Baltic-Europe power link under threat as Poland plans to pull plug on synchronization project (1)

An Eesti Energia power grid. (Postimees/Scanpix)
12/16/2015 1:33 PM
Category: Economy

Estonia and the Baltic states may not become part of the synchronized European power grid after all, as the new government of Poland deems the project too expensive.

For years, Estonia has aimed to disconnect itself from the Russian electricity systems by 2025. For this to happen, the three Baltic states have decided to build a cable through Poland that would connect them to the rest of the EU to become part of the European power network.

“"Full synchronization with EU grids would mean that our countries would be more than just islands with bridges to Europe," Greta Monika Tuckute, director at the Centre for Geopolitical Studies in Lithuania, recently told Bloomberg.

However, it now appears that the plan may be put on hold indefinitely, for the new Polish' government is planning to pull out of the project, ERR radio news reported.

Although the EU is officially considering the creation of an energy union, Poland has allegedly made it clear in unofficial conversations that they no longer plan to contribute to the new energy links between the Baltics and Central Europe.

Estonian MEP Kaja Kallas said she has received a very strong message that Poland has no interest in making giant investments in Eastern Poland that offer no direct benefits to the country itself.

“It's to do with the new Polish government that is explicitly Eurosceptic,” Kallas said. “Any kind of EU initiative, including the integration project, will get this kind of resistance. No one is denying that it's expensive, but it's very important to us,” she explained.

According to Kallas, an alternative is to integrate Estonia to the Nordic energy system instead. The Baltic-Nordic project would also allow the countries involved better access to dedicated EU funding, something that the Scandinavian nations currently lack.

Taavi Veskimägi, CEO of the national power grid operator Elering, said he will meet the representatives of the European Commission to discuss the situation on Thursday.

Veskimägi added that Estonia aims to disintegrate its national energy grid from Russia by any means necessary. It makes little difference if this is achieved with new link through Poland, the Scandinavia, or even by creating a separate frequency region in the Baltics, he said.

M. Oll

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