Creation date: March 22, 2019
A grant agreement releasing €323 million of EU funding from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) to carry out phase 1 of the synchronisation of the Baltic States' electricity network with the Continental European Network (CEN) was officially signed this week.
The signature took place in the margins of the PCI Energy Days this week, policy conference on interconnected energy grids, in the presence of Mr Arias Cañete, Commissioner for Climate action and energy, Mr Žygimantas Vaičiūnas, Minister for Energy of Lithuania, Mr Edijs Šaicāns, Director of Energy and Infrastructure of the Ministry of Economics of Latvia, Mr Jaanus Uiga, expert from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications of Estonia, and Mr Dominique Ristori, Director-General for Energy of the European Commission.
For historical reasons the Baltic States' electricity grid is still operated in a synchronous mode with the Russian and Belarusian systems. The desynchronisation of the Baltic States' electricity grid from these systems and the synchronisation with the continental European network (CEN) is an essential political priority for the achievement of the Energy Union. In June 2018, the leaders of the Baltic States and Poland together with the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker had agreed on the Political Roadmap for synchronising the Baltic States' electricity grid with the continental European network by the target date of 2025. The relevant grid reinforcements have been also included in the third EU list of Projects of Common Interest (PCIs). PCIs are key infrastructure projects aimed at completing the European energy market in order to help the EU achieve its energy policy and climate objectives. Projects on the PCI list are also eligible to receive CEF funding.
Once completed the synchronisation of the Baltic States' electricity network with the Continental European Network (CEN) will provide for greater security of supply for consumers in the Baltics, while also enabling the CEN to benefit from renewables produced in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
The event was launched by the European Commission and was dedicated to the practical implementation of PCIs. The conference exhibition showcased energy infrastructure projects who shared their experience on how to build future-proof and environmentally sound energy infrastructure by using innovative technological solutions, involving local communities and finding new approaches to financing.
On the first day of the conference INEA's Director, Dirk Beckers, officially launched the updated Transparency Platform for PCIs. The Transparency Platform is a public information system that provides data about Energy Infrastructure (PCIs) including their geographic records, implementation plan and the Union financial support, among other pieces of information.
INEA also produced a publication with all key figures for the CEF Energy programme.
The CEF programme in the field of energy provides funding to infrastructure projects in electricity, natural gas and smart grids with the aim to better interconnect energy networks towards a single energy market in Europe. The programme supports the key objectives of the Energy Union by promoting further integration of the internal energy market, enhancing security of energy supply and integrating energy from renewable sources into the network. €750 million will be made available in 2019 to finance PCIs in the sectors of electricity (including smart grids), gas and cross-border carbon dioxide networks.