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PCI examples and their benefits

Examples of ongoing and completed energy infrastructure projects and the benefits of the PCI label for their implementation.

Energy infrastructure projects located on one of the 11 priority corridors and 3 thematic areas can apply for PCI status and benefit from an accelerated permit granting process and improved regulatory treatment.

PCI interactive map

The Commission regularly updates the PCI interactive map, which is a transparency platform providing information about all ongoing PCIs. It includes their geographic information, implementation plan, the benefits they bring to the Member States and the local communities and the Union financial support.

Examples in the electricity corridors

The Celtic Interconnector: It connects Ireland and Brittany in France and will enable the two countries to exchange 700 megawatts of electricity, the equivalent of supplying power to around 450,000 homes. It will provide Ireland’s only direct energy connection to continental Europe, therefore enhancing security of supply for Irish electricity users, reducing the cost of electricity for consumers in Ireland and facilitating Ireland’s transition to a low-carbon energy future. The project will also provide a direct fibre-optic communications link between Ireland and France. In 2019, the project was awarded €530.7 million from the Connecting Europe Facility to complete the design and delivery of the Celtic Interconnector by 2025, and has also received EU funding at earlier planning stages. More information is available on the Celtic Interconnector factsheet.

Baltic Synchronisation project: The electricity network of the Baltic States is already well connected to other EU countries. Electricity interconnections have been built with EU support between Estonia and Finland (Estlink I and II), Lithuania and Sweden (Nord Balt), and Lithuania and Poland (LitPol Link), in line with the aims of the Commission's Baltic energy market interconnection plan. However, due to historical reasons, the Baltic States' electricity grid is still operated in a synchronous mode with Russian and Belarusian systems.

This project is part of the priority corridor for the Baltic energy market interconnection plan and will allow for the synchronous operation of the Baltic States' electricity network with European networks and thus enhance security. Read more on the Baltic Synchronisation project factsheet.

COBRAcable: It is a new offshore link, stretching approximately 350km and with a capacity of 700 megawatts, that connects Denmark and the Netherlands. This interconnection will enable the integration of more renewable energy and has been designed to enable the connection of an offshore wind farm at a later stage. It will also ensure energy security by increasing energy exchanges between the two countries and providing a back-up for other connections in the event of failure. The project was completed in 2019 and was part of the Northern Seas Offshore Grid (NSOG) priority corridor. Read more on the COBRAcable factsheet.

The Biscay Gulf Interconnector: The new 370 km-long electricity link through the Bay of Biscay will strengthen the interconnection between Spain and France and improve security and guarantee of supply. This undersea cable interconnection will also increase the efficiency of both electricity systems by reducing the need for generation power stations to cover demand peaks, lowering generation costs at the same time. As interconnection capacity is increased, the volume of renewable generation will be maximised and even redistributed within neighbouring systems to where it is needed most.

The project is part of the priority corridor for North-South interconnection in Western Europe and is expected to be completed in 2022. Read more on the Biscay Gulf Interconnector factsheet.

German North-South Connection: This project is part of the German grid expansion programme and aims to increase capacity at Germany's northern and southern borders. This increased capacity will allow for greater integration of renewable energy and will make the energy supply from these sources more stable, therefore improving energy security. The project will also avoid spill-overs into the grid of neighbouring countries (such as Hungary, Poland, the Czechia and Slovakia). Spill-overs occur when the electricity produced in one country is diverted to a different part of its territory through a neighbouring country's grid.

The project is part of the priority corridor for North-South interconnection in Western Europe and is expected to be completed in 2025. Read more on the Germany North-South connection factsheet.

Estonia-Latvia third electricity interconnector: Completed in 2020, the project consisted of a 211 km-long transmission line that contributes to the synchronisation of the Baltic States with European networks, alleviating congestion on the border and ensuring effectiveness of the operation of both systems. It increases the competitiveness of the electricity markets in the Baltic region and boosts the use of renewable energy sources in Baltic coastal areas by allowing for the construction of offshore wind parks in Estonia and Latvia.

Examples in the gas corridors

IGB Pipeline: The Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) was inaugurated on 1 October 2022 and provides a direct link between the national natural gas systems of Greece and Bulgaria. It will increase the security of energy supply to the South East European region by diversifying routes and sources from Caspian and Middle Eastern sources, connecting to the Turkey-Greece-Italy (ITGI) Interconnection project. The IGB pipeline has an initial capacity of 3 million cubic metres per year (in the South-North direction) and received €45 million from the European Energy Programme for Recovery and €39 million from the structural funds. Read more in the IGB pipeline factsheet.

The Baltic Pipe: Inaugurated on 1 October 2022, the gas interconnector between Denmark and Poland is a key diversification project bringing up to 10 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas annually from the Northern Seas to Poland and further to Central and Eastern Europe, a region historically dependent on one single gas supplier. The Baltic Pipe has been a PCI since 2013 and has received around €267 million of EU funding through the Connecting Europe Facility, helping to complete the preparatory studies and construction works.

Balticconnector: The Balticconnector pipeline, together with a gas link between Poland and Lithuania (GIPL), connects the Finnish gas network with the Continental European Network, ending Finland's gas isolation. The project also allows Finland and the Baltic States to diversify their gas sources, routes and counterparts, increasing security of gas supply and energy solidarity in the region. Moreover, the project enhances competition on the market which can help reduce gas prices.

It was completed in 2019 and includes the construction of pipeline systems, stations and facilities throughout Finland and Estonia. It was part of the priority corridor for the Baltic energy market interconnection plan. Read more on the Balticconnector factsheet.

Examples in the thematic area smart grids deployment

SINCRO.GRID: The SINCRO.GRID is a virtual cross-border control center that facilitates new electricity generation from renewable energy sources in Slovenia and Croatia and its safe and efficient integration into the grid. The project has the potential to increase the security of supply not just in the region, but also further afield, given that this area hosts major transit flows from East (Bulgaria / Romania / Ukraine) to West (Italy / Switzerland / France / Germany).

As well as encouraging investment in renewables, the project will provide Slovenia and Croatia – and neighbouring countries such as Hungary, Austria and Italy – with improved security of supply, helping to overcome potential difficulties caused by the variability of intermittent renewable energy sources. This will provide a more reliable and more sustainable operating system and, ultimately, potentially cheaper prices for consumers.

The project is part of the priority thematic area smart grids deployment. Read more on the SINCRO.GRID factsheet

Smart Border Initiative: The Smart Border Initiative (SBI) is a smart grid project that optimises the use of resources and at the same time addresses the needs of regions separated by national borders. This project will enable the Saarland and Lorraine regions to develop joint solutions for common challenges by making better use of the region's energy efficiency and renewable energy potential.

This SBI project is intended to serve as a model for other regions that will pave the way for further cross-border cooperation. Optimising resources through cross-border operations such as this will provide a cost effective way of enhancing security and encouraging investment, in particular in renewables. This will foster competition and ultimately provide consumers with more stable, more sustainable and cheaper sources of energy.

The project is part of the priority thematic area smart grids deployment. Read more on the Smart Border Initiative factsheet.