Interconnections represent a crucial part of the infrastructure of a modern energy system. In order to achieve a fully functioning Energy Union the EU has to invest in cross-border projects.
EU Member States voted on a European Commission proposal to grant financial aid to eight projects (Projects of Common Interest). Six of them concern electricity and two gas infrastructure. The total amount of founding within the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF-Energy) was EUR 556 million. The majority of it, namely over EUR 530 million, was awarded to the “Celtic Interconnector” between La Martyre in France and Knockraha in Ireland.
In Central and Eastern Europe study-projects for hydroelectricity storage in Estonia and Lithuania were funded. More than EUR 10 million received the study on further infrastructure aspects of the synchronisation of the Baltic States’ electricity system with the European networks (the Baltic Electricity Synchronisation Project) between Lithuania and Poland. The gas corridor project constructing an enhancement of the interconnection between Latvia and Lithuania was awarded almost EUR 5 million.
The main goals for financing Projects of Common Interest are: integration of energy systems, increasing competitiveness, fostering sustainable development and ensuring a more secure energy supply in Europe.
The European Commission intends to continue the Connecting Europe Facility initiative and provide funding for projects worth EUR 8.7 billion in the energy sector in the next EU budget 2021-2027.