The European Commission has proposed to increase the investment budget over the 2021-2027 period to accelerate the decarbonisation and digitalisation of the EU’s economy, with Euro 8.7bn ($10.2bn) to support the energy sector.
The move is part of the “Connecting Europe Facility” programme, which will also pave the way for Euro 30.6bn of investments in supporting European infrastructure networks for transport, and Euro 3bn in the digital sector, according to Rechargenews.com.
The Commission’s proposal aims to better integrate the transport, energy and digital sector, it said. Overall, the Euro 42.3bn investments represent a 47% increase compared to 2014-2020 period.
Funding will be allocated on the basis of competitive calls for proposals managed by the EC and the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA).
“Since the Paris Agreement, creating links between sectors is imperative. The new Connecting Europe Facility will push for even greater synergies between the transport, energy and digital sectors to maximise the impact of the energy transition,” said Maroš Šefčovič, the vice president responsible for Energy Union.
“Moreover, its increased budget and possible blending with other instruments will help Europe stay ahead of the curve globally on innovative projects such as smart grids and energy storage.”
“This proposal will build the infrastructure needed for the clean energy transition and help achieve our ambitious 2030 climate and energy targets,” added Miguel Arias Cañete, the commissioner for Climate Action and Energy.
“The new programme will also help us complete strategic projects, such as the synchronisation of the Baltics with the European electricity grid, which are essential for a real Energy Union.”
In the energy sector, the new Connecting Europe Facility is meant to enable the creation of a genuine “Energy Union” and support the energy transition.
“To this end, a new strand of the budget will nurture Member State cooperation on cross-border renewable generation projects, in order to promote the strategic uptake of market-ready renewable energy technologies,” the Commission said in a statement.
The facility will also support “smart, sustainable, inclusive, safe and secure mobility”. “It will for instance help with the decarbonisation of transport by prioritising environmentally friendly modes (such as rail transport) and the development of charging points for alternative fuels,” the Commission said.