29 November 2023
COGEN Europe welcomes the provisional political agreement between the European Parliament and the Council of the EU, which should lead to the formal adoption of a new EU directive that will facilitate the uptake of renewable and low-carbon gases including hydrogen.
This week it was announced that negotiators from the Council of the EU and the European Parliament have succeeded in reaching a provisional political agreement on the content of a new EU Directive that will establish rules for the European Union’s internal markets in renewable and natural gases and in hydrogen, based on a proposal that was issued by the European Commission nearly two years ago.
The new Directive is part of the hydrogen and gas markets decarbonisation package or 'Green Gas Package', which was announced by the European Commission on 15 December 2021. The package is intended to create a regulatory framework for dedicated hydrogen infrastructure and markets and integrated network planning, as well as strengthening security of supply and setting rules to protect consumers.
The provisional agreement announced this week covers the respective roles of Transmission System Operators (TSOs) and Distribution System Operators (DSOs) for hydrogen, the rights of consumers and the protection of vulnerable customers, and the importance of network development plans for hydrogen, electricity and natural gas. These plans should support sector integration, apply the 'energy efficiency first' principle and prioritise the use of hydrogen in hard-to-decarbonise sectors.
Speaking on behalf of COGEN Europe, Hans Korteweg (Managing Director) commented: "We welcome the progress that has been achieved so far in relation to the Green Gas Package. Furthermore, we support an ambitious approach to the decarbonisation of the gas sector by prioritising the rapid uptake of renewable and low-carbon gases including biogas, biomethane and clean hydrogen - and ensuring that these gases are used as efficiently as possible."
"We hope that the upcoming Directive and Regulation will provide the European Union and its Member States with a framework to foster the availability and affordability of renewable and low-carbon gases, and to support an approach based on locally integrated energy systems in order to unlock the potential for utilising renewable and decarbonised gases in all sectors."
"Within this framework, we believe that cogeneration should be prioritised in order to ensure the most energy-efficient and cost-effective use of renewable and decarbonised gases in industry, district heating and buildings. Cogeneration technologies have a vital role to play in bridging supply and demand, reducing the strain on electricity grids, and delivering emission reductions."
Hydrogen and decarbonised gas market package - European Commission
Commission proposes new EU framework to decarbonise gas markets, promote hydrogen and reduce methane emissions - European Commission (15 December 2021)
Internal markets in renewable and natural gases and in hydrogen: Council and Parliament reach deal - Council of the EU (28 November 2023)