Energy Economy

09 Jan 2022

EU Green Finance Rules to Include Nuclear and Gas Projects

09 Jan 2022  by   

The European Commission will this month decide the parameters for power projects to receive an official “green” designation. The EU hopes that this will help guide private finance toward cleaner energy. Lawmakers have also proposed that the taxonomy would apply to later public finance initiatives.

Ahead of its publication, European Commission documents detailing how gas and nuclear energy could receive green funding have been leakead. Credit: Ernesto Valázquez.

A draft text of the taxonomy published by Euractiv would allow some nuclear and natural gas power plants to receive the “green” label. These projects would be considered “transitional” and not entirely sustainable, but lower than the current average of greenhouse gas emissions.

In a statement, the European Commission said: “Taking account of scientific advice and current technological progress, as well as varying transition challenges across member states, the Commission considers there is a role for natural gas and nuclear as a means to facilitate the transition towards a predominantly renewable-based future.”

The rules would allow nuclear plants with a plan, funds, and a waste disposal site to receive green funding. This would apply to projects with a construction permit issued before 2045.

Projects to extend the lifespan of existing plants would also be eligible for green funding as long as they “include modifications and safety upgrades” in line with modern safety design standards.

Gas plant projects would need to receive construction permits before the end of 2030 to receive the green label. Plant designs would need to produce less that 270g of CO₂ equivalent per kilowatt hour, while allowing the plants to burn low-carbon gases in future. They would also need to demonstrate their ability to displace equivalent coal projects, alongside other requirements.


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