Advertisement

Europe backs measures for future hydrogen and biomethane usage

Members of the European Parliament expressed support for measures that would facilitate the use of hydrogen and so-called renewable natural gas on the bloc's grid. File Photo by European Union/ EP/UPI
1 of 3 | Members of the European Parliament expressed support for measures that would facilitate the use of hydrogen and so-called renewable natural gas on the bloc's grid. File Photo by European Union/ EP/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 9 (UPI) -- Members of the European Parliament on Thursday backed measures that would support the adoption of renewable natural gas and hydrogen into the grid as part of a bloc-wide effort to rely less on fossil fuels.

Members of Parliament said Thursday that a new mechanism is necessary to ensure consumers can choose between fossil fuels or low-carbon alternatives.

Advertisement

The European economy spent much of last year working to lessen the dependency on Russian crude oil and natural gas in order to starve the Kremlin of the revenue it needs to keep fighting in Ukraine.

Much of the bloc depended on Russia for about a quarter of its supplies, though others like Poland relied almost entirely on the country for its natural resources.

By the end of 2030, lawmakers said members of the European Union need to find enough biomethane, otherwise called renewable natural gas, to replace 20% of average Russian gas imports annually.

Member states should eventually phase out fossil fuels altogether, parliament added.

"The fight against climate change and moving away swiftly from all Russian energy sources as a response to the criminal invasion of Ukraine, both require us to accelerate our clean and just energy transition and adapt the market," said Jerzy Buzek, a Polish member of the European Parliament and the nation's former prime minister.

Advertisement

Member states under the terms of the proposals would also be called on to coordinate natural gas purchases to address any emergencies. Elsewhere, lawmakers called for the adoption of a hydrogen market to ensure niche resources can move freely across EU borders.

"The age of hydrogen is coming," Buzek said. "To make it happen in the EU, we need a stable and well-balanced regulatory framework, financial support as well as investments in new infrastructure."

So-called biomethane is derived from the decomposition of organic waste such as dairy cow manure, while hydrogen production comes from splitting either methane (CH4) or water (H2O) into their elemental components.

Members of a parliamentary industry committee on Thursday backed the final text of the measures, which now proceed to full negotiations with the 27 member nations.

Latest Headlines