What are EU Projects of Common Interest?

15 April, 2024

EU Projects of Common Interest (PCIs) are projects that are considered crucial for the development of cross-border energy infrastructures. They must be in line with the EU objectives of the European Green Pact: they must contribute to the decarbonisation of the economy and ensure that citizens have access to secure and sustainable energy

Since 2013, the European Union has updated the list of PCIs every two years. For the sixth edition of the list, which will finally be confirmed by the Council and the European Parliament in April 2024, hydrogen and electrolyser projects have been included for the first time.

How are Projects of Common Interest chosen?

The European Commission is responsible for drawing up the list in cooperation with the countries. It takes into account, among other things, the impact of the projects on the energy markets, the involvement of at least two EU countries, the driving of competition, the guarantee of security of energy supply or the integration of new renewable energy sources.

This is the first time that the list of PCIs has included hydrogen and electrolyser projects

The proposed list is subject to a consultation of the Member States by a group of experts. On the basis of these consultations, the European Commission will adopt a final decision listing the selected projects with their budgets, funding sources, schedules and other relevant aspects.

What does it mean for a project to be included in the PCI list?

Being classified as a project of Common Interest can bring a number of significant benefits, such as European funding, accelerated planning, authorisations or better regulatory conditions. This enables the realisation of projects on a scale that would otherwise be more difficult.

In addition, PCIs represent a great opportunity to promote economic growth, job creation, sustainable development or improved competitiveness in the places where they are developed.

What are Spain’s hydrogen PCIs?

At a time when the energy transition and the fight against climate change are absolute priorities in the EU, Spain is taking a leading position. Proof of this are the hydrogen Projects of Common Interest that Spain has managed to put on the list.

Hydrogen interconnections

The transportation of hydrogen across borders is crucial in developing the EU’s hydrogen economy, as it leverages the renewable hydrogen potential from different regions, linking the supply from producing nations with demand hubs.

Spain plays a prominent role in this sector, with various infrastructures being developed as part of the H2Med initiative. This key corridor aims to facilitate the movement of renewable hydrogen from the Iberian Peninsula to Central Europe and involves collaboration with Portugal, France, and Germany. 

The two Spanish H2Med interconnections included as PCIs are:

  • Hydrogen interconnection between Spain and Portugal (CelZa). It will have a maximum capacity of 0.75 million tonnes of renewable hydrogen, a length of 248 kilometres and a 24.6 MW compressor station in Zamora.
  • Hydrogen interconnection between Spain and France (BarMar). With a maximum capacity of two million tonnes, a length of 455 kilometres and a 144 MW compressor station in Barcelona.

In addition, the Spanish Hydrogen Backbone Network includes two sections that have also been recognised in the final European list as PCIs:

  • The Vía de la Plata corridor with its connection to the Puertollano Hydrogen Valley (1,075 km).
  • The interconnected corridors of the Cantabrian Coast, the Ebro Valley, and Levante (1,500 km).

Spain has secured a place for two hydrogen storage projects on the PCI list. Both are included in the Spanish Hydrogen Backbone Network

Hydrogen storage

One of the key benefits of hydrogen is its storability. Furthermore, its storage is fundamental in establishing a strong hydrogen economy, which is why a range of methods to facilitate it are currently under investigation.

As part of the Projects of Common Interest, Spain has identified two hydrogen storage projects proposed by Enagás, both of which are part of the Spanish Hydrogen Backbone Network:

  • H2 Norte 1 storage facility, in a salt cavern in Cantabria, with a storage potential of 272 GWh in 2030.
  • H2 Norte 2 storage facility, in a salt cave in the Basque Country, with a storage potential of 164 GWh in 2030.


These plants, which use electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen via electrolysis, are the crucial step in producing hydrogen sustainably.

In Spain, five projects have been ratified as Projects of Common Interest (PCIs), and they are distributed throughout the Iberian Peninsula:

  • A 150 MW electrolyser in Tarragona, set to become operational in 2025.
  • A 2.5 MW electrolyser in Bilbao, which could serve as the precursor to a subsequent larger 100 MW facility at the Port of Bilbao.
  • A 100 MW electrolyser in Cartagena, which is part of a broader initiative within the Murcia Region’s Green Hydrogen Platform.
  • The Andalusian Hydrogen Valley, featuring two facilities in Huelva and Cadiz, with a combined capacity of 2 GW.
  • The Asturias H2 Valley includes, among its various initiatives, plans to convert the Aboño thermal power station (located in the Port of Gijón) into a facility for producing green hydrogen.