To help create an integrated EU energy market, the European Commission has drawn up a list of 195 key energy infrastructure projects known as projects of common interest (PCIs). These are essential for completing the European internal energy market and for reaching the EU's energy policy objectives of affordable, secure and sustainable energy.
PCIs may benefit from accelerated planning and permit granting, a single national authority for obtaining permits, improved regulatory conditions, lower administrative costs due to streamlined environmental assessment processes, increased public participation via consultations, increased visibility to investors and access to financial support totalling €5.35 billion from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) from 2014-2020. The funding is intended to speed-up the projects and attract private investors.
To become a PCI, a project must have a significant impact on the energy markets and market integration of at least two EU countries, boost competition on energy markets and boost the EU's energy security by diversifying sources, and contribute to the EU's climate and energy goals by integrating renewables.
The first list of PCIs was published in 2013. The list is updated every two years to integrate newly needed projects and remove obsolete ones. The next PCI list update will take place in 2017.
CEF funding 2015
A total of €650 million in grants was set aside for PCIs in 2015.
- First CEF Energy call for proposals in 2015
Under the first CEF Energy call for proposals in 2015, €149 million was allocated to PCIs and 20 proposals were selected to receive grants for studies or works. Of those, 11 are in the gas sector and 9 in the electricity sector. The bulk of the support goes to projects in Central Eastern and South Eastern Europe as well as in the Baltic region.
- Second CEF Energy call for proposals in 2015
Under the second CEF Energy call for proposals in 2015, €217 million was allocated to PCIs and 15 projects out of 24 eligible applications were selected. Of those, nine are in the gas sector and six in the electricity sector. Proposals that were not selected under this call may apply for funding again under the next call scheduled for later this year.
CEF funding 2014
Under the 2014 CEF call, €647 million was allocated to PCIs and 34 proposals were selected to receive grants for studies or works. The majority of projects involve electricity and gas transmission lines, but the list also features electricity storage projects, underground gas storage projects and LNG terminals. The bulk of funds went to proposals addressing urgent security of supply needs in the Baltic region.
Work on PCIs is coordinated by Regional Groups. Information on these groups can be accessed via the Communication and Information Resource Centre for Administrations, Businesses and Citizens (CIRCABC).
- Current list of PCIs
- Technical information on the current list of PCIs
- Explanation on the list of PCIs
- Commission Staff Working Document on the PCI list
- Regulation on guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure (EU) No 347/2013