EU gives €70m to electricity interconnections

The European Union is to allocate €70m to key trans-European electricity infrastructure projects.

A total of 11 electricity projects have won the funding, which is part of a wider €150m allocation to energy infrastructure projects which also includes gas pipelines.

The money comes from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), an EU funding programme for infrastructure.

The EC said the projects would “increase energy security and help end the isolation of Member States from EU-wide energy networks”.

Some of the projects will use the funding for construction while others will spend it on feasibility studies.

Included in the construction projects is a new 400 kV internal transmission line in Bulgaria and the building of the Lithuanian part of the Litpol Link, which will integrate the power system of Lithuania and those of other Baltic States further into the grid of Continental Europe.

The feasibility studies include the Celtic interconnector, which would for the first time link France and Ireland via a long-distance subsea cable.

European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: "The completion of a truly competitive EU-wide energy market is essential in order to turn the Energy Union into a reality. But without reliable and well-connected energy networks this will not happen. This is why we are investing in projects to integrate the market further and to diversify sources and routes, in particular in Central Eastern and South Eastern Europe as well as in the Baltic region."

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