Editor's note

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Monday, 26.10.2020, 12:13

Towards the Baltic States’ energy security

Eugene Eteris, BC International Editor, Copenhagen, 05.10.2020.Print version

Among numerous decisions at the recent summit, some are going to be vital both for the Baltic States’ energy security and a perspective “green” transition.

At the October’s summit, the member states leaders agreed to invest an unprecedented sum of almost a trillion euros (to be exact, € 998 million) in key European energy infrastructure projects; the investment will provide financial aid for research, development and implementation innumerous sustainability projects in different parts of Europe.


The largest amount of funding goes to the Baltic Synchronisation Project (€720 million) with the aim of a better integrating the electricity markets in the eastern Baltic states, i.e. Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland with the rest of the EU-27.


More on the Baltic energy security issues in: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_19_3337


General reference to: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_20_1803 

Green deal projects

The allocation of funds for the infrastructure projects was in line with the objectives of the European Green Deal, with 84% of funds going to electricity or smart grid projects. The grants are aimed at providing financial aid for ten projects: two for electricity transmission, one for smart electricity grids, six for CO2 transport (including five studies), and one for gas.


More on the projects’ effect on the “green deal” in:

https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/european-green-deal_en

Baltic Synchronization Project (phase II - €720 million)

Together with the previous investment, the new funding will go to the construction of a so-called “harmony link” - an electricity cable connecting Poland and Lithuania through the Baltic Sea. The cable will become a building block for the future offshore grid in the Baltic Sea. This funding will also cover investments such as synchronous condensers in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.


For historical reasons, however, the Baltic States' electricity grid is still operated in a synchronous mode with the Russian and Belarusian systems.


The Baltic States region is now connected with the EU partners through recently established electricity lines: with Poland through the LitPol Link, with Sweden through NordBalt, and with Finland through Estlink 1 and Estlink 2.


More in a roadmap on synchronization target date of 2025 in June 2019 decision: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_19_3337

 

Probably, another project is of the “Baltic’s interest” too: North Sea Wind Power Hub with €14 million investment into a study to support research and development of a project for the exploration of the offshore wind facilities in the North Sea.


More on the projects in: - Current list of 'projects of common interest'; and -Innovation & Networks Executive Agency (INEA).

 

A special and big step was taken during the summit towards connecting the Baltic States with the rest of the EU: the financing of € 720 million from the Connecting Europe Facility to link the Baltic energy grid with the rest of Europe. This project is a landmark moment to end the Baltic States’ energy market isolation: most of the funding will go to a new interconnector - the “harmony link”. It will reduce the region's over-dependence and over-reliance on a single source of energy imports by connecting it in full harmony to the rest of the EU-27. The project is also oriented towards future: the new offshore energy grid will bring electricity from renewables to all countries around the Baltic Sea.


Besides, during the summit, the “Baltic Declaration for Offshore Wind Energy” was signed by the Commission and eight EU states adjacent the Baltic Sea region; the project is a good example of connecting Europe, of securing the sub0region’s energy security and the European Green Deal’s implementation.


Source: Commission press release at:  https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/STATEMENT_20_1812 - 2.x.2020.





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