UPI Energy Resources informs us that the European Commission (EC) is creating a mulri-billon euro fund to promote projects of importance to the integration of Europe, including energy and telecommunications networks.  9 billion euros would be used to encourage energy grid projects the European Union (EU) deems necessary to contribute to the growth of a trans-European infrastructure. Specifically, it wants to overhaul and refocus EU policy on electricity transmission systems and natural gas pipelines.

“Major efforts are needed to modernize and expand Europe’s energy infrastructure and to interconnect networks across borders to meet the union’s core energy policy objectives,” the commission said in an explanatory memorandum accompanying the draft legislation.

“Such infrastructure efforts would lead to more secure supplies at affordable prices, while helping the EU reach its climate change objectives.”

The EU has identified 11 energy corridors across Europe that will receive priority consideration for new project funding, including efforts related to a new “southern corridor” natural gas pipeline and offshore wind farms in the North Sea.

Analysts say that the EU has designated north-south interconnections in Western Europe as well as north-south and east-west interconnections in central and southeastern Europe as high-priority electric grid corridors.

Favored natural gas corridors include north-south interconnections in western Europe as well as in central, eastern and southeastern Europe, with pipelines running through the Baltic, Adriatic, Aegean and Black seas.

Energy is high on the EU political agenda as the 27- nation bloc relies on imports for half of its fuel.  Last decade it faced natural gas and oil disruptions in winter as a result of price and transit fee disputes involving Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.  During the disputes Russia shut down the pipelines which also supply Europe. The EU is also working quickly to develop renewable energy such as wind and solar power to fight climate change it blames on fossil-fuel use.








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