Africa-Europe Connect

AFRICA–EUROPE ELECTRICITY INTERCONNECTOR

Africa–Europe Connect is a major HVDC interconnection energy infrastructure initiative. It consists of two 1,000 MW High-Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) projects connecting electricity grids of Spain—Morocco and Tunisia—Italy (Sicily/Sardinia). Every single one will enable large-scale renewable resources development in North Africa, make significant contribution to security of supply, reduce fossil fuel dependence and open new competitive routes for electricity trading. This will lead to greater efficient use of existing generation resources.

Benefits

Encourages the effective operation and development of the internal energy market in providing incentives for the rational production of electricity for exportation from RES in North Africa. Thereby reducing the cost of energy to the consumer and contributing to the diversification of energy sources.

Facilitates the development and reduces the isolation of island regions of Sardinia and Sicily in allowing higher (local) shares of RES, potentially enabling competitively priced electricity imports from North Africa, and providing incentives for further European internal energy market development.

Reinforces the security of energy supplies in diversifying Europe’s sources for energy towards an energy mix with higher shares of RES, originating from third countries.

Contributes to sustainable development and protection of the environment by allowing for greater shares of RES locally and potentially the importation of electricity from RES from North Africa. This will reduce the environmental risks associated with the transport and transmission of energy.

Ensures interoperability of electricity networks with non-EU countries in the Mediterranean.

Stands as a project of global interest as it is a key enabler for the creation of the intercontinental interconnection, which is seen as an intermediate step towards the creation of global energy interconnection.

Well-connected energy infrastructure is essential to achieving the Energy Union. This EU support will help fill existing gaps in energy infrastructure, putting us on the path to a truly connected European energy market. This is necessary to strengthen the security of energy supply and a more efficient use of the energy resources and integration of renewables into the grid.

— Miguel Arias Cañete, EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy

Routes

Spain–Morocco

This will be a submarine HVDC project with an interconnection capacity of 1,000 MW between Spain and Morocco.

Tunisia–Italy

This will be a submarine HVDC project with an interconnection capacity of 1,000 MW between Tunisia and Sicily (Italy) or Sardinia (Italy).