EC ready to build EU electricity highways

18 Nov 2010

The European Commission has presented energy infrastructure priorities it hopes will make European networks fit for the 21st century, turning them into “European electricity highways”.

The EC defined EU priority corridors for the transport of electric, gas and oil and the Commission says the two-decade plan will serve as a basis for future permit granting and financing decisions on EU projects.

The EU will finance building permits and is favouring regional co-operation between countries for these “European electricity highways”.

Fit for the 21st century

The Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger, said: “The European Commission today presented its energy infrastructure priorities for the next two decades, aimed at making networks fit for the 21st century. In the communication, the Commission defines EU priority corridors for the transport of electricity, gas and oil. This map of priorities will serve as a basis for future permit granting and financing decisions on concrete EU projects.

What the EC is setting out is a limited number of EU priority corridors which it must develop quickly in order to meet EU policy goals for sustainability (the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and increase energy efficiency by 20pc) and competitiveness.

These corridors will connect EU member states that are “isolated from other European energy markets”.

Focus of the priority corridors:

  • An offshore grid in the northern seas and connection to northern and Central Europe (concerning wind farms and hydro electric power plants);
  • Interconnections in Southwestern Europe (concerning solar and hydro power);
  • Connections in Central-Eastern and Southeastern Europe to strengthen the network;
  • Integration of the Baltic energy market into European market (concerning gas);
  • The Southern Corridor (concerning gas delivery from the Caspian Sea to Europe);
  • North Sea corridor in Western Europe, enabling the best use of possible external supplies.