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North Seas energy ministers back Europe's wind power plans

4C Offshore | Chloe Emanuel
By: Chloe Emanuel 21/11/2023 Wind Europe

Today, in the presence of His Majesty King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, the 10 Energy Ministers of the North Seas Energy Cooperation (NSEC) convened in The Hague and endorsed a comprehensive NSEC Action Agenda, aiming to spearhead the build-out of offshore wind energy. This agenda, focused on fortifying Europe's wind energy supply chain, was welcomed alongside the EU Commission’s Wind Power Package, committing active engagement in its execution.

Envisioning a colossal offshore wind capacity of 76 GW by 2030, 193 GW by 2040, and an ambitious 260 GW by 2050, the North Seas aim to become Europe's premier power plant. To achieve this, close cross-border collaboration remains imperative. The NSEC Action Agenda, agreed upon today, delineates vital actions in grid development, market design, financing, auction mechanisms, nature protection, and offshore energy security.

The implementation of the EU Commission’s Wind Power Package is of significant importance, as reiterated by the NSEC's endorsement today. The Package, proposed to be solidified through a Wind Energy Charter signed by governments and industry, aligns seamlessly with the NSEC's commitment to bolster the offshore wind sector. Key measures, such as refining auction design, enhancing non-price criteria utilization, and strengthening pre-qualification criteria, are deemed crucial for raising environmental standards and ensuring cyber and data security compliance.

Additionally, the NSEC countries have welcomed the inaugural Offshore Network Development Plan (ONDP), slated for publication in January 2024. Serving as a guiding compass for future network investments, this plan will facilitate seamless data sharing on offshore and onshore grid planning, including renewable hydrogen electrolysis locations.

The commitment extends to fast-tracking pivotal cross-border infrastructure projects and urging the EU electricity market design to establish a regulatory framework for offshore wind hybrids. These hybrid offshore wind farms, connecting multiple countries, not only optimize generation and transmission assets but also enhance energy flows between nations. The NSEC emphasizes the significance of maintaining the proposed Transmission Access Guarantees by the European Commission, offering investment de-risking without additional costs to taxpayers.

For more information about offshore wind farm projects across the globe, click here.


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