Baltic Energy Areas – A Planning Perspective

March 2016 -
February 2019


Horizontal action:
spatial planning
2. Natural resources 2.2 Renewable energy


The Interreg project BEA-APP compiled experience from eight countries around the Baltic Sea that helps regional planning authorities to accelerate the setup of windfarms, solar parks, biogas plants and the like.


Planning processes for renewable energy projects are too slow

More renewable energy installations need to be erected faster to meet the ambitious climate mitigation and renewable energy targets in the EU and the Baltic Sea region's countries. Spatial planners play a crucial role in erecting renewable energy installations, as they are the ones to find and designate suitable locations, based on criteria defined in their respective laws and regulations and taking into account the needs and interests of other users, of local people and of the environment.

However, spatial planners often lack the appropriate planning instruments to define and designate the best suitable areas. They are faced with local resistance and a “not in my backyard“ attitude towards renewable energy projects. And they do not always have enough knowledge on local resources and circumstances to find smart place based solutions. Thus, spatial planners face numerous challenges which prolong planning processes for renewable energy projects and slow down Europe's transition to a low carbon economy.



Merging two perspectives and testing on the ground

Within the BEA-APP project, spatial planners and regional energy planners collaborated and exchanged their different perspectives on renewable energy development. Together they elaborated a set of spatial planning criteria which reflect the challenges related to renewable energy production better than the existing criteria applied in planning and approval of windfarms, biogas plants, solar parks as well as energy storage systems. In order to increase the social acceptance of renewable energy projects, innovative stakeholder involvement methods and financing instruments were developed and tested by the project partners. The test cases included geoenergy in Äänekoski city (Finland), biogas in Odsherred (Denmark), and solar energy in Lund (Sweden).


Regions become better at renewable energy planning

The newly defined spatial planning criteria served to evaluate and improve the existing renewable energy strategies of nine regions, including Blekinge and Skåne (Sweden), Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Germany), Tartu (Estonia), Western Pomerania (Poland), and Zemgale (Latvia).

Project Stories


€ 2.69
€ 2.11
Eni + Russia
€ 0.00
€ 0.00




Project manager

Ministry of Energy, Infrastructure and Digitalization Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

Gabriele Hoffmann

+493 855 888 043

Legal representative

Ministry of Energy, Infrastructure and Digitalization Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

Lothar Säwert

+49 3855888040

Financial manager

Ministry of Energy, Infrastructure and Digitalization Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

Jennifer Grünes

493 855 888 452

Communication manager

Ministry of Energy, Infrastructure and Digitalization Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

Matthias Mossbauer

493 855 888 451