TenneT calls for acceleration of North Sea cross-border wind for European energy independence and security

TenneT calls for acceleration of North Sea cross-border wind for European energy independence and security

REPowerEU package highlights need for exceptional measures in the current energy crisis

-- Achieving ambitious national and international renewable energy targets requires offshore wind developers, policy-makers and grid operators to intensify and accelerate their cooperation.

-- National and European policy makers should create a reliable growth path across borders to empower investors and to deliver in time.

-- The new national targets for offshore wind power are a huge challenge for the whole supply chain which needs to be prepared for the coming growth.

May 18 - Tennet CEO Manon van Beek spoke at the North Sea Wind Summit in Esbjerg, Denmark, where Commission President Ursula von der Leyen presented the REPowerEU package to Heads of State from the four North Sea countries. Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium world leaders in offshore energy, met to map the way forward.

To reach the new very ambitious climate targets, we need even more cross-border cooperation in Europe’s energy markets. We must use this opportunity today to boost our collaboration, as a group of like-minded partners. Together we can make the North Sea the powerhouse of Europe’s affordable, secure and green energy future. To succeed, we must take a fully international approach to the energy transition, working together with all the North Sea countries,” says Manon van Beek, CEO of TenneT.

Renewable energies, particularly offshore wind power, show their value at this urgent time of need and improve the supply of affordable electricity for European households. The crisis has shown the importance of accelerating the roll-out of offshore wind power in the North Sea for energy security and market stability. The REPowerEU package sets important steps shortening and simplifying permitting processes for the deployment of renewable energy. Grid infrastructure projects should benefit from same acceleration rules as renewable energy projects.

To achieve this acceleration the important elements of the political framework must fit together seamlessly: incentives for renewable generation, market design, security of supply, the building of infrastructure and the strategy for hydrogen. For all this we need a joint strategy. All parts of the system influence each other.

“This conference led by Heads of State shows that developing the North Sea is “Chefsache” and it is about proving trust – trust in a comprehensive collaboration, trust to overcome thinking in boxes - whether they are geographic or different energy carriers, whether it is sellers or buyers” Manon van Beek said.

Addressing the heads of government in Esbjerg, Manon concluded: “Europe can maintain its leading role in offshore technology – one of the cheapest sources of electricity – if we ensure three things now”:

1. Set a reliable growth path

National governments and the EU have it in their hand to counter the current energy crisis by creating a reliable growth path by harvesting offshore wind in the most efficient place in Europe., This needs three commitments offshore: cross-border coordination on locations for new wind parks, roll-out schedules and reliable tendering schemes so everybody is empowered to invest in time.

2. Speed up cross border cooperation

The future is an interconnected offshore system that also enables the exchange of electricity between countries and security of supply for all. Such cross-border projects need to be a convincing investment case for everybody, also for offshore wind parks. Technically everything is possible but we also need the right incentives at EU and national level.

3. Ensure technical interoperability

High Voltage Direct Current technology is so new that the components of different suppliers do not work together properly. Today it is not possible to connect a converter stations supplied by different manufactures. Together with other companies in the industry TenneT developed a vendor-neutral standard for the next HVDC technology generation. We have urgently asked the EU Commission to support this by approval in short time.

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