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Interview with Stephan Kamphues

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In this edition, green gas will once again play a prominent role. I talked at length about it with Stephan Kamphues, the managing director of Vier Gas Transport. Mr Kamphues always impresses me. He has vision and passionately argues for his ideas. The interview deals with several topics. One is the power– to–gas joint venture of Amprion and Open Grid Europe. A second one is the European perception of the importance and future role of green/de–carbonised gas/hydrogen. Mr Kamphues referred to the conclusions of the Madrid Forum, which had met in October. I had a closer look at the conclusions, and you will find a summary in this edition. I can only agree with Mr Kamphues. If it is meant seriously, it is an impressive commitment to an integrative assessment of the power and gas system to achieve a zero or at least low–carbon energy world. The Commission seems to be willing to rethink the current regulatory framework but is also aware of potentially unwanted effects. I would very much like to see an open discussion about this in Germany, but at the moment I do not know who could initiate it.

Topic of the month: Interview with Stephan Kamphues, Managing Director of Vier Gas Transport

On June 1, 2017 Stephan Kamphues quit his position as the spokesman of the Open Grid Europe (OGE) management board. Since then, he has been the Vier Gas Transport managing director (ener|gate Gasmarkt 07/17). The company owns OGE. Vier Gas Transport is a joint venture company of the four investment firms Macquarie, ABU DHABI INVESTMENT AUTHORITY, British Columbia Investment Management, and MEAG Munich Ergo. Mr Kamphues kept his position as president of the European Network of TSOs, ENTSO-G. Last year, Mr Kamphues told this publication that he had reorganised his professional life to reduce working time and to focus on strategic topics. One aspect of his strategic thinking was to work more on joint issues of more than one TSO. At the time, he mentioned power-to-gas as one concrete topic.

Power-to-gas is a topic for which Mr Kamphues gained public attention early last summer. In June, when Amprion and OGE introduced their project for a 100 MW electrolysis plant, Mr Kamphues held the presentation jointly with the Amprion management board. Allegedly, he was among the people that pushed the preparations for the project.

ener|gate Gasmarkt talked with Mr Kamphues about his new role as well as the power-to-gas project and the environment for such projects.

ener|gate Gasmarkt: Mr Kamphues, last year you said you wanted to work in Germany on crosscompany projects, but there‘s no sign of that yet.

Mr Kamphues: There is the idea or the vision to offer policymakers a cross-company concept for the achievement of climate targets with a binding commitment to carbon reductions. But it’s too early to talk about that idea.

Framework conditions"Coal Commission"

The Commission “Growth, Structural Change and Employment”, known under the name “Coal Commission” (members from the concerned regions dislike that name), published an interim report on October 25. The interim was silent about the phasing out of coal but focused on the development perspective for the different mining regions. In particular for the Lausitz (mainly in the state of Brandenburg) and the mitteldeutsche (mainly in the states of Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt) mining regions, hydrogen is a perspective: “Furthermore, there are substantial potentials for renewable power-to-x projects based on renewable energies”, the report says about the Lausitz region. Two sentences later: “In the future, a larger share of hydrogen could be injected into the well-established gas network, because the OPAL pipeline crosses nearby.