6. Transnational cooperation enables regions and cities to jointly tackle challenges that go beyond borders
Water pollution, maritime spatial planning, and integration of transport systems are examples of issues that each country cannot solve separately from its neighbours. Only by working together, regions and cities can successfully tackle such challenges.
We make the Baltic Sea waters healthier by joint efforts of regions and cities
The bottom of the Baltic Sea is one of the largest dead zones in the world, an area without oxygen and thus without life. Anoxia is caused by excess nutrient loading from human activities.
To reduce the loads, the Interreg projects PURE and PRESTO advised operators of selected waste water treatment plants on better nutrient removal and invested in water treatment equipment. Training material developed from these examples was used in renovations of plants in other cities. The Interreg project IWAMA set up an online platform to connect water management experts and to facilitate lifelong learning. The Baltic Smart Water Hub showcases good practices and technical solutions in water management. Now, the project platform BSR Water develops the hub further.
We boost renewable energy by connecting offshore electricity grids
Because the Baltic Sea is shallow waters, has low wave heights, and neglectable tides, it provides very good prerequisites to install large offshore wind power devices. The full potential of offshore wind power can be exploited most efficiently if the countries around the Baltic Sea established large transnational meshed offshore wind grids based on the same standards and methodology.
The Interreg project Baltic InteGrid calculated a potential of 35 GW by 2050, while only 2.2 GW were installed in 2018. The project created a knowledge and cooperation platform in which all the relevant stakeholders from the offshore wind energy supply chain exchange and plan their cooperation. The project partners elaborated a common vision that defines the necessary steps and procedures to plan, finance, implement and operate a meshed offshore wind grid. The concept was tested and verified in two prefeasibility studies covering a potential meshed grid between Poland-Sweden-Lithuania and Germany-Sweden-Denmark.
By firing up an expert discussion about a joint electricity grid in the Baltic Sea, the Interreg project brings the macro-region closer to removing one of the most important bottlenecks for the development of renewable energy sources in the Baltic Sea region.