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Offshore wind parks and maritime safety in the EEZ of the Baltic Sea Region

DG Env: Best practice exchange via OURCOAST


This case in the offshore area Kriegers Flak I (EE of Germany) demonstrates how international, and regional policies and legislation are implemented in a sea-planning procedure, and how participation processes include stakeholders on the international, national, state, regional, and local level. Further, data on the procedural process concerning wind farms can be exchanged, providing marine spatial planning is not fully established.

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Questions this practice may help answer

  • How to develop a SEA-planning procedure, and strengthen participation processes by including stakeholders on the international, national, state, regional, and local level?
  • Which guidelines are relevant for spatial planners, coastal managers, decision makers, and authorities involved in planning procedures concerning off shore wind farms?

Implementation Context

Maritime safety is a big issue in the rather narrow Baltic Sea with its heavy ship traffic. Some of the busiest shipping lines cross the sea. About 2,000 ships are at sea at any time since traffic has increased. Among other cargoes, oil and hazardous substances are transported.

Offshore wind power is one of the new utilisations in the Baltic Sea. Offshore wind energy production faces many advantages compared to terrestrial: constant wind, high wind speed, no conflict with human settlements. However, new conflicts will arise, one of the most prominent is probably interference with maritime traffic. The offshore area Kriegers Flak belongs to the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) of Denmark, Germany, and Sweden. The German zone is Kriegers Flak I, where an application for 80 turbines with a power generation potential of 330 MW was submitted in May 2001, and was approved in April 2005. Until 2005, eleven applications for wind power farms had been approved, half of them in the designated areas.

Aspects / Objectives

  • Increase the influence of regional governments and local authorities on matters of maritime safety.
  • Develop transport and communication within a framework of maritime safety, taking into account the diverse activities.
  • Implement a sound risk management in planning processes.

Furthermore, a focus was on prevention of, and preparedness for, ship accidents was as well as integration of stakeholders of all hierarchical levels, and the public in the participatory process.


  • A handbook providing guidelines for spatial planners, coastal managers, decision makers, and authorities involved in planning procedures was developed, based on the experiences from case studies
  • A GIS based tool on the marine hazard contingency plan of Germany (VPS) was adjusted to serve as a spatial planning instrument, called Maritime Environmental Risk Management System (MERMS).
  • Germany has defined development zones for wind power taking into account a Strategic Environment Assessment (SEA). The SEA enabled local, regional, and international authorities and the public to participate in the  planning procedure for the Kriegers Flak wind park. Stakeholders and the public have the possibility to discuss and comment the assessment findings. A risk analysis for ship collision incidents was then carried out for Kriegers Flak.

Main Outputs / Results

Online report  on Offshore Windfarm development and the issue of maritime safety. The report includes the Kreigers Flak in Germany, Denmark and Sweden. For the specific German case, no detailed information is accessible.

The report concludes that even though the national legal preconditions for wind power implementation differ considerably between Sweden, Denmark and Germany, the issue of maritime safety is included adequately in all three countries’ offshore development efforts. However the report states that an integrative approach of Marine Spatial Planning still is recommended to provide a framework for regional or local projects and to bring information efficiencies.


Although, international legislative and administrative structures differ between countries, all manage to implement environmental impact and risk assessments and to ensure participation of stakeholders, and the public at a regional, national, and international levels. Experiences and data can be used synergistically for other wind park projects.

Responsible Entities

  • Maritime Institute Bremen
  • Ministry of Economy, Employment and Transport Schleswig-Holstein,
  • Senator of Construction, Environment and Transport of Bremen
  • Institute for Environmental Protection and Safety in Shipping – GAUSS mbH

Costs / Funding Source

Funded by responsible entities in combination with funding by the Interreg III B Project “BalticMaster”

Contact Person

Priv.-Doz. Dr. habil. Gerald Schernewski & Dr. Susanna Knotz,

Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research

Seestrasse 15

D-18119 Rostock