Ministry's special analysis of Hiiu maritime area not legal act or decree
Heddy Klasen, head of the Ministry of Finance's department of spatial planning, said that the developers' frustration is understandable in light of the court's decision to void their wind farm planning proposals. However, the ministry's spatial analysis of the marine region merely identifies the potential of the sites and does not constitute a selection decision.
Sunly, which plans to build an offshore wind farm off the coast of Hiiumaa, believes the conclusions of the Hiiu maritime area spatial analysis are false and has accused the Ministry of Finance of using them as an excuse for not launching a building permission application.
Klasen said that the Ministries of Finance and Economy commissioned an analysis to determine whether it is feasible to initiate planning for wind farms in the Hiiu marine area based on empirical evidence. "The analysis was carried out by qualified specialists in collaboration with government entities using reliable data," he said.
"The spatial study concludes that the area has planning potential for offshore wind farms," he continued. "It is important to note that the analysis indicates which regions have greater and which regions have less potential for offshore wind farm development, but the spatial analysis does not and cannot, under current law, determine anything regarding the selection of offshore wind farm sites," Klassen explained.
According to the legal analysis carried out in the framework of the study, the granting of the right to build in maritime zone is conditional upon the drafting of a plan. Klassen explained that a strategic environmental impact assessment is also carried out in parallel with the development of the planning solution.
"Because the planning process is expensive, it is reasonable that developers are upset the court partially invalidated their planning for the Hiiu marine region," Klasen added.
Both private sector and the Ministry of Economic Affairs can submit an application for the initiation of new planning, and the state can then decide whether or not to initiate national wind energy planning in the Hiiu meritime zone.
Klasen said that in the planning of the Estonian, and the Pärnu maritime area, approximately 2,500 square kilometers have been already designated as suitable areas for the development of wind energy, and if all the available possibilities were to be realized, the production capacity of offshore wind farms would be 10 times higher than Estonia's current peak consumption.
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Editor: Kristina Kersa