The Gas Value Chain Company

This section encompasses a wide range of GVC related information:

  • ‘Events’ captures activities such as speeches and moderations at conferences and symposiae and, moreover, the appearance at/participation in any such events.
  • ‘News’ captures all occurences relevant in the context of GVC’s business not qualifying as an ‘Event’ but worth sharing.
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Event

Brussels, 27 October 2017

Wolfgang attends the ‘Eurogas Annual Conference: Renewable gas: Balancing our energy’ in Brussels, on 27 October 2017.

The European Gas Industry Association Eurogas hosted its traditional Annual Conference. This time, the theme of the Conference was strongly focused on ‘renewable gas’. Read more

Importantly, Eurogas had invited stakeholders from outside the gas industry, e.g. from Greenpeace Energy, the European Biogas Association, the European Climate Foundation etc. with a view to foster dialogue beyond the gas industry. A laudable step away from having ‘gas people talk to gas people’ only and with stimulating, constructive discussions.
Event

Malmö 24-25 October 2017

Wolfgang speaks at the ‘Axpo Nordic Forum 2017’ in Malmö, on 24 October 2017: ‘From champion to ‘fossil of the day’ – A critical view of the German Energiewende.

The public perception of the German Energiewende as a role model is shifting towards a show case for costly mistakes to be avoided by others. Wolfgang recalls that Germany was declared “fossil of the day” in Marrakech in November 2016 on occasion of COP22. He presents Read more the excessive costs of the German Energiewende, in reality only a ‘Power-Wende’ and, nonetheless, failing to achieve any CO2 reductions at all. He describes various regulatory instruments rendering the German power market somewhat of a ‘centrally planned economy’ with lavish subsidies and compensations, stifling innovation and market-driven incentives. He qualifies the ‘all-electric’ approach as a fallacy in that it massively increases power demand, amplifying the effects of solar and wind power surplus production when there is no demand and, conversely, the unavailability of solar and wind power at times of ‘Kalte Dunkelflaute’. He demonstrates that gas would not only be needed as ‘back-up’ in case of ‘Kalte Dunkelflaute’, but also, at high load factors, to genuinely cover an increasing power short position. The back-up requirement could be significantly mitigated through the development of the P2G (power-to-gas) technology: it would allow storage of solar and wind power surplus in the gas grids and storages in large quantities and over long-periods of time, which batteries cannot deliver.

News

Vienna 20 October 2017

Wolfgang attends the prestigious ‘GAR Live Vienna Conference’ in Vienna, on 20 October 2017, hosted by VIAC (Vienna International Arbitration Center).

GAR (Global Arbitration Review) operates around the world and is the leading publisher on international arbitration proceedings and awards. The program covered a wide range of topics Read more including enforcement of awards, international investment arbitration, the effect of political change and a lively ‘Oxford style’ pro-/con debate on the subject ‘This house believes that no party-appointed arbitrator is ever impartial’.

Wolfgang participated in the panel ‘The effect of political change’ and i.a. contributed his views on the second nuclear turn-around in Germany and the excessive financial burden of the renewables policies in pursuit of the ‘Energiewende’ on the German citizens.

Event

Rotterdam 27 September 2017

Wolfgang moderates a panel at the ‘Platts 11th Annual European Gas Summit’ in Düsseldorf, on 27 September 2017: ‘Is natural gas an endangered species?’

Wolfgang introduced the subject by a brief presentation: "The OIES Wake-Up Call – The Future of Gas in Decarbonizing European Energy Markets: the need for a new approach”. He essentially summarized the findings of Prof. Jonathan Stern from the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (OIES) in his paper ‘The future of gas in decarbonizing European energy markets: the need for a new approach’, by Jonathan Stern, January 2017, OIES Paper NG 116, www.oxfordenergy.org).

Wolfgang’s contribution to the panel deliberations was an upbeat gas advocacy presentation: “Last man standing: Gas to save the day on sector coupling and getting ‘green along the way”. Besides promoting a more assertive style of gas advocacy, he demonstrated the massive increase in electricity demand in an ‘all-electric’ scenario which could not possibly be generated by renewables. The resulting short-position Read more would have to be covered by gas in order to keep CO2 emissions in check. Besides covering the short position, gas was also needed to tackle the so-called ‘intermittency’ of wind and solar. Wolfgang demonstrated that in the event of ‘Kalte Dunkelflaute’ (cold, no sun, no wind) the entire solar and wind generation capacity needed back-up by gas-fired power plants, easily in the range of >70 GW. He further recalled that the power-to-gas technology was the only one capable to ‘storing’ solar and wind power surplus in large quantities and over long periods of time, hence ‘getting greener’ along the way.

Event

London 13-14 September 2017

Wolfgang delivers a keynote speech at the ‘5th London Gas & LNG Forum 2017’ in London, on 13 September 2017: "The Relevance of U.S. Sanctions in the context of an evolving global gas market”.

Wolfgang qualifies US sanctions unsuitable to foster US American LNG supplies to Europe. It was ‘money talking’ and not sanctions where price spreads between Henry Hub and e.g. TTF  would determine whether cargoes would be delivered to Europe. He describes the rapid emergence of a global gas market conform the findings in the IEA’s ‘WEO 2016’ and the IEA’s first ever ‘Global Gas Security Review’ (www.iea.org). Read more

He explains that, in Europe, security of supply has transformed from bi-lateral physical dependency towards a functionality of price signals. Europe had liquid traded markets and ~210 bcm/a of regas capacity 75% idle. With what the IEA calls a second gas revolution, namely the LNG revolution, there was now destination-flexible LNG available that could and would react to price signals. In the face of this, sanctions e.g. to curb the dominance of a supplier because of concerns of political blackmail were no longer justified.
Event

Berlin, 6-7 July 2017

Wolfgang attended the ‘C-5 Long-Term-Gas-Supply-Contracts-Europe Conference’ in Berlin, on 6-7 July 2017.

At the beginning of day 1, he conducted a special 2-hour workshop: “Natural Gas Price Formation”.

The workshop covered a wide range of topics, from price formation mechanisms over price revision towards hedging techniques. Read more

Building on the ‘IGU Wholesale Price Survey 2017 edition’ (www.igu.org), he provided an overview of the global price formation mechanisms. He also recalled once more the de-coupling of oil and gas pricing in the European markets and demonstrated that, in North-West Europe, oil indexation has essentially vanished (down from 72% in 2005 to 9% in 2016) and hub indexation prevailed (from 28% in 2005 to 91 % in 2016).

On day 2, Wolfgang participated in a panel and delivered a speech: “What is the impact of hubs on long-term gas supply contracts?’ He pointed out that also the vertical value chain was broken and that a producer Read more was confronted with a ‘make-or-buy’ decision: He could dispose of his bulk volumes at the hubs by himself (but at a cost) or he could continue to use the midstreamer as service provider (against a fee).

Event

The Hague, 29-30 June 2017

Wolfgang attends the ‘Eurogas General Assembly’ in The Hague, on 29-30 June 2017.

The General Assembly of the European Gas Industry Association Eurogas was this year hosted by Shell in The Hague. High level guest and keynote speaker was Florian Ermacora, Head of Unit, European Commission, DG ENER, Internal Energy Market, Wholesale Markets, Electricity and Gas. The agenda addressed various aspects of the role of gas in the energy transition with a strong focus Read more on the power-to-gas technology. Not least in Germany, increasing quantities of renewable electricity are ‘lost’ by curtailment since produced whilst there was no demand. As opposed to other electricity storage technologies like batteries etc., the power-to-gas technology (hydrogen and synthetic gas) enables storage of otherwise ‘lost’ renewable electricity in large quantities over long periods of time.