Development of proposals for revised marine spatial plans
Work is now on-going to produce proposals for revised marine spatial plans to meet the future need for electricity. The process involves collaboration and dialogue with many different stakeholders from local to national level. The plan proposals are to be submitted to the Swedish Government by 31 December 2024 at the latest.
Need for increased electricity production
The 10th of February 2022, the Swedish Government adopted the first Swedish marine spatial plans. At the same time, The Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management was assigned to bring forth proposals for revised marine spatial plans to meet the need for increased electricity production.
Increased electricity production is required to achieve the Swedish climate and energy goals, including the goal for completely renewable electricity production by 2040. It is also a prerequisite for the industry to be able to switch from fossil fuels to electricity, which is a crucial part in meeting climate change.
Developing proposals for revised marine spatial plans, also contributes to the European Green Deal, which is a package of policy initiatives which aims to set the EU on the path to a green transition, with the ultimate goal of reaching climate neutrality by 2050.
In the adopted Swedish marine spatial plans, there are designated areas that are estimated to provide 20–30 terawatt hours of electricity production annually. The aim of the assignment is to include more areas for offshore wind enabling an additional 90 terawatt hours annually. As a comparison the annual use of electricity in Sweden currently amounts to approximately 140 terawatt hours.
Today there is a particularly large deficit of electricity in southern Sweden. According to the government assignment the new energy areas should therefore primarily be planned in the Skagerrak/Kattegat and in the Baltic Sea. The largest part of the energy areas in the existing marine spatial plans is in the Gulf of Bothnia.
Assignment in several steps
The assignment has two steps. During the first step, The Swedish Energy Agency, together with eight national agencies, including the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management, produced a report with proposals for areas that may be relevant for energy extraction at sea. For each area the impact from offshore wind on other interests were assessed.
The Swedish Energy Agency coordinated the work and reported the assignment to the Government by the 31th of March 2023.
The planning process continues
The Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management is responsible for the marine spatial planning process, which began in parallel with step one. Based on the report with designated energy areas and other relevant planning evidence, The Agency works to elaborate proposals for revised marine spatial plans. A large part of the planning process involves conducting impact assessments with the aim of to support the elaboration of the proposals. The Swedish Agency for Marine and Water is responsible for carrying out a strategic environmental assessment and will also assess social and economic aspects of the plan proposals.
Proposals for revised marine spatial plans shall be submitted to the Government by the 31th of December 2024 at the latest.
Several national agencies are involved in the work of producing various planning documents, assessing possibilities for coexistence and assessing the consequences of proposed planning.
Read more about Collaboration, roles and responsibilities - Marine Spatial Planning - Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management (havochvatten.se)
Timetable and planning process
Planning evidence, spring 2022
The collection of relevant planning evidence begins. It is work that involves a number of national agencies. The Swedish Energy Agency coordinates the work with the documentation.
Impact assessments work begins, autumn 2022
The Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management begins work with impact assessments with the aim of finding good overall solutions and opportunities for coexistence between different interests in the sea. The work continues throughout the planning process.
Marine spatial planning is started, spring 2023
Based on the report produced in collaboration with The Sweidish Energy Agency and other national agencies, as well as other relevant documentation, The Swedish Agency for Marine and Water begins the planning. The dialogue with relevant stakeholders takes place on an ongoing basis and when necessary.
Public consultation, September 14th to December 15th 2024
The proposals for revised marine spatial plans will be published for public consultation. This means that the proposals are made available so that everyone who is affected can submit their views.
Consultation with other countries, November to December 2024
Consultations are also held with other countries as the plans can be assumed to have a significant and cross-border environmental impact.
Review, May to August 2024
The plan proposals are being revised. They are then made available for a last review.
Proposal to the Swedish Government, December 2024
A completed proposal for revised marine spatial plans is submitted to the Government.
About the marine spatial plans
The purpose of the marine spatial plans is to contribute to long-term sustainable development. They must, among other things, contribute to achieving and maintaining a good environmental status in the marine environment, that the sea's resources are used sustainably so that marine-related industries can be developed, and to promote coexistence between different activities and uses. Sweden has three marine spatial plans. one for the Gulf of Bothnia, one for the Baltic Sea and one for one for the Skagerrak/Kattegat.