4.1Climatic Stress

Climatic stress conditions result in high gas ­demand situations and are therefore challenging for the gas system. The ability of the system may be ­challenged to cope with:

  • a peak day demand that can occur once every 20 years also considered as the design case for most of the gas infrastructures,
  • a 2-week cold spell demand that can occur every 20 years when the average demand is ­relatively lower compared to a peak day but ­having a longer duration and being still higher than the demand in average climatic ­conditions,
  • a 2-week Dunkelflaute considers the possible impact of a long period with minimum amount of wind and solar energy and therefore additional gas demand for power generation when minimum variable renewable generation is available for two weeks.

4.1.1 Peak Day

Existing Infrastructure level

The existing gas infrastructure shows a high level of resilience to peak day situations and most of European countries show some remaining flexibility in all years and scenarios. However, in some specific scenarios and years, the Balkan region, Poland, Sweden, and Northern Ireland show some exposure to demand ­curtailment because of infrastructure limitations. Figure 4.8 shows the evolution of the ­Existing ­infrastructure level described below:

2025
Coal Before Gas/Gas Before Coal

Coal Before Gas and Gas Before Coal scenarios results show infrastructure limitations towards Northern Ireland, being exposed to a 15 % risk of demand curtailment driven by an increase of its power generation demand.

Additionally, results show infrastructure limitation between Serbia-Bosnia and Herzegovina and their neighbouring countries exposing them to a risk of demand curtailment. In Serbia, the increasing ­exposure is driven by an increase of its gas demand, combined with a decreasing trend of its indigenous production along the years and infrastructure ­limitation, reducing its cooperation with Bosnia and Herzegovina which is exposed as well to a ­similar risk of demand curtailment (ca. 15 %). See Figures 4.1 and 4.2.

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Figure 4.1: Infrastructure limitations towards Northern Ireland, Existing infrastructure, 2025.

Figure 4.2: Infrastructure limitations towards Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Existing ­infrastructure, 2025.

2030-2040
National Trends

Northern Ireland fully mitigates its risk of demand curtailment from 2025 to 2030 – 2040 thanks to a reduction of its demand.

Some infrastructure limitations between Poland and its neighbouring countries expose Poland to a risk of demand curtailment in 2040 due to an ­increase of its demand (mainly driven by displacing coal and oil in heating and power generation sector). See Figure 4.3.

Infrastructure limitations also increase the risk of demand curtailment in Serbia from 17 % (in 2025) to 34 – 36 % (in 2030/2040) driven by an increase of its demand combined with a further decreasing trend of its indigenous production along the years.

The same limitations expose Bosnia and Herzegovina to an increasing risk of demand curtailment from 18 % (in 2025) to 36 – 41 % (in 2030/2040) driven by an increase of its demand combined with limited cooperation with Serbia to limit the overall impact.

North Macedonia is exposed to an increasing risk of demand curtailment from 2030 to 2040 due to infrastructure limitations with Bulgaria and a ­demand increase from 2025 to 2030 – 2040, ­together with no national production and infrastructure limitations restricting its cooperation with neighbouring countries. See Figure 4.4.

Moreover, together with Poland and Finland, ­Northern Ireland faces remaining flexibility lower than 15 % in 2030.

Figure 4.3: Infrastructure limitations towards Poland, Existing infrastructure, National Trends, 2040.

Figure 4.4: Infrastructure limitations towards Poland, Existing infrastructure, National Trends, 2040.

COP 21 scenarios

Distributed Energy and
Global Ambition

Northern Ireland is exposed to a higher risk of ­demand curtailment in both scenarios in 2030 and 2040 (ca. 20 %), compared to 2025 scenarios, driven by infrastructure limitations with Great ­Britain and a higher demand compared with 2025 (except for Distributed Energy 2030, ca. 5 %).

Poland faces the same infrastructure limitations as in National Trends and shows an increasing or ­rather stable risk of demand curtailment driven by an increasing gas demand in both scenarios and years (mainly driven by displacing higher carbon ­fuels in the heating, power generation and transport sector1) combined with an increasing national production from 2030 to 2040 and further penetration of renewables (biomethane and power to gas). See Figure 4.5.

1 Distributed Energy and Global Ambition scenarios are based on higher ambition level to reach the decarbonisation target, in this regard, it has been taken into account the trend of displacing higher carbon fuels in the power generation sector and transportation sector.

Figure 4.5: Peak demand and production in Poland in COP 21 scenarios in GWh/d.

Greece faces infrastructure limitations (LNG and imports from Turkey and Bulgaria are 100 % used) and is exposed to a risk of demand curtailment in 2030 Global Ambition, scenario with the highest Greek demand. However, the exposure to a risk of demand curtailment is just mitigated in 2040 thanks to a decrease of the demand combined with an increase of its national production coming from renewables. See Figure 4.6.

Moreover, Sweden shows a high risk of demand curtailment in Global Ambition 2030 due to limited interconnection capacity with Denmark, which is just mitigated in 2040 thanks to a penetration of ­renewables increasing its national production and a stable demand. See Figure 4.7.

Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and North ­Macedonia are facing the same infrastructure ­limitations as in National Trends scenario.

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Figure 4.6: Infrastructure limitations towards Greece, Existing infrastructure, Global Ambition, 2030 & 2040.

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Figure 4.7: Infrastructure limitations towards Sweden, Existing infrastructure, Global Ambition, 2030.

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Figure 4.8: Existing infrastructure level: Climatic Stress under a peak day situation.

Low Infrastructure level

Simulation results show that FID projects mitigate, fully or at least partially, most of the infrastructure gaps observed with the existing infrastructure. Figure 4.12 shows the Low Infrastructure level ­results described below:

2025
Coal Before Gas/Gas Before Coal

Coal Before Gas and Gas Before Coal, the ­commissioning of the FID projects fully mitigates the risk of demand curtailment in Serbia. Moreover, it increases the cooperation between Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, fully mitigating the risk of demand curtailment in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well.

Nevertheless, Northern Ireland is still exposed to a 15 % risk of demand curtailment driven by an ­increase of its power generation demand.

2030-2040
National Trends

FID projects fully mitigate the risk of demand ­curtailment in Poland in 2040.

Moreover, Serbia no longer faces risk of demand curtailment thanks to the commissioning of FID projects that enable the cooperation between neighbouring countries. Nevertheless, Bosnia and Herzegovina still faces risk of demand curtailment due to infrastructure limitation and an increase of demand from 2030 to 2040, being the capacity ­fully used between Serbia and Bosnia and ­Herzegovina. See Figure 4.9.

In North Macedonia, FID projects do not mitigate the risk of demand curtailment.

Figure 4.9: Infrastructure limitations towards Bosnia and Herzegovina, Low infrastructure, ­National Trends, 2030 & 2040.

COP 21 scenarios

Distributed Energy and
Global Ambition

In Poland, FID projects improve the situation:

  • In 2030: from 25 % demand curtailment in ­Poland (existing infrastructure) to ca. 6 % in the Low infrastructure level.
  • In 2040: from 35 % (Existing) to 20 % (Low).

However, some infrastructure limitations remain preventing Poland to fully mitigate their exposure to demand curtailment.

In Greece, FID projects fully mitigate the risk of ­demand curtailment in Global Ambition and ­increase its remaining flexibility in Distributed ­Energy.

FID projects do not improve the situation in ­Northern Ireland and North Macedonia.

Furthermore, in Denmark and Sweden, the situation deteriorates following the partial decommissioning of a compressor station reducing the ­capacity between Germany and Denmark. Therefore, in 2030 Denmark and Sweden are exposed to 32 % demand curtailment in Global Ambition.

Despite the development of renewable gases, the additional production in Denmark and Sweden ­cannot fully compensate for the reduction in ­capacity at the German – Danish border, even in Distributed Energy scenario. See Figures 4.10 and 4.11.

Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and North ­Macedonia are facing the same infrastructure­ ­limitations as in National Trends scenario.

Figure 4.11: Infrastructure limitations between Germany and Denmark in Low infrastructure level, Distributed Energy, 2030.

Figure 4.10: Peak demand and production in Denmark and Sweden, Distributed Energy scenario.

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Figure 4.12: Low infrastructure level: Climatic Stress under a peak day situation.

Advanced Infrastructure level

Simulation results show that advanced-status projects provide an infrastructure reinforcement required to cope with high demand situations. Figure 4.13 shows the Advanced infrastructure level ­results described below.

2025
Coal Before Gas/Gas Before Coal

Coal Before Gas and Gas Before Coal scenarios ­results show that advanced-status projects fully mitigate the risk of demand curtailment in ­Northern Ireland. Additionally, there is a significant ­improvement of the remaining flexibility all over ­Europe.

2030-2040
National Trends

Advanced Projects fully alleviates all infrastructure bottlenecks within the EU.

However, Bosnia and Herzegovina still faces a risk of demand curtailment, no advanced projects ­improve the infrastructure limitation with Serbia.

North Macedonia fully mitigates its risk of demand curtailment thanks to the commissioning of Greece/North Macedonia interconnection in the Advanced infrastructure level that allows the two countries to cooperate.

COP 21 scenarios

Advanced projects significantly improve the situation as of 2030.

Distributed Energy

All EU countries are resilient to peak day situations. However, Bosnia and Herzegovina is still exposed to demand curtailment due to infrastructure limitations with Serbia.

Global Ambition

Most of Europe is resilient to peak day situations. Advanced projects alleviate the infrastructure ­limitations for Northern Ireland, Poland and ­Denmark to be no longer exposed to demand ­curtailment.

North Macedonia fully mitigates its risk of demand curtailment thanks to the commissioning of the ­advanced-status project North Macedonia/Greece interconnection allowing an efficient cooperation between Greece and North Macedonia. However, infrastructure limitations with Denmark expose Sweden to demand curtailment (32 %) in 2030, but not in 2040.

Regarding Denmark, it fully mitigates its risk of ­demand curtailment in Global Ambition 2030 thanks to the advanced-status project that ­connects the Norwegian gas system in the North Sea with the Danish onshore transmission system which ­increases the Danish indigenous production.

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Figure 4.13: Advanced infrastructure level: Climatic Stress under a peak day situation.

PCI Infrastructure level

This infrastructure level includes the FID projects and all projects included in the latest 4th PCI list showing the benefits stemming from the implementation of the latest PCI list during peak demand situation. ­Figure 4.14 shows the evolution of the resilience of the PCI infrastructure level to peak ­demand situations.

2025
Coal Before Gas/Gas Before Coal

Coal Before Gas and Gas Before Coal scenarios results show that projects included in the 4th PCI list do not help Northern Ireland to mitigate the risk of demand curtailment, showing the same risk of demand curtailment (15 %) as for Low infrastructure level.

2030-2040
National Trends

In terms of mitigating the exposure to demand ­curtailment, PCI infrastructure projects do not bring additional benefits compared to the FID ­projects. However, some countries show an ­improvement in terms of remaining flexibility.

COP 21 scenarios

Distributed Energy

Projects included in the 4th PCI list do not help Northern Ireland to mitigate the risk of demand curtailment, showing the same risk of demand curtailment as for Low infrastructure level (yellow in the map in 2030 and orange in the map 2040).

PCI infrastructure projects alleviates infrastructure bottlenecks for Poland, Sweden and Denmark to be resilient to peak demand situations. However, the PCI projects do not bring additional benefits to Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Herzegovina and North Macedonia compared to FID projects.

Global Ambition

Most of Europe is resilient to peak day situations. Advanced projects alleviate the infrastructure ­limitations for Denmark, Poland and Greece to be no longer exposed to demand curtailment as of 2030.

PCI projects do not improve the resilience of Northern Ireland, Sweden, Bosnia and Herzegovina and North Macedonia compared to the FID ­projects in 2030. However, PCI projects mitigate the ­exposure of Poland to demand curtailment in 2030 by connecting Denmark, Sweden and Poland allowing those countries to cooperate efficiently and ­reduce the exposure in 2040 from 20 % in Poland in Low infrastructure level to 8 % in Poland, Sweden and 6 % in Denmark in PCI infrastructure level.

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Figure 4.14: PCI infrastructure level: Climatic Stress under a peak day situation.

4.1.2 2-week cold spell

Existing Infrastructure level

The existing gas infrastructure shows a high level of resilience to 2-week cold spell situations and most of ­European countries show some remaining flexibility in all years and scenarios. However, in some specific ­scenarios and years, the Balkan region, Poland and Sweden face risk of demand curtailment because of ­infrastructure limitations. Figure 4.20 shows the evolution of the Existing infrastructure level ­described ­below.

2025
Coal Before Gas/Gas Before Coal

Coal Before Gas and Gas Before Coal, scenarios ­results show infrastructure limitation between Serbia-­Bosnia and Herzegovina and their neighbouring countries exposing them to a slightly risk of demand curtailment. In Serbia, the risk of demand curtailment is driven by an increase of its gas ­demand, combined with a decreasing trend of its ­indigenous production along the years and infrastructure limitation, reducing its cooperation with Bosnia and Herzegovina which is exposed as well to a slightly risk of demand curtailment (ca. 8 %).

Figure 4.15: Infrastructure limitations towards ­Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Existing ­infrastructure, 2025.

2030-2040
National Trends

Scenario results show that infrastructure limitations increase the risk of demand curtailment in Serbia from 7 % (in 2025) to 18 – 14 % (in 2030/2040) ­driven by an increase of its gas demand from 2025 to 2030, follow by a decreased in 2040, combined with a decreasing trend of its indigenous production along the years. As a result, Serbia reduces its cooperation with Bosnia and Herzegovina which is ­exposed as well to an increasing risk of demand ­curtailment from 8 % (in 2025) to 18 – 13 % (in 2030/2040) driven by an increase of its demand combined with limited cooperation with Serbia.

North Macedonia shows infrastructure limitations, fully using its interconnection with Bulgaria, exposing the country to a risk of demand curtailment in 2030 – 2040. The situation further deteriorates in 2040 due to higher demand together with no ­indigenous production.

Figure 4.16: Infrastructure limitations towards North Macedonia, Existing infrastructure, 2030.

COP 21 scenarios

Distributed Energy and
Global Ambition

Some infrastructure limitations between Poland and its neighbouring countries expose Poland to a risk of demand curtailment as result. As for peak demand case, Poland shows an increasing or rather stable risk of demand curtailment due to an ­increasing gas demand in both scenarios and years (mainly driven by displacing higher carbon fuels in the heating, power generation and transport ­sector) combined with an increasing national production from 2030 to 2040 coming from renewables ­(biomethane and power to gas). See Figures 4.17 and 4.18.

Figure 4.17: Infrastructure limitations towards Poland, Existing infrastructure, Global Ambition-Distributed ­Energy, 2030.

Figure 4.18: 2-week cold spell demand and production in Poland in COP 21 scenarios in GWh/d.

Moreover, Sweden shows a slightly risk of demand curtailment in Global Ambition 2030 (ca. 11 %), due to limited interconnection capacity with Denmark, which is mitigated in 2040 thanks to an increase of its national production coming from renewables and a stable demand. See Figure 3.19.

Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and North ­Macedonia are facing the same infrastructure ­limitations as in National Trends scenario. Nevertheless, differing from National Trends scenario, Serbia demand follows an increasing trend of its demand from 2025 to 2030 (remaining quite stable in 2040).

Figure 4.19: Infrastructure limitations towards Sweden, Existing infrastructure, Global Ambition 2030.

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Figure 4.20: Existing infrastructure level: Climatic Stress under 2-week cold spell situation.

Low Infrastructure level

Simulation results show further improvements in terms of infrastructure gaps with the implementation of FID projects allowing to mitigate, fully or at least partially, the infrastructure gaps observed with the ­Existing infrastructure level. Nevertheless, there are still some lack of infrastructure. Figure 3.21 shows the results described below.

2025
Coal Before Gas/Gas Before Coal

The European gas system is resilient to a 2-week cold spell, with higher remaining flexibility all over Europe.

The commissioning of the FID projects help to fully mitigate the risk of demand curtailment in Serbia. Moreover, it increases the cooperation between Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, fully mitigating the risk of demand curtailment in Bosnia and ­Herzegovina as well.

2030-2040
National Trends

FID projects fully mitigate the risk of demand curtailment in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina thanks to an efficient cooperation in the area.

Nevertheless, in North Macedonia FID projects do not mitigate the risk of demand curtailment, not ­improving the interconnection between North ­Macedonia and neighbouring countries with ­consequent limitations on possible flow from ­Bulgaria.

COP 21 scenarios

Distributed Energy and
Global Ambition

FID projects fully mitigate the risk of demand ­curtailment in Poland allowing an efficient cooperation with its neighbouring countries.

Nevertheless, in Sweden FID projects do not ­mitigate, neither improve, the risk of demand ­curtailment in Global Ambition 2030.

As in National Trends scenario, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina fully mitigate their risk of demand curtailment thanks to the commissioning of FID projects. However, North Macedonia faces the same infrastructure limitations.

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Figure 4.21: Low infrastructure level: Climatic Stress under 2-week cold spell situation.

Advanced Infrastructure level

Simulation results show that the European gas system is resilient to a 2-week cold spell thanks to the ­commissioning of advanced-status projects, which provide an infrastructure reinforcement required to cope with high demand situations. Results are shown in Figure 3.22.

2025
Coal Before Gas/Gas Before Coal

Results show that advanced-status projects bring a significant improvement of the remaining flexibility all over Europe.

2030-2040
National Trends

Advanced-status projects fully alleviate all infrastructure bottlenecks within the EU.

Scenario results show that North Macedonia fully mitigates its risk of demand curtailment thanks to the commissioning of the advanced-status project North Macedonia/Greece interconnection allowing an efficient cooperation between Greece and North Macedonia.

COP 21 scenarios

Distributed Energy and
Global Ambition

Advanced-status projects significantly improve the situation as of 2030.

Nevertheless, in Sweden advanced-status projects do not mitigate, neither improve, the risk of demand curtailment in Global Ambition 2030.

Moreover, as for National Trends scenario, North Macedonia fully mitigates its risk of demand ­curtailment thanks to the commissioning of advanced-­status projects.

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Figure 4.22: Advanced infrastructure level: Climatic Stress under 2-week cold spell situation.

PCI Infrastructure level

Simulation results show the benefits stemming from the implementation of the latest 4th PCI list during 2-week cold spell demand situation. Figure 4.23 shows the results of the assessment.

2025
Coal Before Gas/Gas Before Coal

Results show that the implementation of the latest 4th PCI projects provide an improvement of the ­remaining flexibility all over Europe.

2030-2040
National Trends

Simulation results are in line with Low infrastructure level assessment for 2-week cold spell demand case.

North Macedonia faces the same infrastructure limitations as in Low infrastructure level. PCI ­projects do not mitigate, neither improve, the risk of demand curtailment in the country.

COP 21 scenarios

Distributed Energy and
Global Ambition

Simulation results are in line with Low infrastructure level assessment for 2-week cold spell demand case, as for National Trends scenario.

In Sweden and North Macedonia PCI projects do not mitigate, neither improve, the risk of demand curtailment.

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Figure 4.23: PCI infrastructure level: Climatic Stress under 2-week cold spell situation.

4.1.3 2-week Dunkelflaute

Existing Infrastructure level

The existing gas infrastructure shows a high level of resilience to 2-week Dunkelflaute situations and most of European countries show some remaining flexibility in all years and scenarios. Nevertheless, the Balkan region, Poland and Sweden face risk of demand curtailment because of infrastructure limitations in some specific scenarios and years. ­Figure 4.33 shows the evolution of the Existing infrastructure level described below.

2025
Coal Before Gas/Gas Before Coal

Results show, as for 2-week cold spell, infrastructure limitation between Serbia-Bosnia and Herzegovina and their neighbouring countries exposing them to a limited risk of demand curtailment. In Serbia, the risk of demand curtailment is driven by an infrastructure limitation with Hungary following an ­increase of its gas demand, combined with a ­decreasing trend of its indigenous production along the years. Bosnia and Herzegovina is only ­connected to Serbia and therefore, is exposed a limited risk of ­demand curtailment (ca. 8 %).

Figure 4.24: Infrastructure limitations towards Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Existing ­infrastructure, 2025.

2030-2040
National Trends

Some infrastructure limitations between Poland and its neighbouring countries expose Poland to a limited risk of demand curtailment (9 %) in 2040 due to an increase of its demand, mainly driven by displacing coal and oil in heating and power generation sector together with additional gas demand for power generation due to no availability of renewable generation coming from wind and solar for two weeks, being the gas system a backup of the ­intermittent renewable power generation. See ­Figures 4.25 and 4.26.

In the Balkan region, the assessment shows, as of 2025, that infrastructure limitations increase the risk of demand curtailment in Serbia and Bosnia from 7 % (in 2025) to 18 – 14 % (in 2030/2040) driven by an increase of its gas demand from 2025 to 2030, then followed by a decrease in 2040, ­combined with a decreasing trend of its indigenous production along the years.

North Macedonia shows infrastructure limitations, fully using its interconnection with Bulgaria, ­exposing the country to a risk of demand curtailment in 2030 – 2040 (ca. 34 – 48 %). The situation further deteriorates in 2040 due to higher demand together with no indigenous production. See ­Figure 4.27.

Figure 4.25: Infrastructure limitations towards Poland, Existing infrastructure, National Trends, 2040.

Figure 4.26: 2-week cold spell/Dunkelflaute demand and production in Poland in National Trends scenario in GWh/d.

Figure 4.27: Infrastructure limitations towards North Macedonia, Existing infrastructure, 2030.

COP 21 scenarios

Distributed Energy and
Global Ambition

Some infrastructure limitations between Poland and its neighbouring countries expose Poland to a risk of demand curtailment. As for peak demand case and 2-week cold spell, Poland shows an ­increasing or rather stable risk of demand curtailment due to an increasing gas demand in both ­scenarios and years (mainly driven by displacing higher carbon fuels in the heating sector and in the power generation, heating, and transport sector) combined with an increasing national production from 2030 to 2040 coming from renewables ­(biomethane and power to gas).

A limited increase (between 1 – 3 %) of risk of ­demand curtailment compared with 2-week cold spell assessment has been spotted in Poland driven by additional gas demand for power generation ­together, with no power to gas production, due to no availability of renewable generation (from wind and solar) for two weeks, being the gas system a backup of the intermittent renewable power ­generation. See Figure 4.28.

Figure 4.28: 2-week cold spell/Dunkelflaute demand and production in Poland in Distributed Energy & Global Ambition scenarios in GWh/d.

Greece faces infrastructure limitations (LNG and imports from Turkey and Bulgaria are 100 % used) being exposed to a risk of demand curtailment in 2030 Global Ambition. The exposure to a risk of ­demand curtailment is mitigated in 2040 thanks to a decrease of the demand combined with an ­increase of its national production coming from ­renewables.

Moreover, this penetration of intermittent renewable power generation coming from wind and solar energy in Greece, is also reflected in the decrease of remaining flexibility in Distributed Energy 2030 – 2040 and Global Ambition 2040, being the gas system a backup of the intermittent renewable power generation. See Figure 4.30.

Figure 4.29: Infrastructure limitations towards Greece, Existing infrastructure, Global Ambition 2030.

Figure 4.30: 2-week cold spell/Dunkelflaute demand and production in Greece in Distributed Energy & Global Ambition scenarios in GWh/d.

Simulation results show shows a risk of demand curtailment in Sweden in Global Ambition 2030 (ca. 19 %), due to limited interconnection capacity with Denmark, which is mitigated in 2040 thanks to an increase of its national production coming from renewables and a stable demand.

Additionally, the slightly increase of the risk of ­demand curtailment in Global Ambition 2030 and the lower remaining flexibility values in both ­scenarios and years compared with 2-week cold spell assessment. Swedish gas demand for power generation increases due to no availability of renewable generation (from wind and solar) and there is no power to gas generation in the country for two weeks, being the gas system a backup of the ­intermittent renewable power generation. See ­Figure 4.32.

Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and North ­Macedonia are facing the same infrastructure ­limitations as in National Trends scenario. ­Nevertheless, differing from National Trends ­scenario, Serbia demand follows an increasing trend of its ­demand from 2025 to 2030 (remaining quite stable in 2040).

Figure 4.31: Infrastructure limitations towards Sweden, Existing infrastructure, Global Ambition 2030.

Figure 4.32: 2-week cold spell/Dunkelflaute demand and production in Sweden in Distributed Energy & ­Global ­Ambition scenarios in GWh/d.

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Figure 4.33: Existing infrastructure level: Climatic Stress under 2-wek Dunkelflaute situation.

Low Infrastructure level

Simulation results show that, depending on the considered scenario, FID projects allow some countries to further mitigate, fully or at least partially, the infrastructure gaps identified under Existing infrastructure ­level. Nevertheless, there are still some lack of infrastructure. Figure 4.34 shows the results described ­below.

2025
Coal Before Gas/Gas Before Coal

In line with 2-week cold spell demand case assessment, the European gas system is resilient to a 2-week ­Dunkelflaute, with higher remaining flexibility all over Europe.

The commissioning of FID projects help to fully ­mitigate the risk of demand curtailment in Serbia. As a result, Serbia increases its cooperation with Bosnia and Herzegovina, fully mitigating the risk of demand curtailment in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well.

2030-2040
National Trends

FID projects fully mitigate the risk of demand ­curtailment in Poland in 2040 allowing an efficient cooperation with its neighbouring countries.

In line with 2-week cold spell demand assessment, FID projects fully mitigate the risk of demand curtailment in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina thanks to an efficient cooperation in the area.

Nevertheless, in North Macedonia FID projects do not mitigate the risk of demand curtailment, not ­improving the interconnection between North ­Macedonia and neighbouring countries with ­consequent limitations on possible flow from ­Bulgaria.

COP 21 scenarios

Distributed Energy and
Global Ambition

Poland fully mitigates its risk of demand ­curtailment thanks to the commissioning of FID projects ­increasing its cooperation with neighbouring ­countries.

Greece fully mitigates its risk of demand ­curtailment in Global Ambition 2030, thanks to the commissioning of FID projects.

Nevertheless, in Sweden FID projects do not ­mitigate, neither improve, the risk of demand ­curtailment in Global Ambition 2030.

As in National Trends scenario, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina fully mitigate their risk of demand curtailment thanks to the commissioning of FID projects. However, North Macedonia faces the same infrastructure limitations.

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Figure 4.34: Low infrastructure level: Climatic Stress under 2-week Dunkelflaute situation.

Advanced Infrastructure level

Simulation results show further improvements in terms of infrastructure gaps. The commissioning of ­advanced-status projects provide an infrastructure reinforcement required to cope with high demand ­situations. Results are shown in Figure 4.35.

2025
Coal Before Gas/Gas Before Coal

Coal Before Gas and Gas Before Coal scenarios, results show that the European gas system is ­resilient to a 2-week Dunkelflaute. Advanced-status projects bring a significant improvement of the ­remaining flexibility all over Europe.

2030-2040
National Trends

Simulation results show the fully mitigation the risk of demand curtailment in North Macedonia thanks to the investment of the interconnection between North Macedonia and Greece, allowing Greece to further cooperate with North Macedonia.

COP 21 scenarios

Distributed Energy and
Global Ambition

Advanced-status projects significantly improve the situation as of 2030.

Nevertheless, in Sweden advanced-status projects do not mitigate, neither improve, the risk of demand curtailment in Global Ambition 2030.

Moreover, as for National Trends scenario, North Macedonia fully mitigates its risk of demand ­curtailment thanks to the commissioning of advanced-­status projects.

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Figure 4.35: Advanced infrastructure level: Climatic Stress under 2-week Dunkelflaute situation.

PCI Infrastructure level

Simulation results show the benefits stemming from the implementation of the 4th PCI list during 2-week Dunkelflaute demand situation. Results are in line with Low infrastructure level assessment. Results are graphically represented in Figure 4.36.

2025
Coal Before Gas/Gas Before Coal

Coal Before Gas and Gas Before Coal scenarios results show that the implementation of the latest 4th PCI projects provide an improvement of the ­remaining flexibility all over Europe.

2030-2040
National Trends

Simulation results are in line with Low ­infrastructure level assessment for 2-week Dunkelflaute ­demand case.

North Macedonia faces the same infrastructure limitations as in Low infrastructure level. PCI ­projects do not mitigate, neither improve, the risk of ­demand curtailment in the country. The interconnection Greece-North Macedonia is an advanced-­status project and it is not part of the PCI list ­currently in force, therefore, there is no ­improvement in this infrastructure level.

COP 21 scenarios

Distributed Energy and
Global Ambition

Simulation results are in line with Low ­infrastructure level assessment for 2-week cold spell demand case, as for National Trends scenario.

In Sweden and North Macedonia PCI projects do not mitigate, neither improve, the risk of demand curtailment. Both countries expose to the same ­extent of risk of demand curtailment as for Low ­infrastructure level.

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Figure 4.36: PCI infrastructure level: Climatic Stress under 2-week Dunkelflaute situation.

4.1.4 Conclusion – Climatic stress conditions

In all scenarios, the assessment shows that the ­existing European gas system is well developed and, in most European countries, resilient to severe climatic conditions such as a 1-in-20 peak day, a 2-week cold spell or in the future to a 2-week ­Dunkelflaute event.

However, in some specific areas, further infrastructure is needed to fully mitigate the risk of demand curtailment:

  • Northern Ireland and Poland remain exposed to demand curtailment until 2040 in all ­scenarios, but FID and Advanced projects are efficiently alleviating all the concerned ­infrastructure limitations as of 2025.
  • In the Balkan region, Greece could be exposed to demand curtailment in Global Ambition ­scenario in 2030, and Serbia, Bosnia and ­Herzegovina, and North Macedonia are exposed to ­demand curtailment as of 2025.
  • Sweden is exposed to demand curtailment in Global Ambition 2030 and no project can ­mitigate this risk.

The gas system and renewable gases can support the development of intermittent ­electricity renewable generation while ensuring a high ­level of security of energy supply

The assessment confirms that with the development of intermittent renewable power generation, the gas system is generally resilient but is under an increasing stress. However, Biomethane production is beneficial to security of supply on an annual basis and during climatic stress due to its continuous ­operation. Power-to-gas technologies are beneficial for the security of gas supply on an annual basis too, however, during climatic stress situations, especially during Dunkelflaute events, the role of gas storages associated with power to gas capacities is key to ensure the necessary supply when the demand is high and the production of power to gas is unavailable.

National Trends

Under the NECP driven scenario, the assessment demonstrates the resilience of the gas infrastructure in case of severe climatic stress in a context where the development of renewable and ­decarbonised gases is limited and is far from compensating the decline of the conventional natural gas ­production.

Therefore, in National Trends, the gas infrastructure can ensure a high level of security of supply by transporting the gases from the gas storages and import capacities throughout Europe.

COP 21 scenarios

Distributed Energy

Under the decentralised COP 21 scenario with the highest level of electrification, gas power generation is a back-up for intermittent power generation and therefore supports the development electricity ­renewables. In this context, in peak demand situations, the gas demand for power generation ­increases over time and partly compensate for the decreasing gas demand in other sectors. The gas demand in climatic stress situations decreases overall but to a limited extent compared to the average demand. However, the development of indigenous production of renewable and decarbonised gases is maximum in this scenario and compensate for the decline of conventional natural gas to reach production levels in 2040 similar to 2020.

Therefore, in Distributed Energy, the assessment demonstrates the resilience of the gas infrastructure to cope with severe climatic situations and its ability to supply the European demand relying on interconnections capacities and gas storages, and accommodating with a more decentralised new gas production while importing the necessary complement to ensure the supply and demand adequacy for the next 20 years.

Global Ambition

Under the centralised COP 21 scenario, the development of direct electrification reaches levels ­similar to the 1.5 LIFE scenario of the Long-Term Strategy of the European Commission in 20501 and gas power generation is a back-up for intermittent power generation and therefore supports the development electricity renewables. In this centralised approach, the gas demand for mobility and ­industry is increasing as those sectors are moving away from carbon intensive fuels to gases that are more and more decarbonised. Furthermore, the global dimension of the energy transition enhances the development of a global market for renewable gases and therefore, production capacities for ­renewable and decarbonised gases develop in ­Europe (ca. 750 TWh in 2040), and imports of ­renewable and decarbonised gases are an option together with large-scale development of decarbonisation facilities.

Therefore, in Global Ambition, the assessment demonstrates the resilience of the gas infrastructure to cope with severe climatic situations and its ability to supply the European demand relying on interconnections capacities and gas storages, and accommodating with significant levels of new gas production while participating to the global decarbonised energy market to ensure the supply and demand adequacy for the next 20 years.