Gas power generation in the EU Taxonomy draft Complementary Delegated Act (DA)
Gas power generation – both as power-only and cogeneration installations – is an essential contributor in the transition towards a climate-neutral energy system and society. In the longer term, gas power plants will provide climate-neutral energy thanks to the use of renewable and low-carbon gases, or in combination with the Carbon Capture Use and Storage technologies.
EUTurbines welcomes the inclusion of gas power generation in the European Commission’s Taxonomy draft complementary DA. However, there are some aspects that should be amended in the final text in order to adequately recognise the role of gas power generation and fully benefit from its contribution to a decarbonised and integrated energy system.
Recognising the contribution to system reliability and grid stability
The replacement of coal installations is an important step to support a fast overall GHG emission reduction. Unfortunately, the draft ignores the other key contribution of gas power plants to the energy transition: 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 renewables are introduced into the energy system. However, the proposal lacks the recognition of the role of gas power plants as backup to enable more intermittent renewables in the system. The technical screening criteria should include the use of gas power plants are back-up in addition to coal-to-gas switching.
Acknowledging the trend towards decentralisation
Given the trend towards a decentralisation of the energy system and the fact that coal-fired power plants are very large installations, it should be acknowledged throughout the technical screening criteria that the replacement may be made by several, smaller facilities in aggregate.
Aligning the ambitions for the use of renewable and low-carbon gases
The compatibility with the co-firing of low-carbon and renewable gases is an important feature, which can be ensured with the equipment of our members – guaranteeing that investments are future-proof. However, the proposed timeline and %-shares deviate from the evolution communicated in the EU Gas Decarbonisation & Hydrogen package (see the graph from the European Commission’s Fact Sheet below) and published national plans on the decarbonisation of gas networks.
A full switch to renewable or low-carbon gases will depend on their availability – and at the moment is not clear that this will happen in the same timeframe as the implementation of the DA. Therefore, meeting the timeline and % share of renewable and low-carbon gases requires a commitment of the EU and Member States to provide the necessary gases in time, as well as periodic reviews and adjustments to the DA to reflect reality (see suggested new Article 2a).
EUTurbines is the only association of European gas and steam turbine manufacturers. Its members are Ansaldo Energia, Baker Hughes, GE Power, MAN Energy Solutions, Mitsubishi Power Europe, Siemens Energy and Solar Turbines. EUTurbines advocates an economic and legislative environment for European turbine manufacturers to develop and grow R&I and manufacturing in Europe and promotes the role of turbine-based power generation in a sustainable, decarbonised European and global energy mix. For more information, please see www.euturbines.eu.