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The first draft of the ”Guidelines for Planning Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) go-to areas in the Baltic Sea”

Merituulivoima on etenemässä Itämerellä myös EU:n vauhdittamana. Sen ohjaamiseksi sopiviin paikkoihin Coalition Clean Baltic ja WWF tekevät parhaillaan ohjetta. Kommentoimme luonnosta CCB:n jäsenenä. Toimme esille eräitä suomalaisia kokemuksia ja lähteitä.
For CCB and WWF BEP

The first draft of the ”Guidelines for Planning Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) go-to areas in the Baltic Sea”

Dear colleagues, thank you for a good draft! 

I think that the most important issues are well in the draft. Only some comments from the Finnish national perspective. 

In our discussions, we always highlight the EU ”Do Not Significant Harm” (DNSH) principle. This concept could be mentioned in this report, too.  

In Finland we (Finnish Association for Nature Conservation) and BirdLife Finland made a proposal to the Ministry of the Environment to make a general plan for Offshore Wind Energy (OWE)  in Finland. This is important to avoid cumulative problems. However, the Government has not started any work yet. 
https://www.sll.fi/2021/11/05/merituulivoiman-sijoittumisen-valtakunnallinen-ohjaus/

In addition to the EU legislation, there is also national legislation in some issues where the EU doesn’t have any competence by the Treaty. One is spatial land use planning, which belongs to Member States. In our waters it is noteworthy that the EU Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) is not a legally binding instrument. However, municipalities and regions can make legally binding spatial plans at least to the outer border of the EEZ, so they are very important especially in coastal waters. We think that it is important to also make these “real” and “hard” marine spatial plans. (In the EEZ the Government has the right to give permits to sites of OWE by another law). 

There are also some best practices, like EKOenergy criteria with Protected Areas, Natura 2000 areas, Important Bird Areas and UNESCO World Heritage sites as no-go areas. In Finland there are no wind energy in PAs. https://www.ekoenergy.org/fi/ecolabel/criteria/electricity/

The last option is ecological compensation. In Finland we took part some years ago in a project “Ecological compensations in coastal and open sea areas of the Baltic Sea”. The report includes for example a list of habitat types where ecological compensation is possible in maritime areas – and where not. The report is in Finnish only but with English abstract https://helda.helsinki.fi/handle/10138/246849
On behalf of the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation
With best regards
Mr. Tapani Veistola
Executive Director

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Executive Manager Mr. Tapani Veistola

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