The guarantee of the future energy supply is crucial for economic development and saving our standard of living. Dependence on foreign gas imports and progressing globalization necessitate the formation of cross-border networks between countries of the European Union and worldwide. Talking about future energy security in regions, it is crucial to look at gas sources in a comprehensive perspective covering all gas sources (both fossil and renewable).
The current growth in production of natural gas from unconventional resources has significantly influenced the economies of primarily two countries: The United States and Canada. It is expected that this trend will continue along with start of production of shale gas in other parts of the world, including Europe.
In Poland, there already 29 full scale agricultural/ utilization biogas plants registered and they utilize animal manure, corn silage and various kinds of organic waste. This is a very promising technology, in parallel altering development of rural areas and stimulation of cooperation with urban communities by selling electricity and heat. Moreover, Polish government has set an ambitious goal of building 2000 biogas plants by 2020 (mostly big installations of about 2-2.5 MW), which would hopefully stimulate the rural development and help to meet EU set renewable energy targets.
An increase in natural gas and biogas production in our region would reduce the dependence on imports and cause a drop in the prices of energy. Additionally the increase would facilitate de-carbonification of the energy sector which is still mainly based on coal in some countries.
Plans of transition from fossil fuels to a renewable energy supply remain complicated. Therefore, natural gas from unconventional resources and biogas may turn out to be promising bridge energy carrier until fossil fuels are replaced by energy sources of a new type.
The goal of the Baltic Gas Forum (BGF 2016) is to highlight the importance of energy security in Baltic cross-border regions through raising awareness in the sustainable management of existing gas sources (conventional natural gas, biogas) and recently discovered alternative (shale gas) gas sources. This can be achieved by stimulating awareness raising and the cooperation between the regional and local administration/authorities, investors, energy companies, universities and NGOs. The conference will cover such aspects as environmental protection, spatial planning, technology issues, legal aspects and best practices.
BGF 2016 will bring together representatives from academia, industry, regional and local authorities to present the latest advances in knowledge related to natural gas, compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG), shale gas and biogas. Environmentally friendly and economically efficient processing of gas sources is essential for providing energy security in certain regions of Central & Eastern Europe and the world. The BGF 2016 will provide Thematic Symposia and Study Visits. The Forum will be an excellent possibility for the formation of durable networks of experts from the business-academia-administration for the future cross-border cooperation within gas production, processing, distribution and trading.