EC Framework documents

Projects of Common Interest in Energy (PCIs)

20 Nov 2013: Projects of Common Interest in Energy (PCIs)

The energy infrastructure package identifies 12 priority corridors and areas, and defines a procedure and criteria for projects to become a Project of Common Interest (PCI). These are key infrastructure projects which will help Member States to physically integrate their energy markets, enable them to diversify their energy sources and help bring an end to the energy isolation some of them are facing. In addition, they will enable the power grid to cope with increasing amounts of electricity generated from renewable energy sources and consequently help reduce CO2 emissions.

Based on an open consultation process the first EU-wide list of PCIs was established on 14/10/2013 and will be updated every two years. The list is mainly made up of projects in high-voltage transmission infrastructure, but there are few pumped hydro projects, grid-scale battery-storage and smart grid projects. The projects will benefit from the possibility to receive support from the Connecting Europe Facility (grants for feasibility studies are available to all technologies); accelerated planning and permit granting procedures; a single national competent authority; less administrative costs as well as increased transparency and improved public participation. On 20/11/2013 the Commission published an update to the list, also providing further technical information on the listed projects.

Guidance to Member States on state intervention in electricity markets

5 Nov 2013: Guidance to Member States on state intervention in electricity markets

In some cases, state intervention in energy markets may be necessary in order to ensure security of supply and to achieve climate objectives. To avoid adding extra costs for consumers and distorting the functioning of the internal electricity market, public intervention has to be designed with great care.

The Commission gives guidance to Member States on how to, i) design and reform national support schemes for renewables (link to Staff Working Document elaborating on the guidance), ii) design adequate generation capacities to ensure the continuous supply of electricity when generation fluctuates (link to Staff Working Document) and, iii) enhance the role of consumers in the electricity market by providing them with incentives to use electricity when it is cheapest and most plentiful (link to Staff Working Document).

New procedure on inclusion of the third party projects in the 2014 version of the TYNDP

23 Sep 2013: New procedure on inclusion of the third party projects in the 2014 version of the TYNDP

ENTSO-E publishes a new version of the Procedure for the inclusion of third party projects – transmission and storage, in the TYNDP 2014, which updates the previous Procedure for inclusion of third party projects (published on 21 January 2013). "Compared to the initial Third Party Procedure the current version incorporates, additional to the transmission project criteria – which remained unchanged, the criteria for inclusion of the electricity storage projects in the TYNDP".

Streamlining Environmental Assessment procedures

24 Jul 2013: Streamlining Environmental Assessment procedures

The Directorates-General for Energy and for Environment has presented the Guidance document on Streamlining Environmental Assessment procedures required by the new Regulation (No 347/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council) for trans-European energy infrastructure. As set out in the so called "TEN-E Regulation", the purpose of this Guidance document is to support Member States in defining adequate legislative and non-legislative measures to streamline environmental assessment procedures and to ensure coherent application of environmental assessment procedures required under Union law for PCIs. The recommendations set out in this document are based on, but go beyond, the implementation experience and the good practices identified in the Member States so far.

A 2030 framework for climate and energy policies

27 Mar 2013: A 2030 framework for climate and energy policies

"The aim of this Green Paper is to consult stakeholders to obtain evidence and views to support the development of the 2030 framework. It begins with an overview of the current framework and what has been achieved and then presents the issues where stakeholder input is sought. In parallel, the Commission is consulting on issues relating to the international negotiations of a new legally binding agreement for climate action as well its policy to enable the demonstration of the carbon capture and storage technology"

Working Paper on the future role and challenges of Energy Storage

14 Jan 2013: Working Paper on the future role and challenges of Energy Storage

"The Commission would like to give more attention to the issues around energy storage with a view to addressing them more effectively in EU energy policy. This paper considers the key questions which need to be considered in promoting energy storage development and deployment: 1. What is the role of energy storage in today's and tomorrow's energy system? 2. Why is storage becoming more important for energy policy? 3. At which level of electricity networks should storage be integrated? 4. What is the state of play for main storage technologies? 5. What are the barriers to further development and deployment? 6. Why is this an important issue for the EU? 7. How could the regulatory framework be adjusted to integrate storage better in the supply chain? 8. What can the EU do to enable the short and medium term development and deployment of storage at all levels?"

The Internal Energy Market

15 Nov 2012: The Internal Energy Market

In a European Commission communication COM(2012) 259 in June 2012 a number of legislative acts have been identified that require enhanced efforts and commitments “from both the Member States' and the Commission's side, to make the Single Market function to its full potential”. Among them the Electricity Directive is identified, as 13 Member States have not fully transposed the Directive. Then in November 2012 a communication was adopted COM(2012) 663 addressing specifically the progress with the internal energy market. In this communication there is importance placed on storage, already in the introduction: “we urgently need to invest in generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure, as well as storage.”


27 Jul 2012: TYNDP and PCIs

On the 5th of July 2012, the Ten Year Network Development Plan (TYNDP) was completed by ENTSO-E and submitted to ACER. This is relevant to the energy infrastructure package, as for projects that are to be labelled “common interest” have to be foreseen in the TYNDP.

The Union-wide list of “Projects of Common Interest” (PCIs) is expected to be established for the first time in 2013 and then updated every two years. The latest available version (amended 27th of July 2012) of the proposed PCIs for electricity contains more than 170 proposed projects. About 20 of them contain a storage element, with half of those being normal pumped hydro projects (new or refurbishments), 4 seawater pumped hydro projects, 2 CAES, 2 with batteries and one CSP with thermal storage. No assessment has been done on any of the projects, so the list is only indicative and it remains to be seen how many of the storage projects will make it to the final list.

Renewable Energy support after 2020

6 Jun 2012: Renewable Energy support after 2020

In an effort to start planning renewable energy policy developments after 2020 and to give some clarity to the relevant stakeholders, the following communication was issued by the EC in June 2012: Renewable Energy: a major player in the European energy market, COM(2012) 271. “This Communication explains how renewable energy is being integrated into the single market. It gives some guidance on the current framework until 2020 and outlines possible policy options for beyond 2020, to ensure continuity and stability, enabling Europe's renewable energy production to continue to grow to 2030 and beyond.

Section 3, on electricity market opening confirms once more that a market based approach to encourage the necessary flexibility needs to be chosen: “The market should be able to respond, reducing supply when prices are low and increasing it when prices are high. Changes in market prices need to encourage flexibility, including storage facilities, flexible generation and demand-side management (as consumers respond to changing price patterns).” Also in chapter 6 regarding technology innovation, it is recognised that: “It would appear that notably ocean technologies, energy storage, advanced materials and manufacturing for renewable energy technologies need to be given higher priority in future research.

Energy Roadmap 2050

15 Dec 2011: Energy Roadmap 2050

The Energy Roadmap 2050, COM(2011) 885 is the basis for developing a long-term European framework together with all stakeholders. It explores routes towards decarbonisation of the energy system and has developed different scenarios with different shares of renewable energies “examining the impacts, challenges and opportunities of possible ways of modernizing the energy system”.

Regarding storage the analysis of the scenarios concludes that “Storage technologies remain critical. Storage is currently often more expensive than additional transmission capacity, gas backup generation capacity, while conventional storage based on hydro is limited. Greater efficiencies in their use and competitive costs require improved infrastructure for integration across Europe. With sufficient interconnection capacity and a smarter grid, managing the variations of wind and solar power in some local areas can be provided also from renewables elsewhere in Europe. This could diminish the need for storage, backup capacity and base load supply.” It also recognises that: “One challenge is the need for flexible resources in the power system (e.g. flexible generation, storage, demand management) as the contribution of intermittent renewable generation increases... Ensuring that market arrangements offer cost-effective solutions to these challenges will become increasingly important. Access to markets needs to be assured for flexible supplies of all types, demand management and storage as well as generation, and that flexibility needs to be rewarded in the market. All types of capacity (variable, base load, flexible) must expect a reasonable return on investment.” The document concludes with 10 conditions that must be met for achieving a new energy system, one of which is: “A new sense of urgency and collective responsibility must be brought to bear on the development of new energy infrastructure and storage capacities across Europe and with neighbours”.