The European Commission published its Third Report on the State of the Energy Union in November, stressing that Europe's transition to a low-carbon society is becoming the new reality on the EU's ground. However, the report also confirms that energy transition is not possible without adapting the infrastructure to the needs of the future energy system. Considerable achievements have been made but bottlenecks remain particularly in the field of electricity. To address this, the Commission today adopted a Communication on the 2030 electricity interconnection target of 15%. It also adopted the third list of Projects of Common Interest (PCIs).
Energy, transport and telecommunication infrastructure will become increasingly interlinked. Local networks will become ever more important in the daily lives of European citizens who will increasingly switch to electro-mobility, decentralised energy production and demand response.
Member states will need to finalise their draft integrated national energy and climate plans for the post-2020 period by early 2018. Having the draft plans in place by early 2018 is also essential to demonstrate the Union's strong leadership on the global stage.
The Commission repeated that while global changes in energy production poses serious challenges to Europe, it also creates unique opportunities for Europe to step up its role as a global leader in the clean energy transition while providing energy security to all its citizens. Showing ambition on issues such as renewables, energy efficiency, climate action and clean energy innovation and ensuring the right price signals in the market, is a precondition for attracting investments in modernising the entire EU economy to the benefit of its citizens.
The 2017 list includes 173 projects, of which 110 are electricity and smart grids projects, 53 gas projects, and 6 oil projects. This list contains 22 fewer PCIs than the (second) list adopted in 2015, mainly because 30 projects (22 gas and 8 electricity) from the first and second lists will have been completed by early 2018, but also because of a clearer focus on key priorities.
Thanks to recent progress, gas infrastructure has become in general more resilient and better integrated in most parts of Europe. However, the Eastern Baltic Sea region and the Central South-Eastern part of Europe remain more vulnerable to potential supply shortages. This vulnerability can be effectively addressed by the selected projects as they will provide the necessary diversification and integration.
A new list of PCIs is prepared every two years, therefore the next, fourth, list will be published in 2019.
Less than three years since the publication of the Energy Union Framework Strategy, with its 'Clean Energy for all Europeans' package of measures, the Commission has presented nearly all the proposals needed to deliver on the 'energy efficiency first' principle, support EU global leadership in climate action and renewable energy and provide a fair deal for energy consumers.
In March this year the 'Europe on the Move' set of initiatives for the transport sector, which aim to ensure that Europe remains competitive in a socially fair transition towards clean energy and digitalisation, as well as the 'Clean Mobility Package' presented in November - a decisive step forward in implementing the EU's commitments under the Paris Agreement for a binding domestic CO2 reduction of at least 40% by 2030.
Geopolitical events have kept energy and climate at the top of the agenda in 2017. The intention of the US Administration to withdraw from the Paris Agreement prompted the EU to show leadership by reinforcing synergies between its climate and energy diplomacies in response. The EU will continue to reaffirm its commitment to the global fight against climate change and to strengthening its existing global partnerships.
ENEA – IT
Roberta Roberto | +39 0161 483410/+39 06 30487031 | firstname.lastname@example.org
KSSENA – SI
Lidija Stvarnik | +386 3 8961 525 | email@example.com
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IMEAS Communication team