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Baltics need unified energy plan

  • 12 years ago (2009-11-26)
  • David Flin
Europe 920 Renewables 702

Two decades after breaking free from the Soviet Union, the Baltic states are still “energy islands”, isolated from the rest of the EU and reliant on Russia for power and gas needs, according to Heinz Hilbrecht, Director of Energy and Transport at the European Commission. “We look forward to the day when the region will be fully integrated,” said Hilbrecht. “Energy integration is the priority of the EU.”

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Akerholm said that private investment is also urgently needed to add to public financing to move the Baltic interconnection plan from the planning stage to implementation.

Larger investments are still being held back as “practical decisions” on energy infrastructure improvement are still taken too much on the national level, said Akerholm. There also lacks a “common view” on pricing levels, tax incentives and a coordination of how to utilize sources such as hydro and wind power, gas, oil and bio energy.

“It makes the investment climate more difficult for private bankers. A few years ago, there was a lot of long-term financing in the market, but now the situation is different.”

Including the private sector in the planning and construction will help investment, Akerholm said. “We are talking about well-established strong energy companies,” he said. “They can raise financing at reasonable terms.”