European Commission Adopts List of 248 Key Energy Infrastructure Projects

Today, the European Commission has adopted a list of 248 key energy infrastructure projects. These “projects of common interest” (PCIs) shll benefit from accelerated planning procedures (e.g. a 3.5 years’ time limit for granting of permits) and improved regulatory conditions, with costs allocated to the countries that benefit most from a completed project, the Commission said.

The PCI list shall come as a Commission Delegated Regulation amending Regulation (EU) No. 347/2013 on guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure as regards the Union list of projects of common interest.

PCIs may have access to financial support from the Connecting Europe Facility, under which a EUR 5 billion budget has been allocated to trans-European energy infrastructure for the period 2014to 2020. This shall facilitate faster implementation of the PCIs and make them more attractive to investors.

Completed projects shall help Member States to integrate their energy markets, strengthen their security of supply by diversification of energy sources and help bring an end to any energy isolation.

The list includes up to 140 projects in the field of electricity transmission and storage, about 100 projects in the field of gas transmission, storage and LNG, and several oil and smart grids projects. The projects shall benefit from various advantages, e.g. accelerated planning and permit granting procedures, a single national competent authority, less administrative costs for the project promoters and authorities due to a more streamlined environmental assessment procedure, increased transparency and improved public participation, improved regulatory conditions with costs allocated to the countries that benefit most from a completed project and the possibility to receive financial support.

For a project to be included in the list, it had to have significant benefits for at least two Member States, contribute to market integration and further competition, enhance security of supply, and reduce CO2 emissions. Regarding the various project related to Germany please see here.

The Commission announced to closely monitor the implementation of the permit granting measures and the construction of the projects and said the list of PCIs would be updated every two years.

The list still has to be submitted o the European Parliament and Council. They have two months to oppose the list, or they may ask for an extension of two months to finalise their position. If within this timeframe none of them rejects the list, the list enters into force. Parliament or Council can only accept or reject the list as such but not request amendments to it (cf. Article 16(5) Regulation (EU) No 347/2013).

The Commission called the list only the first step, pointing out that it had also adopted a long-term infrastructure vision for Europe and beyond its borders it set out in a Communication (please see link below).

Sources: European Commission Press Release; Communication “Long-term infrastructure vision for Europe and beyond”

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