The Connecting Europe Facility aims to promote growth, jobs and competitiveness through targeted infrastructure investment at European level. It is divided into the three sectors: transport, energy and digital (telecommunications).
An indicative budget of €800 million is available for the 2017 Call for Proposals.
The CEF has an overall budget of €29.3 billion to invest, of which, €5.85 billion is available for energy infrastructure.
Financial assistance will not exceed 50% of the eligible cost of studies and/or works.
Funding rates may be increased to a maximum of 75% for actions which provide a high degree of regional or EU-wide security of supply, strengthen the solidarity of the EU or comprise highly innovative solutions.
The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) is a European instrument aimed at supporting the development of high-performing, sustainable and efficiently interconnected trans-European networks in the field of energy, telecommunications and transport.
The trans-European energy infrastructure guidelines identify 12 priority corridors and thematic areas that must be implemented in the coming decade to help the EU meet its short and longer term energy and climate objectives.
Energy infrastructure projects which can be identified as Projects of Common Interest in line with the guidelines may be supported.
Proposals submitted by natural persons are not eligible.
Proposals must be submitted by one or more Member States or by international organisations, joint undertakings, or public or private undertakings or bodies established in Member States.
Where necessary, third countries and entities established in third countries may participate in actions, however, they may not receive financial assistance except where it is indispensable to achieving the objectives of a given project of common interest.
The starting point for project selection will be the Ten-Year Network Development Plans (TYNDP) prepared by the European Networks of Transmission System Operators for gas and electricity. However, in a first phrase, projects which are not part of the TYNDP will be considered.
Energy infrastructure covers electricity transmission lines, gas, CO2 and oil pipelines, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), reception facilities and electricity and gas storage.
Grant funding will be available to fill in the gaps in commercial viability of projects which are particularly relevant for Europe. Support for construction costs will be strictly restricted to situations where regulatory solutions prove insufficient and financial instruments cannot adequately help.
Strict procedures will be applied to verify that projects applying for grant support suffer from commercial viability despite very strong positive externalities and that the regulatory solutions have effectively been exhausted.
The CEF will contribute to projects with a European added value and significant societal benefits which do not receive adequate financing from the market. In particular, it will support projects of common interest that pursue one or more of the following objectives:
- Increasing competitiveness by promoting the further integration of the internal energy market and the interoperability of electricity and gas networks across borders.
- Enhancing EU security of energy supply.
- Contributing to sustainable development and protection of the environment, inter alia by the integration of energy from renewable sources into the transmission network, and by the development of smart energy networks and carbon dioxide networks.