Funds allocated to electricity transmission, electricity storage, smart grids, and renewable energy would be considered to be 100% “climate spending”, as would rail investment and clean urban transport. There would also be incentives for so-called “synergy” projects that impact more than one of the following sectors: transport, energy and digital. This could accelerate investment in smart charging, smart grids, and energy storage.
Samuel Kenny, freight policy officer at T&E, said: “The focus of the Commission's spending plan is exactly right: smart electromobility powered by clean, renewable electricity. Combined with national but also private spending, this plan can help build the infrastructure needed to make the e-mobility revolution happen in Europe.”
However, gas will also be eligible for EU funding and be counted towards the climate spending goals, under the proposal. A 2016 T&E study showed gas vehicles have no meaningful climate benefits compared to conventional vehicles. The report also found biomethane can be a good low-carbon fuel but should be focused on local or regional solutions as it cannot be produced sustainably at the scale required for widespread use.
Samuel Kenny concluded: “It’s worrying that some within the European Commission still seem to think the EU needs to help the gas industry create a market for CNG and LNG vehicles. That makes no sense at all from a climate, air quality or energy security point of view and is, frankly, a waste of public money."