Key Taxonomy criteria for electricity generation from fossil gaseous fuels are laid down in section 4.29 of the Annex I to Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2021/2139 of 4 June 2021 supplementing Regulation (EU) 2020/852 of the European Parliament and of the Council by establishing the technical screening criteria for determining the conditions under which an economic activity qualifies as contributing substantially to climate change mitigation or climate change adaptation and for determining whether that economic activity causes no significant harm to any of the other environmental objectives (as amended by Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2022/1214 of 9 March 2022 amending Delegated Regulation (EU) 2021/2139 as regards economic activities in certain energy sectors and Delegated Regulation (EU) 2021/2178 as regards specific public disclosures for those economic activities) - see below.
4.29. Electricity generation from fossil gaseous fuels
Description of the activity
Construction or operation of electricity generation facilities that produce electricity using fossil gaseous fuels. This activity does not include electricity generation from the exclusive use of renewable non-fossil gaseous and liquid fuels as referred to in Section 4.7 of this Annex and biogas and bio-liquid fuels as referred to in Section 4.8 of this Annex.
The economic activities in this category may be associated with several NACE codes, notably D35.11 and F42.22 in accordance with the statistical classification of economic activities established by Regulation (EC) No 1893/2006.
An economic activity in this category is a transitional activity as referred to in Article 10(2) of Regulation (EU) 2020/852 where it complies with the technical screening criteria set out in this Section.
Technical screening criteria
Substantial contribution to climate change mitigation
1. The activity meets either of the following criteria:
(a) the life-cycle GHG emissions from the generation of electricity using fossil gaseous fuels are lower than 100 g CO2e/kWh.
Life-cycle GHG emissions are calculated based on project-specific data, where available, using Recommendation 2013/179/EU or, alternatively, using ISO 14067:2018 or ISO 14064-1:2018.
Quantified life-cycle GHG emissions are verified by an independent third party.
Where facilities incorporate any form of abatement, including carbon capture or use of renewable or low-carbon gases, that abatement activity complies with the criteria set out in the relevant Section of this Annex, where applicable.
Where the CO2 that would otherwise be emitted from the electricity generation process is captured for the purpose of underground storage, the CO2 is transported and stored underground, in accordance with the technical screening criteria set out in Sections 5.11 and 5.12 of this Annex.
(b) facilities for which the construction permit is granted by 31 December 2030 comply with all of the following:
(i) direct GHG emissions of the activity are lower than 270g CO2e/kWh of the output energy, or annual direct GHG emissions of the activity do not exceed an average of 550kgCO2e/kW of the facility’s capacity over 20 years;
(ii) the power to be replaced cannot be generated from renewable energy sources, based on a comparative assessment with the most cost-effective and technically feasible renewable alternative for the same capacity identified; the result of this comparative assessment is published and is subject to a stakeholder consultation;
(iii) the activity replaces an existing high emitting electricity generation activity that uses solid or liquid fossil fuels;
(iv) the newly installed production capacity does not exceed the capacity of the replaced facility by more than 15 %;
(v) the facility is designed and constructed to use renewable and/or low-carbon gaseous fuels and the switch to full use of renewable and/or low-carbon gaseous fuels takes place by 31 December 2035, with a commitment and verifiable plan approved by the management body of the undertaking;
(vi) the replacement leads to a reduction in emissions of at least 55 % GHG over the lifetime of the newly installed production capacity;
(vii) where the activity takes place on the territory of a Member State in which coal is used for energy generation, that Member State has committed to phase-out the use of energy generation from coal and has reported this in its integrated national energy and climate plan referred to in Article 3 of Regulation (EU) 2018/1999 of the European Parliament and of the Council (1) or in another instrument.
Compliance with the criteria referred to in point 1(b) is verified by an independent third party. The independent third-party verifier has the necessary resources and expertise to perform such verification. The independent third party verifier does not have any conflict of interest with the owner or the funder, and is not involved in the development or operation of the activity. The independent third party verifier carries out diligently the verification of compliance with the technical screening criteria. In particular, every year the independent third party publishes and transmits to the Commission a report:
(a) certifying the level of direct GHG emissions referred to in point 1(b)(i);
(b) where applicable, assessing whether annual direct GHG emissions of the activity are on a credible trajectory to comply with the average threshold over 20 years referred to in point 1(b)(i);
(c) assessing whether the activity is on a credible trajectory to comply with point 1(b)(v).
When undertaking the assessment referred to in point 1(b), the independent third party verifier takes into account in particular the planned annual direct GHG emissions for each year of the trajectory, realised annual direct GHG emissions, planned and realised operating hours, and planned and realised use of renewable or low carbon gases.
On the basis of the reports transmitted to it, the Commission may address an opinion to the relevant operators. The Commission shall take those reports into account when performing the review referred to in Article 19(5) of Regulation (EU) 2020/852.
2. The activity meets either of the following criteria:
(a) at construction, measurement equipment for monitoring of physical emissions, such as those from methane leakage, is installed or a leak detection and repair programme is introduced;
(b) at operation, physical measurement of emissions are reported and leak is eliminated.
3. Where the activity blends fossil gaseous fuels with gaseous or liquid biofuels, the agricultural biomass used for the production of the biofuels complies with the criteria laid down in Article 29, paragraphs 2 to 5, of Directive (EU) 2018/2001 while forest biomass complies with the criteria laid down in Article 29, paragraphs 6 and 7, of that Directive.
Do no significant harm (‘DNSH’)
(2) Climate change adaptation
The activity complies with the criteria set out in Appendix A to this Annex.
(3) Sustainable use and protection of water and marine resources
The activity complies with the criteria set out in Appendix B to this Annex.
(4) Transition to a circular economy
(5) Pollution prevention and control
The activity complies with the criteria set out in Appendix C to this Annex.
Emissions are within or lower than the emission levels associated with the best available techniques (BAT-AEL) ranges set out in the latest relevant best available techniques (BAT) conclusions, including the best available techniques (BAT) conclusions for large combustion plants.
No significant cross-media effects occur.
For combustion plants with thermal input greater than 1 MW but below the thresholds for the BAT conclusions for large combustion plants to apply, emissions are below the emission limit values set out in Annex II, part 2, to Directive (EU) 2015/2193.
(6) Protection and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems
The activity complies with the criteria set out in Appendix D to this Annex.
Regulation (EU) 2018/1999 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2018 on the Governance of the Energy Union and Climate Action, amending Regulations (EC) No 663/2009 and (EC) No 715/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council, Directives 94/22/EC, 98/70/EC, 2009/31/EC, 2009/73/EC, 2010/31/EU, 2012/27/EU and 2013/30/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council, Council Directives 2009/119/EC and (EU) 2015/652 and repealing Regulation (EU) No 525/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ L 328, 21.12.2018, p. 1)