The European Commission is making €200 million of funding available for projects in the areas of electricity, smart grids, cross-border carbon dioxide network and gas infrastructure, as part of the first call for proposals under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Energy in 2018. The money is intended for projects that will strengthen the EU's internal energy market, enhance security of energy supply, and help make Europe’s clean energy transition a reality. The call for proposals will be open until 26 April 2018.
The CEF provides EU funding for infrastructure projects. It supports energy projects that help to achieve the EU's broader energy policy objectives of increasing competitiveness, enhancing security of energy supply, and contributing to sustainable development and protection of the environment, including by the integration of energy from renewable sources and by the development of smart energy networks and carbon dioxide networks.
To be eligible for CEF funding, projects must have been designated as Projects of Common Interest (PCIs). PCIs are considered essential for completing the EU's internal energy market, and are required to have a significant impact on at least two EU countries. They must also boost competition on energy markets and help energy security by diversifying sources, and contribute to the EU's climate and energy goals by integrating renewables.
Since 2014, a total of €2.5 billion in CEF grants has been awarded to 113 actions in the electricity, smart grids and gas sectors.
Proposed projects applying to the CEF can be either studies or construction works and will be evaluated against several criteria. These include their state of maturity, their cross-border dimension, and the extent of positive externalities relating to technological innovation, security of supply or solidarity between countries. Projects submitted in response to this call will be evaluated in the coming months, and the results will be communicated in August 2018. A further call will also be launched in June 2018.