North Seas energy cooperation
The development of an offshore grid linking the ten countries in the North Seas region (Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom) is a long-standing energy policy priority for the EU.
The region has great potential for offshore wind generation, and linking these countries via energy infrastructure will create jobs and economic growth throughout the region. A regional, cooperative approach will deliver these benefits in the most cost-efficient manner.
Since the establishment of the North Seas Countries' Offshore Grid Initiative (NSCOGI) in 2009, the cost of offshore wind energy has decreased as the technologies used to generate it have matured. In 2016 the countries in the North Seas region signed a political declaration to reaffirm their commitment to cooperation, which has two goals:
- facilitating the cost-effective deployment of offshore renewable energy, in particular wind
- promoting interconnection between the countries in the region
The declaration emphasises the importance of voluntary cooperation, with the aim of securing a sustainable, secure and affordable energy supply for the North Seas countries.
Cooperation areas and support groups
Four specific work areas for energy cooperation in the North Sea region have been identified
- maritime spatial planning
- development and regulation of offshore grids and other offshore infrastructure
- support framework and finance for offshore wind projects standards, technical rules and regulations in the offshore wind sector
A support group and a work plan was established for each specific cooperation area and the involvement of a wide variety of stakeholders will ensure concrete progress and tangible results.
A high-level group brings the outputs of the support groups to the political level and ensures that important decisions receive support.
North Seas Energy Forum
The European Commission organised the North Seas Energy Forum in 2017. The event brought together representatives of the public, private and non-governmental sectors in the North Seas region to discuss challenges and opportunities in the region and the role of all stakeholders in realising its full energy potential.
- Support schemes for offshore wind- emerging best practices (December 2017)
- Coordination of tenders for offshore wind in the North Seas (December 2017)
- North Seas energy clusters
- Political declaration on energy cooperation between the North Seas countries
- Work plan for support group 1 – Maritime spatial planning
- Work plan for support group 2 – Development and regulation of offshore grids and other offshore infrastructure
- Work plan for support group 3 – Support framework and finance for offshore wind projects
- Work plan for support group 4 – Standards, technical rules and regulations in the offshore wind sector