On February 9, 2023, the European Parliament adopted its position on the Gas Decarbonisation Package including the 35 billion cubic metre (bcm) biomethane target, a move welcomed by the European Biogas Association (EBA).
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According to EBA, the Gas Decarbonisation Package adopted by the European Parliament on February 9, 2023, takes stock of the Biomethane Action Plan and includes the requirement for Member States to set up national biomethane (aka renewable natural gas – RNG) strategies and to ensure regional mapping of the highest production potential areas.
This mapping exercise should inform the national strategies and the network planning carried out by the grid operators.
National biomethane strategies shall provide a long-term perspective for the biomethane sector and guidance for investors.
If EU institutions give green light to this proposal, the 35 bcm biomethane target would finally anchor in binding legislation the REPowerEU Plan’s ambition. Based on the reasonable and solid estimation of sustainable feedstock availability, achieving 35 bcm of biomethane in the EU by 2030 would significantly contribute to the security of supply by replacing 20 percent of imported natural gas volumes from Russia before the Ukraine war, explained Giulia Cancian, Secretary General of the EBA.
The EBA also welcomes the adoption of EU-wide rules facilitating an accelerated, steep growth of biomethane integration in the gas network after 2025.
Although essential for biomethane’s cost-effective delivery to consumers, access to the gas network currently represents a challenge for project developers.
The European Parliament’s report improves the European Commission’s proposal on the right to inject, by setting, among other provisions, time limits for delivering the network connection requested by project developers.
However, the EBA regrets, though, that an agreement was not found on provisions addressing the costs of network access for project developers.
A cost-sharing principle with gas network operators would decrease the investment cost for biomethane producers.
Regulatory authorities can be empowered to tailor this principle to national circumstances while monitoring its effectiveness and its limited impact on tariffs.