As the so-called EU’s “energy island”, the Eastern-Baltic region consists of three EU member states; it is now being connected to other EU states through recently established electricity lines in Poland (LitPol Link), Sweden (NordBalt) and Finland (Estlink 1 and Estlink 2), all built with the EU support. For historical reasons, the Baltic States’ electricity grids are still operated in a synchronous mode with the Russian and Belarusian systems. The de-synchronisation of the Baltic States’ electricity grid from these systems and the synchronisation with the continental European network is a political priority for the European energy union, businesses and communities in the states.
European Commission’s political roadmap implementing the synchronisation of the Baltic States’ electricity networks with the Continental European Network was adopted in 2019 with a specific view to the two gas pipeline projects currently under construction in the Baltic Sea – the Nord Stream 2 and the Baltic Pipe.
The relevant electricity grid reinforcements have been included in the third EU list of Projects of Common Interest (PCIs) adopted by the Commission in November 2017. PCIs are intended to help the EU achieve its energy policy and climate objectives: i.e. achieving an affordable, secure and sustainable energy for businesses and citizens. Projects on the PCI list are also eligible to receive Connecting Europe Facility-Energy funding.
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. During last couple of years, the European Commission has been working on creating consensus over the synchronization’s project; thus presently an agreed roadmap is setting 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.
More information in the following Commission’s web-links: – Political Roadmap implementing the synchronisation of the Baltic States’ electricity networks with the Continental European Network via Poland; – Brochure: Ending energy isolation of Eastern Baltic Region; – Energy Union; and – Baltic Energy Interconnection Plan (BEMIP)