Energy infrastructure: MEPs reach agreement with Council | Atualidade

The bill sets out the criteria and methodology for selecting energy projects of common interest (PCI), such as high voltage transmission lines, pipelines, energy storage facilities or smart grids, which would benefit of accelerated administrative procedures and would be eligible to receive EU funds. The aim is to align existing regulations with the objectives of the Union’s Green Deal.

Boost hydrogen, eliminate natural gas

During the negotiations, MEPs supported the inclusion of financing for the development of hydrogen infrastructure as well as carbon capture and storage. Eligible projects should also promote market integration and increase security of supply, says the agreed text.

The selected projects should help EU countries move away from solid fossil fuels such as coal, lignite, peat and oil shale. MEPs have secured funding for projects that reallocate existing natural gas infrastructure to transport or store hydrogen during a transition period. These projects would be eligible to receive EU financial support until December 31, 2027.

MEPs also obtained a stronger stakeholder involvement in the process of planning cross-border infrastructure and selection of PCIs and a wider representation of the different sectors in the consultations. They also lobbied to boost offshore renewable energy projects and facilitate their integration into EU grids with the aim of meeting the EU’s climate neutrality goals and the 300 GW target.

End the energy isolation of Cyprus and Malta

Projects based on natural gas will no longer be eligible for EU funding. However, a temporary derogation will allow Cyprus and Malta to each have a hydrogen-ready gas project funded to connect them to the EU grid, under strict conditions.

Consumers should not be penalized

MEPs reaffirmed that eligible projects must comply with the principle of ‘energy efficiency first’, which states that saving energy is the easiest way to save money for consumers and to save money. reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The cost of projects will have to ensure that consumers are not disproportionately overburdened, especially if this can lead to fuel poverty.

Finally, the legislation will not affect the right of a country to determine how to use its energy resources and to define its own energy mix.

Quote

“We succeeded in reaching a balanced agreement in accordance with our mandate. We not only improve the infrastructure planning process, but we also encourage new types of projects of common interest, in line with climate goals. The revised TEN-E framework will encourage investments in hydrogen and CO2 networks, as well as the development of offshore networks, ”said Senior MEP Zdzisław Krasnodębski (ECR, PL).

Next steps

The informal agreement will now have to be formally approved by Parliament and Council to enter into force. The Industry, Research and Energy Committee will vote on the text on January 26, 2022.

Fund

In its resolution of 10 July 2020, the Parliament called for a revision of the regulation on trans-European energy networks (TEN-E), which defines the EU guidelines for cross-border energy infrastructure and describes the process for selecting projects. of common interest (PCI). In December 2020, the Commission adopted a proposal to revise the TEN-E regulation.

PCIs are infrastructure projects considered essential to achieve the EU’s energy objectives, including better interconnection between national markets, greater competitiveness, security of supply and the promotion of renewable energies.


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