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/17th April 2019, Brussels, EU Commission/ The European Commission (EC) is releasing €750 million of funding for key European energy infrastructure projects with major cross-border benefits. The EU funding comes from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), the European support programme for trans-European infrastructure. This represents a crucial element of the Energy Union, one of the political priorities of the Juncker Commission. The 2019 CEF Energy call for proposals will be open until 13 June 2019. To apply for CEF Energy funding, projects must first be designated Projects of Common Interest (PCIs). PCIs need to have a significant impact on at least two EU countries and must increase competitiveness, enhance the EU’s energy security and contribute to sustainable development and environmental protection. The received proposals for financing, which can be for studies or construction works, will then be evaluated against several additional criteria.

These criteria include their state of maturity, their benefits in terms of security of supply, solidarity or innovation, and to what extent public support is needed to remove financing bottlenecks.

CEF-Energy provides EU funding for energy infrastructure projects that increase competitiveness, enhance the EU's security of energy supply, contribute to sustainable development and protection of the environment, as well as the promotion of safe, secure (including cybersecurity) and efficient network operation. CEF-Energy envisages a total budget of €5.35 billion for trans-European energy infrastructure for the period 2014-2020. In order to be eligible for a grant, a proposal has to be 'a project of common interest' (PCI). When completed, the projects will each result in significant benefits for at least two Member States, enhance the security of supply, contribute to market integration, and enhance competition, as well as reduce CO2 emissions. The Union-wide list of Projects of Common Interest is updated every two years. The latest PCI list was published by the Commission in November 2017. The CEF-Energy has allocated €3.4 bn to PCIs to date. 

The EU’s energy infrastructure is ageing and, in its current state, not suited to match future demand for energy, to ensure the security of supply or to support large-scale deployment of energy from renewable sources. The upgrading of existing, and development of new energy transmission infrastructures of European importance will require investments of about €140 billion in electricity and at least €70 billion in gas.

Despite the regulatory measures and policies that are currently put in place to facilitate such investments, under current market and regulatory conditions some energy projects are not commercially viable, and would normally not make it into investment programmes of infrastructure developers.

CEF is engineered to address both groups of factors behind the investment gap in the energy sector. Financial instruments, by bringing in new classes of investors and mitigating certain risks, will help project promoters to access the necessary financing for their projects. Grants to contribute to the construction costs will be applied to fill in the gaps in the commercial viability of the projects that are particularly relevant for Europe. A total budget of €5.35 billion is made available for energy projects for the 2014-2020 period, of which €4.8 in the form of grants.

The more information about Europe renewable energy markets you may here: Europe Renewable Energy Market Reports

The more information about European clean energy infrastructure you may read here: Energy Union: €750 million in EU funding available for clean energy infrastructure 

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