EU Member States agreed Thursday to the European Commission’s proposal to invest €873 million in key European energy infrastructure projects.
Properly interconnected electricity lines and gas pipelines form the backbone of an integrated European energy market anchored on the principle of solidarity, the Commission said in a press release, adding that supporting these 17 selected electricity and gas projects, signals Europe’s willingness to upgrade and make the European energy system more competitive to ultimately deliver cheaper and secure energy to all European consumers.
The EU funding for the chosen projects comes from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), the European support programme for trans-European infrastructure.
“Once again, we have demonstrated that cooperation pays off and that the Energy Union is becoming a reality with a tangible impact on the ground,” Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič said. “These are important projects with major cross-border benefits and by implementing them we strengthen energy resilience of the EU Member States. The CEF has yet again shown tremendous added value in our modernisation efforts,” he added.
Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete noted that the construction of the Bay of Biscay interconnection between France and Spain marks an important step towards ending the isolation of the Iberian Peninsula from the rest of the internal European energy market.
“Only a fully interconnected market will improve Europe’s security of supply, ending the dependence of single suppliers and give consumers more choice. An energy infrastructure fit for this purpose is also essential for renewables to thrive and to deliver on the Paris (Climate) Agreement,” Cañete said.
Under the Connecting Europe Facility, a total of €5 billion has been allocated to trans-European energy infrastructure for the period 2014-2020.