Ernst & Young highlights Nordic region for offshore development

EUROPE: Offshore wind in the Nordic and Baltic regions is seen as being the next big market according to the latest renewable-energy country attractiveness report from Ernst & Young.

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The report sees offshore wind around Denmark as the key growth area for renewable energy in the region.

Denmark’s current 665MW offshore portfolio, led by the 209MW Horns Rev 1 wind farm, will next be joined by Dong’s 400MW Anholt wind farm, in the Kattegat between Denmark and Sweden, next year. This will be followed by the 600MW Kriegers Flak project in the Baltic.

Kriegers Flak will be the biggest offshore wind farm in the Nordic area when it comes online in 2014 and could become the hub of an offshore electricity grid.

The project to establish a network between Germany, Denmark and Sweden has been granted EU funds of €150 million.

Ernst & Young says that Swedish offshore wind activity is about to pick up, with its 130MW onshore capacity, dominated by the 110MW Lillgrund wind farm, to be boosted by offshore projects in the planning pipeline totalling 1,685MW.

The report sees offshore wind in Sweden and Norway as being boosted by the adoption of a joint green electricity certificate in January 2012. The aim is to increase Sweden’s renewable generation by 25TWh by 2020 with a total annual trade in electricity certificates in the order of €500,000.

Elsewhere in the Baltic region the report notes that five offshore projects are in the planning stage with another five just over the horizon. Altogether it estimates Poland’s offshore wind capacity from Baltic waters to be in the region of 1.5GW.

The development of Poland’s Baltic wind assets may be helped by the recent passage of maritime rights legislation, which eased offshore planning restrictions.

Another obstacle to offshore wind development, Poland’s poor grid connections in the north of the country, is currently the subject of industry association lobbying for funds from Brussels.

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