The European Commission (EC) has announced the first list of renewable energy cross-border projects under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).
The CEF, a funding instrument to support the development of interconnected trans-European networks in transport, energy, and digital services, provides an 875 million euros window to support renewable energy cross-border projects during the 2021-2027 period.
The first list consists of a hybrid offshore wind park between Estonia and Latvia, a cross-border district heating grid between Germany and Poland, and a green power and hydrogen project that involves Italy, Spain, Germany, and the Netherlands.
The projects will go into effect after two months of scrutiny by the European Parliament and the Council. The CEF will support studies and works for projects that are officially on the list of “cross-border renewable energy project.” A call for proposals is expected to be launched in November. According to the EU, these projects will aid both the REPowerEU plan and the European Green Deal.
The list includes the ELWIND offshore wind project, which is expected to build a wind park in Estonia and Latvia respectively, with annual renewable electricity production of about 3 TWh to 3.5 TWh, according to an announcement by the European Climate. A hybrid grid connection with interconnector and transmission lines will be built to link the two countries.
The second project selected is a climate-neutral distinct heating based on 160 GWh of annual renewable energy generation in Goerlitz, Germany and Zgorzelec, Poland. The district heating networks of the two cities will be connected by a cross-border pipeline. An ongoing feasibility study suggests the project could be materialized by 2026.
The third project calls for construction of new renewable power plants in Italy, Spain and Germany to supply electricity for green hydrogen and ammonia generation for offtakers directly in the Netherlands, but mainly used in Germany, including in hard-to-abate sectors.
“The three projects selected today are only the beginning: we are accelerating the deployment of renewable energy across the EU and moving towards a more collaborative approach as we do so. The full potential for green transition and decarbonization of the EU can only be realized through joint efforts across all sectors, technologies, and regions,” said Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson.
Meanwhile, the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency said that two projects have been selected to receive a total of 300,000 euros under the 2021 CEF Energy call for preparatory studies for cross-border renewable energy projects.
The first project, led by Regionalwerk Chiemgau-rupertiwinkel, will analyze the feasibility of a supra-regional supply of district heating, spanning Salzburg, Upper Austria in Austria and Bavaria in southern Germany. The heating system will be supplied by waste energy from local industry, geothermal and bioenergy plants.
The second project chosen is of the Estonian energy company Eesti Energia AS, which works with partners to construct up to 2 GW of offshore wind farms in the Gulf of Riga in Estonian and Latvian waters, which may come online by 2030. The EU fund will support the ongoing environmental impact assessment and update the wind farm’s cost estimate.