Baltic Energy Areas – A Planning Perspective

March 2016 -
February 2019

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


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. The project 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.


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 do not always have enough knowledge on local resources and circumstances to find smart place based solutions.

In order to tackle these challenges the project 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 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 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.

The project will result in 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 crosscutting issue of climate change mitigation.

Highlights by mid-term:

Next to the preparation of guidelines for a better coordination of spatial planning and renewable energy planning, the project partners started to implement several pilot projects to test methods of stakeholder involvement and coordinated planning. In Ääneniemi in Central Finland several meetings with local stakeholders took place to discuss the implementation of geothermal production of heat to be used in local buildings. In the Danish region Zealand a first feasibility study for the realisation of a wind park was just published. All in all, eleven pilot cases are implemented at this time in PL, LT, EE, FI, DK, SE and DE.

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