Cooperation on energy projects in the North Seas has taken a further step forward today with a call from countries participating in the North Seas Energy Cooperation (NSEC) and the European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson for a European enabling framework for offshore wind energy.
At a meeting this morning, co-chaired by German Minister Peter Altmaier and Commissioner Simson, Ministers from NSEC countries and the European Commission agreed a joint statement agreeing that existing barriers should be tackled for an accelerated deployment of multinational hybrid offshore wind energy projects in the North Seas, as well as other projects. Ministers of the North Seas countries encouraged the Commission to develop an enabling framework at EU level, which consists of EU guidance to Member States on the implementation of cross-border projects, adequate electricity market arrangements, and efficient EU financing.
For her part, EU Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson underlined the potential role that off shore wind can play in achieving the EU’s climate-neutrality ambition by 2050. She recalled the forthcoming initiatives foreseen under the European Green Deal, notably the EU Offshore Renewable Energy Strategy, due for publication in the autumn. Commissioner Simson told the meeting:
Today’s meeting is about putting the European Green Deal into action. Only by stronger cross-border cooperation, such as between the North Seas countries, will we be able to sufficiently scale up renewable energy production and make Europe the first climate neutral continent.
Cooperation in the coming months will focus on a further development of concrete proposals for hybrid projects, maritime spatial planning, and a long-term vision for the role of offshore renewable energy by 2050, including offshore and onshore grid planning and the role of hydrogen. In this context Commissioner Simson underlined the complementarities between the offshore renewable energy strategy and the strategies for Energy System Integration and hydrogen that will be adopted by the Commission on 8 July.
The next NSEC Ministerial meeting will take place in December.
The North Seas Energy Cooperation is a regional energy cooperation between Belgium, Germany, Denmark, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden to facilitate the integration of large-scale offshore wind in the European energy markets as well as a more coordinated offshore grid development.
Press statement by German Presidency
6 July 2020