The European Commission has already laid the groundwork for the creation of a ‘low-carbon’ hydrogen market from 2030 to enable renewable and low-carbon gases to enter the EU gas market.
The aim of this legislation, which still needs to be agreed with the European Parliament, is to design a transition from the natural gas sector to a renewable and low-carbon one with a view to achieving the EU’s goal of climate neutrality by 2050.
“Europe is on track to move from natural gas to renewable and low-carbon gases and we need to create the right market conditions for that to happen,” said Ebba Busch, Minister for Energy, Trade and Industry of Sweden, which holds the Presidency of the Council.
Busch also stressed that “broad support” had been achieved, enabling a qualified majority to be reached on the gas package directive, while she hoped that the Swedish compromise proposal would “pave the way” for the negotiations on the renewables directive on Wednesday.
The proposed regulation aims to make it easier to bring renewable and low-carbon gases, in particular biomethane and hydrogen, into the EU gas market.
But to do so, it requires existing natural gas infrastructure to integrate hydrogen and renewable gases, “eliminating tariffs for cross-border interconnections and reducing tariffs at injection points”.
The Commission is also seeking to create rules for cross-border hydrogen networks and detailed provisions to facilitate the blending of hydrogen with natural gas and renewable gases, which they believe would “provide greater regional cooperation with regard to gas quality and improve cooperation to combat cyber-attacks on EU energy networks”.
According to the text, the market rules would be implemented in two phases, before and after 2030.
In addition, one of the essential requirements put on the table by the EC is that member states explicitly make “storage part of their security of supply risk assessments, both at national and regional level”.
The incorporation of renewable gas would therefore lead to the creation of a new European Network of Network Operators for Hydrogen (ENNOH) to promote dedicated hydrogen infrastructure, cross-border coordination and construction of interconnector networks, and develop specific technical standards.
Source: El periódico de la energía