Barriers to sector-coupling and deployment of renewable gases in the EU

Barriers to sector-coupling and deployment of renewable gases in the EU

The European Commission published a Frontier study on regulatory barriers to linking the gas and electricity sectors, as well as  deploying renewable and low-carbon gases in the EU.

The current energy system is likely to see increasing use of electricity, and in particular from renewable sources, to meet the EU’s (and individual Member States’) climate targets. Previous Frontier work has shown how continued use of existing gas infrastructure can reduce the costs of this transition by providing options for large-scale seasonal energy storage and energy transportation. But for gas infrastructure to have a role, it is essential that gas supplies become increasingly renewable and low-carbon.  Examples of such gas sources are biogas, biomethane and hydrogen produced from renewable electricity through electrolysis or from natural gas (through steam reformation).

Frontier led a study for the European Commission looking into possible regulatory barriers and gaps to the deployment of these low carbon technologies, and solutions to address them.

Our findings touch on a number of issues of relevance for all players in the electricity and gas sectors, including:

  • Ensuring the value of the low-carbon or renewable characteristics of ‘new’ gases, as well as of any potential innovation spillovers, is captured by relevant stakeholders;
  • The importance of taxes, levies and grid tariffs in creating a level playing field between technologies;
  • Suggestions for how market design could evolve to cater for increasingly decentralised and low-carbon production of gases;
  • The need for clarity on access to infrastructure; and
  • The benefits of increased co-ordination in infrastructure planning and decommissioning decisions.

Frontier regularly advises clients on EU energy policy in the gas and electricity sectors.

For more information, please contact or call +44 (0) 20 7031 7000


Potentials of sector coupling for decarbonisation - final report