Better planning needed for Black Sea offshore wind development – WindEurope
Date: May 25th 2021
Author: Peter Palčec
Grid connection issues and a lack of proper planning are some of the biggest obstacles preventing offshore wind development in the Black Sea region, WindEurope told Energetika.NET.
Scaling up ambition
“The government can help facilitate the happy coexistence of wind energy development and other maritime interests, such as those of shipping, tourism, fisheries and the military. Having a solid MSP in place is good because it reduces conflicts, allows governments to coordinate their economic activities at sea in a more centralised manner and gives a clear signal to investors,” said Zipf.
However, a maritime spatial plan should not force governments to centralise all exploration activities. Bulgaria and Romania should allow an approach in which developers can lead the site identification process through an open-door procedure.
Additionally, the European Union should support its member states by providing them with good examples of existing offshore wind energy production. Bulgaria and Romania can learn and benefit greatly from cooperation with the North Sea Energy Cooperation forum and its best practices for auction design (contracts for difference), which are already being implemented in the North Sea.
As it stands, the national energy and climate plans of Bulgaria and Romania are not ambitious enough, according to WindEurope. Moreover, the two countries should use the money coming from the European Commission’s recovery and resilience facility to modernise their energy systems and accelerate the transition from fossil fuels to renewables.
“This is a once in a century opportunity. Poland, which today is also largely dominated by coal, is quickly moving towards offshore wind,” said Zipf.