PCI examples and their benefits
The Trans-European Networks for Energy (TEN-E) strategy covers nine priority corridors and three priority thematic areas across the EU.
These corridors highlight where infrastructure development is urgently needed to connect regions currently isolated from European energy markets. The corridors aim to strengthen existing cross-border interconnections, increase security of energy supply and integrate renewable energy.
The priority thematic areas cover the deployment of
- smart grids
- electricity highways
- cross-border carbon dioxide network.
Energy infrastructure projects located on the priority corridors can apply for PCI status and benefit from an accelerated permit granting process and improved regulatory treatment.
PCI interactive map
The Commission regularly updates the PCI interactive map, which is a transparency platform providing information about the PCIs, including their geographic information, implementation plan, the benefits they bring to the Member States and the local communities and the Union financial support.
Priority corridor: Northern Seas Offshore Grid (NSOG)
The Celtic Interconnector between Ireland and Brittany in France will enable the two countries to exchange 700 megawatts of electricity, the equivalent of supplying power to around 450,000 homes. It will provide Ireland’s only direct energy connection to continental Europe, therefore enhancing security of supply for Irish electricity users, reducing the cost of electricity for consumers in Ireland and facilitating Ireland’s transition to a low-carbon energy future. The project will also provide a direct fibre-optic communications link between Ireland and France.
The project is expected to be completed in 2025.
COBRAcable is a new offshore link, stretching approximately 350km and with a capacity of 700 megawatts, that connects Denmark and the Netherlands. This interconnection will enable the integration of more renewable energy and has been designed to enable the connection of an offshore wind farm at a later stage. It will also ensure energy security by increasing energy exchanges between the two countries and providing a back-up for other connections in the event of failure. The project was completed in 2019.
Priority corridor: North-South interconnection in Western Europe
The new 370 km-long electricity link through the Bay of Biscay will strengthen the interconnection between Spain and France and improve security and guarantee of supply. This undersea cable interconnection will also increase the efficiency of both electricity systems by reducing the need for generation power stations to cover demand peaks, lowering generation costs at the same time. As interconnection capacity is increased, the volume of renewable generation will be maximised and even redistributed within neighbouring systems to where it is needed most. The project is expected to be completed in 2022.
This project is part of the German grid expansion programme and aims to increase capacity at Germany's northern and southern borders. This increased capacity will allow for greater integration of renewable energy and will make the energy supply from these sources more stable, therefore improving energy security. The project will also avoid spill-overs into the grid of neighbouring countries (such as Hungary, Poland, the Czechia and Slovakia). Spill-overs occur when the electricity produced in one country is diverted to a different part of its territory through a neighbouring country's grid. The project is expected to be completed in 2025.
Priority corridor: North-South interconnection in Eastern Europe
The Gas Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB Pipeline) will provide a direct link between the national natural gas systems of Greece and Bulgaria. The project will contribute to increasing security of energy supply by diversifying routes and sources for gas imports into Bulgaria, Greece and further into South East Europe. The IGB pipeline will supply gas from the existing Revythousa LNG Terminal. It will transport gas imports from Caspian and Middle Eastern sources by connecting to the Turkey–Greece–Italy (ITGI) Interconnection project. The pipeline should be commissioned in 2020.
Priority corridor: Baltic energy market interconnection plan
The Balticconnector pipeline, together with a gas link between Poland and Lithuania (GIPL), connects the Finnish gas network with the Continental European Network, ending Finland's gas isolation. The project also allows Finland and the Baltic States to diversify their gas sources, routes and counterparts, increasing security of gas supply and energy solidarity in the region. Moreover, the project enhances competition on the market which can help reduce gas prices. It was completed in 2019 and includes the construction of pipeline systems, stations and facilities throughout Finland and Estonia.
The electricity network of the Baltic States is already well connected to other EU countries. Electricity interconnections have been built with EU support between Estonia and Finland (Estlink I and II), Latvia and Sweden (Nord Balt), and Lithuania and Poland (LitPol Link), in line with the aims of the Commission's Baltic energy market interconnection plan. For historical reasons, however, the Baltic States' electricity grid is still operated in a synchronous mode with Russian and Belarusian systems. This project will allow for the synchronous operation of the Baltic States' electricity network with European networks and thus enhance security.
The Estonia–Latvia third interconnector will consist of a 211 km-long transmission line that will contribute to the synchronisation of the Baltic States with European networks, alleviating congestion on the border and ensuring effectiveness of the operation of both systems. It will also increase the competitiveness of the electricity markets in the Baltic region and boost the use of renewable energy sources in Baltic coastal areas, by allowing for the construction of off-shore wind parks in Estonia and Latvia. The project should be completed by 2020.
Priority thematic area: Smart grids deployment
The SINCRO.GRID is a virtual cross-border control center that facilitates new electricity generation from renewable energy sources in Slovenia and Croatia and its safe and efficient integration into the grid. The project has the potential to increase the security of supply not just in the region, but also further afield, given that this area hosts major transit flows from East (Bulgaria / Romania / Ukraine) to West (Italy / Switzerland / France / Germany).
As well as encouraging investment in renewables, the project will provide Slovenia and Croatia – and neighbouring countries such as Hungary, Austria and Italy – with improved security of supply, helping to overcome potential difficulties caused by the variability of intermittent renewable energy sources. This will provide a more reliable and more sustainable operating system and, ultimately, potentially cheaper prices for consumers.
The Smart Border Initiative (SBI) is a smart grid project that optimises the use of resources and at the same time addresses the needs of regions separated by national borders. This project will enable the Saarland and Lorraine regions to develop joint solutions for common challenges by making better use of the region's energy efficiency and renewable energy potential.
This SBI project is intended to serve as a model for other regions that will pave the way for further cross-border cooperation. Optimising resources through cross-border operations such as this will provide a cost effective way of enhancing security and encouraging investment, in particular in renewables. This will foster competition and ultimately provide consumers with more stable, more sustainable and cheaper sources of energy.