The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union have reached a preliminary agreement on the regulation on the gas and hydrogen package. The new regulations are intended to provide Member States, among other things, with a legal basis to introduce a complete ban on gas imports from Russia, including LNG. They are also expected to contribute to increasing investments in hydrogen.
European parliament and European Union countries reached an agreement on Friday afternoon in Brussels. The gas and hydrogen package includes, among others: legal framework for the development of the hydrogen market in the EU, including special support for its development in mining regions, tariff incentives for investments in biomethane and the legal possibility for EU countries to suspend gas imports from Russia.
“This agreement will bring many benefits to consumers and our planet. It will reduce the consumption of fossil fuels and reduce our dependence on imported fossil fuels. It will enable the transition to renewable energy and increase security of supply. And, importantly, it will protect consumers,” said Teresa, quoted in the release. Ribera Rodriguez, Spanish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Ecological Transformation and Demography. Spain currently holds the Presidency of the Council of the EU.
At the end of November this year. The Council and the European Parliament reached a preliminary agreement on the shape of the directive.
Jerzy Buzek on the agreement on the gas and hydrogen package
– Historic agreement on the regulation of the gas and hydrogen package reached! New regulations on hydrogen, biomethane (tariff), joint gas purchases and legal tools for member states enabling the gradual withdrawal of any gas from Russia – these key points strengthen the EU’s climate goals, energy security and competitiveness – said Jerzy Buzek, former Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland, MEP of the Platform Obywatelska, who took part in the negotiations.
As Buzek emphasized at the meeting with journalists, for the first time EU law explicitly provides for the possibility for an EU country to cut off any gas imports from Russia if it would threaten the country’s security.
The PO MEP explained that the package also includes a ban on gas imports from Russia through the platform for joint purchases of gas and hydrogen. – We have also included the need for the European Union to completely cut off gas imports from Russia on a European scale. (…) We wanted there to be no question of returning to trade with Russia, as it was 5 or 10 years ago, he explained.
Investments in hydrogen
Regarding hydrogen, Jerzy Buzek emphasized that it is the future of energy. – Next to electricity from renewable energy, it will be the second most important energy carrier in the EU. Electricity will be produced from renewable energy, and green hydrogen from this electricity. This hydrogen will be used to store electricity. We can transform it into electricity again at any time using fuel cells. On the other hand, it will also provide the opportunity to launch sea transport, air transport and heavy road transport based on hydrogen devices – said the former Prime Minister.
The MEP noted that hydrogen will also be important for the fertilizer industry and steel production, from which sectors natural gas and coke will be eliminated in the future.
– We have a platform thanks to which it will be possible to buy hydrogen on behalf of the EU also outside its borders. This is an extraordinary benefit for Poland. Probably within 10-15 years we will not produce enough hydrogen to meet our internal needs. Everything must be done to launch this production. Here we have far-reaching financing possibilities from gas infrastructure, especially – he emphasized. Buzek added that it will be possible to use the Just Transition Fund funds in mining regions for investments in hydrogen.
The former prime minister assessed that the production of biomethane will be a great opportunity for Poland, since Poland has the ability to produce 8-10 billion cubic meters per year in the next few or a dozen years. – We need to take advantage of this opportunity – he said.
As we read in the EU Council’s announcement, the preliminary agreement with the European Parliament must now be approved and formally adopted by both institutions.
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