Baltic Energy Areas – A Planning Perspective

Funding programme:
Total budget:
€ 2.7 M
Project duration:

Resource efficiency

The project “Baltic Energy Areas – A Planning Perspective” (BEA-APP) addresses the territorial challenges related to the transition towards low-carbon energy systems with an increased production and use of renewable energy throughout the Baltic Sea Region (BSR). To meet the ambitious climate mitigation and renewable energy targets in the region, there is a need to designate additional (growth) areas to renewable energy installations such as wind parks, bioenergy units or solar installations. But spatial planners often lack the appropriate planning instruments to define and designate best suitable areas while at the same time finding optimal balances with competing interests, they are faced with local resistance and a “not in my backyard“ attitude towards renewable energy projects, and they also do not always have enough knowledge on local resources and circumstances to find smart place-based solutions.

In order to tackle these challenges, BEA-APP aims to improve the capacity of regional and renewable energy planning actors by developing, testing and implementing:
  • new spatially adjusted formal and informal spatial planning instruments that help to steer the sustainable growth of renewable energy and to find optimal balances with competing aims and land uses (e.g. nature protection, cultural landscapes, agriculture or tourism),
  • innovative stakeholder involvement modes and financing systems as a way to increase the social acceptance for and local ownership of renewable energy projects,
  • place-based pilot actions assessing local circumstances and conditions, defining the optimal renewable energy mix for strategically selected areas and setting the scene for a number of concrete renewable energy projects in the region.

The main outputs of BEA-APP include a commonly agreed set of spatial planning criteria for furthering the sustainable growth of renewable energy, revised and new renewable energy concepts in all nine participating regions taking into account spatial planning and regional development aspects, handbooks and guidelines for innovative modes of stakeholder involvement and financial citizen participation as well as a number of place-based feasibility studies for concrete renewable energy projects on the municipal level. The outputs will mainly be used by regional and municipal authorities and energy agencies of the participating regions, which are directly involved as project partners and will integrate the project results into their daily work. Also energy producers, financing institutions, experts and NGOs in the fields of spatial planning and/or renewable energy are target groups of the project.

BEA-APP will result in new planning solutions that will facilitate and speed up the realisation of concrete renewable energy projects in the participating regions, thus making important contributions to the Programme objective of increasing the production and use of renewable energy in the BSR and the cross-cutting issue of climate change mitigation.