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Shift to hydrogen networks: EU Parliament adopts laws for new gas era

(EurActiv, 11 Apr 2024) The European Parliament adopted a new set of laws on Thursday (11 April) to transition Europe’s gas markets and infrastructure to hydrogen and pave the way for the eventual creation of an independent hydrogen grid development body.

In late 2021, the EU kickstarted an overhaul of its gas governance to get the bloc ready for a future where gas is phased out – and hydrogen phased in. A set of new laws will govern whether legacy gas companies can run both businesses at the same time – and who will take charge of planning the grid.

“We are taking yet another step towards the energy transition,” said Jerzy Buzek, erstwhile Polish prime minister and centre-right lawmaker who co-led the negotiations on the twin laws making up the gas package.

“The new regulation will transform the current energy market into one based primarily on two sources – green electricity and green gases,” he stressed. 

Fundamentally, the adopted gas package – backed by a broad majority of up to 447 lawmakers with 90 against – gives more legal certainty to would-be hydrogen grid investors, while targeting a better coordination of future network planning.

The law lays “the legal foundations for a European hydrogen market, marking the beginning of the phase-out of natural gas,” said Jens Geier, a German centre-left lawmaker who co-led the negotiations. 

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EurActiv, 11 Apr 2024: Shift to hydrogen networks: EU Parliament adopts laws for new gas era