Estonia blocks €1.7bn offshore wind power park citing national security concerns

By bne IntelliNews April 13, 2019

The Estonian government blocked a €1.7bn offshore wind power project off the coast of the Saaremaa island last week, citing security concerns, Bloomberg reported on April 11.

“The reason for refusal is a suspicion that the applicant may threaten public order, safety of the society and national security,” the Estonian government in a statement, originally made public last week.

The project could carry “could carry potential security threat due to background of investors,” Justice Minister Urmas Reinsalu said in an analysis of the project in February, according to Bloomberg.

It is unclear why a renewable energy project would pose a threat to national security. A nation of just over a million people and a frontline member of the EU and Nato, Estonia considers Russia as the biggest threat but the developer of the project – Saare Wind Energy – has claimed it had no links to Moscow whatsoever.

Saare Wind Energy planned to build a massive offshore wind power farm consisting of 100 wind turbines off Saaremaa. The farm’s capacity would be 600 megawatts.

Estonia’s target for share of renewable energy in total energy consumption is 20% in 2020, as imposed by the EU. The country’s national target is 25%. Estonia has met both targets already but its energy mix remains dominated by emissions-heavy oil shale and is one of the “dirtiest” in Europe.

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