To help create an integrated EU energy market, the European Commission has drawn up a list of 248 projects of common interest (PCIs). These projects may benefit from accelerated licensing procedures, improved regulatory conditions, and access to financial support totalling €5.85 billion from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) between 2014 and 2020.
Under the first round of funding €647 million was allocated to PCIs.
The majority of projects involve electricity and gas transmission lines. But the list also features electricity storage projects, underground gas storage projects, LNG terminals, and smart grid projects.
The list of projects is to be updated every two years in order to integrate new projects and remove those that have been completed or deemed unfeasible.
A project of common interest should:
- have a significant impact on the energy markets of at least two EU countries such as by contributing to the integration of their networks
- increase competition in energy markets by offering alternatives to consumers
- enhance the EU's security of supply by allowing countries to receive energy from a greater number of sources
- contribute towards the EU's energy and climate goals, for example by facilitating the integration of renewable energy into the grid.
Benefits for projects
Energy projects on the list can benefit from a number of advantages including:
- accelerated planning and permit granting procedures including a binding three-and-a-half-years' time limit for the granting of a permit
- a single national authority to deal with when it comes to the obtaining of permits
- lower administrative costs for project promoters and authorities resulting from the streamlining of their environmental assessment procedure
- increased transparency and improved public participation: projects will have to conduct public consultations, create information manuals, etc.
- increased visibility for investors resulting from inclusion on the list
- the possibility of receiving financial support under the Connecting Europe Facility
- Regulation on guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure [(EU) No 347/2013]
- Commission delegated act amending the regulation on guidelines [(EU) No 1391/2013]
- Technical information accompanying the Regulation [(EU) No 1391/2013]
- Long-term infrastructure vision for Europe and beyond [COM(2013) 711]
- Overview of projects by country
- Smart Grids Task Force
- Q&A on the projects of common interest and the Connecting Europe Facility for energy
- Guidance for streamlining of environmental assessment procedures for energy infrastructure projects of common interest (PCIs)
ENTSO-e launches its public consultation on the 2014 Ten-Year Network Development Plan (TYNDP). To be eligible for selection as Project of Common Interest, an infrastructure project needs to be included in the TYNDP (10/07/2014 - 20/09/2014)