The Baltic Power System Between East And West Interconnections

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ISSN: 1018-5593
FULLI Gianluca
COVRIG Catalin Felix
PI Ren Jian
Publications Office of the European Union

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  • The Baltic States are strongly connected to the electricity transmission grids in Russia and Belarus
  • The current policy activities are focused on secure energy supply alternatives
  • To support these activities a Baltic power system model has been developed
  • The power model can serve as a tool for techno-economic power system analysis
  • Dependency of the Baltic States on outside resources has been found to be fairly low in 2020/30

The power systems of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are currently operated - as a synchronous grid - in parallel with the Integrated/Unified Power System (IPS/UPS) of Russia and Belarus. The Baltic power systems still lack adequate electricity connections, both between themselves and to other parts of the EU. However, the situation is improving: recently, the Estlink 1 and 2 connections between Estonia and Finland, the LitPol Link connection between Lithuania and Poland and the Nordbalt connection between Sweden and Lithuania have considerably raised the transfer capacity between the Baltic and the EU electricity markets.

Knowing that the integration of the Baltic States into the EU energy market has been identified as a strategic priority [BEMIP], a power system model has been developed with the purpose of assessing comparative options for a reliable and secure development of the region's electricity system. The model consists of buses with voltage of 110 kV and higher, mainly 110 kV, 220 kV and 330 kV. The 35 kV undersea cables connecting the Estonian mainland and the north-western islands were also included. The model has been calibrated based on the 2014 reference scenario to match the historical records from ENTSO-E.

The analysis of the horizons 2020 and 2030 showed that the dependency of the Baltic States on foreign electricity production is fairly low, provided that the expansion of generation resources goes ahead as planned. The cross-border transmission corridors inside the Baltic States are sufficient to sustain the electricity consumption patterns assumed in the scenarios considered; however, the internal network projects should be fostered to remove congestion, especially in the northern part of Estonia and the area South-West of Riga.

The preliminary techno-economic analysis in the current report pave the ground for more detailed market analysis, expected to be conducted with tailored market/power dispatch tools to support electricity system development policies and initiatives in the Baltic States. Different geo-political options and scenarios for higher security of energy supply and energy independence are in the process of being defined and assessed with the relevant actors, particularly in the BEMIP context.