The European Commission is today launching a new call for proposals for key cross-border EU energy infrastructure projects included on the 4th Union list of Projects of Common Interest (PCIs), to be co-financed through grants worth 785 million EUR from the EU budget. This is the first call for PCIs under the new Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) rules, the European support programme for trans-European infrastructure. When fixing the new CEF-Energy budget for the 2021-2027 period, worth 5.83 billion EUR, the EU acknowledged the key enabling role that energy infrastructure plays in the European Green Deal and the transition to a climate neutral economy. The work programme adopted in August, provides 2.4 billion EUR of funding for key European energy infrastructure projects for the period 2021-23. Today’s CEF Energy call for PCIs will be open until 19 October 2021. Once the applications have been assessed, an award decision is likely to be adopted in early 2022.
To apply for funding under CEF-Energy (grants for studies or works), projects must first be part of the most recent list of PCIs, which the Commission adopts every two years. 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.
Agreed in the framework of the new EU budget for 2021-2027 – or Multi-Annual Financial Framework - the new CEF system introduces a new window for cross-border renewable projects in the field of renewable energy, with an allocation of up to 15% of the CEF budget subject to market uptake. A first call for such projects (in the form of prefeasibility studies) will be launched in the second half of September.
A CEF Energy info day will be held on 14 September 2021 on the call for proposals for PCIs.
CEF Energy in the period 2014-2020 allocated €4.7 billion to studies and works supporting the implementation of 107 PCIs. The largest share (89%) of funding goes to works, of which the biggest part goes to the electricity sector.
The 4th PCI list currently in force, adopted in November 2019, is defined under the rules set out in the Trans-European Network-Energy Regulation 347/2013. This regulation is currently being revised based on the Commission proposal, with the Council and European Parliament hoping to start trilogue negotiations in the autumn. Moreover a fifth PCI list is being prepared and will be published before the end of the year, on the basis of the existing TEN-E Regulation.
Connecting Europe Facility Regulation (EU) 2021/1153
7 September 2021