Greece and Bulgaria Celebrate New Energy Link for Green Future

Business » ENERGY | January 22, 2024, Monday // 12:22
Bulgaria: Greece and Bulgaria Celebrate New Energy Link for Green Future

The official opening of the second cross-border power line between Greece and Bulgaria marked a significant event during the ministerial meeting of the Central and South-East European Energy Connectivity Group (CESEC) on Friday (January 19th). The inauguration, attended by European Union Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson and Bulgarian Energy Minister Rumen Radev, represents a crucial step toward diversifying energy sources and transitioning both nations away from coal dependency.

EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson hailed the project as "an important milestone" for enhancing the EU electricity market, promoting renewable energy development, and steering Greece and Bulgaria toward greener energy practices. Simson outlined priorities such as accelerating the growth of renewable energy sources, building new networks, and integrating markets to diversify energy sources and enhance security of supply.

Greek Environment and Energy Minister Theodoros Skilakakis emphasized the significance of the new interconnection, revealing that it allows for "the largest nominal margin of energy exchange between the two countries, totaling 1.7 gigawatts." He stressed the importance of the infrastructure, considering it one of the most valuable shared between two nations.

Looking ahead, Greece envisions the construction of a new 2-gigawatt interconnection with Bulgaria, facilitating even larger volumes of green energy exchange. Skilakakis expressed the Greek government's goal for the country to become a major exporter and transit center of green energy for Europe through strengthened energy interconnections and regional cooperation.

The Greek government is actively working on projects like GAP and GREGY, focusing on underwater interconnections with Egypt and upgrading existing connections to Albania, Bulgaria, and Italy. The recent increase in renewable energy capacity in Greece has led to a shift in energy dynamics, with the country transitioning from a net importer to an exporter during peak renewable energy production hours.

Interconnections like the newly inaugurated cross-border power line and initiatives such as the EuroAsia Interconnection are expected to play a crucial role in Europe's efforts to decarbonize its energy system in alignment with the 2030 targets.

In July 2023, the Greek independent electricity transmission operator IPTO confirmed the operational status of the new 400 kV international ultra-high voltage electricity link after successful trials conducted in collaboration with Bulgarian counterparts.

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Tags: greece, Bulgaria, electricity, energy

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