Gas Distribution Grid" (MEEM). The partners from the first project phase as well as representatives from three more countries (Czech Republic, Denmark, and Turkey) now join forces to develop a pan-European method for emission estimation of the gas distribution grid. The project is conducted by DBI Gas- und Umwelttechnik Leipzig under the roof of GERG and is supported by Marcogaz and Eurogas. It will be finished in spring 2018.

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Ms Charlotte Große
Ms Charlotte Große (DBI Gas- und Umwelttechnik GmbH)

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