‘Normally We Are Competitors’ – Allied European Offshore Wind Ports Ink Declaration as Lack of Port Capacity Looms with Upcoming Projects
“Normally we are competitors. But from today we are also working closely together”, Danish Port of Esbjerg posted on social media as six European wind ports move forward with the alliance established last year to mitigate overcapacitation due to upcoming increasing offshore wind activities.
“Europe’s ambitious offshore wind deployment targets put great pressure on European wind ports. Currently there is not enough port capacity to install the offshore wind farms needed to reach the European ambition”.Port of Esbjerg
Back in September 2022, Port Esbjerg (Denmark), Port Oostende (Belgium), Groningen Seaports/Eemshaven (Netherlands), Niedersachsen Port/Cuxhaven (Germany), Nantes-Saint Nazaire Port (France), and Humber (UK) signed a partnership agreement with an aim to minimise capacity issues that already exist and are set to become even more pressing as offshore wind goals agreed under the Esbjerg Declaration bring increased and accelerated build-out of offshore wind farms.
Now, the six largest European wind ports have also signed a mutual declaration to collaborate on an operational and practical level to help bring the new offshore wind capacities across Europe as smoothly as possible.
According to Port of Esbjerg, with the declaration, the ports want to send a strong signal to the market and decision-makers on their willingness to do everything that can be done to accelerate the green transition through offshore wind.
“Europe’s ambitious offshore wind deployment targets put great pressure on European wind ports. Currently there is not enough port capacity to install the offshore wind farms needed to reach the European ambition. Hence, and even though we remain competitors, we will collaborate on an operational and practical level. Together, we will do everything we can to act on the challenge”.
Under the Esbjerg Declaration, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands agreed to install at least 65 GW of offshore wind by 2030 and 150 GW by 2050, and also to accelerate the deployment of new offshore wind farms, both to bring further clean energy generation capacity to power the consumers and to make green hydrogen.
A few months later, the nine member countries of the North Seas Energy Cooperation (NSEC) also agreed on joint offshore wind target. Under this agreement, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden vowed to reach at least 260 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2050, which would represent more than 85 per cent of the EU-wide ambition of reaching 300 GW by 2050.
Targets were raised by individual countries, as well, over the past two years, including the UK, Germany, and the Netherlands, with new European markets also joining the momentum now as Spain, Portugal, Lithuania and others now working on launching their offshore wind auctions.
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