Brussels – The European Commission’s proposed update of the rules for Europe’s energy networks leaves the dominant role of the gas industry untouched and public money still flowing to dirty gas, said Greenpeace. The Trans-European Energy Networks (TEN-E) regulation sets the rules governing which energy infrastructure projects get public funding, and determines how the gas industry is involved in making those decisions.
The plan maintains the gas industry’s role in the Commission’s funding decisions, through the Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas (ENTSO-G). While the Commission’s proposal excludes subsidies for projects that are exclusively fossil gas, it leaves the door open to funding gas through “smart” grids which could carry fossil gas as well as other fuels in the future, and infrastructure for hydrogen made from fossil fuels.
Silvia Pastorelli, Greenpeace EU climate and energy campaigner, said: “The EU Commission is playing a shell game with the climate emergency, taking money from fossil gas with one hand, then giving it back as support for fossil hydrogen with the other. The EU’s energy network needs an overhaul to prioritise electrification, and public money should only be backing renewables. The Commission had the chance to finally reduce the extraordinary influence of gas companies, and to make energy policy in the public interest, but they’re blowing it.”
ENTSO-G, whose members are directly dependent on the continued use of gas infrastructure, wields considerable influence over the EU’s Projects of Common Interest (PCI) list which determines the allocation of EU funding. In the past, roughly three quarters of EU public funding for gas infrastructure made available through this process directly benefited ENTSO-G members.
Greenpeace and the Fossil Free Politics campaign are calling for ending this kind of conflict of interest and the preferential treatment of the fossil fuel industry in EU climate and energy policy.
Note to Editors:
 The Trans-European Energy Networks regulation was first established in 2013 and is at the heart of European energy infrastructure planning as it decides what projects to support, including the Projects of Common Interest (PCI).
Silvia Pastorelli, Greenpeace EU climate and energy campaigner, +32 496 12 20 94
Greenpeace EU press desk: +32 (0)2 274 1911, firstname.lastname@example.org
For breaking news and comment on EU affairs: www.twitter.com/GreenpeaceEU