A thorough review of the Regulation EU 347/2013 concerning trans-European energy networks

The Trans-European Energy Networks (TEN-E) regulation identifies priority corridors and thematic areas of trans-European energy infrastructure and provides guidelines for the selection of Projects of Common Interest (PCIs). The main objective of this assignment was to provide an independent evaluation of the TEN-E Regulation and PCI framework. The evaluation focused on the distinct assessment criteria and evaluation questions and provided evidence especially in those aspects in which the PCI framework had not been delivering as expected.

The contractor was required to provide comprehensive support throughout the assessment process, gathering and presenting evidence (through literature study, public consultation, stakeholder survey as well as stakeholder interviews) that helped to evaluate the existing problems and their drivers, to identify and assess different possible policy options to address these, and to come to a view on their comparative advantages and disadvantages. The study took place over the year 2017, and was delivered in collaboration with Enerdata, DNV GL and Spark (with Trinomics in the lead).

On the basis of the analysed evidence, the study concludes that the TEN-E Regulation is overall a positive initiative which has effectively improved and accelerated the selection and realisation of trans-European energy infrastructure projects. At this this stage, a revision of the Regulation is not necessary. However, if an update of certain aspect is opted for, the instrument should allow a flexible and future-proof approach. Moreover, certain elements can benefit from better implementation at the national level and additional guidance at EU level.

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In order to mitigate the existing weaknesses and reinforce the positive impacts of the TEN-E Regulation, the study concludes with the following suggestions:

  • Updating the list of priority corridors and the eligibility criteria. Flexible non-binding guidelines, which are not a formal part of the Regulation, could be a suitable instrument to be considered.
  • Setting up structural cooperation between the European Network of Transmission System Operators (ENTSOs) for a more holistic approach and enhanced consistency between the Ten Year National Development Plans (TYNDPs) and the PCI selection, with stricter oversight by the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) and/or the Commission, in particular with regard to the scenarios and assumptions choices for network planning.
  • Improving and harmonising the cost-benefit analysis (CBA) methodology for electricity and gas to consistently capture and quantify all projects’ costs and benefits, including their impact on the environment and security of supply, and to offer an adequate basis for cross-border cost allocation (CBCA) decisions.
  • Increasing flexibility in the permitting provisions e.g. via best-practice sharing or non-binding guidelines or through legally binding acts such as delegated acts.
  • Simplifying procedures to lower the administrative burden for project developers and authorities, e.g. renewal of PCI-label and reporting on progress by PCI promoters.