The European Commission yesterday released €750 million in EU funding for the construction and maintenance of clean energy infrastructure.
The funding will go towards supporting key clean energy infrastructure projects in Member States, thereby promoting the usage and development of renewable energy sources in the EU in alignment with the bloc’s goal of becoming a world leader in renewable energy production. By supporting the infrastructure necessary for clean energy generation, the Commission further hopes to improve energy security, widen consumer choice and contribute to the creation of jobs in the renewable energy sector.
The infrastructure developments made possible by the new funding will move the EU closer to the completion of a fully interconnected Internal Energy Market network – one of its primary goals – and will contribute to the EU’s long term climate targets. Under the Paris Agreement the EU has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent compared with 1990 levels by 2030; the union has pledged separately to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Miguel Arias Cañete, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, said: “Europe’s energy system is moving fast from an energy system of last century to a low-carbon, more digital and consumer oriented one. The energy transition is well underway in Europe, with record levels of renewable energy and rapidly falling costs. Europe’s energy infrastructure must develop in the same direction and with the same speed to fully support this energy transition towards a climate neutral Europe.”
The Commission emphasised the importance of an “adequate and smart” clean energy infrastructure system across the EU, which if implemented and integrates appropriately would promote the transition to renewable energy and modernisation of the energy sectors in Member States. The Connecting Europe Facility is open to funding proposals for trans-European energy infrastructure research and construction projects until 13 June 2019.