Europex response to the CEER Public Consultation on Regulatory Challenges for a Sustainable Gas Sector

Brussels, 17 May 2019 | Europex is pleased to contribute to the present consultation on a sustainable gas sector and welcomes the associated stakeholder dialogue. We are convinced that gas will continue to play an important role in the future energy mix as a flexible source of energy, able to compensate for the growing share of intermittent renewable sources and to act as a large-scale energy carrier.

In view of the EU’s 2030 and 2050 climate and energy goals, it is clear that the gas sector will have toundergo a transformation process and that renewable and decarbonised gases will play an increasingly important role in the future gas mix.

Making the energy transition a success requires cross-sectoral cooperation and a strategy for an optimised and cost-effective use of resources and infrastructure. A comprehensive sector coupling strategy and an adaptive regulatory framework will be required to do both, addressing the challenges ahead and retaining and optimising the market principles in place.

Sector coupling and sector integration, i.e. the extension to other sectors like heating/cooling, mobility, etc., must go hand in hand. Further connecting the gas and electricity sectors and their infrastructures will help to release more system and grid flexibility. This enables the integration of a steadily increasing share of renewable energy in the system (“smart increase of electrification” andthe “greening of the gas” at the same time). This flexibility would then also benefit thedecarbonisation efforts in the other sectors as more options will be available.

It is of great importance that any changes to the regulatory framework for gas take into account the reality of physics and traded gas markets which can and do differ from the characteristics of the electricity market. Therefore, not all principles applied in the Clean Energy Package are necessarily applicable to the gas sector and should be carefully assessed before being ‘mirrored’.

The stepwise liberalisation of the European gas market over the past twenty years has brought great benefits for European consumers. The well-functioning of the established wholesale gas market must be maintained and existing rules should be consistently implemented before considering changes to the market design.

Please see the full consultation response attached.