EC confirms €9.1 billion energy plans

EUROPE: The European Commission has confirmed a €9.1 billion investment in the EU’s energy transmission networks, as part of a €50 billion infrastructure package.

The 2014-20 budget plans will include new grid connections to accommodate the rapid growth of onshore and offshore wind power.

Under the draft budget, €9.1 billion is allocated for the creation of energy priority corridors to improve the flow of electricity, gas and oil.

It represents an enormous increase on the €163 million earmarked for energy infrastructure in the current budget.

Despite the increase, it was unclear how much of it would be allocated for wind energy.

European Wind Energy Association chief executive Christian Kjaer said: "While [the €9.1 billion] is a substantial increase in funding for what has been for a long time under-funded, it remains to be seen how this pot of money will be divided up between electricity, gas, oil and carbon capture and storage (CCS) infrastructure projects.

"The inclusion of CCS — a technology still not commercially viable and one for which the infrastructure needs are unknown — is strange in itself."

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