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Call: Preparatory studies cross border RES projects

Acronym CEF-E
Type of Fund Direct Management
Description of programme
"Connecting Europe Facility for Energy"

The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) for Energy is the EU funding programme to implement the Trans-European Networks for Energy policy. It aims at supporting investments in building new cross-border energy infrastructure in Europe or rehabilitating and upgrading the existing one.

A forward-looking, modern, secure and smart energy infrastructure will be key in delivering the European Green Deal. The Trans-European Networks for Energy (TEN-E) framework will be a key enabler towards the Union’s decarbonisation objectives for 2030 and 2050 while contributing to sector and market integration, security of supply and competition.

The TEN-E policy is focused on linking the energy infrastructure of EU countries. To address the energy infrastructure needs at regional and European level, nine priority corridors and three priority thematic areas have been identified in the TEN-E strategy. The Connecting Europe Facility programme supports the implementation of Projects of Common Interest (PCIs) in these priority corridors and thematic areas.

The three priority thematic areas, which relate to the entire EU, include smart grids deployment, electricity highways, and a cross-border carbon dioxide network.

Smart grids deployment: increase deployment of smart grids to help integrate renewable energy and allow consumers to better regulate their energy consumption

Electricity highways: construction of electricity highways – large grids that allow electricity to be transported over long distances across Europe (e.g. from wind farms in the North and Baltic Seas to storage facilities in Scandinavia and the Alps)

Cross-border carbon dioxide network: development of transport infrastructure for captured CO2 through dedicated thematic groups.

Link Link to Programme
Preparatory studies cross border RES projects
Description of call
"Preparatory studies cross border RES projects"


Based on the provisions of Article 7 and Annex Part IV of CEF Regulation, cross-border RES projects shall promote cross-border cooperation between Member States in the field of planning, development and the cost-effective exploitation of renewable energy sources, as well as facilitate their integration through energy storage facilities and with the aim of contributing to the Union’s long term decarbonisation strategy, completing the internal energy market and enhancing the security of supply.

The objective of preparatory studies as per Article 7(3) is to assist project promoters in selecting the best project concept and setting up the cooperation agreement, allowing for projects to be supported prior to having acquired the status as a cross-border project in the fielf of renewable energy.


Preparatory studies in the meaning of Article 7(3) of CEF Regulation, allow for support to both EU Member States but also private project promoters in order to advance cooperation ideas, create momentum amongst involved stakeholders and with this generate a pipeline of cross-border renewable projects. It allows specifically support to the project before being included in the Union list of cross-border RES projects.

The purpose of support for preparatory studies is to overcome the obstacles that have in the past prevented cooperation projects from going ahead, such as uncertainty on the allocation of costs and benefits between involved Member States or the additional complexity of setting up cross-border support.

Applications related to preparatory studies must comply with the CEF Regulation and with the specific conditions set out in this call.

A study as per Article 7(3) can be designed as a pre-feasibility study. The funding can also be used to provide technical, economic or legal support in setting up or advancing cross-border cooperation with the objective to select the best project concept. As part of such a preparatory study, it is possible to cover also some wider system-related aspects, e.g. the integration of additional storage investments, or of transport and/or digital related investments for synergetic elements.

A study as per Article 7(3) can be used to start exploring (mainly through desktop studies) the possible sites in the territory of Member States (or third countries) in order to determine the hosting and participating countries, as well as other exploratory tasks needed to assess the overall cost and benefits of the project. It should allow identifying and formalising the underpinning cooperation mechanism and may include communication and stakeholder involvement activities.

The study may also investigate the best form of support, such as the auctioning and tendering set-up as well as all aspects for which national grid, market and other rules differ in the participating Member States and would need to be agreed upon.

To be noted that, further to the exceptions for applicants to demonstrate the financial capacity provided in section 7, the need to demonstrate financial capacity does not apply to transmission system operators certified following the procedures laid down in Articles 10 or 11 of Directive 2009/72/EC or Articles 10 or 11 of Directive 2009/73/EC and Joint Undertakings established in the EU which qualify as public bodies.

Expected Impact:

Cross-border RES projects are expected to contribute to a cost-effective achievement of renewables target by 2030 in the EU (as referred to in Article 3 of Directive 2018/2001/EC) and to the strategic uptake of renewables technologies and is an integral element of the enabling framework for regional and cross-border cooperation on renewables.

Link Link to Call
Thematic Focus Green Technologies & Green Deal, Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, Clustering, Development Cooperation, Economic Cooperation, Capacity Building, Cooperation Networks, Institutional Cooperation
Funding area EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
Candidate Countries
Potential Candidate Countries
EU Neighbourhood Policy Countries
Iceland / Ísland
Norway / Norge
Origin of Applicant EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
Candidate Countries
Potential Candidate Countries
EU Neighbourhood Policy Countries
Iceland / Ísland
Norway / Norge
Eligible applicants Federal State / Region / City / Municipality / Local Authority, International Organization, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, SMEs (between 10 and 249 employees), Microenterprises (fewer than 10 employees), Public Services, Other, National Government, Start Up Company, Enterprise (more than 250 employees or not defined), Association
Applicant details Proposals shall be submitted by:
  • one or more EU Member States 
  • by international organisations, joint undertakings, or public or private undertakings or bodies established in Member States  (with the agreement of the Member States concerned).

In order to be eligible, the applicants (beneficiaries and affiliated entities) must:

  • be legal entities (public or private bodies)
  • be established in one of the eligible countries, i.e.:
    • EU Member States (including overseas countries and territories (OCTs))
    • non-EU countries:
      • listed EEA countries and countries associated to the CEF Programme or countries which are in ongoing negotiations for an associationagreement and where the agreement enters into force before grantsignature (list of participating countries)

Specific cases:

  • Entities from other countries are exceptionally eligible for projects of common interest in the field of transport, energyand digital and for cross-border projects in the field of renewable energy, if the granting authority considers their participation essential for the implementation of the action.
  • Natural persons are NOT eligible (with the exception of self-employed persons, i.e. sole traders, where the company does not have legalpersonality separate from that of the natural person).
  • International organisations are eligible. The rules on eligible countries do not apply to them.
  • Entities without legal personality under their national law may exceptionally participate, provided that their representatives have the capacity to undertake legal obligations on their behalf, and offer guaranteesfor the protection of the EU financial interests equivalent to that offered by legal persons.
  • EU bodies (with the exception of the European Commission Joint Research Centre) can NOT be part of the consortium.
Project duration max 24 months
Further info

Proposal page limits and layout:

  • Part A to be filled in directly online  (administrative information, summarised budget, call-specific questions, etc.)
  • Part B to be downloaded from the Portal submission system, completed and re-uploaded as a PDF in the system
  • mandatory annexes and supporting documents (to be uploaded):
    • detailed budget table per WP (template available in the SubmissionSystem)
    • Annual activity reports
    • Timetable/Gantt chart
    • Agreement by the concerned Member States (Letter of support)
    • CBA related calculations, if applicable (not mandatory)
Page limit - part B: 120 pages
Type of Funding Grants
Financial details

The available call budget is EUR 1,000,000.

Projects of any budget are admitted. However it is recommended for the budget to be in the range of EUR 100,000 – 350,000. The grant awarded may be lower than the amount requested.

The costs will be reimbursed at the funding rate fixed in the Grant Agreement (maximum 50%).

Submission Proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funding & Tenders Portal Electronic Submission System. Paper submissions are NOTpossible.
Contact Details

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