Commission unveils key energy infrastructure projects to integrate Europe's energy markets and diversify sources
The European Commission adopts a list of 195 key energy infrastructure projects - known as projects of common interest or PCIs – which will help deliver Europe’s energy and climate objectives and form key building blocks of the EU’s Energy Union. Latvian transmission system development projects included in this list can be found here: The Kurzeme Ring; Latvian-Estonian 3rd interconnection; Full replacement (including transfer capacity increase) of existing 330kV interconnectors between Latvia and Estonia by 2024; Full replacement (including transfer capacity increase) of existing 330kV interconnectors between Latvia and Estonia by 2024.
The projects – known as Projects of Common Interest (PCIs) – will enable the gradual build-up of the Energy Union by integrating the energy markets in Europe, by diversifying the energy sources and transport routes. In addition, the PCI's adopted today will help bring an end to the energy isolation of some Member States. They will also boost the level of renewables on the grid, bringing down carbon emissions. PCIsbenefit from accelerated permitting procedures and improved regulatory conditions and may be eligible for financial support from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). A budget of €5.35 billion has been allocated to trans-European energy infrastructure under the CEF from 2014-20, helping projects of common interest to get implemented faster and making them more attractive to investors.
The list of projects is an update of the PCI list adopted in October 2013.
The huge need for investment in energy infrastructure was one of the reasons for proposing the Regulation on the Guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure (TEN-E Guidelines) in 2011. The TEN-E Guidelines provide a strategic framework for the long-term energy infrastructure vision of the EU and introduce the concept of projects of common interest. They identify nine strategic infrastructure priority corridors in the domains of electricity, gas and oil, and three EU-wide infrastructure priority areas for electricity highways, smart grids and carbon dioxide transportation networks.
The Commission’s endorsement of the final list of projects of common interest is the result of a thorough identification and evaluation process conducted by the Regional Groups which were established under the TEN-E Regulation. Regional Groups consist of the representatives of the Member States, the European Network of Transmission System Operators for electricity and gas (ENTSO-E and ENTSO-G), national transmission system operators and project promoters, national regulatory authorities, and the Agency for Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER). Feedback from the public consultation has also been taken into account. Finally, the regional lists have to be adopted by the so-called high level Decision Making Body, composed of senior officials of the Member States and the Commission, after which the Commission can formally adopt the EU list of projects of common interest via delegated act procedure.
Full list of projects of common interest by Priority Corridor can be found here.