The European Commission earlier this week launched a call for proposals covering key energy infrastructure projects throughout the European Union.
The commission is set to make around €4 billion of financial aid available to a range of schemes, including gas and electricity infrastructure, offshore wind energy and carbon capture and storage projects. The funding package forms part of the European Energy Programme for Recovery, recently agreed upon in the European parliament.
European energy commissioner Andris Piebalgs said the funding will act as a catalyst in the energy sector: “The financing that has been made available will act as a role to secure and speed up investments in the energy sector. In addition, the funds allocated to projects will have a direct impact on the EU economy and on employment.”
One of the main aims of the initiative is to increase the energy supply security of the most vulnerable EU member states. This vulnerability was underlined by the Russian gas crisis earlier in the year.
Project promoters have until mid-July to put forward their proposals, with the first grant agreements expected to be signed by the end of the year. The remainder of the funding is set to be invested by the end of 2010.