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22 June 2017

“Towards a Meshed Grid: Offshore Wind Energy and Interconnectors in the Baltic Sea Region“ - Baltic InteGrid Conference in Riga (Latvia)

Copyright: IKEM
Copyright: IKEM
Copyright: IKEM
Copyright: IKEM

As part of Baltic InterGrid’s communication platform – the Baltic Offshore Grid Forum – the conference “Towards a Meshed Grid: Offshore Wind Energy and Interconnectors in the Baltic Sea Region“ took place on the 16 May in Riga, Latvia. Together with external experts the project partners discussed the opportunities and challenges for the realization of an offshore meshed grid in the Baltic Sea. The debates focused on certain key issues such as the legal and regulatory frameworks, spatial constraints and respective economic conditions as well as the industry development in the Baltic Sea region (BSR).

The Policy Area Energy Coordinator of the EU Baltic Sea Strategy, Dr. Olga Bogdanova, set the scene with her presentation of an overview on the status-quo of the EU’s energy transition and the integration initiative Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan (BEMIP). Subsequent to the introductory policy remarks, several representatives from industry, associations and research institutions provided further details on the current state of offshore wind energy (OWE) projects in the BSR.

Lasse Sundahl, project manager at DONG Energy, presented an assessment of the regulatory and market conditions in the BSR and pointed towards essential measures to accelerate the development of OWE. In the following, Paulis Barons from the Latvian Wind Power Association introduced the so far untapped potential for wind energy in Latvian waters. Complementary to this, Tuuliki Kasonen from the Estonian Wind Power Association, highlighted the current efforts with regard to the planning of the wind farm Hiiumaa and further projects in the Gulf of Riga. Changing the perspective, Izabela Kielichowska from Ecofys presented their ‘White paper on North Sea Meshed Grids’ and drew comparisons to the developments in the BSR. Finally, partners of Baltic InteGrid presented the status quo of the project and discussed the progress with the attendees.

During the final discussion it became clear that the Baltic Sea has a high offshore wind potential.  However, joint actions are necessary to support and accelerate the ongoing developments and to transfer the BSR into one of Europe’s clean energy hubs. On the one hand, countries like Denmark and Germany are already exploiting part of their OWE potential in the Baltic Sea. On the other hand, countries like Poland and Estonia are now recognising the offshore wind potential in their waters, conducting environmental assessments and permitting first offshore wind projects. It is therefore of mutual interest, to foster knowledge, transfer and pool the competencies to achieve the desired developments.

For further conference details, please consider the summary of the conference and the presentations of the speakers.
Download Part 1 - Presenations of External Participants (zip/5.1 MiB)
Download Part 2 - Presenations of Baltic InteGrid Partner (zip/5.7 MiB)

The Baltic Offshore Grid Forum offers the possibility for an interdisciplinary knowledge transfer, inter-regional cooperation and gives room for debates on the further development of offshore wind energy in the Baltic Sea. Please sign up to the Baltic InteGrid newsletter for regular updates and future events.