Today's meeting confirms the political will to synchronise the Baltic States' electricity network with the Western European continental system.
Today, 18 December 2017, at a meeting in the Berlaymont building the Vice-President responsible for the Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič, the Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete, and the Ministers of Energy of Estonia Kadri Simson, Latvia Arvils Ašeradens, Lithuania Žygimantas Vaičiūnas and Poland Krzysztof Tchórzewski, agreed on the way forward to find, by the end of May 2018 at the latest, a solution on the best way to synchronise the Baltic States' electricity grid with the continental Europe system.
The parties welcomed the progress achieved since their last meeting in September 2017 noting in particular that the final necessary technical studies on dynamic analysis and system frequency stability have been launched by the transmission system operators of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland and the European Network of the Transmission System Operators for electricity (ENTSO-E). They reiterated the importance to complete all remaining technical studies by 31 May 2018 at the latest and will monitor the progress on a continuous basis.
The Vice-President, the Commissioner and the Ministers reaffirmed their strong commitment to the synchronisation project as a cornerstone for the implementation of the Energy Union priority of the Juncker Commission.
From early in the mandate the Juncker Commission has been committed to work towards implementing strategic energy infrastructure projects and address the various aspects required to end the energy isolation of the Baltic Sea region by reinforcing its integration into the European Union energy market. This included the objective to ensure the synchronisation of the electricity grids of the Baltic States.
Whilst formerly an "energy island", the Baltic States region is connected with European partners through recently established electricity lines with Poland (LitPol Link), Sweden (NordBalt) and Finland (EstLink). 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 synchronisation of the three Baltic States' electricity grid with the continental European network is of key importance for the achievement of the Energy Union.
The European Commission is committed to support the Baltic States to this effect. This goal was once again stated on 23 November 2017 in the Commission Communication "on strengthening Europe's energy networks".
The synchronisation of the electricity grid with the continental European network (CEN) is one of the highest energy priorities for the Baltic States and the EU in the years to come. The relevant grid reinforcements have been included in the list of Projects of Common Interest (PCI) adopted by the Commission on 23 November 2017. Projects of Common Interest are key infrastructure projects, especially cross-border projects that interconnect the energy systems of EU countries. They are intended to help the EU achieve its energy policy and climate objectives: affordable, secure and sustainable energy for all citizens.
Joint Declaration by the Heads of State and Government of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and the President of the European Commission on Ending the Gas Isolation of the Baltic Sea Region
JRC study: Integration of the Baltic States into the EU electricity system.(executive summary)