The EU Parliament, on the day before MEP’s will be on their election campaign trails, approved funding for several energy projects to be initiaited before the end of 2010.  The projects are part of a €5 billion economic recovery plan  which also includes €1.02 billion to broadband Internet connections and rural development. The major part of the energy funding – €2.37 billion – is allocated to gas and electricity interconnections, including €200 million for the Nabucco gas pipeline. A further €565 million is allocated to offshore wind energy farms and €1 billion for carbon capture and storage (CCS) demonstration plants. The first €2 billion of the money will be spent in 2009 and further €1.98 billion in 2010. The focus on grid infrastructure followed January’s gas crisis, during which Russia cut off gas supplies to transit country Ukraine, leaving large parts of Eastern Europe without electricity and heating. MEP’s managed to include a provision that will ensure that unspent money will be going to energy efficiency and renewable energy.