Andrea Stegher, Snam & IGU: Gas Is Well Positioned to Play an Important Role
Date: February 23rd 2021
Author: Alenka Lena Klopčič
“Snam is one of the world’s leading energy infrastructure operators and one of the largest listed Italian companies in terms of market capitalisation. The company’s sustainable and technologically advanced network guarantees security of supply and promotes development in the territories, while also contributing to promoting the energy transition,” reads the company’s website, in which Andrea Stegher, as Marketing Senior Vice President of Snam, is in charge of the commercial area. However, when can we expect to stop talking about the ‘energy transition’, since the transition will have finally reached the goal? Will that be in 2050 when carbon neutrality should also be achieved in Europe or could it even happen before that? This was the opening question that Energetika.NET asked Stegher in the latest video interview. Stegher will take over the presidency of the International Gas Union (IGU) for the next mandate and will also share his pragmatic view on the energy future, with the on-going transition on top, at the upcoming En.odmev 021 virtual event, organised by Energetika.NET, to be held on 4 March.In response to this question Stegher shared his memories of the times a quarter of a century ago when fossil fuel companies were less happy when they found gas instead of oil. However, things are changing and nowadays the energy transition is targeting certain objectives, such as net-zero carbon in Europe by mid-century. The energy transition, however, is an on-going concept and is embedded in our daily lives, he stressed, adding that the entire concept of the energy transition is for consumers. Nevertheless, it will still require an important transformation of the industry, in which 2050 is an important milestone, but despite this “we have to act on this every day from now on until 2050 and even further”, said Stegher remaining pragmatic.
“Our industry needs to combine a long-term vision with the usual pragmatism in delivering the services and products that our consumers require,” he said, adding that, for instance, seven years ago when he first started to talk about green gases, the response (from the industry) was not that welcoming yet today there are commitments to even reach net-zero in quite a short time, which is a big signal of how the fossil companies are planning to contribute to the entire energy transition, including the involvement of hydrogen and other new solutions. Read also Italian Snam to Invest EUR 3.7bn in Making Its Infrastructure ‘Hydrogen Ready’
Andrea Stegher will talk about the transition to a low-carbon future at the upcoming En.odmev 021 virtual event, organised by Energetika.NET, to be held on 4 March (MORE; in Slovenian).
Building bridges between countries and markets…
Since Stegher will take over the presidency of the International Gas Union (IGU) for the next mandate, Energetika.NET asked him to share some more information on how the IGU is preparing for this ‘new energy era’. He responded by saying that the momentum of the net-zero target also requires the gas industry to take part in all the discussions on the energy future, especially when bearing in mind that the Europe of today is a “variety of Europes”.
Finally, since Stegher is from Italian Snam, a country which – it could be said – is an important ‘energy neighbour’ to Slovenia, and since Slovenia is an ‘energy neighbour’ to Croatia where the LNG terminal on the island of Krk recently started to operate, Energetika.NET asked Stegher how closely Snam monitors these developments as well as those on the gas interconnection between Slovenia and Hungary. We concluded by asking him for his opinion on how the regional gas map change will in the near future.
The gas expert answered this question by saying that he is happy to see these developments in the areas where there needs to be improvements in terms of interconnectors. Snam’s international footprint lies in building bridges among countries and markets, which also applies to the TAP project (while the first Azeri gas deliveries have arrived in Bulgaria and Greece via TAP; author’s note).
“These steps that are interesting to Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Greece are also increasingly making this part of Europe more resilient and more in a position to explore gas as a fuel for the (energy) transition,” noted Stegher.
“We have started this year with a very strong uptake in gas demand, which reiterates the need to combine sources for energy that fit the purpose and gas is well positioned to play a very important role in serving the market needs,” he concluded, adding that he expects that energy needs will only increase further in the future.
Watch the whole video interview HERE.
This article is available also in Slovene.