Gas power generation in the EU Taxonomy – Our Assessment
At the end of 2021, the European Commission published its long-awaited draft Complementary Delegated Act (DA) on gas and nuclear. EUGINE welcomes the recognition of the importance of gas power generation for the energy transition in this draft complementary DA, which should enable the journey to a climate-neutral energy system and economy.
In the longer term, gas power plants will provide climate-neutral energy thanks to the use of renewable and low-carbon gases. In the shorter term, gas power plants will help to quickly replace high-polluting coal power plants as recognised in the document.
Gas power plants enable the further build-up of renewable energy, while ensuring the stability of the electricity grid and security of supply. This is an increasingly important role as more intermittent energy from renewables is introduced into the system. Unfortunately, the proposal does not acknowledge this essential contribution. The technical screening criteria should include this aspect in addition to the coal-to-gas switching.
In addition, our industry can ensure that gas power plants are technically enabled for the co-firing of renewable and low-carbon gases as mentioned in the draft. However, regarding the required renewable and low-carbon gas quantities, the proposed timeline and percentage shares deviate strongly from the predicted supply volumes communicated in the EU Gas Decarbonisation & Hydrogen package and from the published national plans on the decarbonisation of gas networks. Meeting the mentioned co-firing obligations requires Member States to be far more ambitious in their hydrogen and biogas supply for the energy sector.
Finally, we would like to emphasise that the strong trend towards a decentralised energy system should be better reflected in the text by explicitly clarifying that the replacement of a coal plant can also be done by several smaller facilities at different locations close to the energy demand, adding up to the total capacity to be replaced.
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