The European Union is to move forward with plans to connect Ukraine’s power grid with the European Continental Grid instead of Russia, European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson said on 28 February.
The project had been a joint priority for a long time, as a strategic initiative for increasing Ukraine’s energy independence. On the day that Ukraine began conducting an isolation mode test, the first step in preparation for the future synchronisation with the EU, Russian military forces attacked the country. Ukraine has since decided not to reconnect its grid back to Russia, and has asked the EU for emergency synchronisation with the European grid as soon as possible.
European energy ministers meeting in Brussels on 28 February approved the measure, and the EU will now move forward with ENTSO-E – the EU’s electricity grid operators – to connect Ukraine’s electricity system as quickly as possible. “This step would also link Moldova to the EU grid – another country that wants to be able to choose its energy future,” Simson added.
The Commissioner said the EU would also continue to work on delivering gas to Ukraine through physical reverse gas flow capacity from West to East. “The first such deliveries from Hungary took place this winter. The physical reverse flow capacity between Slovakia and Ukraine has been increased and discussions are ongoing to extend this to the next heating seasons.”
“Ukraine also needs our very practical, immediate help,” Simson said: “Today I presented to the Member States a list of requests from Ukraine with urgent needs in the energy sector. The list covers things like diesel, petrol, jet fuel and generators. I am happy to report that concrete deliveries are already scheduled from Poland, Lithuania and Czechia and many other Member States have pledged their help.”
In a separate statement, the Energy Community underlined the importance of accelerated synchronisation of the Ukraine and Moldova power grids with the EU.
“Ensuring uninterrupted electricity supply in Ukraine and Moldova is paramount also for the safety of citizens in the European Union and the other Energy Community Contracting Parties. Continuous operation of the system must be ensured to maintain the safety of Ukraine’s nuclear power plants. Moreover, a blackout of the Ukrainian system would result in a blackout in Moldova too.”
“Against these serious threats, the accelerated synchronisation of the Ukraine and Moldova seems to be the best way to prevent a possible blackout of their power systems due to prolonged armed conflict.”
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