Yesterday, the EU Member States voted to invest almost €800 million in key European energy infrastructure projects with major cross-border benefits. The EU funding comes from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), the European support programme for trans-European infrastructure.
“Today’s approved list showcases that Energy Union is an efficient tool to modernise and green our economies, to make them future proof in line with climate and environmental goals”, affirmed Commission Vice-President in charge of the Energy Union, Maroš Šefčovič.
The priority is to increase competitiveness, enhance the EU’s security of energy supply through the promotion of safe, secure and efficient network operation, and contribute to sustainable development and environmental protection. Creating a connected, modern energy grid represents a crucial element of the Energy Union.
Specially, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete congratulated for the support given to the Baltic electricity synchronisation project, “which will help materialise the Baltic States’ ambition to integrate their electricity system with continental Europe and improve security of supply in the Baltic region.”
This vote concerns CEF financial aid for studies and works for a total of 14 projects: 7 for electricity, 2 for smart grids, 2 for CO2 cross-border transportation and 3 for gas. The proposed CEF-Energy funding amounts to almost €800 million, with electricity and smart grids accounting for €504 million, €9.3 million to support studies on the development of a CO2 transport infrastructure; and €286 allocated to the gas sector. This current call for proposals (2018-20) was launched in June and closed on October 11th 2018.
“With almost two thirds of today’s investment decision devoted to electricity, we are delivering on our promise to align EU funding with our political ambition to deliver the clean energy transition”, added Cañete.
The CEF has a total budget of €5.35 billion for trans-European energy infrastructure for the period 2014-2020. In order to be eligible for a grant, a proposal has to be ‘a project of common interest’ (PCI). When completed, the projects will each result in significant benefits for at least two Member States, enhance security of supply, contribute to market integration, and enhance competition, as well as reduce CO2 emissions. The Union-wide list of Projects of Common Interest is updated every two years. The latestPCI list was published by the Commission in November 2017. The CEF-Energy already granted €647 million to 34 projects in 2014, €366 million to 35 projects in 2015, €707 million to 27 projects in 2016, and €873 million to 17 projects in 2017.