Energy systems

​​​​Here you can read about the general guidelines for the establishment of offshore wind farms, wave energy systems and the like in territorial waters.

To whom am I to send my application? Before you start working, you must apply for a permit from the responsible Government authority:

Danish Coastal Authority: Fixed installations and geotechnical investigations in territorial waters.

Danish Energy Agency: Energy systems, electrical cables as well as oil and gas pipelines in/on the seabed in connection with energy installations.

Danish Nature Agency: Extraction of raw materials from the seabed. 

In order to assess navigational safety in connection with the establishment of a minor energy system, you must follow the general guidelines for construction works at sea.

Risk analysis:

Before constructing offshore wind farms and wave energy farms, it is necessary to make an analysis of the risks related to navigational safety. This must be coordinated with other stakeholders in the territorial waters and normally requires a VVM assessment (an assessment of the impact on the environment).

When the Danish Maritime Authority requests a major assessment of the navigational risk from the construction owner, it must be made in accordance with the guidelines (Formal Safety Assessment - FSA) published by United Nations' International Maritime Organization (IMO). 

In general, it is necessary to make a separate analysis for the construction and the operational phase, respectively.

Emergency stop:

Emergency procedures must be drawn up for closing electricity producing systems in case a ship is on collision course with the system. Defence Command Denmark (the Naval Staff) must have direct contact with the operational centre of the system.

Base and wings:

The Danish Maritime Authority demands that the base for offshore wind turbines is designed in a collision-friendly manner so that as little damage as possible occurs in case of a collision.  

The distance between the surface of the sea and the lower tip of the wing must be at least 20 metres in relation to the HAT (highest astronomical tide).


Distinction is made between navigation in and around offshore wind farms during the construction and the operational phase, respectively. During the construction phase, a work area will be established in which all unauthorised navigation, fishing, etc. are prohibited. In general, offshore wind farms in Denmark are open for free navigation during the operational phase. Please observe that this is not always the case with other countries' offshore wind farms.

Contingency plans must be drawn up to counter situations where an anchored or moored system gets loose and is drifting.

Immediately inform Defence Command Denmark, the Naval Staff ( and Notices to Mariners ( if an anchored or moored system is drifting away from its position and presents a risk to navigation.

Aids to navigation in connection with energy systems should be established in accordance with IALA Recommendation RO139 - the Marking of Man-Made Offshore Structures and Guideline G1162 - the Marking of Man-Made Offshore Structures. Aids to navigation must always be approved beforehand by the Danish Maritime Authority. The Danish Transport and Construction Agency has also made some requirements for the marking of offshore wind farms in consideration of air traffic.

If you intend to establish or repair an overhead line and if the work could affect safety of navigation or impede freedom of navigation, the Danish Maritime Authority is also to assess the project.

On 23 July 2014, the EU adopted the directive on the frames of Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP)). The purpose of the directive is - through planning - to promote sustainable economic growth in the maritime industries and sustainable utilisation of the marine and coastal resources, especially focusing on the planning of CO2-neutral sources of energy. This may, for example, be offshore wind farms.

To a certain degree, planning at sea is comparable to planning ashore where we have the planning act. MSP is to seek to counter the many challenges and conflicts that will arise in connection with an increasing number of and more differentiated activities in our waters now and in the future.

The MSP directive concerns a number of different Government agencies and in October 2015 the Danish Maritime Authority was appointed the main coordinator in Denmark. The first maritime spatial planning act will be developed in the years to come, and the first plan is to be ready in 2021.

In Denmark, plans are made within the following areas: 

  • sustainable development of sea-based sources of energy,
  • sustainable development of maritime transport,
  • sustainable development of fishing and aquaculture, and
  • preservation, protection and improvement of the marine environment, including robustness as regards climate change.


Safety of Navigation, National Waters