EU ambassadors endorsed a provisional political agreement on the revision of the Trans-European Networks for Energy (TEN-E) Regulation. The new rules for TEN-E will support the EU’s climate objectives and the Green Deal. The revision of the TEN-E Regulation identifies 11 priority corridors and 3 priority thematic areas to develop and interconnect. It updates the infrastructure categories eligible for support with an emphasis on decarbonisation and adds a new focus on offshore electricity grids, hydrogen infrastructure and smart grids. This will be done mostly through projects of common interest (PCIs) that are eligible for financing from the Connecting Europe Facility for 2021-2027.
The Council’s and Parliament’s negotiators agreed among other things to:
- end support for new natural gas and oil projects and introduce mandatory sustainability criteria for all projects;
- simplify and accelerate permitting and authorisation procedures, notably by creating a unique point of contact per project for permitting and authorisation;
- allow during a transitional period until 31 December 2029, for dedicated hydrogen assets converted from natural gas to be used to transport or store a pre-defined blend of hydrogen with natural gas or biomethane. Eligibility for EU financial assistance for such projects will end on 31 December 2027;
- emphasise the role of energy from renewable sources regarding all assets, including smart gas grids;
- create a possibility for non-binding cooperation in the field of offshore grid planning;
- strengthen the governance process for TEN-E with a stronger role for relevant stakeholders.