CEEP Report (Q3): Cross-border energy cooperation in Central Europe

The 3rd edition of the Central European Day of Energy (CEDE) that will be held on 5th of November in Brussels, is focused on Cross-border energy cooperation in Central Europe, showing different cases of regional cooperation in the region. As a preparatory step to the high-level CEDE event, CEEP gathered in this report a series of analysis and opinions on cross-border energy cooperation in the CEE region.

Firstly, learn more about CEDE 2018 and register for the event by following the link:
https://www.ceep.be/cede-2018/ .

The event is organised by CEEP in cooperation with DG Energy of the European Commission and is supported by International Visegrad Fund.

As one of the hosts of CEDE 2018, prof. Leszek Jesień, highlights the importance of the regional cross-border energy cooperation as a significant element of the European energy policy, a key factor for the development of trade, market integration as well as physical diversification of sources of supply. Mr. Jesień underpinned that the new cross-border energy projects would contribute to the further empowerment of the region.

Michał Kurtyka, the Polish Deputy Minister of Environment clarifies in his analysis that Poland is working towards the development of system interconnections in the European Union, thus playing an active role in changing the energy landscape of the EU, even though it is perceived sometimes as a “slower speed” country when it comes to its energy policy and energy systems.

Looking to Slovenia and Croatia, the expert from HEP, HOPS and ELES described the SINCRO.GRID project as a smart grid project with an innovative systemic approach integrating several pioneering, yet mature technologies to solve short term security of supply issues that are impacting Slovenia and Croatia as well as other countries in the region.

Considering that LNG terminal in Croatia will contribute substantially to the enhancement of the level of security of gas supply in Central and South Eastern Europe, the expert from IRMO analysed its state of play and the position of different regional players towards its construction.

Moving forward to the Baltic States, Rolandas Zukas, CEO of EPSO-G, described the development of energy sector of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, countries that are in the process of unplugging from the BRELL ring (connection to Russia and Belarus) and synchronizing their electricity grids with the continental European network by 2015.

The report would not be complete without an analyse of the Baltic pipe, a strategic regional energy project that aims to connect the Norwegian gas fields to the Polish gas system through which, the countries of Central and Eastern Europe will have direct access to new sources of gas supplies from the north.

Hence, even though Romania could became a strong regional player due to the discovers of natural gas in its sector of Black Sea, Eugenia Gusilov Director of ROEC explains that the country is still missing links in gas interconnectivity with its neighbours due to political interference and administrative bottlenecks.

On the other hand, the Stork II project development demonstrates that, despite EU’s support for regional integration and formal adherence of the Central and Eastern European countries to this idea, political decisions and other infrastructural projects might interfere with the existing plans and slow down the development of the integrated regional gas market.

Can the CEE neighbors contribute to the energy security and stability of the region? This question was answered by REKK while explaining that Ukraine should remain a transit country and its storage facilities as well as reverse flow projects are of a big interest for the EU, but, for improving the regional cooperation, Ukraine has to implement the new adopted regulations, to unbundle the gas production and TSO as well as to set lower transmission tariffs.