Industry letter to IEA on security of supply of LPG and role of renewable gaseous fuels in the context of the 10-points plan


On 9 March 2022, Liquid Gas Europe and WLPGA co-signed a letter to the International Energy Agency (IEA) related to their 10-points plan:


“The Russian invasion of Ukraine is having dramatic consequences, leaving an uncertain future for all. The catastrophic impact of war is affecting millions of people, jeopardising peace and stability across Europe. The crisis undeniably has a strong impact on the global and European energy market and requires adequate responses from policymakers to preserve energy security and affordability. In this context, the World LPG Association (WLPGA) and Liquid Gas Europe believe that the International Energy Agency’s 10-points plan to reduce Russian gas adds a lot of value to the discussion and is in line with the IEA’s founding mission of responding to physical disruptions in energy supply.

But we want to emphasise that this is an immediate crisis and LPG offers an immediate solution. The current crisis is unlikely to affect the safe and secure supply of LPG to consumers, thanks to a multitude of LPG producers operating across the globe, solid global supply chains, reliable distribution to end-consumers, and the distributed (non-grid) nature of the business. The European LPG sector is currently investing in local production capacity for bioLPG and rDME, which in turn will bolster the EU’s energy security by ensuring various and varied supply points.

We are concerned by IEA recommendation to speed up the replacement of gas boilers with heat pumps without recognising the nuance of low-carbon options such as LPG or rLPG. The recommendation itself is not technologically neutral and moreover omits the fact that such heating appliances can also be fuelled with increasingly renewable and defossilised gases without major alterations to the current heating installations or to people’s homes. Furthermore, added pressure on the grid risks moving electricity generation in Europe back towards heavy carbon fuels in the short term. In the long term while electricity for heating does work well in many situations, it is not necessarily the most energy efficient solution for hard-to-electrify, off-grid areas.

40 million European homes are not connected to the natural gas grid. The European LPG industry is moving towards an increasingly diversified portfolio of lower carbon, renewable and defossilised off-grid gases produced in Europe and beyond. Such a specific recommendation to move away from gas boilers can have a very negative impact at both the household level, as well as on investments into renewable and defossilised gaseous solutions.

We believe a communication encouraging the switch towards lower carbon, renewable and defossilised gaseous fuels that can be used in current future-ready, and increasingly efficient, boilers, alongside intermittent renewables and hybrid heat pumps, is more effective and helpful to implement the energy transition for the industry and consumers and has the added benefit of increasing European energy security.

LPG is a gaseous fuel which represents one of the few alternative energies immediately available, especially in off-grid areas, to heat and decarbonise rural homes and businesses. Together with bioLPG and rDME, it can help achieve the EU’s energy security and meet the Green Deal’s objectives.”