Offshore wind development in the Baltic Sea falls well short of potential. New work for the European Commission aims to understand the barriers involved and propose a regional work plan to strengthen cooperation on the cost-effective exploitation of offshore wind.
Shallow waters, low waves, stable wind conditions and proximity to the coastline should make the Baltic Sea among the world’s most attractive locations for the development of offshore wind. However, development to-date has been limited, lagging noticeably behind progress made in the neighbouring North Sea. This likely denies the surrounding countries an important means to decarbonise their energy systems, and also represents an untapped opportunity for value creation and economic growth.
In an effort to realise the region’s potential, the European Commission intends to launch a specific initiative aimed at supporting regional offshore wind development under the Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan (BEMIP) group, which covers Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Finland, and Sweden.
A consortium led by THEMA, in cooperation with COWI and Ea Energy Analyses, has been selected to provide the analyses underpinning this initiative and develop its workplan.
Among the many issues that will be explored, the project will:
- Conduct a technical assessment of the costs and generation potential of offshore sites
- Model the impact on regional power markets out to 2050
- Model network flows in order to identify bottlenecks and the potential benefits of cooperation on advanced regional offshore connection options,
- Identify potential institutional barriers to development and propose solutions to them (covering issues related to market design, planning, permitting and authorisation).
THEMA will also be responsible for establishing the BEMIP offshore wind initiative’s workplan and objectives through engagement with regional stakeholders.
The project will run throughout 2018, and provide important inputs into the BEMIP Member States’ National Energy and Climate Plans. The final report will be delivered early in 2019.