The energy transition in Europe is happening. There are a number of challenges but they are being addressed in different ways. From biofuels, sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) to carbon labelling and hydrogen, a whole variety of solutions are being tested out. According to the International Energy Agency, a range of operational, technical and behavioral solutions will be required to cut aviation emissions from 2025 onwards, to reduce them to just over 780 MtCO2 by 2030 and around 470 MtCO2 by 2040 — in line with the net zero emissions pathway.
The EU Hydrogen Strategy is the centre of debates on where, when and how hydrogen can best support the EU’s energy transition goals. One of them aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) to 80-95% below 1990 levels by 2050.
As the EU energy transition progresses, the European energy system will decentralize and increase in complexity. In terms of power and heat generation, the EU Taxonomy Complementary Delegated Act and its technical screening criteria would need to accompany this development and enable the financing of investments into large-scale, low-carbon, non-intermittent and dispatchable power and heat generation assets (including CHP) to enable and accelerate the integration of more renewable energies while improving system resilience.
The European Commission should be commended for delivering a delegated act respecting the Taxonomy Regulation and provide for a transitionary and enabling role of natural gas related activities in the EU Taxonomy.François-Régis Mouton, Regional Director, IOGP Europe
“The technical criteria set for gas are extremely challenging given the current technological reality and risk including natural gas in name only. This could slow down the much-needed contribution gases can make to a successful European energy transition” said François-Régis Mouton, Regional Director, IOGP Europe.
According to IOGP Europe, failure to effectively include gas-related activities would leave Member States that choose to phase out baseload capacity such as coal and/or nuclear plants with no scalable and flexible solution to support a rising share of variable renewables, and put their secure supply of power and heat at risk.
The gas industry trusts financial investors seeking to accelerate the energy transition to be pragmatic and realistic when considering the application of the thresholds set out in today’s published delegated act.
The technical screening criteria and the 2035 target for full switch to renewable or low-carbon gases will need to be addressed in the review process further down the line, otherwise the necessary investments are unlikely to materializeRégis Mouton, Regional Director, IOGP Europe
When replacing coal power plants Combined Cycle Gas Turbines (CCGTs) cut emissions by half, while the remaining emissions can effectively be tackled in the longer term through co-firing of low- carbon gases and capture and storage of carbon dioxide (CCS).