Azerbaijan, Georgia, Romania, and Hungary agreed Saturday to supply Europe with electricity generated by wind farms that Azerbaijan plans to build in the Caspian Sea.
Supported by the EU, the plan is to transmit the green energy through Georgia, Azerbaijan’s western neighbour on the Caucasus Peninsula, and then under the Black Sea by a 1,100km cable to Romania and Hungary.
The initiative comes as the European Union tries to replace Russian energy after Russian president Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
According to Reuters, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said the European Commission had earmarked €2.3bn to support the cable project, which would take several years to build.
He said a feasibility study would be completed by the end of 2023.
“Since the beginning of Russia’s war, we have decided to turn our back on Russian fossil fuels and to diversify towards reliable energy partners, like the partners here around the table,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who attended the deal signing in Bucharest, Romania.
She added that the scheme could turn Georgia “into an electricity hub and integrate it in the EU internal electricity market”.
“To integrate a growing share of renewables, we need indeed stronger electricity interconnections. This is why the Black Sea energy cable between Romania, Georgia and Azerbaijan is so important,” von der Leyen said.
She did not give a euro figure but said the EU “will be ready to support” the project subject to the results of the feasibility study.