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The European Commission has proposed new EU legislation for speeding up and financing new energy infrastructure offering €9.1 billion in support.

By Kari Williamson

“€9.1bn of financial support from the EU budget for priority projects is substantially more money than was provided in the past”, says Christian Kjaer, CEO the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA).

“Although it represents only a small proportion of the €200bn the European Commission has estimated is needed for energy infrastructure improvements, it should, together with the proposal for Project Bonds, leverage significant additional private investments.”

Kjaer warns, however, that it is still not clear how this money will be divided between electricity, gas, and carbon capture and storage (CCS) infrastructure. CCS will not be ready by 2020, which means by the end of the time frame of this regulation.

“A clear priority should be given to financial support for electricity infrastructure. This will bring clear benefits for Europe’s energy security, the internal electricity market and integrating very large amounts of renewable energy,” Kjaer says.

EWEA says it fully supports the Commission’s plans to eliminate unnecessary delays in authorisation procedures for new priority European power lines including offshore grids.

“It is not necessary for authorisation to build new electricity grids to take over 10 years, and this proposal will help to reduce these delays,” Kjaer adds.

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