TALLINN – Where previously the Baltic states set the end of 2025 as the deadline for disconnecting from the Russian electricity system and synchronizing their grid with that of continental Europe, now, according to Timo Tatar, deputy secretary general of the Estonian Ministry of Climate, experts from the European Commission, Latvia and Estonia believe that scheduled synchronization can be brought forward to the beginning of 2025.
On Thursday, a meeting of senior officials from the Baltic countries, Poland and the European Commission was held in Brussels on the subject of the synchronization project.
"The aim of the meeting was to get an overview of the state of play of the projects needed for synchronization and to discuss the possibility of bringing forward the synchronization deadline set at the meeting of Baltic prime ministers in Tallinn in May. In order to identify the possibilities, the electricity system operators of the Baltic countries have carried out a series of studies, the contents and conclusions of which were presented at the meeting," Tatar told BNS.
"In the opinion of the experts from the European Commission, Latvia and Estonia, it is possible to bring the deadline for the scheduled synchronization forward by about a year compared to what has been agreed. The main thing that makes it possible to bring the synchronization forward is the bringing forward of the deadline for the completion of the reconstruction of the third electricity connection between Estonia and Latvia," he noted.
No agreement to bring the date forward was made at the meeting, however, but it was agreed that the details of a possible agreement to bring it forward would be worked on, which could be discussed next at the political level at the end of July.
"At the meeting, Lithuania confirmed that they have no intention to separate their electricity system independently from the BRELL system and synchronization with continental Europe can only happen together with the other Baltic countries," he Estonian official added.
An agreement signed by the three Baltic states, Poland and the European Commission in 2018 says that synchronization with the continental European grid will take place by the end of 2025. Now, however, Lithuania wants to do it already next year, in 2024, but Estonia does not agree. Kalle Kiik, head of Elering, told Postimees last week that Estonia will complete the reconstruction of the domestic electricity grid at the beginning of 2025. Therefore, in the best case scenario, Estonia would be ready to bring the deadline forward by a year.
Rokas Masiulis, CEO of Lithuanian transmission system operator (TSO) Litgrid, said on Tuesday that managers of Estonian TSO Elering do not want to quickly leave the Russian electricity grid, but are instead doing everything to postpone it, Postimees said.
According to Estonian system operator Elering, being connected to the Russian electricity system until the planned synchronization does not pose a threat to Estonia's security of supply, risks would instead increase in the case of a hasty disconnection from the Russian grid.