Today, the European Commission adopted the fourth list of Projects of Common Interest (PCI) for implementing cross-border energy infrastructure in the EU. This list reflects the importance of infrastructure for the energy union and represents a careful balance among its three key objectives: sustainability, affordability and security of supply.
Under the Trans-European Network-Energy (TEN-E) Regulation, adopted in 2013, the Commission identifies the most important PCIs interconnecting electricity, smart grids, gas, oil and CO2 networks 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 number of gas projects decreased from 53 two years ago to 32, or 21% of all projects on the PCI list. This is in line with the role of gas when meeting the EU’s decarbonisation objectives. The EU gas grid has become more robust and if all ongoing PCIs are implemented, the EU should have a well-interconnected and shock-resilient gas grid by the early 2020’s.