EU invests further €800 million in priority energy infrastructure
The EU funding comes from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), the European support programme for trans-European infrastructure.
Priority is given to projects that increase competitiveness, enhance the EU's security of energy supply through the promotion of safe, secure and efficient network operation, and contribute to sustainable development and environmental protection.
Creating a connected, modern energy grid represents a crucial element of the Energy Union, one of the political priorities of the Juncker Commission.
This vote concerns CEF financial aid for studies and works for a total of 14 projects: 7 for electricity, 2 for smart grids, 2 for CO2 cross-border transportation and 3 for gas.
The proposed CEF-Energy funding amounts to almost €800 million, with electricity and smart grids accounting for €504 million, €9.3 million to support studies on the development of a CO2 transport infrastructure; and €286 allocated to the gas sector.
This current call for proposals (2018-2) was launched in June and closed on October 11th 2018.
In the electricity sector, a €323 million grant is awarded to the Baltic electricity synchronisation project. The Baltic States remain synchronously connected to the central dispatch facility of Russia, hindering their full integration into EU electricity markets.
The project aims to increase the security of supply and reliability of the power systems in the region through their synchronous connection to the Continental European Network (CEN). In June of 2018, EU leaders agreed the political roadmap for completing the synchronisation.
On smart grids, support has been approved for the ACON SG project tomodernize and improve the power grid between Czechia and the Slovak Republic. The €91 million grant will now contribute to the setting up of smart grids in the border region.
Moreover, €6.5 million in funding will be allocated to a study on the development of a CO2 infrastructure in the Port of Rotterdam. The objective is to establish an open access, cross-border, carbon dioxide network in North-West Europe, with its core located in the Port of Rotterdam.
Finally, in the gas sector, the CEF will support, with nearly €215 million, the Baltic Pipe project, a new, bi-directional offshore gas interconnection between Poland and Denmark. This pipeline will be crucial for security of supply and market integration of the region. ■