Macron Says Increased Power Links With Spain Can Lower Emissions

(Bloomberg) -- French President Emmanuel Macron said increased power links with Spain can be part of a bigger plan for reducing carbon emissions in energy generation.

“The issue of energy interconnections needs to be seen within a broader strategy of sovereignty and the much broader energy transition,” Macron said in Lisbon on Friday evening. He reiterated that France plans to close coal plants by 2022.

Macron spoke at a joint press conference with Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa and Spanish Premier Pedro Sanchez following a meeting between the three countries about improving energy interconnections between the Iberian Peninsula and the rest of Europe.

The leaders signed an agreement on European Union grants totaling 578 million euros ($674 million) for a power line crossing the Bay of Biscay that will double the electricity exchange capacity between France and Spain by 2025.

Macron said Spanish and French regulators will study if it makes sense to have a new natural gas pipeline link between the two countries. There are already two gas pipelines linking those nations.

Beyond links to Spain, Macron said the three governments agreed to work on possible links with African countries that could lead to greater interconnections in Europe.

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