Future of Gas – what actions are being taken?

The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters' Science advice committee together with NTRANS hosted a seminar discussing the future of gas in the EU, based on the EASAC report Future of Gas.

EASAC’s report highlights the extremely high global warming potential of largely unrecorded methane leakages along the whole natural gas supply chain. To mitigate climate change, it is crucial to stop using all fossil fuels and to massively ramp up renewable electricity production. 

For a long time, natural gas has been seen as the ideal bridge from coal on the road towards net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. In some countries, natural gas has become the main fuel to generate electricity. The EASAC report makes clear that this is a dead-end road. The report also weighs the possibilities of carbon capture and storage (CCS) and nuclear, and it urges that policy-makers, energy suppliers, energy users, and the finance sector must now work together to secure adequate supplies of clean energy while rapidly phasing out the use of fossil fuels.

What does this mean in reality? And what actions are being taken?  

Melkøya naturgass
Equinor's Melkøya gas installation in the high North of Norway. (Photo: Einar Aslaksen – Equinor)


Video from the meeting

Future of Gas vignette




Part 1 – Report

Rapport forside
The EASAC report The Future of Gas

EASAC report: The future of gas

EASAC report was published 24 May 2023.

Natural gas is not cleaner than other fossil fuels and using it instead of coal or oil risks achieving little or no reduction in greenhouse gas effects. EASAC’s new report “Future of Gas” highlights the extremely high global warming potential of largely unrecorded methane leakages along the whole natural gas supply chain. To mitigate climate change, it is crucial to stop using all fossil fuels, to ban new natural gas boilers, and to massively ramp up renewable electricity production.

Read the full report.


Part 2 – Expert group

The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters together with NTRANS appointed an expert group to develop a meeting in the Academy based on the EASAC report.

Expert group:

  • Asgeir Tomasgard, professor NTNU (Chair)
  • Anne Neumann, professor NTNU, Co-editor of the report 
  • Franziska Holz, Adjunct Professor, NTNU
  • William Gillett, Programme director EASAC
  • Göran Andersson, The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

Faglig ansvarlig i utvalget for vitenskapsrådgivning:

Ingvald Strømmen

Future of Gas expert group
The Future of Gas expert group, from left Asgeir Tomasgard (Photo: Eva Halvorsen/DNVA), Anne Neumann (Photo: Eva Halvorsen/DNVA), Franziska Holz, William Gillett (Photo: EASAC) and Göran Andersson (Photo: The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences)



Part 3 – Meeting in the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters 

Future of Gas discussion
Anne-Sophie Corbeau, William Gillett and Anne Neumann discussing the EASAC Future of Gas report during the first part of the meeting. Former EU Commissioner Andris Piebalgs took part in the discussion remotely. (Photo: Eva Halvorsen/DNVA)

About 100 people followed the meeting, either in the room or online.

Franziska Holz moderated the meeting, and the political session towards the end was moderated by Asgeir Tomasgard.


10:00 – 11:15  The EASAC Future of Gas report
William Gillett, EASAC Energy Programme Director
Anne Neumann (NTNU) Co-Chair of the EASAC working group that was responsible for producing the Future of gas report
Comments by:
Andris Piebalgs, Florence School of Regulation, former EU Commissioner of Energy
Anne-Sophie Corbeau (Columbia University)
Q&A session 

William Gillett, Anne Neumann, Andris Piebalgs og Anne-Sophie Corbeau. Foto: EASAC, NTNU, European University Institute og Colombia University

William Gillett, Anne Neumann, Andris Piebalgs and Anne-Sophie Corbeau. (Photo: EASAC, NTNU, European University Institute and Colombia University)

11:15 – 12:15  Hydrogen and ammonia
11:15 – 11:25 Anders Strømman (NTNU): E-fuels and the Energy System Transition
11:25 – 11:35 Nils Røkke, Director HydrogenI 
11:35 – 11:45 Christoph Stemmler, Senior manager, Project Enabling – Hydrogen, SEFE
11:45 – 11:55 Ben McWilliams, Bruegel
11:55 – 12:15 Q&A session

Anders Strømman, Nils Røkke, Christoph Stemmler og BenMcWilliams. Foto: NTNU, SINTEF, Reiner Lemoine Institut og Bruegel

Anders Strømman, Nils Røkke, Christoph Stemmler and Ben McWilliams. Photo: NTNU, SINTEF, Christoph Stemmler and Bruegel

13:00 –14:00  Decarbonizing the gas demand side 
13:00 – 13:10 Asgeir Tomasgard (NTNU): Interplay between renewables, hydrogen & natural gas
13:10 – 13:20 Konstantin Löffler (TU Berlin): Integrated energy system insights
13:20 – 13:40 Øystein Ulleberg (IFE): H2 and NH3 for use in Maritime Transport
13:40 – 13:50 Vibeke Rasmussen, SVP Product Management & Certification, Yara Clean Ammonia
13:50 – 13:53 Antti Kosonen (LUT), Professor, Lahti University of Technology (intervention)
13:53 – 14:15 Q&A session

Asgeir Tomasgard (NTNU), Konstantin Löffler (TU Berlin), Øystein Ulleberg (IFE) og Vibeke Rasmussen (YARA). Foto: NTNU, TU Berlin, IFE og Norsk Hydrogenforum

Asgeir Tomasgard (NTNU), Konstantin Löffler (TU Berlin), Øystein Ulleberg (IFE) and Vibeke Rasmussen (YARA). Photo: NTNU, TU Berlin, IFE and Norsk Hydrogenforum

14:45 – 15:45 Security of supply
14:45– 14:50 William Gillett, Energy Programme Director, EASAC: New project on security of sustainable energy supply
14:50 – 15:00 Franziska Holz (DIW Berlin): Security of supply in Europe with pipeline gas and LNG
15:00 – 15:10 Svein-Erik Losnegård, Advisor New Value Chains, Gassco: Germany-Norway energy cooperation joint feasibility study – H2 and CO2 value chain
15:10 – 15:20 Ulrik Olbjørn, Project Director for Clean Hydrogen to Europe, Equinor: Natural gas and hydrogen towards 2040
15:20 – 15:30 Dennis Wehmeyer, Head of Hydrogen & Sustainability, GASCADE Gastransport: The German core network: Kickoff for the European hydrogen economy
15:30 – 15:45 Q&A session

Bildemontasje i svart hvitt
Dennis Wehmeyer (Gascade), Svein-Erik Losnegård (Gassco), Franziska Holz (NTNU), William Gillett (EASAC) and Ulrik Olbjørn (Equinor). Photo: Eva Halvorsen/DNVA, EASAC and Equinor.

15:45 – 16:15 Panel discussion with policy makers
Benjamin A. Notkevich (Ap), Thina Saltvedt (Chief analyst, Nordea), Ola Elvestuen (V) and Franziska Holz discussed the political aspect of The future of Gas.

Future of gas policy discussion
Future of gas policy discussion, from left Benjamin A. Notkevich, Thina Saltvedt, Ola Elvestuen and Franziska Holz. (Photo: Eva Halvorsen/DNVA). The discussion was moderated by Asgeir Tomasgard.

About the lecturers

William Gillett

  • Energy Programme Director, EASAC – The European Academies Science Advisory Council
  • Before joining EASAC, Bill worked for 14 years for the European Commission in Brussels

Anne Neumann

  • She is Professor at the Department of Industrial Economics and Technology at NTNU
  • Director of Research for NTNU’s Energy Transition Initiative (NETI)
  • Adjunct Professor at NHH and MIT-CEEPR Affiliate
  • She is serving as President for the International Association for Energy Economics (IAEE) in 2024

 Andris Piebalgs

  • Professor at Florence School of Regulation
  • Former EU Energy Commissioner  

Anne-Sophie Corbeau

  • Global research scholar at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University
  • She has worked over the past 25 years with various organisations on gas & hydrogen, including the IEA, bp, Kapsarc and IHS CERA

 Anders Strømman

  • He is a Professor with the Industrial Ecology Programme at NTNU
  • He conducts research spanning multiple sectors and environmental issues through application and development of life cycle assessment and multi regional input-output analysis methods
  • In 2011 he received the Laudise medal in Industrial Ecology in recognition of his work
  • He is currently serving as a lead author to the working group three of the sixth assessment report of the IPCC
  • On a daily basis he teaches graduate courses in Life Cycle Assessment and Environmental input-output analysis for the students of the Industrial Ecology and Energy & Environment study programs at NTNU 

Nils A. Røkke

  • Executive Vice President Sustainability, SINTEF, largest research institute in Norway (2200 employees)
  • President of EERA (European Energy Research Alliance)
  • Director of the recently established HYDROGENi FME Centre, focusing the value chain of hydrogen and ammonia
  • PhD in combustion from NTH (NTNU)
  • Gas Turbine Design and Development Manager in Rolls Royce Marine before returning to SINTEF in 2002 as VP Gas Technologies and Director of the Gas Technology Centre NTNU- SINTEF
  • Vice-chair research in ZEP (zero emission power)
  • Member of the Portfolio Board (Energy, Low Emissions and Transport) of the Norwegian Research Council (RCN) 

Christoph Stemmler

  • He finished his master's in environmental policy in 2018 
  • He has been with SEFE since last year
  • He is responsible for realising business cases and external affairs in the new Hydrogen Accelerator team
  • Prior he built up the German-Australian hydrogen partnership and led the German-Australian feasibility study for green hydrogen imports "HySupply" at the National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech) in cooperation with the Federation of German Industries (BDI)

Ben McWilliams

  • He is working for Bruegel as an Affiliate fellow in the field of Energy and Climate Policy
  • His work involves data-driven analysis to critique and inform European public policy, specifically in the area of the energy sector and its decarbonisation
  • Recent work has focused on the implications of the ongoing energy crisis and policy options for responding
  • Other topics of interest include tools for stimulating industrial decarbonisation and the implications for new economic geography from the advent of new energy systems

Asgeir Tomasgard

  • He is a professor of operations research at the Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Management
  • He is the director of NTNU Energy and the NTNU Energy Transition Initiative
  • He researches techno-economic modeling and analyses at the interface between technology, economy, and society
  • He is particularly interested in the connection between zero-emission energy systems and the decarbonization of transport, industry, and buildings
  • Board member of the Norwegian Climate Foundation
  • Board member Faculty of economics and managment, NTNU
  • Research Council's portfolio board for transport and energy
  • Steering panel member for energy in the European Academies Science Advice Council (EASAC)
  • Board member of the state-owned company Gassco AS appointed by the Ministry of Energy

Konstantin Löffler

  • He is Research group lead for Operations Research and Infrastructure Modelling at TU Berlin, part-time Researcher position at NTNU
  • PhD in energy system modelling from TU Berlin
  • His research is mostly focused on long-term scenarios for the energy system, with the key area being decarbonisation pathways and integration of renewable energy sources 

Øystein Ulleberg

  • Chief Scientist IFE and MoZEES Directo
  • His main area of research is on system modelling and analysis of alternative energy systems based on renewable energy and hydrogen and fuel cell technology
  • He has also been responsible for establishing hydrogen research laboratories at IFE in Norway and internationally, and has also been involved in the development of several large renewable hydrogen energy system demonstration projects with industrial partners in Norway

Vibeke Rasmussen

  • She holds a Masters of Science (MSc) degree in civil engineering and and masters degree in business administration (MBA) 
  • She has over 25 years of industrial and management experience
  • She has been with Yara for 10 years and is currently Senior Vice President (SVP) for Product Management and Certification within Yara Clean Ammonia

Antti Kosonen

  • Antti Kosonen received the M.Sc. and D.Sc. degrees in electrical engineering from Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT), Finland.
  • He is currently a professor of system technology and applications in renewable electricity generation at LUT. 
  • Currently, he is the director in LUT GreenRenew research platform 

Svein-Erik Losnegård

  • He serves as an advisor at Gassco, where he is actively involved in the German-Norwegian Energy Cooperation
  • His responsibilities include interface management and coordination of Technology Qualification
  • With a background as a process operator at the Kårstø processing plant, Svein-Erik holds a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • Prior to his current role, he was responsible for overseeing the R&D portfolio at Gassco, specifically focused on hydrogen and CCS initiatives

Ulrik Olbjørn 

  • Diplomkaufmann from the University of Mannheim, Germany 
  • Has almost 3 decades of experience from the Oil and Gas industry in Norway and internationally
  • Has held various leadership positions in Statoil/Equinor spanning all energy commodities and the full midstream value chain from Retail to processing plants
  • Currently he is in Equinor's Low Carbon business as Project Director for a mega scale low carbon hydrogen project in Norway – called Clean Hydrogen to Europe 

Dennis Wehmeyer

  • Graduated as Economist, focusing on Energy and Environmental at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität in Münster
  • Since 2006 he has worked in various positions at GASCADE Gastransport GmbH
  • Since September 2022 he is Head of Hydrogen & Sustainability at GASCADE and responsible for the development of hydrogen projects and the implementation of the sustainability strategy

The meeting was recorded:
Watch the meeting on the Academy's YouTube channel


Part 4 – Presentations

Please, find the available presentations as pdf files here:

William Gillett/Anne Neumann: Future of Gas

Nils A. Røkke: Hydrogen – footprints and prospects

Ben McWilliams: Narratives on hydrogen

Asgeir Tomasgard: Integration of renewable energy, hydrogen and natural gas in Europe

Konstantin Löffler: Integrated energy system insights

Øystein Ulleberg: Hydrogen and Ammonia for Maritime Applications

Vibeke Rasmussen: Yara Clean Ammonia

Antti Kosonen: How long can natural gas play a role?

Ulrik Olbjørn: Natural gas and hydrogen towards 2040

Dennis Wehmeyer: The German core network: Kickoff for the European hydrogen market