New €785 EU call for clean energy infrastructure projects

Sustainable energy

BelgiumThe European Commission has issued a new request for ideas for significant cross-border EU energy infrastructure projects listed on the 4th Union list of Projects of Common Interest (PCIs), which will be co-financed by grants totaling 785 million EUR from the EU budget.

This is the first call for PCIs under the new Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) guidelines, the European infrastructure assistance program. When establishing the new CEF-Energy budget for the period 2021-2027, totaling 5.83 billion EUR, the EU recognized the critical enabling role that energy infrastructure plays in the European Green Deal and the transition to a climate-neutral economy. The work programme, approved in August, allocates 2.4 billion EUR to critical European energy infrastructure projects for the years 2021-23. The CEF Energy call for PCIs issued today will be open until October 19, 2021. After the applications have been evaluated, an award decision is expected to be made in early 2022.

To apply for CEF-Energy funding (grants for studies or works), projects must first be included on the Commission’s most recent list of PCIs, which is updated every two years. Projects must offer a major benefit for at least two EU countries, promote competitiveness, improve the EU’s energy security, and contribute to sustainability in order to be classified as a PCI. CEF Energy financial support strives to enhance its added value toward decarbonization.

The new CEF system, agreed in the framework of the new EU budget for 2021-2027 – or Multi-Annual Financial Framework – includes a new window for cross-border renewable energy projects, with an allocation of up to 15% of the CEF budget subject to market uptake. In the second half of September, a first call for such projects will be issued.