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Energy

Selection process

Projects of common interest and projects of mutual interest are selected in multi-stakeholder regional groups based on well-defined criteria and through a call for applications every 2 years.

The work on projects of common interest and projects of mutual interest (PCIs and PMIs) is coordinated by regional groups, dedicated to each of the following types of energy infrastructure: electricity, offshore grid development, hydrogen and electrolysers, smart electricity grids, smart gas grids and CO2 networks, in line with the scope of the revised Trans-European Networks for Energy (TEN-E) Regulation. 

How can a project become a PCI?

The energy infrastructure project must have a significant impact on energy markets and market integration in at least 2 EU countries. It should boost competition on energy markets and help the EU's energy security by diversifying sources, as well as contribute to the EU's climate and energy goals by integrating renewables.

The selection process gives preference to projects in priority corridors, as identified in the Trans-European Networks for Energy (TEN-E) policy.

Projects are selected as PCIs if they

  • have a significant impact on at least 2 EU countries
  • enhance market integration and contribute to the integration of EU countries' networks
  • increase competition on energy markets by offering alternatives to consumers
  • enhance security of supply
  • contribute to the EU's energy and climate goals and they should facilitate the integration of energy from renewable energy sources

How can a project become a PMI?

Projects between EU countries and countries outside the EU must show a high level of convergence of the non-EU country’s policy framework with that of the EU. This provision is presumed for Energy Community Contracting Parties and countries in the European Economic Area.

The PMI’s  must demonstrate their contribution to the overall energy and climate objectives of the EU and relevant partner countries in terms of security of supply, decarbonisation and significant net socio-economic benefits at EU level.

Only electricity transmission, offshore grids, hydrogen transmission and CO2 networks and storage projects can be selected as PMIs.

Establishing the PCI and PMI list

Every 2 years since 2013, the Commission draws up a new list of projects of common interest. With the entry into force of the revised TEN-E Regulation in 2022, the list also includes projects of mutual interest.

So far, 6 PCI lists have been adopted

Call for applications

For electricity and gas projects to be eligible for inclusion on the PCI and PMI list, they must be part of the latest available 10-year network development plan (TYNDP). Every 2 years the European Network of Transmission System Operators (ENTSOs for Electricity and for Gas) first establishes  the system’s needs under different future and disruption scenarios. Then, a cost-benefit analysis (CBA) is performed for all submitted projects, assessing their contribution to meeting the system’s needs.

For smart grids, CO2 networks and oil projects, specific assessment methods are used.

Promoters of projects that are potentially eligible for PCI status can apply to the corresponding regional groups through open call for applications, launched by the Commission.

Project assessment in the regional groups

Regional groups assess the compliance of applications with the specific PCI and PMI selection criteria, as defined under Article 4 of the TEN-E Regulation. Following this assessment, the applications are ranked by the Decision-Making Bodies of the regional groups, consisting of EU countries and the Commission.

Regional Groups

Chaired by the Commission, regional groups include representatives from EU countries, transmission system operators and their European networks, project promoters, national regulatory authorities, as well as the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER).

Their role is to assess the projects' potential contribution to EU energy infrastructure priorities, their fulfilment of the relevant criteria and their maturity. Stakeholders are invited to take part in these meetings and can offer their insights on infrastructure bottlenecks and the candidate PCIs and/or PMIs. Decision-making in the Regional Groups is reserved for a body comprising of EU countries and the Commission.

The revised TEN-E regulation identifies the following infrastructure priorities, which are convened as regional groups or thematic areas

3 electricity infrastructure priority corridors

  • North-South electricity interconnections in Western Europe (‘NSI West Electricity’)
  • North-South electricity interconnections in Central Eastern and South-Eastern Europe (‘NSI East Electricity’)
  • Baltic energy market interconnection plan in electricity (‘BEMIP electricity’)

5 offshore grid corridors

  • Northern Seas offshore grids (NSOG)
  • Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan offshore grids (BEMIP offshore)
  • South and West offshore grids (SW offshore)
  • South and East offshore grids (SE offshore)
  • Atlantic offshore grids

3 corridors covering hydrogen and electrolysers infrastructure development

  • Hydrogen interconnections in Western Europe (HI West)
  • Hydrogen interconnections in Central Eastern and South Eastern Europe (HI East)
  • Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan in hydrogen (BEMIP Hydrogen)

3 thematic groups

  • Smart electricity grids
  • Smart gas grids
  • CO2 networks

Finalising the list

The assessment results in several regional lists of proposed PCIs and PMIs, which the Commission adopts as an EU-wide list in the form of a delegated act.

The Commission submits the list of projects to the European Parliament and the Council. These institutions have 2 months to oppose the list as a whole or ask for an extension of 2 months to finalise their position – they cannot request amendments. If neither institution rejects the list, it enters into force.

The process of the first PCI/PMI list

  1. 8 April 2024
    Publication and entry into force 20 days later
  2. November 2023 – January 2024
    Non-objection period by the co-legislators (extendable by 2 months)
  3. November 2023
    Adoption by the Commission of the Union list of PCIs/PMIs
  4. October 2023
    decision on the regional lists at high-level
  5. June 2023
    decision on the regional lists at technical level
  6. March – May 2023
    regional groups meetings on the assessment of candidate projects
  7. 6-8 February 2023
    cross-regional group meeting
  8. 8-9 December 2022
    cross regional group meeting
  9. 17 October 2022
    first meeting on PCIs and PMIs and launch of call for applications
  10. 7 October 2022
    informative session
  11. 7 October 2022
    launch of targeted consultation

On 17 October 2022, the Commission kicked off the process of establishing the first Union list under the revised TEN-E Regulation with the first Cross-regional meeting on Projects of Common Interest and Projects of Mutual Interest. On the same day,  it opened the submission window for projects under all infrastructure categories. The call for applications was open until 15 December 2022. The second cross-regional group meeting took place in Brussels on 8-9 December 2022 and another was organised on 6-8 February 2023. The following series of cross-border regional group meetings took place between 13-24 March 2023 and 17-21 April 2023. All documents from these meetings are available in a dedicated CIRCABC.

Before starting the process of establishing the first Union list, the Commission held an informative session on 7 October 2022 as part of its consultations on the cost-benefit analysis methodologies for the following infrastructure categories: hydrogen, electrolysers, smart gas grids, smart electricity grids, CO2 networks and energy storage. The list was adopted on 28 November 2023.

The list was published on 8 April 2024 in the Official Journal of the EU. It entered into force 20 days after its publication, thus replacing the 5th PCI list.

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