EU amps up projects for European energy grid


EUROPEAN Commission has adopted the fourth list of Projects of Common Interest (PCI) for a connected European energy grid.

PCIs are cross border infrastructure projects that link the energy systems of EU Member States.

They are intended to help the EU achieve its energy policy and climate objectives: affordable, secure and sustainable energy for all citizens, and the long-term decarbonisation of the economy in accordance with the Paris Agreement.

“The Energy Union is a major driver of clean energy innovation in Europe and the rest of the world. We are making sure that this energy transition is socially fair, leads to innovation and is based on smart infrastructure, which is adapted to the needs of the future energy system”, Maroš Šefčovič, Vice President for Energy Union, said.

“Through our Projects of Common Interest, we are building strong and well-connected networks across Europe in order to enhance security of supply.”

PCI’s are projects that have a significant impact on energy markets and market integration in at least two EU countries, they boost competition on energy markets and foster the EU’s energy security by diversifying sources, finally, they contribute to the EU’s climate and energy goals by integrating renewables.

Miguel Arias Cañete, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, commented: “Europe’s energy transition is well underway, with record levels of clean and renewable energy and rapidly falling costs. But Europe’s energy infrastructure must advance in the same direction and with the same speed to fully support this transition.

“That is why we are focusing the new list of projects on key electricity interconnections and smart grids.

“Today’s steps to boost clean energy infrastructure are another important move towards making our energy system more sustainable, more competitive and more secure – providing genuine European added value consolidating our European Energy Union built on solidarity.”

Under the Trans-European Network-Energy (TEN-E) Regulation, adopted in 2013, the Commission identifies the most important PCIs across the EU, so that these projects can benefit from simplified permitting and the right to apply for EU funding from the Connecting Europe Facility.

Electricity and smart grids account for more than 70% of the projects, mirroring the increasing role of renewable electricity in the energy system and the need for network reinforcements enabling the integration of renewables and more cross-border trade.

The projects on the fourth PCI list have been assessed and selected in an open, transparent and inclusive process over the past 18 months, in line with the provisions of the TEN-E Regulation.

The process has involved stakeholders, including consumer and environmental protection organisations. These groups have dynamically participated in the meetings of the Regional Groups.

The Delegated Act containing the fourth PCI is next submitted to the European Parliament and the Council for a two-month non-objection period.