Innovation and Networks Executive Agency

CEF Energy: €100 million released to improve European energy networks

Creation date: March 4, 2015

The call for proposals under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) to help finance key trans-European energy infrastructure projects is open. An indicative amount of €100 million will be made available for projects which will contribute to ending energy isolation, to eliminating energy bottlenecks and to the completion of the internal energy market.  The money will act as a catalyst for securing additional financing by private and public investors. With a total of €650 million for grants foreseen in 2015, this is only the first of two calls planned for 2015.The deadline to submit applications is 29 April. A decision on the selection of proposals to be funded is expected for mid-July.

EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: "Reliable and well-connected energy networks are vital for achieving a resilient European Energy Union. We need major investments to make our energy grid fit for the future. This funding opportunity will help build a competitive, sustainable and secure energy market, and ultimately bring the benefits into our homes and businesses."


In order to apply for a grant, a project has to be on the list of 'projects of common interest'. A  first list was adopted by the European Commission in October 2013. It consists of 248 key energy infrastructure projects which, when completed, would each ensure significant benefits for at least two Member States, enhance security of supply, contribute to market integration, increased competition as well as to sustainability. The list will be updated at the end of this year.


EU financing for energy infrastructure under the CEF is €5.85 billion for the period 2014-2020. The bulk of this money will go to grants, whereas a part of this amount will be dedicated to setting up financial instruments for infrastructure development, including a contribution to the European Fund for Strategic Investments. These grants will contribute to carrying out both studies and works. However, proposals for works can only receive grants if the project will deliver significant benefits in a macro-regional context, such as security of supply, solidarity between Member States or innovation, and is at the same time not commercially viable.


In general, the amount of EU support cannot exceed 50% of the eligible costs for both studies and works. In exceptional cases, when a project contributes significantly to the security of supply, enhances energy solidarity between Member States or offers highly innovative solutions, EU support may be increased to a maximum of 75% of the costs for works.


On 16 March the European Commission's Directorate-General for Energy, together with INEA, will organise an Info Day in Brussels to give project promoters more information about the funding opportunities, including practical details about how to apply for a CEF grant. 


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