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Saturday 19.10.2019 | Name days: Drosma, Drosmis, Elīna
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Europe’s electricity network will help increase energy exchange opportunities

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After Baltic States’ joining of the European Electricity Network, there will be an increase for opportunities in energy exchange and trade, says AS Augstsprieguma tīkls board member Varis Boks.

He says that May 2019 market to coming into force of the agreement on Baltic States joining the European electricity network. Technically the project is set to conclude before 2025.

Boks says this is major part of the project. Currently Latvia is hard at work synchronizing the project’s first stage. Latvia’s costs for the first stage are estimated at EUR 77 million.

«The good news is that it was possible to attract EU funding for large projects. The co-financing of the synchronization of the project is very considerable – up to 75% of costs are covered by the European Commission. This is basically a grant – money we do not have to pay back if the project is implemented in accordance with all requirements. This means we do not have to raise tariffs, because the remaining costs for us as the supervised company are to be covered from tariff revenue. This is a major plus for all electricity consumers – we will get infrastructure built for less than what we had expected, because tariffs will have to cover only 25% of costs,» says the chairman of Augstsprieguma tīkls.

He says the first stage include both procurement of equipment and installation, as well as reconstruction of sub-stations and construction of power lines. The next stage will follow the first. The costs of this one are estimated at EUR 78 million. Co-financing agreement has yet to be signed with the European Commission, but Augstsprieguma tīkls nonetheless plans co-financing to reach 75%.

When asked how joining the European electricity network will benefit Latvia, Boks said this project will help the country say farewell to the Soviet heritage.

«Our networks were mainly connected to Russia and Belarus and were originally designed as one unified network. Efficient energy system-wise it is more beneficial to work in large volumes. This is why the world’s energy systems have combined into different unions,» says Boks, adding that Europe has a future goal to create a single energy bloc with the Mediterranean region.

Augstsprieguma tīkls board chairman says Latvia’s goal is changing zones of synchronization – separating from Russia and Belarus and instead joining Western Europe. The Western European network is incomparably larger output-wise, as well.

«This is why will have connected to a larger system than we’ve had until now. This also means an increase for energy exchange opportunities. This also means trade opportunities. Now we have trade opportunities using many power lines connecting Scandinavia and Poland. Once we have synchronized connections, these opportunities will increase,» said Boks.


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