Brussels in brief, WW200906
Baltic countries to join EU internal power market
On 17 June, the Memorandum of Understanding of the Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan (BEMIP) was signed by the relevant Heads of State and the European Commission. This is a timely step underpinning the integration of large quantities of wind power in Europe, believes the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA). The BEMIP is a step towards a future pan-European electricity grid in the Baltic region, and extends the successful Nordic electricity market rules to the three Baltic States.
“The European energy market currently looks a bit like an unfinished ‘join the dots’ picture, with some small sections that are detached from the rest” said Christian Kjaer, EWEA Chief Executive. “It is crucial that we join up all areas to achieve a completely interlinked internal electricity market. Only then will investors be exposed to the true risk of coal and gas, which will make wind, which avoids fuel price volatility, the most cost-effective and low-risk power source to invest in”.
The interconnection projects include new lines between Finland and Estonia, Sweden and Lithuania, and Lithuania and Poland. In addition the offshore wind farms in the Kriegers Flak area should be provided with a combined grid connection solution which would also provide additional electricity trading possibilities by interconnecting Germany, Sweden and Denmark.
“These are important projects, however they have been in the pipeline of the respective Transmission System Operators (TSOs) for a while,” Kjaer pointed out. “A truly integrated European energy market will only be achieved when more ambitious pan-European planning is implemented by the European Network of TSOs. In which case an upgrade of the existing Poland-Sweden cable should be included in future plans.”
The BEMIP was one of the priorities outlined in the European Commission’s 2008 second Strategic Energy Review, along with a Blueprint for a North Sea offshore grid. The BEMIP is part of a wider EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. A High Level Group made up of representatives from eight Member States has been set up to monitor the implementation of the Plan.
Read the Commission’s press release
Read the Baltic Strategy Action Plan