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Optimising spatial planning instruments for renewable energy sources

Planning criteria as a basis for optimal siting decisions

The spatial conditions and prerequisites for the production of renewable energy differ among energy sources. Spatial planners have to find optimal locations for windmills, biomass and solar power plants as well as energy storage systems. At the same time conflicts with competing uses and the environment have to be minimised.

BEA-APP will map and compare existing planning criteria for designating different renewable energy sources in the participating countries and regions. As competition for space among different economic sectors as well as nature protection aims is a reality, special attention will be paid to criteria targeting use conflicts.

Based on this cross-regional overview, the partnership will agree on spatial planning criteria for promoting the production and use of renewable energy. Regional and municipal stakeholders will be consulted in this process. Furthermore, recommendations on how to integrate these criteria in future planning processes will be presented to the VASAB (Visions and Strategies Around the Baltic Sea) Ministerial Conference.

Capturing the added value of renewable energy production

Against the background of spatial trade-offs and conflicts, the added value of increasing the production of renewable energy needs to be clarified. The use of renewable energy sources is driven by climate change and environmental protection considerations. In addition, employment and growth are stimulated along the value chain of the renewable energy industry. This includes the creation of new business opportunities for spatially competing sectors like agriculture and forestry. Furthermore, renewable energy sources improve national and regional energy security.

Based on indicators, BEA-APP will quantify the regional impact of deployment of renewable energy sources technologies. Regionally specific recommendations for steering the development of the renewable energy sector will be given.

Complementing the spatial dimension to regional and municipal renewable energy concepts

Regional and municipal renewable energy concepts are important informal instruments for steering the development of renewable energy production. In the participating regions, many of these documents fall short of considering the territorial dimension. BEA-APP will cooperate with the competent municipal or regional authorities to integrate spatial considerations as well as the jointly agreed planning criteria into the renewable energy concepts.

Interreg Baltic Sea Region
European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR)