Recast EU directive on gas and hydrogen markets

Briefing 08-02-2024

On 15 December 2021, the Commission adopted a legislative proposal to recast the 2009 EU Gas Directive as part of the proposed hydrogen and decarbonised gas markets package. This reflects the EU's growing climate ambitions, as set out in the European Green Deal and its 'fit for 55' package. The proposal aims to support the decarbonisation of the energy sector by ramping up the production of renewable gases and hydrogen, and facilitating their integration in EU energy networks. The recast directive would refine the principles of the existing Gas Directive and fully extend their scope to cover hydrogen networks. In the European Parliament, the file was referred to the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) in 2022. The committee report was adopted on 9 February 2023 and endorsed at the plenary session of 15 March 2023. The Council adopted its general approach on 28 March 2023. Parliament and Council reached a provisional agreement on 28 November 2023. The agreement envisages separation of gas and hydrogen supply and generation from the operation of transmission networks, thus retaining both the horizontal and vertical unbundling regime. The agreement retains the Commission's proposal that long-term contracts for fossil gas should be phased out by 2049. Parliament and the Council must now approve the provisional agreement. Third edition of a briefing originally written by Alex Wilson. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.