Preliminary list of electricity PCIs/PMIs (2023): ACER calls for greater transparency in the selection process and improvement of the methodologies used


Preliminary list of electricity PCIs/PMIs (2023): ACER calls for greater transparency in the selection process and improvement of the methodologies used

What is it about?

ACER publishes today its Opinion on the draft regional lists of proposed electricity projects of common interest (PCIs) and projects of mutual interest (PMIs).

PCIs were introduced by the 2013 TEN-E Regulation. PCIs are infrastructure projects which benefit from accelerated permitting procedures and funding as they are identified as key contributors to achieving the EU’s energy and climate objectives, as set by the European Green Deal. The recent 2022 revision to the TEN-E Regulation introduced hydrogen projects as an eligible category for PCI status (see ACER Opinion on the draft regional lists of proposed hydrogen PCIs/PMIs 2023).

The revision also introduced the concept of PMIs. These are projects promoted by the EU in cooperation with third countries and are recognised as enabler of the energy transition (and therefore also benefit of accelerated permitting procedures).

The list of PCIs and PMIs is constructed by the European Commission and the Member States every two years. This is the first list under the revised Regulation.

Under the TEN-E Regulation, ACER:

  • provides input to the Regional Groups during the assessment of candidate projects in coordination with National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs), and

  • assesses the draft regional lists and provides an Opinion to the Commission on the consistent application of the criteria and the cost-benefit analysis (CBA) across regions.

What are the key findings?

ACER’s Opinion identifies three key areas of improvement:

  • Selection process: the selection process would benefit from ensuring that the Ten-Year Network Development Plan (TYNDP) is finalised before the assessment of PCIs and PMIs starts, as well as from greater transparency. The latter can be achieved by:

    • Releasing all key data and information to stakeholders before the project assessment starts.

    • Making the comments received in the public consultation on the candidate projects publicly available.

    • Informing stakeholders about the key elements of the methodologies used for the selection, and consulting with them in a timely manner.

    • Clearly explaining the reasoning for the inclusion or exclusion of the candidate projects from the draft PCIs and PMIs lists in the document submitted to ACER.

  • How infrastructure needs are identified: base the discussion on the identification of infrastructure needs on the ENTSO-E’s needs analysis and calculations – e.g. the needed target capacities per border.

  • Selection methodology: ACER proposes that the selection methodology could be improved by:

    • Considering multiple scenarios for the assessment.

    • Introducing a simplified methodology for assessing those projects that are in their early stages.

    • Using the monetised benefits as a basis of the methodology, while other drivers, such as the fulfilment of wider EU policy objectives, could be considered as a separate step.

ACER concludes that it is unable to assess the consistent application of the criteria of the TEN-E Regulation and the cost-benefit analysis across all the candidate projects. This is due to the lack of transparency in the implementation of the selection methodology and the lack of consideration of multiple planning scenarios.

What are the next steps?

ACER’s Opinion will be taken into consideration by the Regional Groups to finalise the PCIs/PMIs list. The Commission will then decide on the list by 30 November 2023.


Access the Opinion (annex)