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Commissioner Oettinger welcomes faster decisions on infrastructure
Günther Oettinger, EU Commissioner for Energy said: "This is really a breakthrough and will give a big push to much needed infrastructure: Rather than waiting up to 12 years or longer for a permit, developers of crucial cross-border infrastructure - such as pipelines or power grids - will have a decision in about 4 years. This will save them time and money – and will help us creating a true European market where energy systems are physically connected with each other. Consumers and companies will profit because competition keeps costs down.''
Recently, a political agreement was reached on the regulation on Guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure. European Parliament and Council still need to formally approve the regulation.
To leverage the much needed investments of Euro 200 billion for power grids and gas networks by 2020, the regulation puts in place a new regulatory framework for crucial infrastructures: It foresees a new more transparent and accelerated permit granting procedure which generally will not exceed 3 years and 6 months. In its proposal from October 2011, the Commission had proposed 3 years.
This accelerated procedure applies only for key infrastructures, so called 'projects of common interests'. According to the Regulation, these are projects which are cross-border or have benefits for two or more Member States. The projects may also be eligible for EU funding under the Connecting Europe Facility.
Memo from 19 October 2011: