The Offshore Coalition for Energy and Nature (OCEaN) is a coalition of wind farm operators, transmission systems and environmental organizations that provides an open forum for discussion. The German working group presented six recommendations for the nature-friendly development of offshore wind energy.

OCEaN is a coalition of representatives of entities related to the offshore wind energy sector and environmental organisations. The initiative provides an open forum to identify needs for further research and to put forward suggestions on how to improve planning for offshore wind energy development in European seas. The German working group consists of eight members: 50Hertz, Amprion, BWO, Germanwatch, NABU, TenneT, WWF and the company Renewables Grid Initiative, which acts as the moderator of the group and is also a founding member.

The OCEaN Coalition has presented a study constituting “Six recommendations for nature-friendly development of offshore wind energy“. The industry points out that this is a form of appeal to the coalition partners of the future German government to include appropriate measures in the coalition agreement in order to achieve climate neutrality in Germany by 2045 and to implement the European Climate Law and Europe-wide climate neutrality by 2050. As the position statement reads, the presented recommendations serve as the statement of positions of the signatories and do not necessarily reflect the views of all organizations collaborating on the OCEaN project.

Need for data, dialogue, and a cross-border network development strategy

OCEaN recommends for marine spatial designations to prioritize climate and nature conservation while providing compensation. There should also be a stakeholder dialogue on sharing the maritime areas to mitigate spatial conflicts. The starting point for planning is the provision and use of publicly available data. Gaps in knowledge should be identified and appropriate research should be commissioned.

An overall concept for spatial planning in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea is urgently needed. Offshore wind farms and infrastructure connections must be planned in a forward-looking way, embedded in a European, cross-border strategy that takes into account the development of the onshore grid.

Transparent and effective European cooperation must also be expanded and used consistently. It is also crucial to optimise the regulatory framework to achieve climate neutrality objectives and allow innovation to flourish. It will not be insignificant to apply concrete measures to accelerate and streamline processes in the course of offshore wind energy development.