The European Union’s (EU) European Commission (EC) has revealed plans to invest €680m in various electricity projects across Europe as part of an effort to move the continent to a clean energy-driven economy.
The initiative aims to adapt European infrastructure to meet future energy needs and is anticipated to deliver cheaper and more secure energy to consumers.
Funding for the eight projects will be arranged by the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), which is the designated support programme for trans-European infrastructure.
Approximately €578m of the total funding will be used for the construction of the Biscay Gulf France-Spain interconnection, which is a new electricity link that seeks to integrate the Iberian Peninsula into the internal electricity market.
EU Climate Action and Energy commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete said: “The construction of the Biscay Gulf France-Spain interconnection marks an important step towards ending the isolation of the Iberian Peninsula from the rest of the European energy market.
“Only a fully interconnected market will improve Europe’s security of supply, reducing the dependence of single suppliers and giving consumers more choice.”
The project comprises a 280km offshore section, as well as a fully underground route over the Capbreton canyon and the French land section.
The new link is expected to almost double the interconnection capacity between the two countries to 5,000MW.
In addition, the project will also enable Spain to move closer to the 10% interconnection target from the current level of 6%, thereby allowing for an enhanced incorporation of renewable energies.
Furthermore German energy infrastructure project SuedOstLink is set to receive €70m to enable the commencement of construction works.
The project will involve the installation of a 580km cable network laid fully underground.
It is anticipated to result in the creation of a link between the wind power generated in the north and consumption centres in the south of Germany.
The funding initiative also includes a grant of €27m towards the construction of a new 400kV internal power line between Cernavoda and Stalpu (RO).
The power line is expected to increase the interconnection capacity between Romania and Bulgaria, as well as enable the integration of wind power from the Black Sea coast.