The conference’s agenda includes discussions about legislative matters, development of new interconnectors, electricity accumulation (storage) solutions, as well as business opportunities that offshore wind farm expansion will present to local entrepreneurs in the upcoming years. The conference will bring together experts and politicians from Latvia, Estonia, Norway, Great Britain, Denmark and other European countries.
“It will soon be one year since the Russian invasion of Ukraine revealed the importance of energy in the context of global security and how much European countries relied on the aggressor’s resources. During this period, important decisions have also been made in the Baltics, paving the way for energy independence, but the hardest work is yet to come. Harnessing the potential of wind energy requires significant investment, while securing investment requires quality and development-oriented legal framework with clear and fair rules along with solutions for electricity and hydrogen exports. At the moment, it is crucial to discuss and build effective partnerships focused on cooperation and strengthening energy security, which will become the basis for the transformed European energy systems,” says Toms Nāburgs, head of the Latvian Wind Energy Association.
Participants in the conference will discuss the new geopolitical reality and international cooperation in the development of an effective European energy network. Clear rules and regulations in addition to positive preconditions for the development of the wind industry are of high importance. It is equally important to start working on the concepts of new interconnectors and new innovative solutions for electricity storage. The Baltic countries have great potential of becoming a key player in the European energy system, therefore the aim of the conference is to look at the experience of other countries and learn from their ‘dos and don'ts’ together with experts, to outline the necessary improvements and cooperation models of the offshore wind industry in the Baltic countries.
The offshore tendering regulation is still a pressing issue and will also be discussed at the conference. It is necessary to solve shortcomings in the existing regulations in both Latvia and Estonia, which would not only speed up implementation of the two countries’ joint project, but also make it clear to private investors that the region is ready and welcoming the development of powerful offshore wind farms.
Another major bottleneck for offshore wind is the limitations of the transmission systems. Implementation of large-scale projects requires that shortcomings in the current system must be resolved first: an insufficient electric grid that lacks important interconnectors, the total capacity of the network, and electricity accumulation (storage and transportation) possibilities. A systematic, comprehensive approach is a key to solving these challenges. And the experts in the conference will help to model an ideal energy transmission network.
Offshore wind farms are significant infrastructure and long-term investment projects. Construction and maintenance of these massive structures require a lot of resources, including human resources. At the conference, the stakeholders will share their experience on what supply chains are formed during the construction and maintenance of wind farms, as well as discuss where local suppliers can be involved and what local business development opportunities are anticipated in the Baltic region. They will also discuss whether the Baltic countries are ready to make even more use of these opportunities than before and how to foster training and recruitment of the necessary personnel. Currently, there are two successful examples in Latvia that demonstrate how local companies use the potential of the wind energy industry and cooperate with turbine manufacturers - metalworking company East Metal and robotised wind farm maintenance company - Aerones.
WindWorks is one of the largest wind energy conferences in the Baltics, which will for the third year bring together in Latvia industry experts, policymakers, entrepreneurs and other industry stakeholders from different countries to share their experience and discuss the most pressing energy issues in the global and regional level. The conference is organized by the Latvian Wind Energy Association, the Estonian Wind Power Association and the Danish Embassy in Riga in cooperation with the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia.