Natural gas trade body Eurogas has criticized the European Commission’s newly released heating and cooling strategy for failing to recognize gas’s potential contribution.

In a statement, the group said the strategy ‘rightly’ emphasizes the savings that can be made through energy efficiency, but added that the Commission is ‘missing an opportunity’.

Eurogas said it ‘questions the [strategy’s] clear preference for full electrification in heating using heat pumps and district heating.

‘While these may be effective solutions in certain circumstances, they are unlikely to satisfy the fluctuating, seasonal demands of heating right across the European Union. Neither are consumers presented with a full choice of innovative and competitive alternatives specific to their requirements.’

Beate Raabe, Eurogas secretary-general (pictured), said: ‘It is hard to understand why the Commission is limiting to two technologies the vast potential that exists to make heating cleaner and more efficient. Gas is an important part of that potential.

‘We believe a wider variety of options is required to decarbonize the heating sector, and among them is gas,’ she added. ‘With a range of new, modern gas-based or hybrid technologies emerging and renewable gas production increasing, gas continues to deliver on energy efficiency, help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and facilitate the increase of renewables in the sector.’