The European Commission has announced €647 million to be invested in key energy infrastructure to enhance security of supply across Europe. This includes €75 million for UK projects with cross-border benefits, including electricity interconnection (enabling electricity to be transferred between countries), smart grid and gas storage projects.
Energy Secretary Edward Davey said:
“This is excellent news for the UK and Europe. The Commission’s decision to fast-track funding is a real boost to getting these projects built. The €40 million awarded to interconnector projects linking the UK to Norway and France will help strengthen energy security and deliver lower energy bills.”
UK projects awarded in this round include the longest proposed subsea cable in the world, the NSN interconnector linking us to Norwegian hydropower, and two interconnectors to France. ElecLink will benefit from using the existing infrastructure of the Channel Tunnel and a further cable, FABLink, holds potential to connect to future tidal generation being developed off the Alderney coast. Together these projects would almost double the power the UK is able to receive over our interconnectors.
The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) provides grant funding to eligible ‘projects of common interest’. A further window for projects to apply for funds is expected in early 2015. A total of €5.85 billion has been allocated to Trans-European energy infrastructure for the period of 2014-2020.