Projects of common interest (PCIs)
The Infrastructure Regulation applies to all projects of common interest, as defined in Article 2(4) of the Regulation itself. PCI status is granted by including a project on a list pursuant to Article 3(4) of the Infrastructure Regulation. This list is annexed to a separate delegated regulation which is issued by the European Commission.
Only projects that fulfil the following criteria can be included in the PCI list:
- A PCI must be necessary to implement one of the energy infrastructure corridors or areas set out in Annex I to the Regulation;
- A PCI must concern at least two Member States (or one Member State and one EEA country); and
- A PCI’s potential overall benefits must outweigh its costs.
- Electricity and gas projects must, in addition, considerably contribute to market integration, competition (for gas projects only), sustainability or security of supply.
The list is updated every other year. The Infrastructure Regulation provides that in a first step towards the Union list, national regulators, member states, system operators, the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) and the European Commission come together in regional groups to discuss PCI candidates on the basis of the Union-wide network development plans. Following a public consultation and an ACER opinion, European Commission and member states together decide which projects make it onto the final list. Then, the European Commission adopts the Union list as delegated act. Take a look at the figure below for an overview of the process.
Process to identify projects of common interest; source: European Commission 2016click to enlarge
On 18 November 2015, the European Commission presented the second Union list of projects of common interest, including a total of 195 priority infrastructure projects. The corresponding delegated regulation was published on 27 January 2016 and came into force on 16 February 2016.
For further information about PCIs, please consult the European Commission’s website: http://ec.europa.eu/energy/infrastructure/pci/pci_en.htm
The Commission’s website also contains an interactive map with an overview of PCIs and links for details on the individual projects: http://ec.europa.eu/energy/infrastructure/transparency_platform/map-viewer/