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Virbickas: It’s time for Europe to embrace regional energy perspective

Virbickas: It’s time for Europe to embrace regional energy perspective

Litgrid’s CEO Daivis Virbickas has emphasized at the Platts Central and Eastern European Power Conference that regional opportunities must be considered and explored when planning the energy sector development.  
“National strategies could be an impetus towards the full European integration: we cannot rely on the specifics of our own countries only, we have to ensure more effective use of what is happening in the region. First of all, the infrastructure serves customers while our goal is to find solutions that would help to expand their opportunities regardless of the national borders,” Mr Virbickas said in the discussion. 
According to him, the examples of close cooperation when countries are connected by electricity grids or their previously existing energy connections are strengthened can be found in Western Europe and the Baltic countries. The power links NordBalt and LitPol Link have started their operation a year ago and have reduced the price in the Lithuanian and Latvian power market by 13 per cent. Both links have have made Lithuania into a hub of power flows connecting five neighbouring power systems. 
“We have gained invaluable experience in planning and implementing complex infrastructure interconnection projects. We are ready to share it for further improving the operation of the power system and market. Our example and those of our neighbours in Western Europe evidence that the success of network development projects is largely dependent on socially responsible implementation, where common solutions are being searched with the local communities and strict environmental standards are followed,” Mr Virbickas said.   
The European electricity systems, which are interconnected by power links, operate according to the same rules. The situation in the Baltic countries is an exception where the power infrastructure is connected with Europe and the European standards are applied while at the same time they operate in the synchronous area of IPS/UPS.
“The European Union and all the member countries that have power links with third countries must speak with one voice so as the third-party players are treated equally. This is necessary for transparency and competition,” Litgrid’s CEO emphasised. 
Last year in June it was the first time when the leaders of the Baltic Sea region countries were seeking  to find common ground in the energy strategies. Then, more than 200 politicians, high-ranking officials and representatives of the transmission system operators met in Vilnius at the Baltic Power Conference.
The Platts Central and Eastern European Power Conference that took place on 17-18 January in Warsaw is one of the most important energy conferences in Europe, which has attracted different players of the region, such as decision-makers, power producers, power station developers, regulators, power suppliers, financiers and market analysts. The main theme of this year conference was an opportunity to grow and invest facing the changes.  
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