Northern European Nations Forge Unified Vision for North Sea Offshore Wind Power

Collaborative Action Plan Aims to Boost Coordination and Pave the Way for a Green Powerhouse by 2050


Nine Northern European countries have collaboratively endorsed a groundbreaking North Sea Energy Cooperation Action Agenda during a meeting in The Hague, marking a pivotal moment in the strategic alignment of their efforts to propel the next phase of offshore wind energy development in the North Sea. This consortium, collectively known as the North Seas Energy Cooperation (NSEC), comprises Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden. The European Commission and the United Kingdom also participated as the guest.

The core objective of the approved plan is to enhance predictability, foster superior coordination, and pave the way for an integrated energy system by the year 2050. The NSEC harbors robust ambitions for offshore energy, intending to build upon its established leadership in wind energy, both onshore and offshore, within the region.

A key facet of their strategy involves the annual auctioning of approximately 15 GW of offshore energy capacity, with a target of awarding nearly 100 GW by the year 2030. This ambitious goal is predicated on the belief that optimized coordination of resources and efforts will transform the North Sea into Europe’s “Green Power Plant.”

Acknowledging the challenges faced by the offshore wind sector, including inflation, escalating resource prices, labor shortages, and intricate licensing systems, the participating countries have recognized the imperative for joint action. A study by Royal HaskoningDHV revealed that without collaborative interventions, the existing and planned harbor capacities around the North Seas are insufficient to meet the 2030 targets.

The NSEC’s action plan outlines specific measures, such as collective tender planning and enhanced cooperation between EU member states and the industry, to address these challenges. The countries have committed to synchronizing their sea-based infrastructure planning, anticipating that this will not only optimize the wind power sector’s predictability but also facilitate improved cooperation in areas like cables, pipes, harbor infrastructure, and resource access.

European Union Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simon, emphasized the determination and commitment exhibited during the discussions, underscoring the importance of advancing offshore ambitions and bolstering the competitiveness of this crucial sector.

The approved agenda will be presented to the European Union, with the next step scheduled for January 2024, when the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) will unveil a shared infrastructure plan for the North Sea. This comprehensive plan, shaped by inputs from NSEC countries, will consider the need for equitable balance with other sectors and users in the North Sea, including the fishing and transport industry. The meeting participants on November 20 viewed this development as a significant stride toward achieving a European integrated energy system by 2050.

Denmark was one of the early pioneers in offshore wind and through the new initiative (Vattenfall file photo)

| |

Last news