Last month, the European Commission launched a new grant round for energy projects under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF Energy). The call is meant for projects that will help to improve Europe’s energy infrastructure. The budget is substantial: 800 million euros. However, the bar is high, and applying is not for everyone. The submission of proposals is possible until 1 September 2022.
Energy infrastructure crucial for climate transition
Energy infrastructure plays a key enabling role in the transition towards a climate neutral economy. This was already evident in the 2019 European Green Deal. The new call round from CEF Energy is closely aligned with this observation. The call is particularly interesting for ‘solid’ parties involved in the European energy infrastructure, such as energy companies and operators of energy grids and smart grids.
Grant for trans-European energy networks
The recent CEF Energy call offers grants for projects that contribute to improving Europe’s energy infrastructure. As mentioned, the bar is high here, as a project must contribute to the further development and implementation of so-called PCIs in electricity, smart grids, gas and cross-border carbon dioxide networks helping to achieve the broader CEF Energy policy objectives of:
- further integration of an efficient and competitive internal energy market
- interoperability of networks across borders and sectors
- facilitating decarbonisation of the economy, promoting energy efficiency and ensuring security of supply.
Projects can only apply for CEF funding if they have a PCI status. A Project of Common Interest (PCI) refers to an official list of major European infrastructure projects, including: 67 electricity transmission and storage projects, 20 gas projects, six CO₂ network projects and five smart grid projects.
What project types does CEF Energy support?
The grants from CEF Energy are for preparing and developing a PCI as described above (studies and works respectively). For clarification:
- Studies: studies in the sense of CEF Energy are aimed at preparing a PCI. For example: exploratory studies, feasibility studies, evaluation, testing and validation studies, and site surveys. But also other activities in preparation for defining and developing the PCI, and deciding on its funding.
- Works: this involves project activities in the setting up of a PCI. More specifically, this involves the purchase, delivery and implementation of components, systems and services (including software), development, construction and installation activities, the delivery of installations, and the launch of a PCI.
Grant contribution, application deadline
The submission of project proposals for the CEF Energy call is quite elaborate and often needs several formal approvals from different Member States. Submitting an application is possible from 18 May until 1 September 2022 (17:00 CET). Only the best proposals will receive a grant. The grant will reimburse part of the project costs (usually up to 50%, sometimes more).
What can EGEN do for you?
EGEN is highly experienced in both writing and developing CEF projects. For example, we supported the North Sea Wind Power Hub consortium (including TenneT, Gasunie and Energinet) in a successful CEF Energy grant application for a project on wind power hubs. Interested parties can find more information about the project in this article (in Dutch) or on the international project website.
Want to know more about CEF Energy and how EGEN can support you with your project or application? Please contact us at +31 (0)88 838 13 81 or fill in the contact form below.