Offshore wind farm framework, transitional plan push for June

The energy ministry, believed to be on the final stretch in its effort to establish an institutional framework for offshore wind farms, is aiming to finalize key sections and other crucial details of this framework by June, or, at the very latest, during summer, enabling the plan’s legislation soon after.

Keen to prevent any further delays to the overall effort, the energy ministry is currently also welcoming proposals by market players for a possible transitional plan that could facilitate the launch of two to three pilot projects for a period of two to three years as a precursor to the delivery of the full framework, a complex task due to the sector’s nature.

The energy ministry appears willing to adopt many of the incoming proposals in an effort to have prepared a finalized framework by June.

According to sources, the ministry aims to have prepared a high-level plan, or the nucleus of the framework, this month.

To serve as a road map, the high-level plan will need to provide details on: the selection criteria to be applied when choosing offshore areas to host initial projects; licensing steps for investors; the agency to be given responsibility of the licensing and project maturity processes; and the timing of auctions for tariffs.

The energy ministry’s secretary-general Alexandra Sdoukou has, on numerous occasions, noted in public remarks that a high-level plan of the framework for offshore wind farms and a related draft bill will be ready by summer.

The offshore wind farm industry is expected to experience a growth surge over the next few years. According to a recent Global Wind Energy Council report, last year’s 6.1 GW in new offshore wind farm installations is forecast to grow by 292 percent until 2025, reaching 23.9 GW.