Brussels, 21 December 2020 – The European Commission has presented the revision of the Trans-European Networks for Energy (TEN-E) Regulation. With this revision, the Commission aims to ensure that the EU’s energy infrastructure is fully consistent with the EU target to reach climate neutrality by 2050. To reach net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050, Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technologies can play an important role, as they represent a readily available, cost-efficient pathway for the decarbonisation of industrial and energy sectors in the EU.

Following the announcement of the revision, ZEP has sent a letter to Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson, highlighting several issues with the revision – notably the absence of CO2 storage and CO2 transport modalities other than pipeline. Without these, the revision might hinder the development of ongoing and upcoming CCS projects aiming to become operational in this decade. This contradicts the intention of the European Green Deal, which recognised the role of CCS technologies to reach climate neutrality in Europe. Investments in CCS might be at risk of no longer being supported by industry and energy stakeholders.

ZEP stresses the importance of clear definitions of the proposed low-carbon and renewable gases on the basis of thorough and transparent carbon accounting and robust lifecycle analysis.

Dr Graeme Sweeney, Chairman of ZEP, stated: “As we witness the important steps European CCS and CCU projects are taking to move towards becoming operational, it is vital that a supportive policy framework is put in place. The revision of the TEN-E regulation is critical for upcoming CCS projects – enabling all modalities of CO2 transport and including CO2 storage. These policy asks would effectively create a flexible European CO2 infrastructure, to which CO2 emitters can connect to decarbonise their industrial activities in a cost-efficient manner.”

The large-scale deployment of cross-border, European CO2 transport and storage infrastructure is key for the EU to reach its 2050 target. Europe is well positioned to develop such shared CO2 transport and storage infrastructure, where both pipeline and other modalities, such as ship, barge, truck, and rail, will be necessary.

CO2 transport and storage infrastructure is crucial to connect CO2 emitters to permanent geological storage of captured CO2. With secure access to storage sites, more CO2 industrial emitters are likely to invest in capture projects, bringing down the costs of the technologies – sending a strong signal to industry and private investors. CO2 infrastructure can enable clean, competitive energy and industrial sectors, early large-scale clean hydrogen, and deliver significant volumes of carbon emission reductions and removals.