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S&Ds: With the gas package we are setting the basis for an EU hydrogen market in the name of climate-neutrality

Date

09 Feb 2023

Sections

Energy

The industry, research and energy committee has adopted its position to enter into interinstitutional negotiations with the EU Council on the so-called gas package - Gas and Hydrogen Directive and Regulation. With the ultimate goal of fighting climate change and boosting energy security, by decarbonising the EU gas market, these proposals aim to facilitate the deployment of renewable and low-carbon gases into the energy system.

Rapporteur of the Gas and Hydrogen directive and S&D member, Jens Geier, said:

"This agreement is the next step towards a climate-neutral Europe. We are setting the foundations for a European hydrogen market that will enable the sustainable transformation of our industry, secure European added value and create jobs in a sustainable economy.

“The European Parliament allows - in contrast to the Commission's proposal - more certainty for investments in the hydrogen infrastructure based on the existing natural gas grid, instead of imposing investment restrictions. We call for joint planning of the infrastructure for gas, hydrogen and electricity in order to better coordinate the energy systems in the future and to promote energy system efficiency. The objective is to use synergies between energy carriers as efficiently as possible and to take into account their interdependencies.

“For end consumers, hydrogen is to be prioritised in sectors that are hard to decarbonise in order to support the transformation of European industry and save greenhouse gas emissions. Facing the current energy crisis, the rights of vulnerable consumers and households in energy poverty will be strengthened, for example by banning disconnections during winter.

“As rapporteur, I am pleased that the agreement in the energy committee has found a broad majority among conservative to progressive MEPs. We now expect the Swedish Presidency to prioritise the negotiations on the gas package and adopt Council position as soon as possible."

S&D spokesperson of the Gas and Hydrogen regulation, Patrizia Toia, commented:

“This vote is a crucial step towards a truly united European gas market, which recognises the necessary synergies with the electricity market, and which also paves the way for a fast uptake of a renewable and low-carbon hydrogen ecosystem. The final aim is to have an integrated energy system that will ensure energy security, affordable price and clean energy sources. 

“We want a gas market that leaves no one behind, where no one has to choose whether to eat or to heat anymore. With today’s vote, we make sure that there will be no disconnection of gas supply in winter times for vulnerable households and people living in energy poverty. In addition, we strengthen and encourage public interventions to lower gas prices to protect vulnerable consumers, especially in extraordinary circumstances, in order to offset the impact of the crisis on energy prices.

“We have reinforced the provisions on joint procurement for gas as well as strengthened transparency on price setting mechanisms to avoid speculative conducts and excessive gas price volatility on energy markets. 

“Coordination, transparency and joint action are key if we want to achieve a truly integrated energy system.”

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