Using existing gas infrastructure
An essential point is a technology-open and neutral commitment to the integration and transport of renewable and low-carbon gases in the existing gas infrastructure. The regulation should not only allow the conversion of the gas infrastructure and provide new infrastructure for hydrogen, but should also allow for the retrofitting of existing gas infrastructure for blending and deblending.
Hydrogen production should also be open to technology. Technologies such as pyrolysis plants, which can be operated with biogas or electricity, should be made possible. Gas Connect Austria also recommends lowering the threshold from 100 MW capacity to 50 MW in order to avoid barriers to the absorption of new gases and to promote the development of an emerging market.
Cross-sectoral infrastructure planning
In order to achieve good integration of the energy sector, the criteria for the selection of PCIs should be extended to initiatives that contribute to the objectives of the Regulation and to the EU’s comprehensive climate and energy ambitions, even without a direct physical cross-border link. Since sustainability effects often cannot be attributed to one region of Europe, the very restrictive criteria for the selection of projects should also be relaxed. This would allow more support to be given to projects contributing to the sectoral coupling of energy systems.
The TEN-E Regulation is intended to make the energy transition possible without leaving significant potential untapped. Therefore, the focus should not be solely on renewable hydrogen. In the interests of a gradual transformation and a technology-neutral approach, other ways of producing hydrogen that are currently more cost-effective yet greenhouse gas-reducing should not be excluded.
The full statement from Gas Connect Austria to the EU Commission on the revision of the TEN-E Regulation can be read here: ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/have-your-say/initiatives/12382-Trans-European-energy-infrastructure-revision-of-guidelines/F1965583