The European Commission has released a gas decarbonisation legislative package. It addresses the challenge of integrating renewable and low-carbon gases in the existing gas market. This is welcome news for the forest fibre and paper industry. Our sector is already investing massively in greening its energy sourcing and is, with a 62% share of its energy, the largest industrial producer and consumer of renewable energy in Europe.
The package is to tackle regulatory barriers to the development of a market for low-carbon and renewable gases, including the certification of new low-carbon gases. Biogas, biomethane, synthetic methane and hydrogen are such alternatives to natural gas, the package offers a pathway for its progressive phase-out until 2050.
The forest fibre and paper industry welcomes the plans to ease access to all affordable renewable and decarbonised gases to address its energy needs. In the short term, the gas package should stave off what is often pointed as a factor for the current energy crunch, the low degree of circulation of gas across certain European borders, which needs to be facilitated. The creation of a liquid and competitive gas market is crucial. To this end, tariffs for cross-border interconnections and lowering tariffs at injection points must be removed.
For all paper, pulp and recycling mills, access to existing distribution networks should be facilitated by the new legislation. This will further support our sector which sees huge decarbonisation opportunities for development under the EU Green Deal. Particularly, bioeconomy actors such as the forest fibre and paper sector have the potential to produce biogas on-site to decarbonise their heat production, energy use and to offer solutions to other sectors.
“For an industry offering renewable and recycled products, it is essential that the energy powering our processes is increasingly clean. This allows us to live up to the promise of the bioeconomy. Companies in our sector have consistently invested in energy efficiency and renewable energy over the past decades, at levels unmatched by other manufacturing sectors in Europe. Acting progressively as prosumers of renewable energy, we can also help other sectors, such as mobility, housing, and other industries and society to decarbonise.”
Jori Ringman, Cepi General Director