Baltic Sea Region countries sign a declaration on cooperation in the development of offshore wind

Date

2020 09 30

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A joint declaration of intent on cooperation in the development of offshore wind in the Baltic Sea was signed today in Szczecin, Poland. The declaration was signed by the European Commission and eight countries: Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Germany.

Today was a double good message for the entire region. First, we agreed on cooperation in the development of offshore wind between the countries of the Baltic region. Second, the Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan gained new impetus today, as this platform was selected for faster and more efficient cooperation in this area. It’s great that we are naturally transitioning from the integration of interconnections and markets to the development of offshore wind, because without this type of energy, a climate-neutral economy is simply not possible,” says Minister of Energy Žygimantas Vaičiūnas.

The countries that signed the declaration agreed to pursue cooperation in increasing offshore wind power capacity and improving the transmission system infrastructure in the Baltic Sea, taking into account the need to ensure sustainable, environmentally friendly, competitive and cost-effective offshore wind development.

The aim will be to strengthen the political, economic and technological integration of the region through intensified joint work in the field of offshore wind. Furthermore, the parties agreed that commercially viable offshore wind projects in the Baltic Sea should be developed.

The agreement states that the countries will work together to ensure a level playing field and equal market access for investors in offshore wind.

The countries also agreed to encourage cooperation between transmission system operators in the planning of offshore wind project infrastructure, both at sea and, if necessary, on land. This would contribute to safer and more economically viable integration of offshore wind.

The Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan (BEMIP) format will be used for offshore wind cooperation. In this format, a working group will be created which should start work as soon as possible.

The development of offshore wind is becoming crucial for the EU to meet its 2050 climate-neutrality targets. As provided for in the Paris Agreement, the European Green Deal, and the national energy and climate plans, electricity generation from offshore wind will grow significantly in the coming decades. It is planned that by 2050, the installed capacity of EU offshore wind projects will increase at least twentyfold and will reach 12 GW. The wind potential in the Baltic Sea alone is 93 GW.

Lithuania’s National Energy Independence Strategy also envisages the development of offshore wind in the Baltic Sea as a means of achieving the country’s ambitious renewable energy targets. By 2050, Lithuania will generate enough electricity from renewable energy sources to meet its entire demand.

At present, the Seimas has begun considering laws that would create conditions for the competitive and transparent development of wind energy in Lithuania’s Baltic Sea territory. The first open offshore wind auction is expected to take place as early as 2023.