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Commissioner for Energy Simson responds to biomethane imports issue

In March this year, the WBA along with other 45 organisations wrote to the European Commission (EC) calling for urgent action to ensure the full recognition of imported biomethane and biomethane-based fuels in the Union Database.

On 14 May, WBA received a response from Kadri Simson, the European Commissioner for Energy, which overall  indicates that the EC has formally acknowledged the issue and is considering cooperation agreements with neighbouring countries covered by the EU-integrated infrastructure. The letter also unfortunately confirms that maritime-connected countries will be considered at a second stage.

Please find below the key elements of this letter:

  • Confirmation that the launch of the Union Database for gaseous fuels will be 21 November 2024. Confirmation that there is a need to trace mass balancing through the sustainability system of the Union Database (to count towards EU targets), hence a need to align with EU legal requirements, including for third countries 
  • […] the Union database will support the sustainability certification of renewable gaseous fuels by covering whole EU-integrated infrastructure at a first stage with the possibility of extending traceability upon request to the EU’s neighbouring countries that are covered by the integrated infrastructure (including the UK, Ukraine and others)”. EC’s work with some of these neighbouring countries has already started.
  • Reminder that for third countries either not covered by the integrated infrastructure or for which there is currently no cooperation agreement (referring to the above bullet point), the sustainability certification of renewable gases is still possible if there is a direct connection between the renewable gas production installation and the processing installations (e.g. liquefaction or biomethanol production) and provided that the certification of such installations is proving no double counting elsewhere.

The WBA will continue engaging with the European Commission and the national governments of key biogas markets affected to support a timely resolution.

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