EU could restrict support for classic gas projects

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The European Union intends to restrict funding for traditional natural gas projects because of the risks they pose to the climate bloc’s climate targets, according to a draft document consulted by Reuters. The Trans-European Energy Infrastructure Regulation (TEN-E) defines which cross-border energy projects can be labeled as “Projects of Common Interest”, which means that they can receive EU funding and emergency permits. Last year, the EU injected nearly a billion euro into such projects, which include energy networks and pipelines, with EU funds co-financed by national governments and the private sector, according to Agerpres.

But as the European Commission wants to reduce Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions, the EU executive also wants to rewrite the TEN-E regulation to make it greener.

A draft Commission document on the TEN-E Regulation, to be published next week, excludes oil and gas infrastructure.

“Given that the volume of future gas demand is projected to decline significantly, in line with the objectives of the Green Pact, gas infrastructures no longer need support through TEN-E policy,” the Reuters document reads.

However, under the new rules, “smart gas grids” could continue to benefit from funding if they support the “integration of renewables and low-carbon gases” into the gas grid. In addition, hydrogen pipelines will also be eligible for funding.

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