EU-level policy action to facilitate low-carbon gases

The use of gases

The EU has ambitious long-term climate targets.  But solar and wind energy is intermittent and production potential is typically located far from traditional demand centres. To keep the costs of the energy transition low, large scale energy storage and transport will be required. Continued use of gas infrastructure can provide both – but gas consumption will need to transition away from natural (i.e. fossil fuel) gas and towards low-carbon gases such as biomethane and clean hydrogen. Frontier led a study for the European Commission looking into the policies required to facilitate the development of such gases.

Applying insights from past experience

Using our understanding of economics and of the energy sector, we developed a ‘benchmark’ policy framework that would result in the cost-effective deployment of low-carbon gases. In comparing existing EU and Member State policies to the benchmark, we were able to identify a number of additional potential reforms that had till that point not been identified by stakeholders.  

Guiding the Commission’s work plan

Our findings improved the Commission’s evidence base for making new legislative proposals in the area.  It has also prompted the Commission to examine certain topics, such as the regulation of hydrogen infrastructure and the role of gas distribution systems operators, in more detail.