EU’s new list of energy projects includes 32 gas facilities

(EurActiv, 4 Nov 2019) The EU says it wants to get out of fossil fuels and become climate neutral as soon as possible. But the European Commission’s latest list of energy projects eligible for EU funding nevertheless includes 32 gas projects, including the construction of new LNG terminals, EURACTIV Germany reports.

A document from the European Commission is causing unrest among environmentalists in Brussels. On Thursday (31 October), the EU executive published its latest list of so-called “Projects of Common Interest” (PCI) for energy, which are intended to promote energy security across borders.

“Electricity and smart grids account for more than 70% of the projects, mirroring the increasing role of renewable electricity in the energy system,” the Commission explained in a statement.

By contrast, the number of gas projects “decreased from 53 two years ago to 32, or 21% of all projects on the PCI list,” the EU executive added, saying “this is in line with the role of gas when meeting the EU’s decarbonisation objectives.”

Energy infrastructure projects eligible for EU funding include transmission grids and storage facilities for renewable energies. But, according to environmental campaigners, it also includes 55 natural gas projects, not 32. The discrepancy results from the Commission counting some projects in clusters rather than individually, explains Colin Roche from Friends of the Earth, an environmental organisation.

“The new PCI list mocks the EU’s promises to create a climate-neutral Europe,” he said.

New LNG Terminals for fracked US gas

The gas projects include new LNG terminals in Greece, Cyprus and Poland, as well as two particularly controversial terminals in Krk in Croatia and Shannon in Ireland, where natural gas produced by fracking is expected to be imported from the US to Europe.

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EurActiv, 4 Nov 2019: EU’s new list of energy projects includes 32 gas facilities