Europe Gas Tracker Report 2021 methodology
The Europe Gas Tracker uses a two-level system for organizing information. Summary data is maintained in Google sheets, with each spreadsheet row linked to a page on GEM.wiki. Each wiki page functions as a footnoted fact sheet for a particular piece of infrastructure, containing project parameters, background, and mapping coordinates.
Each piece of information is linked to a published reference, such as a news article, company report, or regulatory permit. For each project, one of the following status categories is assigned and reviewed on a rolling basis:
- Proposed: Projects that have appeared in corporate or government plans, or in news reports, in either pre-permit or permitted stages.
- Construction: Site preparation and other development and construction activities are underway.
- Shelved: In the absence of an announcement that the sponsor is putting its plans on hold, a project is considered “shelved” if there are no reports of activity over a period of two years.
- Cancelled: In some cases a sponsor announces that it has cancelled a project. More often a project fails to advance and then quietly disappears from company documents. A project that was previously in an active category is changed to “cancelled” if it disappears from company documents, even if no announcement is made. In the absence of a cancellation announcement, a project is considered “cancelled” if there are no reports of activity over a period of four years.
- Operating: The project has been formally commissioned or has entered commercial operation.
- Mothballed: Previously operating projects that are not operating but maintained for potential restart.
- Retired: Permanently closed projects.
Data sources for figures
Figure ES-1: EU fossil gas net import capacity and net imports
Net gas imports (lines)
- Historical imports (net): European Commission 2021
- European Commission: The average of three net-zero scenarios that achieve 55% reductions by 2030 (European Commission 2020)
- IEA: From World Energy Outlook 2020, imports inferred from EU gas consumption (Annex A, Table A.3: Energy demand – European Union) minus EU gas production (Annex A, Table A.1).
- ENTSOG: Ten Year Network Development Plan 2020, Figures 24 and 25; calculated average of Distributed Energy and Global Ambition scenarios. Data extracted from the graphs using WebPlotDigitizer. For fossil gas imports, counted the categories "imported unabated," "imports for methane demand," "imported unabated," and "imports for hydrogen demand" (the latter defined as "natural gas converted to hydrogen at import point/city gas or direct hydrogen imports." Other data in the report was consistent with "imports for hydrogen demand" being entirely or nearly entirely composed of fossil gas. The ENTSOG scenario for EU-27 is estimated as 88% of the original ENTSOG scenario for the EU-28, based on historical gas imports in the EU-27 and EU-28 over 2010–2019 (European Commission 2021).
Gas import capacity (net)
- Existing capacity (historical): The historical data for this time series (2010-2020) is based on:
- Pipelines: ENTSOG "Transmission Capacity Map" data sets for pipeline capacity at interconnection points at EU borders, using the capacity and direction of flow specified in those data sets. Net import capacity is calculated as the gross import capacity minus the gross export capacity.
- LNG terminals: GEM's Europe Gas Tracker, using the start year for each LNG terminal to determine the capacity over time. The net import capacity is the total of LNG import terminal capacities, as labeled in the Europe Gas Tracker data set. EU countries do not currently have any significant LNG export capacity.
- Existing capacity (future): Assumes no retirement of currently operating infrastructure (pipelines and LNG terminals).
- Capacity under construction and proposed: GEM's Europe Gas Tracker. Assumes linear implementation of projects currently under construction over 5 years (2021 to 2026). Linear implementation of projects currently in pre-construction starting 3 years in the future, and extending over 7 years (2024–2031). No further projects entering development. Gross pipeline import capacity is calculated as the capacity of pipelines entering EU countries from non-EU countries, and conversely gross pipeline export capacity is calculated as the capacity of pipelines existing EU countries to non-EU countries. Capacity of bidirectional pipelines are counted for both gross import and gross export. Net pipeline export capacity is calculated as gross import capacity minus gross export capacity. Net import capacity of LNG terminals is calculated by summing the capacities of all LNG terminals designated as import terminals; the EU does not currently have significant LNG export capacity.
Figure 1. Estimated cost of future EU gas infrastructure by country
Summary of data from GEM's Europe Gas Tracker. For details on particular subsets of the data, see notes on Tables 2 and 4 (pipelines) and Table 3 (LNG import terminals).
Figure 2. Scenarios for EU-27 fossil gas consumption
- Historical data: European Commission 2021
- European Commission: The average of three net-zero scenarios that achieve 55% reductions by 2030 (European Commission 2020).
- IEA: Sustainable Development Scenario (IEA 2020).
- ENTSOG: Average of two low-emissions scenarios in the Ten Year Network Development Plan 2020 (ENTSOG and ENTSO-E 2020), adjusted to represent EU-27 (excluding the United Kingdom).
Figure 3. EU-27 fossil gas net imports and net import capacity
This is the same as Figure ES-1; see sources and notes above.
Table 2. Planned pipelines to import gas into the EU
Data from GEM's Europe Gas Tracker. Pipelines are considered to be for import into the EU if they enter an EU country from a non-EU country, and if the direction of flow is into the EU. For bidirectional pipelines, when the capacities for each direction of flow are known, the capacity for flow into the EU is counted toward gross imports or exports, as applicable. Net import capacity is calculated as the gross import capacity minus the gross export capacity.
Assumed costs for pipelines: €4.2 million per km (Smith 2020).
Table 3. Planned EU LNG import terminals
Data from GEM's Europe Gas Tracker. Assumed costs for LNG terminals: Floating terminals, €79 million per bcm/y capacity; on-shore terminals, €169 million per bcm/y capacity (IGU 2018).
Table 4. Future gas pipelines within the EU
Data from GEM's Europe Gas Tracker. Pipelines are counted as within the EU if they start and end within EU countries. (See Table 2 for other pipelines that enter the EU.)
Assumed costs for pipelines: €4.2 million per km (Smith 2020).
Figure 4. Public and private financing for EU gas pipelines and LNG terminals
Finance data derived from Global Energy Monitor's research to March 31, 2021, of:
- Company websites
- The websites of public institutions – primarily the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Commission, and the European Investment Bank
- Research reports
- IJGlobal's subscription-based financial database
- Media reports
Identified financing is for fossil gas pipeline and LNG terminal projects which fall within EU territory which have started operating since 2015, which are currently under construction or which are proposed for development. The financing counted does not include equity investments made by private sector project promoters, but does cover the following:
- Grants, debt financing, and equity financing from public financial sources
- Debt financing from commercial banks
- Various types of financing from individual states
Detailed sources for the financing of each EU pipeline and terminal project are available on the individual GEM.wiki pages for these projects.
Table 5. Public and private financing for EU gas pipelines and LNG terminals (million €)
Tabular form of the data shown in Figure 4.
Table 6. €6.9 billion in public financing for EU gas pipelines and LNG terminals (million €)
More detailed version of the public financing data presented in Figure 4 (see sources above).
Table 7. Future gas infrastructure (pipelines and LNG terminals) by EU region
Summary of data presented previously in Tables 2–4. For pipelines, values for each region are based on the lengths of pipelines within each region, regardless of whether the pipeline starts or ends in that region. For example, the Nord Stream 2 Gas Pipeline passes through waters of countries in Northern EU (Denmark, Finland, and Sweden) as well as Eastern EU (Poland), although it delivers gas to Western EU (Germany).
Table 8. EU gas infrastructure cancelled or shelved since early 2020
Data from GEM's Europe Gas Tracker.
Figure 8. Scenarios for non-fossil sources of methane (EU-28)
Historical: Historical biogas consumption: Eurostat energy database,, under the entry "Complete energy balances" (nrg_bal_c), SIEC R5300 (Biogases).
- European Commission: From "A Clean Planet for All," consumption of "biogas and waste gas" and "e-gas" (synthesized methane) shown in Figure 31. Data extracted using WebPlotDigitizer, and average of 1.5TECH and 1.5LIFE scenarios calculated.
- IEA: World Energy Outlook 2019, Sustainable Development Scenario, biomethane consumption in Figure 13.14. The report argues that low-carbon synthetic methane has high costs of around $60/MBtu. "Cost reductions of around 50% are expected by 2040 from improvements in electrolysers, renewable electricity generation and methanation equipment. However these reductions are not sufficient for low-carbon synthetic methane to play a meaningful role before 2040 in the Sustainable Development Scenario." Therefore low-carbon synthetic methane is assumed to be zero through 2040.
- ENTSOG: Ten Year Network Development Plan 2020, average of two low-emissions scenarios, "Distributed Energy" and "Global Ambition", as shown in Figures 24 and 25, in the columns "Power to methane" and "Biomethane." Data extracted from the graphs using WebPlotDigitizer.
Figure 9. EU-27 CO2 emissions from fuel combustion 1990–2019
IEA Data and Statistics, Data Browser, for "Energy Topic" CO2 emissions, "Indicator" CO2 emissions by energy source. Calculated EU-27 values as EU-28 minus the United Kingdom.
Figure 10. EU-27 uses of fossil gas in 2018
IEA Data and Statistics, Data Tables, for "Energy Category" natural gas, year 2018. Calculated EU-27 values as EU-28 minus the United Kingdom.
- "EU energy statistical pocketbook and country datasheets - Energy". European Commission. 2019-01-11. Archived from the original on 2021-02-27. Retrieved 2021-04-05.
- "Stepping up Europe's 2030 climate ambition". European Commission. Archived from the original on 2021-04-05. Retrieved 2021-04-05.
- "World Energy Outlook 2020". International Energy Agency. November 2020. Retrieved 2021-04-05.
- "Transmission Capacity Maps". ENTSOG. Retrieved 2021-04-05.
- "TYNDP 2020 Scenario Report". TYNDP 2020. ENTSOG and ENTSO-E. Retrieved 2021-04-05.
- Smith, Christopher E. (2020-10-05). "Liquids pipeline operators' net incomes increase 23.5%". Oil & Gas Journal. Archived from the original on 2021-04-20. Retrieved 2021-04-20.
- "2018 World LNG Report (27th World Gas Conference Edition)". IGU. 2018-06-23. Retrieved 2021-04-20.
- Project finder, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
- Financed projects, European Investment Bank
- Energy, Eurostat database, accessed March 2021
- "A Clean Planet for all: A European strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy". European Commission. November 2018. Retrieved 2021-04-06.
- "World Energy Outlook 2019 – Analysis - IEA". International Energy Agency. November 2019. Retrieved 2021-04-06.
- "Data & Statistics - IEA". IEA. Retrieved 2021-04-05.
- "Data tables – Data & Statistics - IEA". IEA. Retrieved 2021-04-05.