EU Member States agreed with the European Commission’s proposal to invest 998 million euros in key European energy infrastructure projects that will increase competitiveness, enhance the EU’s security of energy supply and contribute to the promotion of safe, secure and efficient network operation. The largest part of the funding, nearly 720 million euros will be devoted to the second phase of the Baltic synchronisation process.
The funds come from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) programme, the EU’s financial mechanism for trans-European infrastructure and will support EU projects of common interest in the energy sector, in the areas of electricity, gas, smart grids and cross-border CO2 networks.
A total of 28 applications were received for this year’s call for CEF funding and the coordinating committee of CEF decided to allocate the largest part of the support to the project of synchronisation of the electricity grids of Baltic States with continental Europe.
Covering 75 per cent of the investment costs, the CEF funding will support the second phase of the synchronisation project, including the Lithuanian-Polish maritime connection, also known as Harmony link.
Once completed the synchronisation of the Baltic States’ electricity grid with the continental European network will ensure greater security of supply for consumers in the Baltics and enable at the same time the continental European network to benefit from renewables produced in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
EU funding for synchronization has already exceeded 1 billion euros, which is a record amount of support among all community-funded energy projects.
“The decision to allocate funding is also an expression of European solidarity with the Baltic States and a confirmation that the integration of the Baltic States into the common European electricity grid system is the most important energy project not only for us but also for the whole of Europe,” commented Daivis Virbickas, CEO Lithuania’s transmission system operator, Litgrid.
According to the plans, the project should be completed by the end of 2025. Currently, the Baltic States rely on Russia to balance their power flows. Two years ago Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland signed a deal to break their countries’ dependence on Russian electricity, an infrastructure legacy left over from the Soviet Union, and connect their power grids to the European Union. The synchronisation project will give the Baltic States full control over their electricity system.