The Commission has launched today a new call for proposals for key cross-border EU energy infrastructure projects under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) for Energy. Foreseen as part of today’s REPowerEU Plan, the call contributes to the EU aim of increasing the resilience of the EU-wide energy system in order to phase out our dependency on fossil fuels from Russia well before 2030.
With an estimated budget of up to €800 million available for co-financing grants for studies or for works, the call is open to projects on the 5th Union list of Projects of Common Interest (PCIs) that was published in November 2021. The 5th PCI list includes 67 electricity transmission and storage projects, 20 gas projects, six CO2 network projects and five smart grids projects. Applications for funding must be submitted by 1 September 2022 [17:00 CET]. Successful projects will be selected before the end of 2022. A CEF Energy info day on the call for proposals will be held on 8 June.
The Trans-European Networks for Energy (TEN-E) and the CEF for Energy provide a framework for the selection and, if needed and justified, financing of cross-border infrastructure projects.
The TEN-E is based on Europe-wide infrastructure planning and provides a framework to identify PCIs. These projects contribute to the internal energy market, security of supply and sustainability in pre-defined energy infrastructure priority corridors and thematic areas.
To be defined as a PCI, projects must have a significant benefit for at least two EU countries and must increase competitiveness, enhance the EU’s energy security and contribute to sustainability. Financial assistance provided under CEF Energy aims to maximise its added value towards decarbonisation of the energy sector.
The CEF for Energy is the only dedicated EU-funding instrument for financing cross-border energy infrastructure. Only PCIs are eligible for grants under CEF Energy. In addition, up to 15% of the funding is available for cross-border projects in the field of renewable energy.
In the period 2014-2020, CEF Energy allocated €4.7 billion to studies and works supporting the implementation of 107 PCIs. The largest share of funding (89%) went to construction works, with most of this spending in the electricity sector.
Under the 2021 CEF Energy call, 5 cross-border infrastructure projects were selected to receive in total €1.03 billion of financial support: 3 for electricity transmission and 1 for gas storage, as well as a study on CO2 transport.
The 5th PCI list currently in force, adopted in November 2021, is defined under the rules set out in the Trans-European Network-Energy Regulation 347/2013. This TEN-E Regulation has since been revised and the new version will enter into force in June 2022. It entails updated infrastructure categories supporting renewable and low-carbon gases, such as hydrogen, and excludes gas infrastructure and oil pipelines. The first PCI list under the revised TEN-E Regulation is expected to be adopted in the second half of 2023, after which projects included in the list will be eligible for financial support under CEF.
18 May 2022