WLPGA: Given the universally challenging year we have all gone through, where do you believe are the key opportunities for the European LPG market in 2022 and going forward?
Ewa Abramiuk-Lete: The ambition to reach climate neutrality in the European Union by 2050 creates both challenges and opportunities for the LPG sector. On the one hand, according to the International Energy Agency Net Zero Scenario by 2050, we expect a shift in final energy consumption and that electricity consumption will be increasing by 2050. At the same time, we will see a gradual shift to bioLPG in Europe.
Thanks to LPG’s cost-effectiveness and flexibility, the European Autogas sector has been regaining strength in several European countries, compared to the previous year. As recently announced by ACEA, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, the market for LPG-fuelled cars saw an increase of 5.7% in the last quarter of 2021. According to France Gaz Liquides, the LPG car sales in 2021 increased by 180%, while the LPG gas sales raised by 40%. The main reasons for switching to LPG vehicles seem to be the affordability of the fuel as well as the environmental benefits.
WLPGA: How do you feel that the LPG market in Europe responded to the COVID-19 pandemic?
Ewa Abramiuk-Lete: In 2020 and 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic caused unprecedented disruption to economies and societies across the world, and the energy sector was not immune to the turmoil unleashed by the health crisis. Restrictions on movement imposed to limit the spread of the virus had a severe impact, as a sharp fall in transport use resulted in a collapse in demand for gasoline and diesel. Although LPG witnessed a decline in consumption in Europe, its versatility increased its resilience compared to other fuels.
WLPGA: On a wider angle, what are the main areas of focus for improvement for the LPG market in Europe?
Ewa Abramiuk-Lete: Looking at the improvement areas, we need to ensure that LPG and bioLPG are available energy sources in the future. For this, more investment must be put into bioLPG and R&D, to scale up the production. On one hand, more bioLPG production pathways will have to be developed and commercially available. This will require a strong commitment from producers. At the same time, the legislative framework must encourage these investments and help the energy transition.
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