Following intense trilogue negotiations in the night of the December 14, the EU institutions reached a provisional agreement on aligning the Trans-European Networks for Energy (TEN-E) Regulation with the Green Deal objectives. The TEN-E agreement includes carbon dioxide (CO2) storage as well as CO2 transport modalities other than pipelines – such as shipping, rail or truck transport.
Both measures are crucial for advancing carbon management projects and achieving European decarbonization targets.
“We are thrilled to see CO2 storage and CO2 transport modalities included in the TEN-E,” said Lee Beck, International Director, Carbon Capture at the Clean Air Task Force. “There is unprecedented commercial activity in Europe with more than 60 projects under development. Carbon management projects are vital for sectors and industries that have limited options for decarbonization – the new TEN-E will encourage more and more projects to pop up across the continent.”
The Regulation focuses on cross-border energy infrastructure and establishes criteria for the selection of Projects of Common Interest (PCI), eligible to receive EU funds and policy support.
CATF, together with Bellona, led the #TenETuesday campaign calling for the legislation to include both CO2 storage and transport modalities.
CATF strongly welcomes the inclusion of CO2 storage and transport modalities in the compromise reached in trilogue. The inclusion of CO2 storage is crucial for the timely development of carbon capture and storage projects and to reach the EU decarbonisation objectives. Only with geologic storage of CO2 can emissions be avoided and the benefit to climate mitigation be achieved. Europe has enough storage capacity to match its climate ambitions, but, since storage is not distributed evenly across EU Member States, cross-border cooperation will be essential to all countries to have access to CO2 storage as enable access to carbon capture and carbon removal technologies as decarbonization options.
On transport, it is equally important that the EU legislation includes the full range of CO2 transportation modalities such as ship, truck, train and barge as well as connecting and/or docking facilities. In the projects currently in development in Europe, shipping has been especially important. Indeed, some projects which the EU has proposed to be designated as Projects of Common Interest are inherently reliant on non-pipeline transport, such as Dartagnan, the Northern Lights Project, and the EU CCS Interconnector in Poland. The four carbon capture projects recently selected for support under the EU’s Innovation Fund will also all require ship transport to link to CO2 storage sites and, in the case of Eqiom’s cement decarbonisation project in France, transportation by rail to the port is envisaged.
However, the new TEN-E agreement is just the first step toward a more comprehensive carbon capture and storage strategy. “Policymakers must develop policies to scale CO2 storage sufficiently to meet climate ambition. We estimate that that, in the absence of additional incentives to develop at-scale CO2 storage, Europe will face a 40% shortage of CO2 storage in relation to demand”, said Beck.
Only a clear carbon capture and storage strategy, with actions points and timelines matching the European decarbonisation plan, would ensure that carbon capture and storage is efficiently and coherently developed and deployed in Europe.
“The new TEN-E agreement is a very positive step, but we need a specific and comprehensive EU strategy for carbon capture and storage in order to ensure the appropriate development of CO2 infrastructure, the coordination needed between the relevant EU policies, the identification of barriers, and the actions needed to address them”, said Alessia Virone, CATF’s EU Affairs Director.
Following the trilogue agreement, the revised TEN-E needs to receive the final green light from the Member States and to be officially voted through in plenary. It will enter into force in 2023.
Rowan Emslie, Communications Director, EU, [email protected], +32 476-97-36-42
About Clean Air Task Force
Clean Air Task Force (CATF) is a global nonprofit organization working to safeguard against the worst impacts of climate change by catalyzing the rapid development and deployment of low-carbon energy and other climate-protecting technologies. With 25 years of internationally recognized expertise on climate policy and a fierce commitment to exploring all potential solutions, CATF is a pragmatic, non-ideological advocacy group with the bold ideas needed to address climate change. CATF has offices in Boston, Washington D.C., and Brussels, with staff working virtually around the world.