On 20 May, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, through BLIX Consultancy, presented a market study on offshore wind energy in the Baltics. The purpose of the study, ‘Export markets assessment for the Dutch offshore wind industry: Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania’ is to inform Dutch companies who are active in the offshore wind energy business and who seek opportunities in the Baltic States.
In September 2020, eight EU countries linked to the Baltic Sea signed a joint declaration with the European Commission to accelerate the development of new offshore wind energy projects in the region. The 397,978 km² Baltic Sea region has great potential for offshore wind energy due to its relatively shallow water body and high average wind speeds. Expected potential for the Baltic Sea region is no less than 93 GW in 2050, compared to 2.2 GW today.
Due to the current absence of operational offshore wind energy projects in the Baltic States and the limited local knowledge regarding offshore wind development, it is expected that players in the offshore wind industry from other European Union countries will play an important role in the realisation of future projects in these countries.
Export potential for Dutch wind sector
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands and its network in the Baltic States see export opportunities for the Dutch offshore wind energy sector. The Ministry commissioned BLIX to conduct a study into the potentials.
For each of the three Baltic States countries; Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, BLIX assessed the policy and regulatory environment, the offshore grid infrastructure plan, maritime spatial plan, the offshore wind value and supply chain, and current development activities.
BLIX concluded that especially Estonia and Lithuania have ambitious renewable targets until 2030. The company sees great opportunity for the Dutch offshore wind industry, especially for businesses focusing on transport and installation, foundations, site studies and R&D services. BLIX also found the export market value potential for Estonia to be at 10-18 billion EUR, and around 4 billion EUR for Lithuania.
The biggest challenge however is the needed offshore grid, especially since the Baltic States transmission system operators prioritise grid desynchronisation with Russia and synchronisation of their onshore grid with Europe. The first offshore grid initiatives have been taken, but rapid follow-up with concrete steps is necessary to be able to connect the first offshore wind farms in 2030.
Project leader Imke Maassen van den Brink: “The governments and Wind Energy Associations in the Baltic states recognise the importance of cooperation with the international offshore wind industry to close the current local knowledge and experience gaps. Thanks to their valuable input, it was possible to conduct a detailed and up-to-date market study that provides tools for market parties interested in expanding their business to the Baltic States.”
The study was presented on 20 May during a webinar session, together with the Netherlands Wind Energy Association (NWEA), WindEurope, and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO). Source: BLIX