Projects of Common Interest evaluation

Within the framework of our participation to the work of the Smart Grid Task Force, we developed a multi-criteria assessment framework for Projects of Common Interest (PCI) in the field of Smart Grids.

This methodology was meant to serve as guidance for the proposal and evaluation of PCIs under the trans-European energy infrastructure regulation (Regulation 347/2013). Lately, building on our expertise in the technical and economic assessment of energy projects we have been entrusted with the task of developing a ranking methodology for Projects of Common Interest in the European electricity (and gas) infrastructure.

Projects of Common Interest (PCIs) are key energy infrastructure projects, which will help Member States to integrate their energy markets and, in particular, end the isolation of some Member States from Europe-wide energy networks. The projects will also allow a greater diversity of sources to supply Europe's networks. Moreover, they will help power grids to cope with the increasing amounts of electricity generated from renewable energy sources and, thus contributing towards the reduction of CO2 emissions.

The figure illustrates the energy infrastructure categories and respective requirements for Projects of Common Interest under the Regulation (EU) No. 347/2013. The first list of PCIs was published in October 2013 and contains a total of 248 projects, mostly electricity transmission lines and gas pipelines and interconnectors. The selection of these projects represents a step towards the implementation of the Guidelines for Trans-European Networks for Energy (TEN-E).

The list of PCI projects is to be updated every two years and as of January 2015 this process is on-going as the revised list of PCI projects is to be released in October 2015. Regulation (EU) No. 347/2013 specifies that all projects included in the 2015 PCI Union list shall be part of the Ten Year Network Development Plan (TYNDP) 2014 (Figure 1): "After adoption of the first Union list, for all subsequent Union lists adopted, proposed electricity transmission and storage projects, falling under the categories set out in Annex II.1(a), (b) and (d) and gas projects, falling under the categories set out in Annex II.2, shall be part of the latest available 10-year network development plan for electricity and gas,  developed by the ENTSO for Electricity and ENTSO for Gas, respectively."

Furthermore, Regulation (EU) No. 347/2013 calls upon the development of a methodology by the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) and the ENTSO for Gas (ENTSO-G) for harmonised energy system-wide Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) at Union level for Projects of Common Interest falling under the categories set out in Annex II.1 (a) to (d) and Annex II.2.

The projects are evaluated by Regional Groups, set-up by the European Commission and are comprised of representatives from competent Ministries, national regulatory authorities and the gas and electricity transmission system operators and project promoters, ENTSO-E, ENTSO-G, the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) and European Commission and other participants. We are supporting the Regional Groups in their task of assessing each project's compliance with the criteria set up in the Regulation (EU) No. 347/2013 and its added value on a European-level, notably in the priorities of electricity transmission and storage and gas transmission, liquefied or compressed natural gas infrastructure and storage.

On a related note, we were involved in the development of an assessment framework for PCI in the area of Smart Grids and evaluation of the first Union list of Smart Grid projects within the Smart Grid Task Force Expert Group 4. Furthermore, we are assisting the Smart Grid thematic group in evaluation of the second year Smart Grid PCI.