The European Commission opens a public consultation to define the selection criteria for renewable energy projects eligible for EU funding
The European Commission is inviting comments from stakeholders until 18 November on its proposal to identify cross-border projects in the field of renewable energy production that would be eligible to receive EU funding under the European for interconnection.
In July 2021, the European Union adopted its Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) program for the period 2021-2027 amounting to 33.71 billion euros to finance the development of efficient infrastructure in the transport sectors, energy and digital.
Of the CEF energy program (5.83 billion euros), 15% (875 million euros) is intended for a new category of eligible projects, namely “cross-border renewable energy projects”, including, for example, the production of renewable energy from onshore and offshore wind, solar energy, sustainable biomass, ocean energy, geothermal energy, or combinations thereof, their connection to the grid and additional elements such as storage or conversion facilities.
The Commission is currently consulting stakeholders on its draft delegated act to establish the specific selection criteria and selection procedure for cross-border renewable energy projects. the consultation closing on November 18, at midnight.
The proposed procedure can be seen as a cumbersome process with no guarantee for promoters that their selected projects will be funded under the CEF. In this respect, the Commission underlines that a promoter may wish to apply for cross-border renewable energy project status but not for CEF funding. This status should indeed be considered as a “quality label” for a project, allowing promoters to obtain appropriate funding on the market, or from the Member States. In this context, the CINEA (European Executive Agency for Climate, Infrastructure and the Environment) has already launched a call for proposals open until 30 November 2021 and making EUR 1,000,000 available to support preparatory studies for projects before their inclusion on the Union list of cross-border renewable energy projects.
Companies considering developing cross-border renewable energy projects within the EU may wish to give their views to the Commission on the selection criteria and selection process. They may also consider applying for scholarships for their studies to identify and develop such projects.