Creation date: June 30, 2016
The European Commission has opened a call for proposals under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) to help finance key trans-European energy infrastructure projects. Up to €600 million will be made available with priority given to projects of common interest and related actions increasing competitiveness, enhancing the EU’s security of energy supply, contributing to sustainable development and protection of the environment.
With a total indicative budget of €800 million for grants foreseen in 2016, this is the second of the two calls scheduled for this year for CEF Energy. The deadline to submit applications is 8 November 2016. A decision on the selection of proposals to be funded is expected by March 2017.
Vice-President for the Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič said: "Cross-border energy connections are at the heart of the Energy Union. They make us stronger together in the EU. With this CEF call we provide new investment opportunities for cleaner and smarter energy infrastructures". EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: "The Paris Agreement sent a clear signal that the clean energy transition is here to stay. The Commission is committed to support this transition and invest where it is needed. The proposals will become the building blocks of this larger energy transformation, help connect the existing energy infrastructure across Europe, and bring significant benefits to our economy and our climate”.
How to apply?
In order to apply for a grant, a project has to be on the list of 'projects of common interest' (PCI). The current list was published on 18 November 2015 and consists of 195 key energy infrastructure projects which, when completed, would each:
CEF Energy funding
EU financing for energy infrastructure under the CEF is €5.35 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. 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 per cent 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 per cent of the costs for works.
The legal basis for this call for proposals is the Connecting Europe Facility Regulation (Regulation 1316/2013). The conditions under which projects are eligible for financial aid are laid down in the Regulation on guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure (Regulation 347/2013).