While in some cases offshore is already a crowded place, the Black Sea offers abundant areas with great site conditions for fixed-bottom and floating offshore wind. Offshore wind is to play an important role in the development of the Black Sea renewable energy sector and it is the perfect time for the countries to create a framework for implementing investments in the sector.
Developers interested in offshore wind projects in the Romanian Black Sea region currently face a lack of regulation. However, it is expected that the offshore wind law, as well as the maritime spatial planning regulations and support scheme legislation, will enter into force soon.
“As regards the other actual expectations from the offshore wind law, there are mainly three of them, being related to the allocation of the seabed rights, the permitting and licensing process and the support mechanisms,” said Tatiana Fiodorov, Real Estate & Renewable Energy Lawyer and Managing Partner at Axenti Fiodorov & Partners in an exclusive interview for EnerLoop.
“Also, considering the offshore wind energy is a newcomer to the sea, the investors are quite reluctant when it comes to environmental restrictions and the potential interaction with traditional sea use functions”, she added.
Ms Fiodorov mentioned that the offshore wind law draft establishes some guiding principles here. For example, the sea bed rights shall be awarded either based on a tender procedure or through direct licensing. As regards the permitting and licensing process, investors will obtain four types of licenses, corresponding to the deployment stage of the project: prior assessment, construction, power generation and authorisation.
Another important point is that the draft of the law provides subsidies under the form of contracts for differences and premiums of 0.025 euros per kilowatt-hour (kWh).
According to a new report by the Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD), the Bulgarian territorial waters of the Black Sea offer 116 gigawatts (GW) of technical wind potential, while the World Bank estimated the Black Sea offshore wind technical potential at 435 GW last year. However, the strategic orientation towards offshore wind energy developments is currently lacking in the country.
The potential for Ukraine is two and half times that of Bulgaria and Romania combined. At the same time, currently, offshore wind in Ukraine is considered primarily as an efficient source of electricity for the production of green hydrogen. According to Katherine Knysh, Head of the analytical department of the Ukrainian Wind Energy Association, the portfolio of such business projects is growing rapidly, and their cost is falling sharply.
“The green hydrogen is an opportunity for Ukraine to transform from an importer of fossil fuels to an exporter of renewable energy sources to Central and South-Eastern Europe”, mentioned Ms Knysh during the Energy Week Black Sea 2021.
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