The Baltic region needs new power plants for after 2025

The long-term power system adequacy analysis of the Baltic countries, which has been carried out for the first time by the electricity transmission system operators of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, has shown that the existing double-circuit Lithuanian-Polish power interconnection could be sufficient for the synchronisation of Baltic power systems, after the system is prepared and tested to operate in isolated mode. Moreover, according to the analysis, new reliable and flexibly operating power plants should be built in the Baltic States in eight years to ensure the smooth operation of power systems and the security of supply.  The Lithuanian Minister of Energy, Žygimantas Vaičiūnas, says that many inefficient and uncompetitive power plants in the Baltic countries will be closed in the next period and we must agree and decide at the regional level on new reliable, flexible and efficient power generation sources. “We are faced with two alternatives – either to build these sources on a market basis or through state subsidies. The current situation on the market is not encouraging the development of new generation sources, while making a decision on subsidisation is always complicated, therefore, we must prepare for serious discussions”, he underlined. The available data shows that new power generation sources to be built in the Baltic countries by 2032 will have a total capacity of just 272 MW, compared with a total capacity of 2 315 MW of power plants scheduled for closure by this time. CEO of Litgrid  AB, a CEEP member,  Daivis Virbickas, declares that “beyond 2025, the demand of the Baltic power system reserve will increase from 700 MW to 2 000 MW. In [...]
Bratislava Memorandum: CEEP members ask for a fair energy transition

Bratislava Memorandum: CEEP members ask for a fair energy transition

CEEP members are urging 100% free EUAs for energy-intensive industries, such as chemicals, fertilizers, refineries, and steel, until 2030, as well as a 100% derogation for power plants that use new technologies with a 43% energy efficiency (lignite) and 45% (coal). Moreover, they request the strengthening of the beneficiary Member States’ con-trol over the Modernisation Fund, and ask for the right to give subsidies to indigenous fossil fuels, to the extent decided by each Member State. These are the main recom-mendations of the ‘29+1’ Annual Energy Summit, organised by Central Europe Energy Partners (CEEP), in co-operation with GLOBSEC, on October the 27th–28th, in Bratislava. CEEP members – who comprise Central Europe’s leading energy and energy-intensive companies – entered into a comprehensive dialogue with the European Commission’s Vice-President in charge of Energy Union, Maroš Šefčovič, only weeks before the publication date of the European Commis-sion’s legislative ’Energy Union Package’. In this context, they underlined that the security of supply in the electricity sector should take into account different electricity mixes across the EU Member State and it should also address the power availability for trade and market transactions. “The new proposed target of 15% of electricity interconnections for 2030 should be thoroughly analysed as it can negatively affect the electricity markets in Central Europe, given their limited ability to transport the unscheduled loop flows that prohibit proper market exchanges. This can substantially influence the flows of energy in the Member States making the whole system unstable” said Eryk Kłossowski, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Central Europe Energy Partners. The Bratislava Memorandum, which was handed to Commissioner Šefčovič on [...]
The EU Presidency’s ‘Trio programme’- a blueprint for continuity and co-operation

The EU Presidency’s ‘Trio programme’- a blueprint for continuity and co-operation

The Member States behind the next three Presidencies of the Council of the European Union, namely, the Netherlands, Slovakia, and Malta, have applied what has been called the ‘Trio programme’, a mutual plan which each country will implement during their six-monthly tenures. Four priority areas have been agreed by them, and these are: migration and international security, Europe as an innovator and job creator, sound finances and a robust Eurozone, and a forward-looking climate and energy policy. The Netherlands, began its turn as the rotating Presidency of the Council, on the 1st of January, and will be primarily concerned with economic growth and jobs through innovation, with a Union that connects with civil society. “What matters to Europe’s citizens and businesses”, is the underlying message behind their plans. Guided by the priorities of the Strategic Agenda (June 2014), and the recent conclusions of the European Council, the ‘Trio’ has put particular emphasis on the first pillar of that document, as inclusive, smart and sustainable growth, jobs and competitiveness remain the top priorities over the next 18 months. It rightly states that the EU’s economy is showing signs of recovery, but that it “also faces unprecedented challenges, notably to its security and as a result of migration”. Better regulation and a reduction in regulatory burdens, which echo the desired EU reform demands of the UK’s David Cameron, are seen as important drivers for economic growth and competitiveness, and are a recurring feature of the Trio’s 24-page programme outline. Many other factors are highlighted as being crucial to the EU’s development: international trade, for instance, is seen as ‘a lever for [...]
Interviews with the EU Commissioner for Regional Policy and the President of the European Committee of the Regions. Energy

Interviews with the EU Commissioner for Regional Policy and the President of the European Committee of the Regions. Energy

One of this year’s focal points of the OPEN DAYS – European Week of Regions and Cities event in Brussels, is “Modernising Europe: the regions in the Energy Union and the single digital market”. Within this context, we interviewed the EU’s Commissioner for Regional Policy, Corina Crețu and the President of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR), Markku Markkula, about their visions of the Energy Union project and their involvement. The OPEN DAYS, created in 2003, is an annual four-day event occurring in October, during which cities and regions showcase their capacity to create growth and jobs. Corina Crețu: “Cohesion Policy will play a strong role in delivering the Energy Union on the ground”     The EU is ‘going regional’ on many fronts. As a member of the Energy Union project team, what is your vision of this union, and how can regional policy support its creation – not only as a legal, but also as an infrastructural entity? The Energy Union, one of the Commission's priorities, aims in particular to modernise and expand Europe's energy infrastructure and crossborder interconnection networks to ensure the competitiveness of our economy, the sustainable development of the energy sector and the security of energy supply. In February, 2015, we adopted a framework strategy for a resilient Energy Union with a forward-looking climate change policy. It aims to reduce energy dependency, promote the free flow of energy across borders, and support the transition to a low-carbon economy. In line with this strategy, our investments will help decrease energy imports, especially through increased energy efficiency, diversify our energy sources, tackle energy poverty and [...]
The EU-Moldova Association Agreement: opportunities for the modernisation of the energy sector

The EU-Moldova Association Agreement: opportunities for the modernisation of the energy sector

The Republic of Moldova signed an Association Agreement with the EU in 2014, which involves closer co-operation on a broad range of subjects, including the energy sector. Most of the clauses concerning this sector are taken from the commitments, already assumed by Moldova in the framework of the Energy Community, which imply a gradual integration into the EU’s internal energy market and adoption of the core of the energy acquis communautaire, namely the ‘Third Energy Package’. Why does Moldova need such integration and what benefits can it reap? First of all, it is an opportunity to tackle the problem of import diversification of the main energy resources. This critical topic, driven by the need for increased energy security, stems from the simple fact that only 18.3% of required electricity consumption is produced on the right bank of the Dniester river, the rest being imported from Ukraine and the left bank, uncontrolled by constitutional authorities. Nevertheless, the most sensitive and dominant energy security issue is the 100% importation of natural gas from a single source – the Russian Federation. This problem is becoming all the more important at a time of heightened geopolitical risks and uncertainties. Secondly, the adjustment of national legislation to suit the energy acquis can create a predictable and understandable legal environment for foreign investors. These foreign financial and technical resources are critical for the sector’s modernisation and necessary growth catch-up, capable of compensating the under-investment in capital of the last two decades. Such under-investment exacerbates the performance of the energy sector, resulting in a two-fold discrepancy in energy efficiency between Moldova and the EU, which further [...]