An Optimal Strategy for Initiating and Efficiently Developing the Floating Offshore Wind Energy Sector in Greece

European University Institute

Abstract: 

The paper explores the current situation, prospects and developmental directions for the floating offshore wind energy sector in Europe, and in particular in the EU Mediterranean Region, with its prime focus on Greece. The intricate and rough seabed morphology, with steep changes in depth, of the Greek seas surrounding the mainland (both the Aegean and the Ionian) constitutes a key difference and distinguishing factor compared to the seabed found in Northern European countries, where most of the offshore wind farms are currently installed. As a result, the available marine areas in Greece suitable for fixed-bottom wind turbines are limited, despite the extremely high wind potential of the Greek seas. The evolution of the floating platform technology for mounting wind turbines can provide a significant boost to the exploitation of the offshore wind potential in Greece, bypassing the difficulties posed by its very complex seabed morphology.

Based on the particularities of the situation and the current lack of a national Maritime Spatial Planning, the paper discusses key strategic issues pertaining to floating offshore wind energy development in Greece and stresses the need for promptly formulating and applying a coherent, effective and efficient institutional and regulatory framework for this sector. The paper outlines in detail the main elements of such a framework, which has two distinct features: i) it is entirely based on existing environmental and spatial-planning legislation, and ii) it employs an “open door” licensing and project development model, at least for an initial phase of 3-5 years, until the aforementioned Maritime Spatial Planning is formulated, deliberated and legislated.

Sea Basin(s): 
Country: 
Year: 
May 2021
Application in MSP: 
Unknown effect
Sectors: 
Offshore renewable energy production
Type of Issue: 
Economic aspects
Type of practice: 
Study
Stage of MSP cycle: 
Vision and aims
Cross-border / trans-national aspect: 
No
Coherence with other processes: 
Renewable Energy Directive

Questions this practice may help answer:

  • What is the potential for offshore wind energy development in Greece?
  • Which key steps should be implemented to support the development of offshore wind energy in Greece?
  • Which public authorities should be involved in the institutional framework for the development of offshore wind energy in Greece?

Implementation Context:

Offshore wind power is increasing worldwide and is encouraged by the European Commission, which estimates that Europe’s installed offshore wind power capacity may reach 60,000 MW by 2030 and 300,000 ΜW by 2050.

Aspects / Objectives:

This paper aims to highlight and discuss key strategic issues related to floating offshore wind energy development in Greece.

Method:

This paper is based on several studies regarding offshore grid potential in the Mediterranean and on a bibliography focusing on a Greek case study.

Main Outputs / Results:

This paper provides guidelines for the development of an institutional and regulatory framework for floating offshore wind development in Greece and highlights key issues regarding the implementation of this framework.

Transferability:

This practice focuses on Greece and offshore wind development in the Greek context; it is therefore not transferable.

Responsible Entity / Funding Source:

European University Institute

Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies

Florence School of Regulation

Contact person:

Florence School of Regulation

Email: FSR.ComsMedia@eui.eu

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