North Seas countries commit to 260 GW of offshore wind by 2050
Image by WindEurope (windeurope.org)
September 13 (Renewables Now) - The nine member countries of the North Seas Energy Cooperation (NSEC) on Monday committed to at least 260 GW of offshore wind energy by 2050.
The NSEC aims to advance offshore renewables in the North Seas, including the Irish and Celtic Seas, and groups Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the European Commission.
The ambition, agreed by energy ministers from the NSEC members at a meeting in Dublin, represents more than 85% of the EU objective of reaching total offshore wind capacity of 300 GW by 2050.
Cooperation is seen as key to achieving the NSEC countries’ increased offshore ambitions, including in relation to developing offshore grids and facilitating hybrid projects that combine offshore generation with interconnection.
The ministers also recognised bottlenecks such as supply chain challenges. Commenting on the announcement, industry body WindEurope noted that all of the five European turbine manufacturers are currently loss-making. It added that participants in panel discussions at the summit agreed that auctions for offshore wind should include non-price criteria and that there was also consensus against negative bidding.
Ireland’s Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan, commented that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the related energy price shock and security of supply crisis have underlined the urgency of moving away “from our reliance on expensive and ransomed fossil fuels” and that just as in responding to the crisis, it is best for the EU to act in unity on realising its offshore wind potential.
The new collective offshore wind target follows a pledge in May by Germany, Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands to reach at least 65 GW of offshore capacity by the end of the decade and then more than double it to at least 150 GW by 2050.