Brussels, 21 March 2013
Commissioner Oettinger welcomes Council adoption of the Energy Infrastructure Regulation
Günther Oettinger, EU Commissioner for Energy said today: "This is really a breakthrough and will give a big push to much needed infrastructure: Rather than waiting up to 12 years or longer for a permit, developers of crucial cross-border infrastructure - such as pipelines or power grids - will have a decision in about 4 years. This will save them time and money – and will help us creating a true European market where energy systems are physically connected with each other. Consumers and companies will profit because competition keeps costs down.''
Today the Council adopted the Regulation on Guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure. The European Parliament has already formally approved the regulation.
To leverage the much needed investments of Euro 200 billion for power grids and gas networks by 2020, the regulation puts in place a new regulatory framework for crucial infrastructures: It foresees a new more transparent and accelerated permit granting procedure which generally will not exceed 3 years and 6 months. The procedure will cut administrative costs for a given project throughout Europe by on average of 30% on the promoters' side.
This accelerated procedure applies only for key infrastructures, so called 'projects of common interests'. According to the Regulation, these are projects which are cross-border or have benefits for two or more Member States. The projects may also be eligible for EU funding under the Connecting Europe Facility.