Developing cross-border solutions in the offshore wind sector will be key to meeting the target set by the European Commission, said Christopher Jones, Deputy Director General for Energy at the European Commission.
According to Jones, the development of country-specific offshore wind farms and transmission assets will no longer be relevant, and developing solutions such as hybrid projects linking wind farms to interconnectors and allowing them to feed electricity into different markets will be crucial in reaching the target.
Jones met with Sandor Gaastra, Director-General for Energy, Ministry of Economic Affairs of Netherlands, Mel Kroon, CEO of Tennet, Jan Hensmans, Head of Energy Policy Coordinaation and International relations, Federal Public Service of the Economy of Belgium, Michael Simmelsgaard, Head of Offshore Wind at Vattenfall, and Dorine Bosman, vice-President Offshore Wind at Shell, as part of North Seas Energy Forum's meeting with stakeholders from the offshore wind industry at WindEurope’s annual Conference & Exhibition in Amsterdam.
The panelists discussed maritime spatial planning, offshore grids, support frameworks and finance, and technical standards, stressing the importance of a long-term vision to allow the necessary competition that will drive further cost reductions in offshore wind. In addition, by developing new transmission technologies or the artificial island concept, they believe innovation will also be an important driver to further develop offshore wind. However, many challenges still need to be tackled, and having the right regulation set in place is crucial to allow for cross-border projects.
Last year, ten countries established the North Seas Energy Forum by signing a declaration on cooperation in offshore wind in the North Seas and acknowledging the need for closer regional collaboration.
The forum, organized by the European Commission, brings together representatives from the public, private and non-governmental sectors in the ten countries in the North Seas region – Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom – as well as from the European Commission.