Last week, the European Commission has adopted the fifth list of energy Projects of Common Interest (PCIs). These are key cross-border energy infrastructure projects for building a more integrated and resilient EU internal energy market and pursuing our energy and climate goals. This fifth PCI list comprises 98 projects: 67 projects in electricity transmission and storage, 20 in gas, six CO2 network projects and five smart grid projects. All PCI projects are subject to streamlined permitting and regulatory procedures and eligible for financial support from the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).
The 67 electricity transmission and storage projects on the PCI list will make an important contribution to the increased renewable energy ambition under the European Green Deal, while five smart grid projects will improve efficiency of the networks, cross-border data coordination and safer grid management. No new gas infrastructure project is supported by the proposal. The few, selected gas projects, which have already been on the 4th PCI list, are projects that are necessary to ensure security of supply for all Member States. A strengthened sustainability assessment has led to a number of gas projects being dropped from the list.
The list list is established under the existing Trans-European Network-Energy (TEN-E) Regulation. In December 2020, the Commission proposed a revision of the TEN-E regulation which would end the eligibility of oil and gas infrastructure projects for future PCI lists and create an obligation for all projects to meet mandatory sustainability criteria as well as to follow the ‘do no significant harm’ principle as set out in the Green Deal.
Following its adoption by the Commission today, the Delegated Act with the 5th PCI list will be submitted to the European Parliament and the Council. Both co-legislators have two months to either accept or reject the list – a process which can be extended by a further two months, if needed. Based on the applicable legal provisions, the co-legislators do not have the possibility to amend the draft list.