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Opportunities and barriers

The proposed roadmap and action plan have been developed based on an assessment of the opportunities and barriers to the efficient deployment of offshore wind identified through this study and takes into account similar analysis conducted in relation to the North Seas’ offshore wind development cooperation. The opportunities and barriers are summarised below for ease of reference later.

Cooperation on offshore wind deployment can help to realise the development of

the most efficient sites

The detailed analysis on the economics of offshore wind sites across the Baltic Sea shows that that there are significant variations in the quality of projects. Differences in wind speed, construction costs and, just as importantly, the likely price of electricity across the region imply that some projects will be more cost-efficient than others. Cooperative mechanisms can ensure that the best sites are developed and that the resultant efficiencies are shared.

Existing national policy mechanisms often effectively exclude offshore wind or

multinational projects

Our analysis suggests that offshore wind will make up part of the least-cost energy mix in the region and that multinational projects that combine offshore wind deployment with the provision of cross-border transmission capacity have the potential to be net beneficial.

However, many existing national support schemes are effectively inaccessible to offshore wind projects and even those schemes that are in place would struggle to cover multinational projects. As a result, such projects are effectively excluded even though they are likely to make up part of the cost-efficient solution to meeting national energy and climate change targets.

Policy uncertainty prevents beneficial supply chain investments Investments in developing the regional offshore wind supply chain are likely to have long payback periods and will require an expectation that the volume of offshore wind deployed in the region will be sufficient to justify the associated upfront cost. The inability of governments to credibly signal their commitment to offshore wind deployment, even where it is a formal part of their national planning, ultimately prevents investments that would bring regional benefits both in terms of reduced deployment costs, but also through support to the regional economy.

The coordination of offshore support (notably tendering) can result in better

planning and greater competition

The preparation of bids for offshore wind projects creates significant work for developers.

A clustering of multiple tendering rounds can leave developers unable to appropriately resource all bid development opportunities and result in bid development being under- resourced or else in non-participation in the bidding round. Coordination among member states on tendering can avoid this and thereby support better bid quality and superior competition. It can also enable subsequent tendering rounds to benefit from the information revealed as part of earlier tendering processes in other countries.

Poor quality or poorly accessible maritime data in the region can hamper spatial

planning and increase development costs

Although experience differs across the region, some BEMIP states have relatively poor maritime data. The data that does exist can also be challenging to access and divided among multiple different government bodies. A lack of data generally hampers the quality of spatial planning, while the lack of data and poor accessibility also imposes real costs on potential developers.

Lack of a regional spatial plan for offshore wind deployment hampers the

identification and deployment of projects

The importance of Maritime Spatial Planning for ensuring the rational and efficient use of the sea was recognised in the Maritime Spatial Planning Directive. The BEMIP states are in the process of developing national plans consistent with the requirements of the Directive, an activity that includes a degree of consultation with neighbouring countries.

However, this work falls short of developing a plan for the Baltic Sea as a whole and the lack of regional-level planning is a barrier to the identification of efficient projects, particularly those requiring multinational cooperation.

Complicated licensing procedures for cross-border projects dissuade and delay the

consideration of such projects

Licensing procedures often entail considerable cost and risk for potential project developers. Cross-border projects generally require developers to navigate two or more independent licensing regimes, increasing the risks of project failure and therefore dissuading the consideration of projects that cross-national borders even where this might be advantageous for all involved member states and the region as a whole, both from the perspective of cost-efficiency and with respect to maximising the market value of new generation. PCI status for network investment can and does enable streamlined consensus, however their limited scope for interconnectors does not sufficiently address the challenges of regional projects. The Commission proposal to include a budget window under the Connecting Europe Facility for renewable energy projects, covering also generation can be a further facilitating component. This avenue will have to be investigated as appropriate depending on the outcome of the relevant negotiations.

Poor national licensing regimes in some countries can harm the realisation of both multinational and national projects in the region by dissuading efficient investment and adding directly to the costs of deployment Some national licensing regimes are unlikely to support efficient offshore wind investment in the region. Problems include the use of complex and/or ill-defined procedures, ineffective stakeholder engagement that does not identify major objections sufficiently early in the process, and long or repetitive appeals processes that increase investor uncertainty beyond what can be justified by the need to ensure effective stakeholder consultation. These issues add to deployment costs and ultimately can result in efficient projects going unbuilt.

Lack of cost-sharing / common-financing mechanisms for necessary network investment prevent the network from accommodating efficient offshore wind deployments

Large-scale deployment of offshore wind in the Baltic Sea will change the current pattern of flows in the regional transmission network. Network investment is required to accommodate these changes, but the benefits of these investments are often diffuse and accrue to multiple parties in many nations. Some of the required investments may also be internal to a member state and therefore they may not benefit easily from the use of EU funds, even though the benefits accrue to multiple countries. Realising these investments inside a BEMIP country is likely to require mechanisms through which the many beneficiaries can contribute to their cost. The lack of such mechanisms may result in offshore wind energy being frozen out of the existing grid configuration.

Inadequate consideration of the requirements imposed by offshore wind development as part of regional grid planning prevents the necessary enabling

investment in the network Regional grid planning is currently facilitated through ENTSO-E’s Ten-Year Network Development Plan process. However, this process should ideally incorporate a more- thorough consideration of the network requirements imposed by the deployment of Baltic offshore wind. For example, the ‘Baltic offshore wind farms’ sensitivity analysis conducted as part of the Regional Investment Plan 2017 involved adding just 1000 MW of offshore wind capacity to Estonia and Lithuania. An appropriate consideration may be hindered in practice by the ten-year horizon of the current planning process, since the development and implementation of a cross-border offshore wind project could easily take ten years and therefore fall outside the planning horizon. One possible source of information that might be used to improve the visibility of long-term wind power developments is the new list of cross-border RES projects to be drawn up by the European Commission (see the discussion of ‘work to identify projects of common interest and cross-border RES projects’

under 10.4.1). Incorporating this list into the TYNDP scenario design and considering the need for interim network investments in order to realise these projects should help to improve the quality of regional grid planning.

Variations in network charging distort site selection Differences in charging regimes are susceptible to become increasingly more distortive for the efficient deployment of offshore wind projects, in case national schemes are progressively opened up to projects in other member states, following the new provisions in the revised Renewable Energy Directive, and as offshore wind becomes commercially viable without support. Connection charges can constitute a large share of an offshore wind project’s costs and differences in the national approach to charging could easily become the determining factor in which projects are selected for development. The resultant distortion in project selection would likely harm overall cost-efficiency, with lesser quality projects submitting winning bids solely because of their advantageous tariff treatment.

Lack of regulatory and contractual arrangements suited to multinational projects adds to the risks and costs of project development The regulations governing power system assets are not designed to accommodate combined offshore wind hub and related interconnector projects, or else offshore grids, as demonstrated also by the findings of the Baltic InteGrid project.60 Similarly, experience with the Kriegers Flak Combined Grid Solution project in the North Seas showed the need to develop novel contractual solutions. The absence of appropriate regulatory and contractual arrangements increases the risk and cost associated with such projects and makes them more difficult to develop even where they would contribute to the overall operational and cost efficiency of the system design.

Inconsistencies in national regulation may increase the costs of development and operations

Experience in the North Seas has shown that inconsistencies among countries in areas

60 http://www.baltic-

integrid.eu/index.php/download.html?file=files/baltic_integrid/Arbeitspaket%202/WP%203%20D evelopment%20of%20the%20Baltic%20Grid%20Concept/3.1%20Regulation%20and%20Policy /Outputs/BIG%203.1_MAIN%20REPORT_Establishing%20a%20meshed%20offshore%20grid


such as health and safety requirements, crew and vessel requirements, and component certification can inflate costs. For example, these differences can limit the ability to service multiple farms using the same support equipment, or re-use designs from similar projects elsewhere. Work to identify and remove unnecessary barriers, for example through the mutual recognition of standards, can therefore help to reduce costs.