WindEurope Says Offshore Wind Must Remain Priority As Most EU States Missed MSP Deadline
Only six EU coastal member states submitted their final maritime spatial plans (MSPs) by March 31, while 16 countries missed the EU deadline. WindEurope said the 16 member states should submit their MSPs as soon as possible and align them with the EU’s climate goals, allocating enough space for offshore wind.
According to the EU Maritime Spatial Planning Directive, coastal member states were required to submit their maritime spatial plans to the EU Commission by March 31, 2021. Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands Bas, Finland, Latvia and Portugal submitted their MSPs on time. The 16 countries which did not send their plans on time are Germany, France, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovenia, Sweden, Romania, Bulgaria and Spain.
As offshore wind is called upon to play a central role in helping the EU meet its climate goals and decarbonize its economy, WindEurope called on the 16 member states to speed up their work on their PSMs and submit them as soon as possible , bearing in mind the EU Goals for offshore wind energy and climate change.
“The way forward is simple: Member States must finalize or adapt, approve and submit their maritime spatial plans as soon as possible. And they must ensure that these plans are consistent with their respective national energy and climate plans and with the EU’s energy and climate goals. This means allocating enough space for offshore wind and ensuring that the power grid can accommodate it. “, WindEurope said.
“It also means ensuring the happy coexistence of different uses and activities at sea, such as offshore wind and aquaculture, military activities, nature conservation and tourism.”, added the organization.
In November 2020, the EU set a target of 300 GW of installed offshore wind capacity by 2050 as part of its EU offshore renewable energy strategy. By 2030, the strategy – which is part of the EU’s Green Deal – targets 60 GW of offshore wind power installed in the waters off coastal member states.
The European Commission then said it would encourage cross-border cooperation between member states on long-term planning and deployment, which requires integrating offshore renewable energy development goals into their national maritime space plans.
“The strategy highlights important points on maritime spatial planning and provides an enabling environment for offshore wind farms connected to two or more countries. These so-called “hybrid” offshore wind farms will play an important role. They save money and space and improve energy flows between countries. The right framework for them must be implemented as soon as possible. Up to 7 GW of offshore hybrids are already in preparation ”, WindEurope said in November 2020 when announcing the new offshore wind strategy and target.