Billions to be wasted on ‘unnecessary’ gas projects, study says

(EurActiv, 20 Jan 2020) Europe does not need new gas infrastructure to safeguard security of supply, according to a new study by industry consultants Artelys, which warns that there is a risk of €29 billion being wasted on 32 mostly “unnecessary” gas projects.

The European Parliament’s industry committee will vote on Wednesday (22 January) to reject or approve a proposed list of energy projects eligible to receive EU funding.

The so-called fourth EU list of Projects of Common Interests (PCI) was presented by the European Commission on 31 October. It contains 151 energy infrastructure projects, 70% of which are related to electricity and smart grids.

But a study by consulting firm Artelys for the European Climate Foundation says “most” of the 32 gas projects in the PCI list may be “unnecessary”.

“Existing EU gas infrastructure is sufficiently capable of meeting a variety of future gas demand scenarios in the EU28, even in the event of extreme supply disruption cases,” the study argues.

“This suggests that most of the 32 gas infrastructure projects on the 4th PCI list are unnecessary from a security of supply point of view, and represent a potential overinvestment of tens of billions of euros, supported by European public funds,” it said.

Projects on the PCI list are eligible to receive EU taxpayers’ money through the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), which can cover up to 50% of the costs for an eligible project.

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EurActiv, 20 Jan 2020: Billions to be wasted on ‘unnecessary’ gas projects, study says