The European Union needs more electricity interconnectors to boost its energy security and integrate renewables into the market, WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson told New Europe on 2 April in Bilbao.

“The whole of Europe is lagging behind in terms of electricity interconnectors between member states. One of the best examples is Spain and France, of course, where the capacity of the interconnectors is still much less than it ought to be,” Dickson said on the sidelines of the WindEurope conference and exhibition in Bilbao. “Europe has a target now which says that the capacity of all of the electricity interconnectors between members states should be 15% of total installed power generation capacity,” Dickson said, adding: “We’re a long way from meeting that target yet so there is a lot of work still to be done there.”

Dickson was commenting about a meeting in Bucharest a day earlier where Central and South Eastern European states discussed their common priorities for the future on gas and electricity markets and infrastructures, as well as on renewables and energy efficiency.

EU Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete attended the sixth meeting of the Central and South Eastern Europe Energy Connectivity (CESEC) High Level Group in Bucharest on 1 April, hosted by Romania’s Energy Minister Anton Anton, whose country holds the rotating EU Presidency, including ministers of Energy or high level representatives of the EU Member States and Energy Community contracting parties.

According to the Commission, this initiative is a clear illustration of the added value of EU cooperation in bringing European citizens and regions closer together to achieve a better functioning internal market and aim towards a climate neutral Europe by 2050.

The meeting was also the opportunity to sign two Connecting Europe Facility (CEF)-Energy grants, respectively a €27 million grant for the rehabilitation and modernisation of the internal Bulgarian gas transmission network and a €28 million grant for building a second electricity interconnection between Greece and Bulgaria, the Commission said.

Since its creation in 2015, CESEC aims to improve the security of supply in the region, including building electricity interconnectors.