Unveiling the Costs of Future Fossil Gas Infrastructure

The Trans European Energy Infrastructure regulation (TEN-E), defining the criteria and infrastructure categories for Projects of Common Interest (PCIs), is under revision. This briefing looks at both the ongoing revision process and the costs of the current PCI list (the fifth list) still governed by previous TEN-E rules.

It addresses the elephant in the room as it finds that fossil gas candidate projects on the fifth PCI list, up for selection by the end of the year, will cost more than €41billion. This stands in stark contrast with claims made at the highest political level that PCI projects need to support the “European Green Deal”. It is difficult to understand how this “European Green Deal” proofing can happen when billions of heavy fossil gas projects continue to be submitted to the PCI list and current but also future TEN-E criteria, such as sustainability, are not given number one priority.

To provide context to the revision of the TEN-E regulation we investigate the costs of the concurrent fifth PCI list process as well as using this candidate list to provide real examples of the ways in which the TEN-E revision may or may not be able to deliver a stop to continued funding for fossil gas projects in Europe.

Read the full briefing here.

Our analysis shows that loopholes for fossil gas under the fifth list, and the TEN-E revision, if not done right, could continue to channel millions into unneeded gas infrastructure and the fossil gas sector at large. We therefore urge policy makers to exclude all fossil gas projects from the current PCI list and deliver a TEN-E revision that ensures future PCI lists are fossil gas free – helping achieve a phase out of fossil gas in Europe by 2035 and limiting temperature increase to 1.5°C.

The economic data in this briefing has been taken from ENTSOG’s TYNDP assessment, supplemented with information provided by the project promoters during the April 2021 Regional PCI Meetings. The data might be an underestimation of the full impacts of each project.

Analysis of the ENTSOG TYNDP 2020 data shows that over 41billion (including OPEX and CAPEX) could be invested into fossil gas infrastructure across Europe. Infrastructure that is neither necessary, economically viable, nor climate-compatible.

You can find our Food & Water Action Europe comments on the insufficient sustainability assessment of these candidate projects here and the need for these projects here.