Energy security: The synchronisation of the Baltic States’ electricity networks – European solidarity in action

energy safe

(Riccardo Annandale, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.


On Thursday, President Jean-Claude Juncker signed, accompanied by Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič, the political Roadmap implementing the synchronisation of the Baltic States’ electricity networks with the Continental European Network via Poland together with Dalia Grybauskaitė, President of Lithuania, Jüri Ratas, Prime Minister of Estonia, Mateusz Morawiecki, Prime Minister of Poland and Krišjānis Kariņš, Prime Minister of Latvia.

President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “Since the beginning of our mandate, my Commission has worked to build consensus. Today’s signature is clear proof that we have achieved thissynchronisation is a project where we have decided to work together. Today we can proudly acknowledge that we have accomplished all key milestones, and we are now setting the tone of the work for the future up to the end of 2025. My Commission has always been committed to have full integration of the Baltic States’ grids with the rest of Europe, and we will do our utmost to facilitate decisive progress on synchronisation, and work towards implementing strategic energy infrastructure of the Baltic Sea region.”

The synchronisation of the Baltic States with the Central European grid is a cornerstone and one of the most emblematic projects of the Energy Union, a concrete expression of European solidarity in energy security. Since the beginning of its term the Commission has worked to build consensus. The Roadmap we have agreed on sets the target date of 2025 for the full synchronisation. On 19 March 2019, the Connecting Europe Facility grant agreement was signed for the €323 million financing for the first phase of the synchronisation process, covering 75% of the investment needs for this phase. In May 2019, the formal extension of the continental European grid to the Baltic States’ was approved within the European Network of Transmission System Operators in a process initiated by Poland. The European Commission is committed to facilitate decisive progress on the synchronisation and support the Baltic States in this mandate and working towards implementing strategic energy infrastructure of the Baltic Sea region.

Background

Whilst formerly an “energy island”, the Baltic States region is now connected with European partners through recently established electricity lines with Poland (LitPol Link), Sweden (NordBalt) and Finland (Estlink 1 and Estlink 2). These projects were made possible and built with EU support. For historical reasons, however, 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. The relevant grid reinforcements have been included in the third EU list of Projects of Common Interest (PCIs) adopted by the Commission on 23 November 2017. PCI are intended to help the EU achieve its energy policy and climate objectives: affordable, secure and sustainable energy for all citizens.Projects on the PCI list are also eligible to receive Connecting Europe Facility-Energy funding.

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