EC’s Projects of Common Interest list includes hydrogen for the first time

The European Commission (EC) has adopted the first list of Projects of Common Interest (PCI) and Projects of Mutual Interest (PMIs) that is fully in line with the European Green Deal. For the first time, hydrogen and electrolyzer projects are included in the list.

Courtesy of the European Commission/Photo by Mauro Bottaro

The EC adopted the list containing a total of 166 key cross-order projects on November 28, describing it as another step to make the EU’s energy system fit for the future.

The selected projects will benefit from streamlined permitting and regulatory procedures, and become eligible for EU financial support from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).

This list is adopted under the revised Trans-European Networks for Energy Regulation (TEN-E) which ends support for fossil fuel infrastructure and focuses on cross-border energy infrastructure of the future.

It includes PCIs, which are projects within the EU territory, and for the first time PMIs, which connect the EU with other countries. The Commission said it will ensure the projects are swiftly completed and can contribute to doubling the EU’s grid capacity by 2030 and meeting its 42.5% renewable energy target.

Following the adoption of the PCI and PMI List by the Commission, as a Delegated Act under the TEN-E Regulation, it will now be submitted to the European Parliament and the Council for their scrutiny.

Kadri Simson, Commissioner for Energy, said: “Today’s list of cross-border projects draws the new energy map of Europe. The era of EU funding for fossil fuel infrastructure is over. It is now time to invest in energy infrastructure which is fit for a more flexible, decentralised and digitalised system, where consumers are also producers – and most of our energy comes from renewable sources.”

Out of the 166 selected PCIs and PMIs, over half (85) are electricity, offshore, and smart grid projects, with many expected to be commissioned between 2027 and 2030. The list also includes 14 CO2 network projects in line with the EU’s goals to create a market for carbon capture and storage.

For the first time, the list included hydrogen and electrolyzer projects, specifically 65 projects, which are expected to play a major role in enabling energy system integration and the decarbonization of the EU industry.

Among the projects in the PCI list are three hydrogen projects promoted by Finnish company Gasgrid and its partners, namely Nordic Hydrogen Route, Nordic-Baltic Hydrogen Corridor, and Baltic Sea Hydrogen Collector.

The Nordic-Baltic Hydrogen Corridor project examines the hydrogen infrastructure being built from Finland to Germany via Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland. The Nordic Hydrogen Route project explores the hydrogen infrastructure between Finland and Sweden on the coast of the Baltic Sea. The Baltic Sea Hydrogen Collector project envisages the undersea hydrogen infrastructure that will connect Finland and Sweden to Central Europe.

Another project selected for the PCI list is the so-called SoutH2 Corridor, listed as the “Hydrogen Corridor Italy – Austria – Germany”, which involves Snam together with the transmission system operators (TSOs) Trans Austria Gasleitung (TAG), Gas Connect Austria (GCA) in Austria, and bayernets in Germany.