The EU approves new rules to avoid financing cross-border fossil energy corridors

New rules to avoid financing cross-border fossil energy infrastructure. The Council of the EU has adopted this Monday a revised regulation on trans-european energy networks (TEN-E)which aims to "modernize, decarbonize and interconnect the cross-border energy infrastructures of the Member States, so that the EU achieves its climate neutrality objectives by 2050".

"The revised regulation also has the purpose of continuing to guarantee market integration, competitiveness and security of supply," says the Council in a communication released this Monday. The decision comes after the provisional agreement reached with the European Parliament in December 2021.

“Among other things,” says the Council, “the new regulation will stop providing support for new natural gas and oil projects and will establish mandatory sustainability criteria for all projects that will simplify and speed up authorization and permitting procedures.”

The regulation "will emphasize the role of energy from renewable sources in relation to all assets, including smart gas networks, and will open the possibility of non-binding cooperation in the field of maritime network planning."

The European Commission presented its proposal for the revision of the TEN-E on December 15, 2020. The revised TEN-E regulation establishes 11 priority corridors and 3 priority thematic areas to be developed and interconnected. “It updates the categories of infrastructure that are eligible for financing, with an emphasis on decarbonisation, and devotes special attention to maritime electricity networks, hydrogen infrastructure and smart grids,” explains the Council, which states: “They will be used mainly Projects of Common Interest (CIPs), which are eligible for funding from the Connecting Europe Facility for 2021-2027”.

Thus, the European Commission adopts the list of projects of common interest in the form of a delegated regulation based on an evaluation of the so-called regional groups: "Projects of common interest benefit from a series of advantages, but there is no guarantee of financing of the EU for the projects included in the list of PICs”.

The Council reached a general approach on the TEN-E on June 11, 2021. The Council Presidency and European Parliament negotiators reached a provisional political agreement on December 15, 2021 in the framework of trilogue negotiations, trilogues .

The European Parliament adopted its position on the Regulation at first reading on April 5, 2022. The new regulation will now be published in the Official Journal of the EU for its entry into force.

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