The first meeting of the North Seas Energy Forum will be held today. The forum, organised by the European Commission, brings together representatives from the public, private and non-governmental sectors in the ten countries in the North Seas region – Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom – as well as from the European Commission. The participants will discuss the development of an offshore grid covering this region that will realise its full energy potential.
European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič said:
The North Sea Wind Power Hub shows what human ingenuity can achieve when we work across Europe's borders. This Wind Power Hub will reduce the costs of offshore wind energy and boost growth and jobs in this sector. It provides strong tail winds to our fight against climate change and to Europe's global leadership in renewable energies.
During the event, representatives of Dutch, Danish and German transmission system operators will also sign an agreement to develop the North Sea Wind Power Hub. They plan to construct one or more artificial island hubs in the central North Sea, an area where wind conditions are excellent. The infrastructure on the hubs, which will house staff and workshops, will link wind farms in the North Seas region and transmit the electricity they generate to Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom via interconnections. The interconnectors will also enable these countries to trade electricity. As a result, they will be able to maximise their use of energy from renewable sources, such as wind and solar power, whose capacity to generate electricity varies from place to place due to changing weather conditions.
In 2016 the North Seas countries signed a Political Declaration and action plan that emphasised their commitment to developing offshore renewable energy and the necessary infrastructure in the region. As part of this, they set up four Support Groups, whose members are experts from North Sea countries and the European Commission and representatives of system operators, regulatory authorities, business, institutional investors and civil society. The Groups work on the areas of maritime spatial planning; development of an offshore grid; cooperation between the North Seas countries; and standards, technical rules and regulations. The four Groups will present their work at the meeting, which will also include panel debates, thematic sessions and an open discussion between participants.