BEAGINS stands for Baseline Environmental Assessment for the Grid in the Irish and North Seas. The development of an offshore energy system in the North and Irish Seas represents a significant opportunity towards meeting the EU's energy, environmental, growth and employment objectives. The region has a vast renewable energy potential that could provide a significant share of Europe’s power supply by 2030. Furthermore, such a regional energy system could also contribute to the further integration of the electricity market in northwest Europe.

To ensure that environmental concerns and impacts are appropriately considered in the development of such an offshore energy system, the European Commission asked Ecofys and RPS to prepare a Baseline Environmental study. Focussing on Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, the research aims to compile an environmental baseline including maps, constraints, risks, impacts, ways of mitigation and alternatives. The Baseline Environmental Report will also determine the effects (positive and negative) of several future energy and grid scenarios for 2030.

An important part of the study is the stakeholder involvement of the different Member States and environmental parties. They have been invited to provide feedback to the different grid scenarios for 2030 and the scoping report which outlines the following items:

  • overview and description of the institutional and legislative framework relating to the development of RES and power equipment in the North and Irish Seas
  • overview of the scope, objectives and conclusions of the existing national SEA studies (Strategic Environmental Assessment) performed in the context of the maritime spatial planning at national level in the North and Irish Seas
  • description of the key environmental aspects and scope of the environmental baseline
  • recommendations on specific impact identification and evaluation methodologies

In addition to expert meetings, Ecofys developed the project website to collect the feedback and also distribute documents and maps.

The results may be used to inform any future plans for renewable energy generation, energy storage, power cables and associated equipment in the North and Irish Seas. Available as a resource to the relevant Member States and stakeholders, it will allow for commonly agreed environmental baselines to be incorporated into the assessment of plans, programmes and projects early in the policy, design or planning processes.

Visit the project website at:


Huygen van Steen
Energy Systems and Markets
Screenshot project website (c) 2016