The Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan (BEMIP) adopted a new work programme for offshore wind in the Baltic Sea.

The European Commission has announced that, in the framework of the Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan (BEMIP) High Level Group, they adopted a new work programme in the Baltic Sea region dedicated to offshore wind energy. The programme was agreed on in a meeting of senior representatives from 8 EU countries around the Baltic Sea. During the meeting, the commitment to coordinate the development of the transmission grid necessary for the implementation of offshore wind energy was confirmed.

Other areas of cooperation between the Baltic Sea states include maritime spatial planning with a focus on offshore wind energy development, cooperation on securing adequate funding, and acceleration of concrete maritime projects in the Baltic. It is also crucial to speed up administrative and permitting procedures.

EU Energy Commissioner, Kadri Simson, said she was pleased with the progress of the BEMIP work.

In November 2020, the EU Offshore Renewable Energy Strategy was published. It sets targets for the development of the offshore wind sector and other marine energy technologies. The aim is to increase EU offshore wind capacity from the current 12 GW to at least 60 GW by 2030 and to 300 GW by 2050.

It is also worth recalling that more than a year ago, on 30 September 2020, the eight Member States under the BEMIP and the European Commission jointly approved the Baltic Declaration on Offshore Wind Energy Development.

The newly approved BEMIP aims to start implementing the Baltic Declaration. It will be reviewed as early as 2024 due to rapidly evolving technology. In May 2021, the BEMIP High Level Group established a new BEMIP Action Plan. This work programme should be considered as an integral part of the Action Plan.

The programme recommends the cooperation and synergy building with the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) and the North Seas Energy Cooperation (NSEC), the HELCOM-VASAB working group for maritime spatial planning.

In order to ensure focused discussions, the implementation of this work programme should take place in sub-groups. The programme encourages BEMIP members to co-chair discussions with the European Commission.

It was also stipulated that the BEMIP offshore wind work programme is purely a policy document. It does not establish any new legal obligations, nor does it replace or modify any existing legal obligations concerning the BEMIP Member States.

There will be several main points around which discussions and activities will take place. These are:

  1. Coordinated offshore wind transmission network
  2. Maritime spatial planning focusing on offshore wind energy development (co-chair: Poland)
  3. Cooperation in enabling adequate funding (Co-leadership: Estonia)
  4. Acceleration of certain Baltic offshore projects and authorisations

Details about the program can be readHERE