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Estonia's 3 largest energy projects can apply for EU funding

Cross section of the type of undersea cable used by Estlink 2.
Cross section of the type of undersea cable used by Estlink 2. Source: Elering

Estonia's three biggest energy projects have been included on a list of "common interest" infrastructure developments that can apply for European Union funding.

The list, published by European Commission Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson (Center) this week, featured Estlink 3, the fourth Estonia-Latvia connection via Saaremaa, and the Nordic-Baltic hydrogen corridor.

Inclusion in the document means better access to EU funding and less administration.

"In particular, we will bring together those Member States that stand to gain the most from having neighbors with, for example, a very large renewable energy portfolio. I specifically mentioned Estlink 3 between Estonia and Finland. It will certainly have a very positive impact on the price in our region once it is built," said Simson.

All of the Estonian projects are being developed by transmission system operator Elering.

Kadri Simson Autor/allikas: Ken Mürk/ERR

The company's Offshore Grid Development Manager Priit Heinla said, that before applying for any money, environmental impact assessments need to be carried out, as well as working out the projects' costs.

"If these projects get local planning approval, if we have agreements in place and they are reasonable for Estonia, we would like to apply for project funding. The maximum funding percentage is 75 percent, but we are not directly counting on that 75 percent, because there are only two or three projects in Europe that have received that much funding," said Heinla.

Elering said it keeps in mind that on a project such as EstLink there will be revenue differences between the Estonian and Finnish markets. Even if EU funding is awarded, it will not change prices for ordinary consumers, it said.

"For both projects, we estimate that they could be ready in 2035. And this is mainly related to planning activities. If we are planning a route across Saaremaa, then, of course, we will want to hear the islanders' views on this, and this process will take some time. And another reason is that it physically takes a long time to build these connections," explained Heinla.

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Editor: Merili Nael, Helen Wright

Source: Aktuaalne kaamera

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