The 15th Energy Community Gas Forum hailed the recent progress achieved by the Contracting Parties in the implementation of the gas acquis, especially the accelerated pace of gas market reforms in Ukraine. The Forum, which took place virtually on 30 September and 1 October, urged the Contracting Parties to finalise certification of their transmission system operators as a precondition for efficient market functioning and make their gas markets fit for the transition to a decarbonized economy.
On the table were also first actions of the Contracting Parties on the utilisation of new gases with low or zero carbon emissions. The change is driven by distribution system operators, which are consequently gaining more attention in the Energy Community. The Forum stressed the importance of an early and enabling regulatory framework for hydrogen, including blending rules. The engagement of the Contracting Parties in combating methane leakage was particularly praised.
During his opening speech, Director Kopač stressed: “The past twelve months saw more progress than the past several years in terms of gas acquis implementation across the different Contracting Parties. Ukraine’s gas market reform has and will have a spill-over effect across the EU and the Energy Community, especially in terms of increasing market integration.” Director Kopač also welcomed progress in the implementation of binding gas network codes, although he underscored that it is not at a desirable level yet. “As the network codes have to be applied at all interconnection points between the EU and the Energy Community, the two remaining EU Member States need to step up their efforts in order to ensure symmetrical implementation, thus boosting real Pan-European gas market integration. Full market integration is a precondition for the next task ahead of us - decarbonisation.” stressed the Director.