On April 24, 2017 EU Member States approved the Commission’s proposal to  invest €22.1 million to support the development of connections between transport and energy infrastructure in Europe. A Dutch hydrogen infrastructure project in Groningen in the North, that the EHA co-prepared, was selected as the biggest and only hydrogen project.  The seven selected projects will receive funding from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF)

EU Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc stated: “European transport still depends on oil for 94% of its energy needs. That is why the EU is investing in seven projects to speed up the deployment of alternative energy sources, with a special focus on electrification and multimodal transport“.

EU Commissioner for Climate Action & Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete, noted: “Enabling synergies between the transport and energy sectors will enhance the effectiveness of EU funding and will contribute to the further integration of the internal energy market. The successful conclusion of the first CEF synergy call is yet another milestone in the achievement of our long-term decarbonisation objectives”.

Their statements were echoed by the Director of the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA), Dirk Beckers: “One of our key priorities is to strengthen synergies between CEF sectors. I am proud that INEA, in coordination with the Commission, organised the first call of this kind and very pleased that we will manage these innovative projects. The projects selected represent innovative investments in Trans-European Networks and will contribute to the EU’s economic competitiveness”.

Selected projects concern studies with or without pilot deployment contributing to the implementation of at least one project of common interest (PCI) in each of the transport and energy sectors.

Other selected projects:

  • Four refer to the transport priorities “Motorways of the Sea”, “Maritime ports” and “multimodal transport modes” with emphasis on the gas sector (EU funding of €8.8 million)
  • Two are in the electricity sector addressing Roads and multimodal transport modes (EU funding of €12.3 million)
  • One relates to smart grids, focusing on Railway transport (EU funding of €1 million).

The list of selected projects includes, among others:

  • Installing stationary storage systems (e.g. batteries) on ultra and fast charging stations for electric vehicles along Core Network Corridors in Austria and Germany;
  • Increasing energy efficiency of the Croatian railway system by feeding back regenerative braking power into the electricity grid
  • Developing LNG as a marine fuel in Malta.

Launched in September 2016 with a total budget of €40 million, the first CEF Synergy call triggered nine eligible project proposals, of which seven were selected for funding. The EU’s financial contribution for the selected projects is 60% of the eligible costs, which includes the 10% bonus for synergies between the two sectors. The Commission funding decision is scheduled for adoption by end April. INEA intends to sign the individual grant agreements with the project beneficiaries by August 2017.

Phot: courtesy TenneT