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MITECO launches new regulation of offshore wind & renewable energies from the sea

4C Offshore | Chloe Emanuel
By: Chloe Emanuel 27/02/2024 MITECO

The Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (MITECO) has started the public hearing of the Royal Decree project that regulates the production of electrical energy in facilities located at sea. The regulatory proposal proposes to simultaneously grant, through a competitive concurrence procedure, the economic regime for renewable energies and the reservation of the capacity for access to the network and the concession of use of the public-maritime land domain.

The Offshore Wind and Sea Energy Roadmap, and the update of the National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan 2023-2030, establish the objectives of achieving up to 3 GW of offshore wind and up to 60 MW of other offshore renewable sources by 2030 . This development, orderly, respectful of the environment and compatible with other uses and activities at sea, will generate important economic activity and will create around 40,000 jobs.

Spain is already a 'global leader' in the field of renewable energies and is particularly well prepared in the case of emerging marine energies; It has powerful wind and naval sectors, and it is a European R&D reference center for the design, scaling and demonstration of new technologies: Spain is the European partner with the most R&D facilities, such as the Canary Islands Ocean Platform (PLOCAN). ), the Vizcaya Marine Energy Platform (BiMEP) or the Punta Langosteira marine energy experimental zone (A Coruña), the world's second test bed for wave energy.

To achieve the development objectives of offshore wind and sea energy, MITECO has approved the Maritime Space Management Plans , a zoning instrument for the different uses of the sea (fishing, navigation, energy production etc.), which includes 19 High Potential Zones (ZAP) for the installation of offshore wind turbines, with a surface area of ​​5,000 square kilometres, 0.46% of territorial waters.

After this organization of the marine jurisdictional space, it is necessary to approve a new regulatory framework for offshore wind and sea energy , adapted to current legislation and the state of technology. In this sense, in June 2022, MITECO already launched a prior public consultation to gather information from interested parties.

The regulatory project will affect offshore wind installations and other marine energies , such as wave energy, that produce energy throughout the marine territory under Spanish jurisdiction. It will allow the simultaneous granting, through a competitive competition procedure, of the Renewable Energy Economic Regime and the reservation of access capacity at a specific node of the electrical network and the concession of the maritime-terrestrial public domain for a maximum period of 30 years.

The contests that will serve to grant these rights, in addition to economic and technical criteria - price of energy, power quota to be granted, solvency of the participants, characteristics and requirements of the technology, etc. - other criteria may be taken into account , such as the occupation of space, the minimization of environmental impact, plans for dismantling equipment at the end of its useful life, creation of local employment and industry, participation of SMEs, or the impact on navigation, or support for other economic sectors, like fishing.

Furthermore, taking into account the complexity of the projects, there may be a public-private dialogue phase , in addition to the usual public participation and hearing procedures, to increase their positive socioeconomic externalities and favour their integration and compatibility with other uses of the sea.

The development of marine energies is a priority for the Government , which has already allocated 147 million euros for pilot demonstrator projects and testing platforms for marine renewables within the framework of the Strategic Project for the Recovery and Economic Transformation of Renewable Energies, Renewable Hydrogen and Storage (PERTE ERHA).

Comments on the draft Royal Decree regulating the production of electrical energy in facilities located at sea can be sent to until March 25, 2024, indicating in the subject 'Allegations to the draft royal decree on marine renewables'.

For more information about offshore wind farm projects across the globe, click here.


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