EU takes action to decarbonize gas markets, promote RNG, hydrogen

By Erin Voegele | December 16, 2021

The European Commission on Dec. 15 adopted a set of legislative proposals to decarbonize the EU gas market by facilitating the uptake of renewable and low-carbon gases, including renewable natural gas (RNG) and hydrogen.

According to the commission, one of the primary goals of the proposals is to establish a market for hydrogen, create the right environment for investment, and enable the development of dedicated infrastructure, including for international trade.

New rules contained in the proposals also aim to make it easier for renewable and low-carbon gases to access the existing gas grid by removing tariffs for cross-boarder interconnections and lowering tariffs at injection points. The proposals also create a certification system for low-carbon gases, which aims to ensure a level playing field in assessing the full greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions footprint of different gases and will allow EU member states to effectively compare and consider them in their energy mix.

The European Biogas Association is welcoming the commission’s framework to decarbonize gas markets, noting the rules will help facilitate an accelerated, steep growth of biomethane integration into the gas network. The EB, however, is also advocating for the adoption of a GHG intensity reduction target of 20 percent of gas supplied in the EU by 2030 and is stressing the need for a clear differentiation between renewable and fossil gasses in the proposals.  

“The Gas Package is a positive step ensuring non-discriminatory access to the gas grid for biogas producers but we call for clearer and consistent definitions as well as for a higher ambition level in terms of actions securing reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and the required rapid uptake of renewable gases,” said Harmen Dekker, director of the EBA.

Additional information is available on the European Commission website.