New energy Projects of Common Interest for the Energy Union built on European solidarity

energy union

(Gustavo Quepón, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.


Today, the European Commission adopted the fourth list of Projects of Common Interest (PCI) for a connected European energy grid, fit for the future providing clean, affordable and secure energy for Europeans. This list reflects the importance of infrastructure for the Energy Union and represents a balance among its objectives: sustainability, affordability and security of supply.

Vice President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič said: “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. Through our Projects of Common Interest, we are building strong and well-connected networks across Europe in order to enhance security of supply.”

Miguel Arias Cañete, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, said: “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”.

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. 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.

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.

 

Next steps

The Delegated Act containing the fourth PCI list adopted today will be submitted to the European Parliament and the Council for a two-month non-objection period, extendable once.

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