The European Union (EU) will invest an additional €800m or so in 14 energy infrastructure projects in the continent that are believed to provide significant cross-border benefits.
The decision to boost investment in the energy infrastructure projects comes after a positive vote from the EU member states to the Commission’s proposal. The funding will be made from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), the European support program for trans-European infrastructure.
According to the Commission, the CEF financial aid will be granted for studies and works for seven electricity projects, two smart grid projects, two CO2 cross-border transportation projects and three gas projects.
The bulk of the energy infrastructure funding will be allocated to electricity and smart grids, at €504m, while €286 will be invested in the gas sector. The EU will support studies pertaining to the development of a CO2 transport infrastructure with a funding of €9.3m.
The Baltic electricity synchronization project will be the major beneficiary of the new energy infrastructure investment from the EU with a grant of €323m. The project’s objective is to boost the security of supply and reliability of the power systems in the Baltic region by synchronously connecting them to the Continental European Network (CEN).
For the gas sector, the EU will provide a funding of around €215m to the Baltic Pipe project, a 900km long natural gas pipeline project that will span across Denmark, Sweden and Poland. The bi-directional offshore cum onshore gas pipeline will supply natural gas sourced from Norway and deliver it to Denmark, Poland and other countries in the region.
For smart grids, the EU has approved funding of €91m for the ACON SG project, which aims to modernize and enhance the power grid between Czechia and the Slovak Republic. The grant from the EU will help in installing smart grids in the border area.
Another energy infrastructure funding approved by the EU is to support a study on the development of a CO2 infrastructure in the Port of Rotterdam through a grant of €6.5m.
EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: “As a crucial element of our overall energy and climate strategy, we need to ensure that our energy infrastructure is sustainable, goal-oriented, and operational. With almost two thirds of today’s investment decision devoted to electricity, we are delivering on our promise to align EU funding with our political ambition to deliver the clean energy transition.”