Maritime Forum

Maritime Forum Themes


European Sustainable Energy Week - Green Deal and Ocean Observation

Event date:
29/06/2020 - 15:00 to 16:30
Table of Contents
    The objective of the session is to bring private bodies responsible for the offshore renewables industry together with public authorities to begin a conversation on barriers to a more integrated approach to ocean observation and how to overcome them.

    According to all the Commission’s scenarios, to reach carbon neutrality by 2050, Europe will need more than twice as much electricity A quarter of this will be produced offshore which is twenty times more than at present  This will be certainly be accompanied by a huge network of transmission cables and probably with infrastructure for generation of hydrogen or cultivation of seafood. Analysis indicates that this will take up a quarter of some Member States’ national waters.

    Ecosystems will change, but not necessarily for the worse. For instance, there have been proposals to create refuges for spawning fish or artificial reefs within boundaries of windfarms. However, public acceptance and regulatory approval will require assurances that this is the case and this will need careful observation, before and after deployment.

    Much observation is already undertaken in response to EU legislation on habitats, water, fisheries and the marine environment but there is little coordination between the responsible public departments. Sharing information is invaluable for building up a broad picture of what is happening. But the increasing number of observations made for environmental impact assessments rarely reach the public domain; even where there is no commercial advantage in confidentiality.

    Andreea Strachinescu

    DG MARE 

    ongoing developments in Green Deal, Spatial planning and ocean observations


    Martine Graffland


    research and observation for determining impact of windfarms

    The Wozep research programme was launched in 2016 to explore the knowledge gaps relating to the ecological effects of offshore wind energy Results of Wozep have been used to come to a underwater noise level and to improve mitigating measures. Examples include stand-still procedures for a migrating bat species and migratory birds.

    The Political Declaration made by North Sea energy ministers on energy cooperation between North Sea countries (June 2016) included agreements about the development of a common framework for reporting on environmental effects (CEAF = Common Environmental Assessment Framework). Depending on the choices made in this international harmonising process, the national KEC instrument will, if necessary, be adjusted in order to stay in line with the CEAF instrument.


    Janica Borg


    Crucial decisions when planning for offshore wind farms under the ecosystem-based approach

    Europe is looking at an increase in offshore wind energy development in the coming years. An increase of renewable energy throughout Europe is certainly welcome, however, increased construction at sea also brings forward certain challenges. The spatial and temporal choices when planning for offshore wind constructions play a significant role in the effects on the marine environment, and WWF recommendations will help guide decision makers in planning for further offshore wind energy development while ensuring that there's space for nature. 


    Sune Storm

    Ørsted A/S

    experience in meeting requirements for impact and observation and suggestions for improvements

    Decarbonising Europe requires a transformation of our energy system through electrification and build-out of renewable energy production. Offshore wind energy is estimated to deliver around 25% of the electricity supply by 2050. This means, that we need to create space for 400 – 450 GW of offshore wind farms in European waters. One of the immediate challenges for this build-out and hence for decarbonisation to succeed, is immediate planning of large areas for offshore wind energy and the consenting of the individual wind farms. In this process, energy and maritime authorities and planners will need comprehensive data collection and analysis to balance the different priorities Member States have for the use of their sea area including protection of the ecosystems at sea.

    A key question here is how to collect data in the most cost-efficient way and how to extract the value out of the collected data for future maritime planning exercises. This presentation will:

    • Explain and give examples on current monitoring requirements we are facing
    • Bring proposals on how to create more value out of the monitoring to support the overall maritime planning task to create the enough space at sea for offshore wind energy
    • Make suggestions for how to further increase the value through regional cooperation at sea basin level