ACER published its annual report on the progress of Projects of Common Interest (PCIs) for trans-European energy infrastructure in electricity and gas until January 2019. Out of 110 electricity and 53 gas PCIs, only four electricity and one gas PCIs did not submit an annual report for 2019, which according to ACER is “due to various reasons, including planned withdrawal of the PCI status, lack of project promoter after the company was wound up due to insolvency or the cancellation of the project”.
Furthermore, ACER noted that a number of PCIs are still not included in the National Network Development Plans (NDPs) in one or several hosting Member States. Thus, the Agency encourages in its Report “the relevant entities to ensure that all relevant PCIs are included in the NDPs” in line with the TEN-E Regulation (Article 3(6) of Regulation (EU) No 347/2013).
According to ACER, the largest share of PCIs (more than 40%) are in the permitting phase, while about 25% of the electricity and 15% of the gas PCIs are under construction or already commissioned. For the monitored period (i.e. 2018), ACER acknowledges the advancement in status of 23 electricity and nine gas PCIs. However, in spite of this progress for some of the projects, the Agency explains that yet again “the commissioning dates for almost half of the PCIs have been shifted into the future compared to the dates foreseen in previously reported schedules, adding up to the accumulated delays”. Additionally, for two electricity and for five gas PCIs, “no works or activities were reported to have been carried out during 2018”.
Interestingly, when it comes to forecasted benefits of the electricity projects, ACER points out “that several project promoters reported changes compared to the benefit figures which were considered in the PCI selection process of 2017 and used in the 2018 PCI monitoring report”. The Agency states that the project promoters explain said “changes mainly by referring to the (new) ENTSO-E TYNDP 2018 or additional benefits, which are not properly captured – or not captured at all – by the ENTSO-E CBA methodology”. On the other hand, when it comes to the gas PCIs the assessment of their benefits is even more challenging since ACER “did not receive comprehensive monetised benefits data for these projects, as data was only reported for 6 gas projects”. When it comes to investments, however, ACER reports that “the total amount spent by end of 2018 was €8,4 billion for electricity PCIs and €11,4 billion for gas PCIs”.
Finally, ACER states that the project promoters did not sufficiently used all the available regulatory tools provided by the TEN-E Regulation, with the submission of investment requests and the resulting issuing of cross-border cost allocation (CBCA) decisions being the most frequently used tools. It remains to be seen whether some incentives for utilising the full array of tools by the project promoters would be included in the upcoming revision of the TEN-E Regulation.