North Sea Countries Sketch 2020 Offshore Wind Work Programme

Energy Ministers from ten North Sea countries met today, 4 December, in Brussels and agreed on their 2020 Work Programme on offshore wind deployment.

The 2020 Work Programme elaborates what Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the UK intend to do together on maritime spatial planning, electricity grids and developing hybrid and joint offshore wind farms.

The countries have committed to define a regulatory framework for offshore wind farms that have a grid connection to more than one country. Such hybrid projects will be key in pooling assets and infrastructure together and reduce the costs of deploying offshore wind, WindEurope said.

The ten countries also recognized that space in the North Seas is “finite” and will collaborate on maritime spatial planning to “be able to utilise the energy potential of the North Seas”.

According to WindEurope, the countries will better coordinate the planning and development offshore (and onshore) electricity grid expansion in order to facilitate the expansion of offshore wind and will develop plans for potential joint cross-border offshore wind farms.

“Up to 380 GW of offshore wind is doable in the North Seas by 2050 if countries collaborate effectively on maritime spatial planning, grid investments and hybrid offshore projects,” said WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson.

“The North Seas countries realise that and are taking concrete steps to make these big volumes happen. It’s great to see this reinforced commitment from Governments on offshore wind – and to see them widening and deepening the scope of their work together. This is Europe at its best. And a great example for other regions in particular the Baltic to follow.”

To remind, the North Seas Energy Cooperation countries met in June in Denmark to discuss plans on offshore wind, as well as the UK’s potential exit from the European Union.

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