The European Commission is releasing €750 million for cross-border clean energy infrastructure projects.
The projects – which fall under its Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) – will represent a crucial element of the Energy Union, established to fundamentally transform Europe’s energy system, in the wake of the Paris agreement.
Between now and the closing date of June 13 this year, applicants will be called on to table Projects of Common Interest (PCIs).
To conform to the EU’s CEF guidelines, these projects must have a significant impact on at least two EU countries, while enhancing the EU’s energy security and contributing to sustainable development and environmental protection.
In line with its Paris agreement commitments, the EU has set a target of 32% of the bloc’s energy coming from renewable sources by 2030, as well as a reduction in greenhouse emissions of at least 40%, compared with 1990 levels.
Proposals for either studies or construction works can be accepted under the CEF scheme; they would then be evaluated against criteria including energy security benefits, innovation and the extent of public support required to advance financing.
Over the 2014-2020 period, the cost of the CEF’s trans-European energy projects is expected to exceed €5 billion.
Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete said, “Europe’s energy system is moving fast from an energy system of the last century to a low-carbon, more digital and consumer-oriented one. The energy transition is well underway in Europe, with record levels of renewable energy and rapidly falling costs.
“Europe’s energy infrastructure must develop in the same direction and with the same speed to fully support this energy transition towards a climate neutral Europe”.