Friends of the Supergrid (FOSG), Europe’s largest industrial alliance for electricity interconnections, welcomes with enthusiasm the publication of the State of the Energy Union and the 2nd EU-wide list of Projects of Common Interest (PCIs). FOSG especially welcomes the inclusion by European Commission (EC) of no less than 108 electricity projects and the labelling for the first time of 26 of them as ‘electricity highways’. FOSG shares the view that these projects are of strategic importance to ensuring the implementation of the pan-European Supergrid. Implementing the Supergrid will be a major step towards providing stability and security of supply to the European electricity market by supporting the reliable delivery of renewable electricity and will facilitate market integration.
Without taking away from the benefits available to PCI projects, effective implementation of European electricity interconnection projects still takes on average more than 10 years before they are commissioned. Ten years is still too long.
In an effort to contribute to reducing such an excessive timeline, FOSG is committed to the implementation of a further simplified EU-wide fast-track infrastructure permitting system and will soon come forward with concrete proposals to this effect. In the meantime, FOSG supports the EC’s proposed measures to help ensure the timely implementation of the PCIs across the Member States. In particular, FOSG is excited about the introduction of a ‘progress watch’ to monitor PCI implementation and the establishment of an Expert Group to review and speed up financing and permitting procedures.
Nonetheless, additional measures are a must if Europe wants to see the realization of an efficient pan-European grid. A more transparent and non-discriminatory PCI selection process, harmonised regulation and enhanced attractiveness of the financial framework are but a few of the elements that will be essential going forward. FOSG will continue to advocate decisively for the development of these crucial tools.
As an example of its commitment to the success of the foregoing, FOSG is looking forward to taking hands-on action towards the improvement of the PCI selection and implementation process by presenting proposals in response to both the EC’s planned Communication on achieving the 15% interconnection target and the forthcoming revision of the Energy Infrastructure Regulation.
FOSG represents the key sectors active in the electricity grid industry, i.e. global multi-industrial companies with a combined turnover of €200 billion representing close to 1 million jobs. The main purpose of FOSG is to support the creation of an integrated European electricity market supported by a pan-European offshore and onshore electricity network, the Supergrid, which will significantly foster Europe’s energy independence.