The Trans-European Networks for Energy (TEN-E) is a policy that is focused on linking the energy infrastructure of EU countries. As part of the policy, nine priority corridors and three priority thematic areas have been identified.
The EU helps countries in priority corridors and priority thematic areas to work together to develop better connected energy networks, and provides funding for new energy infrastructure.
Revision of the TEN-E policy
In March 2019, as part of the partial political agreement between the European Parliament and the Council on the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) for the period 2021-2027, the co-legislators agreed on the need to evaluate the effectiveness and policy coherence of the TEN-E Regulation 347/2013 by 31 December 2020.
Energy infrastructure is a key enabler for the energy transition as reflected in the Commission’s communication on the European Green Deal and a Clean Planet for all (COM(2018) 773 final), explicitly referring to the need for a review of the TEN-E Regulation to ensure consistency with climate neutrality objectives.
On 15 December 2020, the Commission adopted a proposal (COM(2020) 824 final) to revise the EU rules on the TEN-E Regulation. The new regulation will contribute to the EU emissions reduction objectives by promoting integration of renewables and new clean energy technologies into the energy system. It will continue to connect regions currently isolated from European energy markets, strengthen existing cross-border interconnections and promote cooperation with partner countries. It will also help timely delivery of cross-border infrastructure by proposing ways to simplify and accelerate permitting and authorisation procedures. The press material published on the day (press release, Questions & Answers, factsheet) describes further details of the proposal.
The preparatory work on this revision drew its evidence from a support study and an extensive consultation process to seek input from specialists, stakeholders and the public. It included a public consultation (18 May 2020 - 13 July 2020) and 4 stakeholder webinars (2-11 June 2020).
On 15 December 2021, a political agreement was reached between co-legislators on new EU rules for cross-border energy infrastructure. The text must now be approved by the Council and the European Parliament before it is formally adopted. The 6th PCI list, expected in autumn 2023, will be drafted on the basis of a revised TEN-E Regulation. The Commission is organising a series of webinars to present the new provisions, which are expected to enter into force in June 2022.
The nine priority corridors cover different geographic regions in the field of electricity, gas and oil infrastructure. EU support for development in these corridors will connect regions currently isolated from European energy markets, strengthen existing cross-border interconnections, and help integrate renewable energy.
North Seas offshore grid (NSOG): Integrated offshore electricity grid development and related interconnectors in the North Sea, Irish Sea, English Channel, Baltic Sea and neighbouring waters to transport electricity from renewable offshore energy sources to centres of consumption and storage and to increase cross-border electricity exchange.
North-south electricity interconnections in western Europe (NSI West Electricity): Interconnections between EU countries in this region and with the Mediterranean area including the Iberian peninsula, in particular to integrate electricity from renewable energy sources and reinforce internal grid infrastructures to promote market integration in the region.
North-south electricity interconnections in central eastern and south eastern Europe (NSI East Electricity): Interconnections and internal lines in north-south and east-west directions to complete the EU internal energy market and integrate renewable energy sources.
Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan in electricity (BEMIP Electricity): Interconnections between Member States in the Baltic region and the strengthening of internal grid infrastructure, to end the energy isolation of the Baltic States and to foster market integration; this includes working towards the integration of renewable energy in the region.
North-south gas interconnections in Western Europe (NSI West Gas): Gas infrastructure for north-south gas flows in western Europe to further diversify routes of supply and for increasing short-term gas deliverability.
North-south gas interconnections in central eastern and south eastern Europe (NSI East Gas): Gas infrastructure for regional connections between and within the Baltic Sea region, Adriatic and Aegean Seas, eastern Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea, and for enhancing diversification and security of gas supply.
Southern Gas Corridor (SGC): Infrastructure for the transmission of gas from the Caspian Basin, Central Asia, Middle East and eastern Mediterranean Basin to the EU to enhance diversification of gas supply.
Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan in gas (BEMIP Gas): Gas infrastructure to end the isolation of the three Baltic States and Finland and their dependency on a single supplier, to reinforce internal grid infrastructures, and to increase diversification and security of supplies in the Baltic Sea region.
Oil supply connections in central eastern Europe (OSC): interoperability of the oil pipeline network in central eastern Europe to increase security of supply and reduce environmental risks.
Priority thematic areas
The three priority thematic areas, which relate to the entire EU, include smart grids deployment, electricity highways, and a cross-border carbon dioxide network.
Smart grids deployment: increase deployment of smart grids to help integrate renewable energy and allow consumers to better regulate their energy consumption
Electricity highways: construction of electricity highways – large grids that allow electricity to be transported over long distances across Europe (e.g. from wind farms in the North and Baltic Seas to storage facilities in Scandinavia and the Alps)
Cross-border carbon dioxide network: development of transport infrastructure for captured CO2 through dedicated thematic groups.
- Study: Measuring the contribution of gas infrastructure projects to sustainability as defined in the TEN-E regulation (October 2020)
- Study: Evaluation of the TEN-E Regulation and assessing the impacts of alternative policy scenarios (February 2018)
- Regulation on guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure (EU) No 347/2013