Proposal for a Directive on common rules for the internal markets in renewable and natural gases and in hydrogen

Author (Corporate)
Series Details COM (2021) 803
Publication Date 15/12/2021
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Legislative initiative tabled by the European Commission on 15 December 2021, seeking to extend the principles of EU legislation that cover gas networks to hydrogen networks. This is a recast of the Directive 2009/73/EC.

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Directive 2009/73/EC - also known as the EU Gas Directive - introduced common rules for the transmission, distribution, supply and storage of natural gas. It concerns natural has, liquefied natural gas (LNG), biogas and gas from biomass.

The European Union (EU) set out the ambition to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, and adopted the European Climate Law to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 55% by 2030. In order to meet that target, the energy system must reduce the use of fossil fuels and increase renewable sources. The effort must include the gas sector.

This draft law seeks to facilitate the penetration of renewable and low-carbon gases into the energy system, enabling a shift from natural gas and to allow for these new gases to play their role towards climate neutrality. It includes provisions on customer engagement and protection in the green gas retail market, hydrogen infrastructure and markets, renewable and low-carbon gas in the existing gas infrastructure and markets, network planning, security of supply and storage.

The proposed Directive was adopted by the European Commission on 15 December 2021. The European Parliament's relevant committee adopted a negotiating position on 9 February 2023. The Council of the European Union adopted its general approach to the draft law on 28 March.

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Commentary and Analysis
EUI: Florence School of Regulation: News, 16/12/2021: A first look at the EU Hydrogen and Decarbonised Gas Markets Package
Linklaters: Publications, 01/02/2022: EU “Fit for 55”: Decarbonising Gas Markets
European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS): Briefing, 11/03/2022: EU directive on gas and hydrogen networks
Climate Action Network (CAN Europe): Position Paper, 04/06/2022: NGO and stakeholder briefing on the EU gas package
The European Files, 11/07/2022: The gas directive, a new approach
Climate Action Network (CAN Europe): Statement, 08/02/2023: Media advisory note: ITRE Committee comes to final decision on EU’s Gas Package and Buildings Directive
Greenpeace: European Unit, 08/02/2023: The EU’s gas package must support people, not polluters
Hydrogen Europe: News, 09/02/2023: ITRE votes for fast transition to H2 infrastructure
S&P Global: Commodity Insights, 09/02/2023: European Parliament backs legislative proposals on uptake of green gases

EurActiv, 15/12/2021: EU paves way for renewable and low-carbon gases to replace fossil fuel
Euronews, 15/12/2021: EU wants to phase out natural gas by 2049 to fight climate change
EurActiv: 09/02/2023: EU’s future hydrogen grid takes shape after Parliament vote
EurActiv, 10/02/2023: EU Parliament backs pro-nuclear definition of ‘low-carbon’ hydrogen

EUR-LEX: SWD(2021)455: Staff Working Document accompanying the Proposal - Impact Assessment Report
EUR-LEX: SWD(2021)456: Staff Working Document accompanying the Proposal - Executive Summary of the Impact Assessment Report
EUR-LEX: SWD(2021)457: Staff Working Document accompanying the Proposal - Evaluation Report
EUR-LEX: SWD(2021)458: Staff Working Document accompanying the Proposal - Executive Summary of the Evaluation Report
European Parliament: Legislative Observatory: Procedure File for Proposal on Gas and hydrogen markets directive (common rules) (2021/0425(COD))
European Parliament: Legislative Train Schedule: Revision of the EU Gas Directive
European Commission: Press Release, 15/12/2021: New EU framework to decarbonise gas markets
Renew Europe EP Group: Newsroom, 09/02/2023: Gas and hydrogen markets: Renew Europe calls for more transparency and improved network planning to enhance energy security, efficiency and affordability in the EU
S&D EP Group: Newsroom, 09/02/2023: S&Ds: With the gas package we are setting the basis for an EU hydrogen market in the name of climate-neutrality
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 28/03/2023: Gas package: member states set their position on future gas and hydrogen market

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