Countries of the European Union will invest 1.037 billion euros in five projects concerning trans-European energy networks under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), a key EU funding instrument that promotes growth, jobs and competitiveness through infrastructure investment at the European level.
More specifically, CEF will fund four construction projects and one study on Northern Lights Phase II which looks into the expansion of the CO2 transport and temporary storage capacity in Norway. Out of four construction projects, three represent electricity transmission infrastructure and one gas storage.
“Recent months have reminded us again how crucial a well-integrated EU energy market is for ensuring affordable energy and security of supply, as well as the clean energy transition”, underlined Kadri Simson, European Commissioner for Energy.
“While we have made remarkable progress in the last decade with making our market better connected, more can and should be done. I want to particularly highlight the EuroAsia interconnector, that will bring an end to the energy isolation of Cyprus and link it to the rest of Europe”.
EuroAsia interconnector project will receive the largest amount of funding, (657 million euros). It is the first electricity interconnection between Cyprus and the European grid through Greece, allowing the transmission of electricity in both directions and ending the energy isolation of Cyprus. The CEF grant is an addition to the 100 million euros awarded in the Recovery and Resilience Facility instrument.
Another project, Phase II of Baltic Synchronisation (170 million euros) will receive funds for grid reinforcement in Poland and upgrading of the transmission infrastructure in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. The project aims at supporting the integration of the Baltic States’ electricity system with other European networks.
A third transmission line between Sweden and Finland will get 127 million euros. It is expected to increase electricity transmission capacity between the two countries and support the integration of onshore and offshore renewable electricity.
The gas storage facility in Bulgaria is going to receive 78 million euros. The project will strengthen the regional security of supply in South-East Europe and reduce gas supply costs. In part, the project contributes to the phase-out of coal in the region and ultimately, the clean energy transition.
Well-integrated energy infrastructure networks are necessary for the energy transition, as they facilitate the integration of renewable energy, enhance the security of supply and help keep energy prices in check. The allocation of CEF funds, therefore, supports the implementation of the European Green Deal.