The Directorate-General of Natural Resources, Safety and Maritime Services is holding a public consultation on the Renewable Energy Allocation Plan (“PAER”) aimed at identifying potential areas for the commercial exploitation of offshore wind energy in the national maritime area along the western coast of mainland Portugal.
The PAER is a maritime zoning instrument that will automatically update the Maritime Zoning Situation Plan created by Decree-Law 38/2015 of March 12. It is a key procedure for enabling the Portuguese government’s goal of having an installed capacity of 2G and licensed capacity of 10GW by 2030, which is important for meeting the national and European energy transition and carbon neutrality targets set in the 2050 Carbon Neutrality Roadmap (2050 CNR) and the REPowerEU Plan.
The public consultation runs from October 27, 2023, to December 12, 2023, and is open to all stakeholders, who may submit their observations and suggestions through the Participa website.
The PAER under public consultation identifies six potential areas for building offshore wind farms, with a total area of between 3,176 km2 and 3,393 km2, in Viana do Castelo Norte, Viana do Castelo Sul, Leixões, Figueira da Foz, Ericeira, and Sines, and considers:
- the inputs received in the public consultation on the report of subgroup 1 of the inter-ministerial working group created for the planning and operationalization of electricity-generating centers that use ocean-based renewable energy sources;
- the concerns of fishers, communicated at several meetings with the fishers associations and fishing organizations that are most affected; and
- the opinion of the entities that have a seat on the advisory committee for approval of the PAER.
The PAER is accompanied by the environmental report, which identifies the most likely impacts on the marine environment and underwater cultural heritage, and it also includes the required proposals for making the activities and uses compatible.
The PAER represents an opportunity for investors in the offshore renewable energy sector, particularly for those wishing to take part in the tenders to be held later in 2023 and in subsequent years. Given the impact on the viability of offshore wind projects, we suggest that all investors and stakeholders actively participate in the public consultation.