FOR THE MEDIA • May 23, 2022

Group of experts Marcogaz, Eurogas, GERG, GIE and ENTSO-G on the methane regulation

Group of experts Marcogaz, Eurogas, GERG, GIE and ENTSO-G on the regulation of the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union on the reduction of methane emissions in the energy sector.
Polska Spółka Gazownictwa Sp. z o.o. participates in the work of a group of experts from Marcogaz, Eurogas, GERG, Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE) and ENTSO-G for the regulation of the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union on the reduction of methane emissions in the energy sector. The works of experts have been carried out since January 12, 2022 till present day. The expert group consists of representatives of the downstream, midstream, partly from storage gas and upstream gas market value chains. The meetings are attended, among others, by representatives of European Biogas Association (EBA), International Association of Oil and Natural Gas Producers (IOGP) and non-regulated operators. The group of experts brings together over 50 stakeholders. The work of the group of experts creates opportunities for the development of interconnection with other distribution system operators (DSOs) in the EU in order to shape opportunities for the exchange of knowledge, experience, methods and available technologies on the gas market.

The purpose of the work of the expert group is to develop the best possible regulatory and technical recommendations in the proposal Regulation of the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union and amending Regulation (EU) 2019/942 (COM/2021/805 final, COD/2021/0423, 15.12.2021) on the reduction of methane emissions in the energy sector. An important place in the work of the group is also played by the shaping of appropriate norms and technical standards in Europe.

One of the assumptions of the work of the expert group is to conduct a close dialogue with European Parliament, Council of the European Union, European Committee for Standardization and NGOs in the key public consultation process. An example of ongoing activity was, among other workshops and technical sessions with the participation of an expert group of 5 associations, IOGP, Florence School of Regulation, DG ENER in European Commission (EC), EDF, UNEP, IMEO, OGMP 2.0., CATF, national regulators from France and Italy, TSO, DSO and SSO on 13 May 2022 in Brussels.

An important element for the Methane Regulation Expert Group is the ability to build a stakeholder cooperation platform for knowledge in the field of reducing and mitigating the effects of methane emissions in the EU. The assumption is to organize technical sessions with the participation of representatives of the European Commission, the European Parliament and NGOs in order to share knowledge and experience from the current and planned activities of the gas industry. First of all, it is important to emphasize the specificity of the operations of European DSOs to which the scope of the methane regulation relates.

As a member of Marcogaz and a group of experts of 5 associations, we understand the need for such regulation that requires the cooperation of all stakeholders in the approach to the development of definition (source/site-level, measurement, quantification, venting flaring), programs and technologies for monitoring, reporting, verification (MRV) and methane leak detection and repair (LDAR), conditioning of venting and combustion (including flares). It is also important to create an appropriate framework to develop and implement multi-annual plans to mitigate and prevent methane emissions by operators. The pillar of the cooperation of the group of experts is the dialogue between the operators and the European Commission, Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) and national regulatory authorities in the field of costs and gas tariffs and the design of appropriate national and EU financial support programs.

An important element is the admission of quantification for the application of the methane regulation, which takes into account direct measurements, engineering calculations, operator methods, general and specific factors for a given emission source, and simulations. Activities require an appropriate balance in terms of detail and frequency of reporting, both at the source and location of methane emissions. It seems important to allow for prioritization, planning and organization of repairs, which is based on the existing methods of operators and arrangements with national regulatory authorities.

An important element in the joint dialogue is the behavior of, inter alia, the principle of proportionality and avoiding imposing on enterprises, end-users, and society measures with excessive economic and administrative costs, which may have a slight effect on the reduction of methane emissions and environmental protection.

It is worth noting that methane emissions related to the activities of gas system operators, according to Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE, October 19, 2021), accounted for less than 0.5% in 2019. Since 1990, gas system operators, representing around 4% of total European methane emissions, have significantly reduced their methane emissions as a result of the implementation of mitigation measures that relate, inter alia, to programs for the modernization and replacement of gas networks and infrastructure and the implementation of innovative technological solutions. In addition, operators' research and development programs favor. Since 1990, methane emissions have been reduced by at least 61% thanks to the implemented methane mitigation facility.

The involvement of the European distribution industry serves to support the path towards energy security, the reduction of GHG emissions by 2030 and the gradual climate neutrality of the Member States, especially as a credible, sustainability and innovative infrastructure for natural gas (LNG/CNG), low carbon/renewable gas molecules and energy efficiency gains.

1. Gas system operators in joint effort to continue curbing emissions and to support the Global Methane Pledge” (19.10.2021 r.), 

https://www.gie.eu/events1/email/download/2021/Joint_Declaration_CH4_Emissions.pdf  

2. Proposal for a Regulation on: Methane emissions reduction in the energy sector

https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/have-your-say/initiatives/12581-Climate-change-new-rules-to-prevent-methane-leakage-in-the-energy-sector/F3244052_en
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