Publisher: EPG, Energy Policy Group (

EPG’s modeling suggests 15GW of offshore wind capacity is needed in Romania’s Black Sea Exclusive Economic Area (EEA) by 2050 for Romania to become climate neutral. Increasing offshore wind capacity requires effective legislative and fiscal frameworks for offshore wind development and collaborative projects with EU and non-EU regional partners such as a Romanian-Bulgarian (RO-BG) energy island. The Energy Policy Group explores the potential solutions, necessary framework, cost assessment, and potential impacts on the energy market.

Original Executive Summary

Offshore wind power plays a crucial role in Europe’s pathways to reducing dependency on fossil fuel imports and decarbonization by 2050 when the EU’s energy security interests and climate objectives are fully aligned. The same goes for Romania, with a modeling exercise indicating that 15GW of offshore wind capacities need to be developed in Romania’s Black Sea exclusive economic area (EEA) by 2050 to achieve climate neutrality. This would become the country’s largest source of electricity production, with more than 40% of the total in some scenarios. Offshore wind farms take five to 10 years to develop, with an EU average of seven years. This means that there is a good chance for Romania to connect its first wind offshore capacity to the grid before 2030. This could change Romania’s current status as a net electricity importer and provide significant additional clean energy needed to decarbonize industry, transport, and heating and cooling sectors.

This report builds on the results of the first EPG study that estimated the technical potential of offshore wind in the Black Sea, proposing innovative solutions for overcoming grid-related challenges. Backed by EU instruments, joint regional planning, and joint development between Romania and Bulgaria, offshore wind in the Black Sea can kickstart and achieve the needed economies of scale to make offshore wind a significant enabler of decarbonization in Romania and Southeast Europe.

To address the grid challenges that both Romania and Bulgaria face in deploying their offshore wind potential, a Romanian-Bulgarian (RO-BG) energy island would be an efficient and scalable solution to unlock large-scale offshore wind deployment, as well as bring valuable interconnection capacity with other Black Sea countries (such as Turkey, Georgia, as well as Azerbaijan, further east), drastically improving energy security and contributing to the regional price stability. This would also bolster the offshore wind potential of the entire Black Sea Basin. Indeed, the recently announced underwater HVDC cable to be built by Romania, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Hungary will be a stepping stone.

In a realistic scenario for 2030, the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) for fixed offshore wind power in the Romanian region of the Black Sea will be €71/MWh, while for the later development of floating offshore wind, the LCOE would be €94/MWh. In the case of a joint project between Romania and Bulgaria, including in the LCOE, the costs of an HVDC connection to the Constanta Sud station, as indicated in the reference scenario for fixed offshore wind, would bring the total cost to €79/MWh for a 3GW installed capacity. Adding an artificial RO-BG Energy Island would bring the LCOE to €85/MWh, assuming the capital investment for the energy island is split equally between the two countries. The total CAPEX costs allocated to Romania in an RO-BG Energy Island project, including the 3GW offshore wind farms, would be €8.4 billion (€810 million representing Romania’s share of the RO-BG Energy Island). At the same time, the resulting annual energy production is estimated at 9.8TWh.

Besides the importance of energy supply and resilience, offshore wind deployment brings socio-economic benefits by creating jobs in projects’ manufacturing, construction, and operation and maintenance (O&M), with a multiplying effect on other sectors – including a significant concentration in the Port of Constanta. Per GW of installed power, European offshore wind generates €2.1 billion. Consequently, 3GW of installed offshore wind power in Romania would generate €6.3 billion, 2.6% of GDP (2021). This could also contribute to a total of 22,000 new FTE employees (20,000 in the capital phase and 1,800 for O&M), with 15,500 in direct new jobs at the local level, assuming that Romania would attract investors in the manufacturing of wind-turbine components and construction, installation, and balance of plant, respectively.

Setting up the proper legislative and fiscal frameworks for offshore wind developments is critical, especially at the beginning of massive deployments of offshore wind capacity worldwide. An EU-led conversation on the future of Black Sea offshore deployment would facilitate the process for the two member states (Romania and Bulgaria) and non-EU partners. It also promotes discussing and investing in energy islands and potential long-distance interconnections. This report proposes a blend between a centralized, state-led model and an open-door, investor-led process for site development, aiming to capitalize on the mentioned advantages while diminishing the downsides and associated risks for investors. As a prerequisite and rule for successful planning and development, a consistent and continuous dialogue between state authorities and private investors is paramount, already from the early stages.

* 1 €= 1.09 $ as of January 16, 2024

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