Europe prioritises natural gas in its energy policy

74% of the funds of the ‘CEF Energy’ mechanism, about 1,000 million euros, have been used to boost gas in the old continent.

Almost five years have passed since June 7th, 2012, when Member States of the European Union reached a principle of agreement to implement the “Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). A year before, the Commission had proposed a plan to finance 50,000 million euros in investments aimed at improving European digital, energy and transport networks.

In 2013 it was made public that a large part of this amount, close to 26,000 million euros, would be used to finance actions in nine major transport corridors that Europe had designed. Another important sum, more than 5,350 million euros, was allocated to promote new energy infrastructures in Europe in the same period.

Analyzing the subsidized projects in the first two years of the CEF, it is evident that Europe has opted for natural gas as one of the main sources of energy for the future. Moreover various projects around it have benefited, both from ‘CEF Transport’ and the ‘CEF Energy’.

The ‘CEF Energy’ project has allocated almost 1,000 million euros to gas expansion.

In terms of the European energy policy, in the first part of ‘CEF Energy’ of 2014, for which 637 million euros were financed, most of the funds were used to directly or indirectly promote projects related to natural gas. Specifically, 35.6 million euros were allocated to 12 studies and 412 million euros to the work of four projects.

In 2015, there were two calls for the European mechanism to boost electricity and gas. Once again Europe invested more in the latter. In the first round of the year, 11 projects related to gas were financed for an amount of 80 million euros, compared to 70 million for nine initiatives related to electricity.

The difference was even more pronounced in the second open call in the same year, in which 207 million euros were allocated to nine projects related to gas and only 10 million euros to initiatives linked to electricity.

The energy policy of the Commission has been emphasized again in the first item of the mechanism in 2016, with five “gas” projects that will receive 210 million euros from the Commission and four “electric” projects that will be financed with 53 million euros .

Through this, and without knowing the projects selected in the second call of CEF Energy 2016, which amounts to 600 million euros, Europe has already funded a total of 1,276 million euros under this mechanism. Of these, 74%, a total of 944.6 million euros, have been earmarked for gas expansion. And all this despite the fact that in Europe an argument is present for the development of an optimal energy network involving an investment of 140,000 million euros in electricity and 70,000 million euros in gas.

38 projects in CEF Transport

Within the framework of the European strategy for more sustainable and efficient transport, a total of 38 projects related to natural gas in transport have been chosen to receive funding in the first two calls of the CEF Transport, 14 of them in 2014 and 24 in 2015.

Of the 38 projects related to natural gas in transport chosen to receive financing in the first two calls of the CEF Transport, 12 have Spanish representation.

In addition, three of them have been led by Valenciaport, two by Repsol, two by Gas Natural, one by Enagás and the other by HAM.

The European Commission has recommended an investment of 661,722,755 euros for these 38 proposals, of which 24 include research studies to be carried out, six to infrastructure works and eight to studies and works. For these actions, the body has given its approval to a Community financing of 294,773,001 euros, that is, 44.5% of the investment that the Commission considers appropriate.

Source: Cadena de Suministro