What is a cross-border project in the field of renewable energy?
In order to meet the EU decarbonisation targets, the EU Member States committed to achieve at least 32% of renewable energy in the EU’s final energy consumption by 2030. This means that they have to increase the share of energy from renewable sources in their respective energy mixes. To do so, apart from purely domestic actions, an EU Member State may choose to cooperate with other countries within the EU or beyond. Such cooperation mechanisms, as set up in the Renewable Energy Directive, can take form of joint projects, joint support schemes, or statistical transfers.
The new CEF programme (Connecting Europe Facility) provides an enabling framework to support cross-border cooperation in the field of renewable energy and introduces the concept of cross-border renewable energy projects.
In order for such a cooperation initiative to become a cross-border renewable energy project (CB RES project) it should fulfil the criteria set out in Part IV of the Annex to the CEF Regulation. These criteria refer to the cooperation arrangement, as well as cost savings and potential overall net benefits that the project would provide.
What type of projects do we expect?
Cross-border renewable energy projects aim to enable the cost-effective deployment of renewable energy. Any project meeting the criteria may obtain the status of cross-border renewable energy project (CB RES status) and therefore enter a list of projects eligible for CEF funding (CB RES list).
In the current call for CB RES status, we expect applications from projects that promote cross-border cooperation between EU Member States in the field of renewable energy, as well as projects facilitating RES integration through energy storage facilities and contributing both to the strategic uptake of innovative renewables technologies and to the EU’s long term decarbonisation strategy.
CB RES projects do not necessarily entail a physical link between the cooperating Member States and can be located in the territory of only one of the Member States involved, provided that the general criteria of Part IV of the Annex to this Regulation apply.
CB RES projects should contribute to generation of renewable energy from, for example, on- and offshore wind, solar energy, sustainable biomass, ocean energy, geothermal energy or combinations thereof, their connection to the grid and additional elements such as storage or conversion facilities. CB RES projects are not limited to the electricity sector and can cover other energy carriers and potential sector coupling with, for example, heating and cooling, power-to-gas, storage and transport. This list is non-exhaustive.
In addition, an eligible project shall:
(a) be included in a cooperation agreement or any other kind of arrangement between Member States or between Member State(s) and third country(ies) as set out in Articles 8, 9, 11 and 13 of the Renewable Energy Directive (a joint project, a joint support scheme, or a statistical transfer – no physical connection is required),
(b) provide cost savings in the deployment of renewable energy and/or benefits for system integration, security of supply or innovation, in comparison to a similar/RES project implemented by one of the participating Member States alone,
(c) bring potential overall benefits of cooperation that outweigh its costs, including in the longer term.
Why a call for the CB RES status?
Having the official CB RES status is a requirement to be eligible for financial support under the CEF Programme, and it could provide further benefits such as higher visibility, increased investor certainty, and stronger support from Member States.
As specified in the Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2022/342, the new CEF window complements other EU renewable energy funding opportunities, focusing specifically on cross-border cooperation to optimise national efforts for deployment of renewable energy.
All projects with the CB RES status are on a list of eligible projects (the CB RES list) and may therefore apply for dedicated calls for CEF grants for technical studies and works.
How to apply?
The first call for projects looking to obtain the CB RES status is open from the 4 March 2022.
Promoters of candidate projects for the CB RES status can participate in the call by submitting an application via EUSURVEY.
The project promoters can apply starting from 4 March 2022, until 5 pm CET on 10 May 2022.
Project promoters should ensure that they have an EU LOGIN account in order to apply via EU SURVEY. To create an account in EU LOGIN, you need to provide basics information and have a valid email address.
What are the next steps?
Once the call is closed, eligible projects will be assessed against the criteria set out in the CEF regulation and the Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2022/342.
This assessment will be based on a methodology described in the EC staff working document SWD (2021) 429 accompanying the above Delegated Regulation.
CINEA supports the management of the assessment on behalf of the European Commission.
Candidate projects meeting the requirements of the CEF Regulation and its related delegated acts; namely the Delegated Regulation and the accompanying EC staff working document, will be proposed for award of the CB RES status, therefore also inclusion in the first CB RES List.
The CB RES list is expected to be adopted by the European Commission by autumn 2022 and published in the Official Journal by the end of 2022. It is also expected that the first dedicated call for proposals under CEF Energy for CB RES eligible projects will open by the end of 2022.
Contact Points in Member States
- Renewable energy directive (EU) 2018/2001
- CEF Regulation (EU) 2021/1153
- EC Delegated regulation (EU) 2022/342
- EC Staff working document SWD(2021) 429
Templates for the submission of proposals:
The application form and all annexes shall be uploaded via EUSURVEY.
Please note that together with the mandatory templates reported above, applicants need to upload in EUSURVEY the following document:
- Member States Memorandum of Understanding or similar form of written declaration (no specific template)
All the information about the call is presented in the info day organised by CINEA. You can register/watch the recording on the dedicated webpage.
Information about the policy goals and latest developments is available on the European Commission DG ENER renewable energy webpage.