According to the latest report from Aegir Insights, the Baltic states, comprising Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, are rapidly advancing their offshore wind energy initiatives, capitalizing on the vast potential of the Baltic Sea to drive Europe’s energy transition. This surge in activity aligns with the region’s heightened focus on energy security, independence, and renewable energy targets.

Estonia stands out with its open-door market approach, boasting over 50 project applications. A few of these have already secured initial permits. Notably, there’s significant competition for overlapping areas, which will be resolved through auctions. The first two areas, accounting for 3.6 GW, have recently been announced for competition, with the inaugural auctions scheduled for the end of 2023.

Lithuania, meanwhile, has emerged as the frontrunner among the Baltic states in the offshore wind sector. The country successfully launched its first auction in March 2023, with a provisional winner already declared. A subsequent auction, anticipated for September 2023, will allocate an additional 1.4 GW of fixed-bottom offshore wind capacity.

Latvia trails its neighbors, with the sole planned project being the Latvian-Estonian 1 GW ELWIND initiative. This cross-border project, set for an auction in 2026, recently received a €18,7 million grant from the EU to support feasibility and environmental studies.

Diving deeper into the ELWIND project, as highlighted by BalticWind.EU., this funding, granted under the European Union’s Connecting Europe Facility, will facilitate comprehensive research to assess the environmental impact of the ELWIND offshore wind park sites. It will also aid in planning the transmission network cross-border connections and the integration of the wind park with onshore transmission lines.

Laura Strovalde, Deputy Director for Investment and Energy at the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA), emphasized the significance of this funding, stating, “The CINEA funding is a significant milestone for the joint Latvian-Estonian ELWIND offshore wind park project. The close cooperation with Estonian colleagues and the EU will contribute significantly to the further development of the ELWIND project.”

The ELWIND offshore wind park will be a major project for the Baltic Sea region with a high economic and social impact. The construction of the wind park in both areas of Latvia and Estonia will provide an electricity capacity of at least 1000 megawatts, which will significantly strengthen the energy independence of Latvia and the Baltic region.

Source: Aegir Insights & BalticWind.EU